Wednesday, 30 July 2014

l is for look

 '...and above all watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the the most unlikely places.' Roald Dalh

I'm taking part in The Alphabet Photograph Project over at

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

creative flashback: butterfly prints

Butterfly prints have got to be the classic children's art activity.

Painting half a a butterfly, on half a side of paper and folding it over to create a whole and perfectly symmetrical butterfly. What's not to love about that?

This Creative Flashback was such a treat to re-visit.
Using acrylic paint, I painted directly onto the butterflies I had already pre-cut and folded. The thicker the paint, the more grains you will get in the final effect.

I use a lot of metallic acrylics in my paintings and often use silver to lighten a colour, instead of white (blue mixed with silver looks especially effective). The metallics provide an extra depth to a piece of work and as the light conditions change so do the paintings; the more light there is, the more alive it will become.

It seemed only obvious to use the metallics on my butterflies and I am super happy with the results. They would make perfect tags for presents or perhaps string them onto some twine for decorations.
I have been known to use the 'butterfly print technique' in the odd abstract painting. The poppies in this piece all started life as thick blobs of paint, applied to a separate piece of paper and then printed. As the paint is transferred, the colours blend and naturally shape to form a purely organic image. The beauty of this technique is that you can never completely control what you're going to get, the paint works for itself.

I've really struggled to find examples of Butterfly Printing around the net. Maybe it's just too obvious a craft for people to feel the need to share. I did find this effective Monarch Butterfly Art where they have started by creating a symmetrical, black outline but if you know of any other examples, please do share them with me.

Maybe you have re-visited something with your own children, re-started a long forgotten hobby or perhaps you are still creating that special craft you fell in love with as a child. You can share your own Creative Flashbacks via Twitter or Instagram using #creativeflashback or pop them in the comments below.

For other Creative Flashbacks in the series please click here.

Sunday, 27 July 2014


Being chased, by a T-Rex, through a corn field.

Obsessing over my home grown runner beans.

Looking through this Instagram feed and actually craving healthy food.

Booking a holiday very, very soon. The passports arrived :)

Watching the new series of Falling Skies.

Thinking the first 30 seconds of this YouTube documentary sums up how children learn best, perfectly.

Loving the ceramics by The Object Enthusiast.

Receiving some great feedback for the first painting in my Living Woods Series, thank you!

Feeling super positive!

Friday, 25 July 2014

the living woods series

So, I've been working on a series of paintings, a series I thought I would release when the collection felt finished, a series I thought I wanted to be complete before sharing with the world, but then I realised, the series is never going to be 'finished' and I don't want it to ever be 'complete'.

You may have noticed a little love affair I have with the woodlands. They are, without doubt, my biggest source of creative inspiration. The light, the movement, the growth, that feeling of solitude mixed with being in somebody else's presence... it all adds up to make these wild places magic.

I could never picture a day, when I have done with painting woodland abstracts. A Woodland's beautiful chaos and their wild, unpredictable freedom, totally suit my messy painting style. The series will never stop growing but it will, just like the woods, forever evolve and change.

And so... I introduce the first of The Living Woods Series, Change.

Change, the story of Spring giving way to Summer.

The blossom begins to fall as the leaves, slowly dominate the trees. An obvious, seasonal tale to explain its title and yet Change has a hidden story, one that the viewer can not read.
This painting started in Winter. It was never meant to be blossom and leaves, but frost and snow. It was hidden away, condemned as a flop and destined for the skip but, almost on its own accord, it came out of hibernation and became fresh and new... 
... it changed.

Paintings, in The Living Woods Series will be made available for sale in the next couple of month.

For any enquiries please contact me via

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

k is for kiss

 '...and she loved a little boy very, very much. Even more than she loved herself.' 
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

I'm taking part in The Alphabet Photograph Project over at

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

creative flashback: potato printing

Who didn't love potato printing as a kid?! 

It was, for sure, my first introduction to the whole concept of printing and, given the chance, I would have happily done it everyday. There was pure joy in duplicating an image over and over again with as little effort as putting paint on a potato and stamping it onto a surface.

What is it about repetitive pattern that the mind finds so satisfying? 
I thought up a ton of complicated patterns and ideas for this Creative Flashback project, but it's simplicity that makes potato printing so fulfilling and the main reason I loved it as a child.

In the end, I whipped up a tablecloth from a couple of meters of calico and picked out a blue fabric paint from a set I had stashed in the art cupboard. I opted for the simplest of shapes and carved a triangle from a new potato.

I thought about carefully stamping the triangles in perfectly stamped lines, I thought about making an effort to load the potato, each time, with exactly the same amount of paint and producing near perfect replicas. I thought I wanted it to be perfect until I started printing.

I allowed myself the freedom of imperfect. Throwing caution to the wind, I simply stamped away. My lines were wonky, my prints varying tones of blue and yet the end product didn't feel flawed, it felt beautifully home-made.

So I finished my tablecloth and I hung it to dry. I looked at it often and found I rather liked the finished piece. William saw it and told me it was beautiful, he's so generous with his praise it makes my heart melt. His comment made my little Creative Flashback series that little more meaningful and, as you can see, from the above picture, it's getting some use...

... just not as a tablecloth ;)

For more potato printing inspiration take a look at this leafy project and I love this image of carved potatoes with all their geometric patterns. For something different why not try other kinds of fruit and vegetables like the citrus fruit used here. 

To see all the #creativeflashback projects in the series, so far, please click here.

Sunday, 20 July 2014


Making Three Little Pig puppets with paper plates and...

Thinking this print, of the book's theme, is beautiful.

Loving how excitedly William ran into the house today because he'd just found another ripe strawberry and couldn't wait to tell me.

Having a child-free night and not getting home till one in the morning. Seriously, 1am!! That hasn't happened in a long, long time. I was however, super happy when picking-up the little chap from Grandma & Grandad's house.

Enjoying the sunsets.

Waiting for the arrival of passports so we can book a family holiday :)

Getting confused between Masterchef South Africa and Masterchef Canada because Andy is watching them both at the same time. I've made the statement 'oh, they've changed the judges' so many times!

Feeling angry towards whoever broke into my son's preschool, during the last week of term. Who would break-in and trash a preschool??!!

Wanting to go to Southampton to see this exhibition by Dan Perfect and Fiona Rae.