Thursday, 28 May 2009

travelling together and cycling the clouds

so i have had an unproductive day... or rather an administrative day. i guess these days need to exist to get along with your work.

the little boat people are travelling along nicely in my illustrated concertina book so i thought i would show you how things were taking shape. this page feels the most finished to me. there are still gaps but i think this weekend i could possibly knock it all over. (well it has to be that way, there is no time really).

i have made up a mock-book of the concertina book with the right stock paper to get a sense of the scale, weight and size. i highly recommend this process for anyone embarking on a similar endeavor, you can't imagine how the book will look and feel otherwise.

the cycling man is a development from the previous drawings. i like his pink clouds and the bath contraption that he stirs up the rain in. i have named him monsieur millimeter and i plan to develop him after the course is finished, until then all i can think about is my folio and the panel!

Saturday, 23 May 2009

cloud books and cycling

today has been one of those quiet days to oneself at one's desk. i have been riding the high seas of my work, listening to the ebbs and flows of it and being washed away by the magic of the medium of watercolour and collage.

i have been struggling to make the concertina book work, so i have taken time out to make these watercolours. i feel like i have been whisked off on another path already, leaving the panel behind to fend for itself... i feel a bit guilty, but i am loving the cloud books. the cloud books are pop-up books that fold out the clouds and the sea. if you agitate the fold the clouds dance. it's magical.

the cycling man is a character design in its early stages of a story that is bubbling up in my head. i will reveal more as i develop him and his story.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009


so after a long haul, i have finished the panels... the sewing bit, now it is time to take the photographs in the computer and come up with a concertina book of the narrative. i have mocked up the book with copier paper and i will sketch out where it will all sit.

did i mention that i have decided that the crazy journey panel 'par avion' is not going to be in the final long narrative. it is lovely on its own and does not have the strong graphic elements of the panels that came after it (like the one here of the man leaving the island being pushed by the rain). i still feel unsure about them as a whole still, but it has been a worthwhile and mad exercise.

i am now back to working on paper, watercolours and collage with paper. it feels good and fresh. i miss etching a lot too... maybe i will try to dedicate one day a week to the print studio again. a printmaker is never happy until she has ink all over her hands again.

Monday, 18 May 2009

endings beginnings middles and going a bit crazy

well... it's been a strange day in the studio/house. i started off trying to do some drawings, avoiding the panel at all costs... i tried to make some drawings for mock up book covers and i wondered what i was really doing it for.... to prove something? to make something more interesting than that which already exists? i found that my result was bland and disappointing so i temporarilly abandoned it and turned back to the panel.

blake and i stood over it for a good 20 minutes and we decided that the large panel with all the craziness was not working so i removed it and suddenly the narrative worked better. it was the first panel i made and since making it i had refined my approach to sewing and composition. i also think that i will mix drawings/watercolours with the sewing to make the project richer and more open. it works better. i just need a space to show it all now...

its funny how your original drawings change and grow through the process of making. so at the end of the day i feel a lot better. a glass of vino in hand... i am a happy chicken.

Thursday, 14 May 2009


i finished the border on this panel this morning. i wanted it to look like an airmail envelope, so i painstakingly sewed the precisely cut pieces together to form a long strip of slanted pieces. the effect is perfect though and it really communicates the airmail idea. not long to go now on all the panels!

off to wales

finally i have finished work for unfolding in wales. these little tins will be heading across. i am happy with the combination of materials, etchings, drawing, fabric and the tin box. the feature i like most about these two boxes is their mirror-like interior. they feel to me like a mirror into the past or a grey sky.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

invisible cities revisited

i was playing around with some photographs of the sewn panel and this happened and i really like it. i wish i could replicate it in real life! but that is the beauty of computers. maybe it wouldn't look so lovely printed, but on the computer it is a really nice image. i think it really conjures up what calvino was writing about when he described some of his cities... those made of glass. the white cities. invisible cities...

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

a story book and a farm house

this is a book i have been working on, which i spent all day yesterday finishing. there are a few things it needs, but essentially it is finished. also a fabric picture that i am sending off with about 7 others like it to Wales for the 'unfolding' show in june.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

voyagers hunters crusaders

i read susan sontag's 'on photography' a few months ago and have since been thinking a lot about the ideas surrounding the modern day hunters, explorers and journey-makers. the desire to own, to plant a flag in 'new' territory, to possess a souvenir. i feel conscious of being a tourist when i am travelling... i hope that i am a traveller and not a conquerer.

i have had these book covers for a while now, and finally decided to use them for this series of watercolours that communicate these ideas. i have made a christopher columbus, captain cook and a modern day hunter.