A little Art Journal

I recently discovered the work of France Papillon who does the most amazing journal pages.  This is the result of a little online course I followed.

It is four sheets of A4 watercolour paper, the backgrounds were done first then the pages folded and sewn together using a simple pamphlet technique.  I then continued to work into them.



A Nature Journal

I loved the course I did with Roxanne Evans Stout which resulted in my Four Seasons book, so have done another course with her to produce a Nature Journal.

Flowers from the garden photographed on a plate, surrounded by real flowers that I glued down with matte medium:

Painting of flowers and a scrap of eco printed rice paper:

Leaf paintings:

A drawing and a mono print:

More eco printed paper with a mono print:

A tiny concertina book glued on to the page: The birds and butterfly are taken from RSPB magazines.

The back:

I so loved the effect that I did a second:

The background on this page is a piece of paper on to which I pounded the imprints of leaves and flowers, then enhancing these with ink:

Walking out from the studio, I saw the sun red in the sky.  Together with the strange light in the sky it was an extraordinary sight.  I spread modelling paste over some grasses, which i then removed and when the paste was dry I used inks to colour the page.

This is a work in progress, I intend to continue  until I have used up all the pages in this sketchbook!  There is always something new to see in the garden.

Eco printing using flowers

Having been on a day’s workshop at Hawkwood College with Babs Behan, on which we used flowers from the garden to print a silk scarf and being pleased withe results, I got rather carried away back home.  I mordanted silk with alum, cotton and linen with aluminium acetate which gives much better results on plant fibres.  Here are just a few of my results.  I sprayed everything with vinegar before rolling up and  all bundles were steamed.

I also printed some papers for my project on Nature Journaling with Roxanne Evans Stout. The first three are paper – mulberry paper, Japanese rice paper and Nepalese mixed fibres.

I used dahlia and rose petals, hollyhocks, mallow, anthemis tinctoria, calendula,  French marigolds, some elderberries still on the stalks, which I crushed, elderberry and rose leaves a, purple sage,  purple carrot, thinly sliced,hibiscus and ordinary teabags, plus a small quantity of iron filings.

Japanese silk  which has a flower motive integrated into the cloth.

Cotton sheeting

Another piece of Japanese silk.  The circular blue marks are from the purple carrot, a spectacular result.

Linen.  Here the leaf marks are quite noticeable.


Gelli plate mono prints using plant material

Having purchased a commercial gel plate some time ago and not really used it much, I decided to do some printing with plant material.  I made the following little book.  The cover uses a collagraph print around the spine and I mounted the trimmed prints on khadi paper.

Spirits of the Garden

I  then made myself a slightly larger plate, using gelatine and glycerine – the latter ingredient being important as it stops mould developing and stops the gelatine turning to liquid, which is what happened the first time I made one using only gelatine.

The prints are a combination of the first print with the ghost print added over it to get the details of the plants.  On the second ivy print, I used the paint left on the leaves to press onto the negative shapes.





New scroll book

I have been invited by the Embroiders’ Guild to submit a piece of work for their exhibition at the Knitting and Stitching Show, entitled Page 17, using a book as inspiration.  I chose ‘The Crane Wife’ by Patrick Ness, which takes a Japanese folk tale in which a couple assist an injured crane who then returns in human form to weave beautiful fabric, plucking feathers from her breast, which they can then sell.  Ness transports this tale into present day London.

I have titled it “With the arrow removed from her wing, the crane calls at the moon”  Size: 58 cms by 23.5.



My inspiration was the boro style of stitching, patching old fabrics.  I used vintage Japanese fabrics, indigo dyed fabrics, printing, bleach discharge, painted bondaweb, feathers, sequins and mother of pearl buttons.





Four seasons part 2

I finally completed the three remaining large compositions for my four seasons project. They are all 41 x 31 cms – the size of the khadi paper I used as the base layer.  Once finished, they were mounted on white card.




I loved this project.  Even though I did it in one fell swoop, rather than during the relevant season, I had lots of bits collected over the year squirelled away and it was great to find a use for them.  As I am always in the garden it was easy to find the seasonal connection.

A little book for trees

I made this book by printing and stencilling colour and shapes, mainly circles and diamonds  with some freehand monoprinting, on to an A 1 sheet of paper, then tearing the sheet into pages which I then bound into the book.  Laura Kemshall did a video on this some weeks ago and it certainly gives an interesting canvas to work on.  I spent a while wondering how to take it further, then decided to explore the shape of trees and leaves.  I used collage, more printing, drawing, real leaves and also cut away some of the original shapes to reveal the underlying page. Here are a few of the pages.

Itis still a work in progress.


Sketchbook workshop

More than a year ago I did a workshop with Cas Holmes at West Dean, on using sketchbooks as a starting point for further work.  I was not well at the time and felt I hadn’t produced anything worthwhile, but when I came to look at the work again, I felt there was a lot more there that could inspire me further. Here are just a few of the pages.

We started by just adding marks and colour to pages:

then did some drawing: this was looking through a window in the Great Hall:

Outside in the gardens:

Then made collages from a variety of bits and pieces we had either brought with us or found lying around the studio (other students’ cast-offs).  We also took photographsand then played around with the images, enlarging, tearing them into strips, etc.


I revisited the lattice work on the windows:

The following page uses an small isolated section from a drawing to be reproduced with fabric and stitch.

We were also given a challenge to make something using chance criteria – mine was a postcard using a colour I don’t normally work with: red.  Luckily I had a few bits with me and I was given some red crepe paper by another student.


A second tote bag


I love the first bag I made and decided to make one as a birthday present for a friend.  The indigo patches are from fabrics that had been dyed either by her or by me, so it felt appropriate to use them for this.

Inside I have used a piece of ice dyed fabric:

I’m glad to say she was very pleased with it!

"Exploration of textiles and mixed media is a huge adventure"