My work falls into a number of prominent categories: mosaic, textile, pen and ink and etching.
Mosaic: I began my journey with mosaics quite a number of years ago. Always fascinated by the slowness of the process and the myriad of decisions that have to be made in order to get a mosaic to its final resting place. I like the notion of fragments making a whole. I have never tired of this art form and have come to understand why it takes thirty years to really master the art of mosaic making. The other aspect of mosaics which I enjoy is that it provides plenty of scope to use recycled material – and your imagination is the only limiting factor- broken china, old buttons, seeds, rocks, old glass washed up on the beach, other people’s discards can become the most beautiful reinventions. In this medium I favor large pieces over small.
Textile: I have always loved fabric, embroidery, felt and anything that glitters. Textile work for me is a celebration of the gentle female arts – arts which I feel, have long been undervalued by society. I’m always moved by the old embroidered samplers, tatting, lace-making and fine embroideries of yesteryear. So my textile work harks back to a time gone by, when women practiced these skills as a part of everyday life. The hours of labor and care that went into the creation of each piece, often to be totally taken fore-granted. When I’m creating textiles that’s what I am reminded of – days long ago sitting round the fire with only a small amount of lamp light, darning and stitching for the family.
Pen and Ink: This is a relatively new medium for me. I love the delicacy of touch of ink on paper and the ability to convey an image through only a few strokes in one direction and then another. I have begun to experiment more with color and envisage my work changing going forward. I’m still enjoying the ability to wander round huge cities like Amsterdam and Vienna, capturing life in this simple but effective manner. I also love the contrast of black and white – its not at all like life which for me contains so many shades of grey.
Linocuts: Like mosaic, this is another slow art form. Nothing gets done quickly. Its a meditative art form which I thoroughly enjoy. Linocuts are simple in method and require a block of linoleum, originally used in flooring and made of linseed oil. It is then cut using special sharp tools and shaped to the artist’s choosing. Once cut to my design, ink is spread evenly on the surface of the linoleum, creating a surface ideal for printing. It can take weeks of work to cut out the design and careful concentration is required. One slip and you can destroy a piece before its even inked.
Dry Point Etching: Scratching into plexiglass. These lines create a burr that holds ink, meaning that the print reveals the drawing. Intaglio printmaking is the opposite of relief printmaking as it is the sunken areas of the plate that print rather than the raised areas. The process is like using a pen without ink – literally, drawing with a dry point – to create an impression of a drawing that, when inked, can be printed from again and again. Think of it as an etching without the acid, or engraving with an etching needle. Whistler and Picasso are two artists that used this method. The soft, feathery lines of drypoint lend themselves to playful illustrations or expressive sketches, which then produce an edition of prints.
I look forward to seeing what comes next.