Thursday, 24 November 2016


One of the most significant women in my life has been very ill recently, and may yet not make it.  She's in her 80s but somehow has always seemed vibrant and indomitable.  To see her as she is, after a major stroke, a shrunken tiny figure in a hospital bed, is to challenge the huge presence she has been for me.  I made this page to show how I will always think of her - vivid and bright, funny and just plain wonderful.  A mother in her way, a sister, a FRIEND.

It started as a simple page of pink paint, to which I added some of the brightest scraps of collage material I could find.  The black line really makes helps the collage jump off the page, as you can see below from the ones I've not outlined yet.
Then of course there has to be a face - or something human - on every page, I find it sort of grounds the art somehow, and reminds me that my work is about people, and the lived human experience we share.
Then out of me came what I wanted and needed to say. It is a kind of cry of protest against the gradual extinguishing of such an intense life force.
This is the finished page - I think, I hope I have done justice to an outstanding, amazing woman.  I have been blessed to have her in my life for 30 years ... and that's what I want to treasure.
Yet at the same time I have to keep watch by her side as the light fades, and walk with her to the end.  Its the last gift I can give her.

Friday, 11 November 2016


I'm still not quite back in the routine of journalling regularly again, so forgive me for the long gap since my last post.  I'm aiming to get back to posting weekly without working harder than feels natural.

This page background is, as so often, just paint - a basic orange and a slightly darker shade.  Backgrounds don't have to be fancy - after all you're going to write and draw over it, however shades which are lighter and darker can produce some interesting effects you can work round or with.
I thought black and white would look good against the bright colour, and ended up creating the image in the corner.  I decided she looked like a witch, so that's what she became ...
Then I was adding more collage pieces from my black and white drawer, with a strong black line to link them all together and give them some kind of unity.  My "words" drawer also produced the label "wicked witch" so that was clearly meant to be!
And then the rest of the page just grew without me thinking about it very much!  I love that stage, when the work takes wings and flies on its own and you are transported into that "other" place.

It finally came together with a few more words from my collection, the words my heart needed to get on the page, and lots of white doodling.  I added the little bit at the bottom "but inside" at the very last moment.
I'd like to think that, despite being tired and ill much of the time, some brightness and beauty still shows through.  Hope so anyway!!