Thursday, 1 September 2016

Hello 2016!

Where did the summer go?

It's the first of September today [PINCH PUNCH]and I can't believe it!
So what's new in Tiff-world? Well I'm excited to announce that I am represented by a new gallery! It's called the Forge 2 Gallery and it's in Culworth, Oxon. Thanks Miki!

See my four paintings on the back wall?

Since I last wrote I've had mini exhibitions in St Mary's Church, Hitchin and at the Bedford River Festival. They were great fun! NO sales alas but I am hoping for major sales this year.
Trying to tune in to the correct plane on the Universe...............

I've been away a few months as I have been worried about and caring for my teenage daughter. See angel pictures in a previous post. She has some health issues that are keeping her out of full time school. She's doing okay but not there yet. Out of respect for her privacy I won't mention the demon illness that has a hold on her but I wish I could get my hands on it for a strangle hold.

I've also been sidetracked with upcycling our new kitchen. It's almost there and it looks fabulous! [I'll post a pic when it's done]

I'm pickling beetroot [from our garden] at this moment in time and the house smells of spicy vinegar! Nice!

I have a few workshops coming up - I'll let you know how they go.

I'll talk about art next time lol

Thanks for dropping by

Thursday, 3 December 2015

the Harpur Trust workshops

Hello again!
I'm just going to carry on as if I haven't missed a month's blog. Pretend it never happened......

I've been doing some fun workshops for the Bedford Harpur Trust. They're celebrating it's 450th anniversary by having an Art competition for schools in Bedford with various artist in residence type workshops.
Such fun! My first one was in Goldington Green primary school with a full class of year 3's. They were lovely and did a great job.
But you know how a duck looks all serene as it glides along the water gracefully - but underneath there's a flurry of speedy mad feet? Well hello that was me as I was expecting a year 6 group and I had to internally adapt my project to it's simplest form! Two beads of sweat down each side of my head. [Or is that the menopause?] Not year 6? Year 3? Can they use scissors?
It was fun - the student teacher loved it, I loved it and the children REALLY loved it. Sorry to the child's mum that got paint all over himself despite the full armery of plastic body apron!

I definitely took some photos of the work - as it was so super - but I can't find them on my phone!!

Did you hear about the man that went on holiday and had his video camera facing the wrong way for the whole trip? Ha! That's probably what I did......

But I do have photos of the next two workshops. These were at Wootton Upper school with year 10 and then year 9. [year 11 next week]
Gorgeous staff, gorgeous students, gorgeous artwork! I loved it! [Yes feet flapping, sweat-beads, the lot! Hope they didn't notice!]

Don't worry - I asked each person's permission before I snapped them! Such gorgeous work! Three hours isn't long enough!!!

Catch up soon
thanks for listening!

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Getting there....

I'm still alive!
My good intentions of blogging at least monthly no matter how I'm feeling were obviously unrealistic! I had a bad summer health wise. I think I'm better now. So I realise I hide away when I'm feeling depression rear it's ugly head. It makes your world unbearable. It's crippling. But that's okay. I'm not going to beat myself up about every little thing!
Art wise I've been avoiding the studio like the plague while I was feeling low. But recently I've been having some experimental fun with cold wax medium and oil paint on a wooden panel. This reminds me of the enjoyable process of layer up and scraping back that I enjoyed so much with encaustic painting [using heated wax and a heat gun].

"Beneath the Surface" - encaustic on cradled board.
Here is an example of encaustic work - that I used to do a couple of years ago, I recently added some more gold leaf and line work into it. I don't have the hot griddle anymore to paint heated wax on but I do still have all the scraping tools, a heat gun and some wax for batik work.
 This was the first couple of layers of cold wax medium mixed with oil paint. I layered it on using palette knives and an old credit card. I scraped words into it before the wax had hardened. It takes about a day to harden. Not sure if I'm patient enough for this medium! I'm used to encaustic and acrylic paint's quick drying properties.

 More layers and more writing into the wax.

 I used oil pastel to write over this layer once the wax had hardened. This is a week after I'd started this painting!

This is how the painting looks now. Not sure if it's complete yet or not!

I miss the writing from the earlier layers! Next time I'll do that on a final layer too. I may add another layer to get the graffiti type writing on it.......

I do often look at making art as a release, a kind of therapy for the soul. But I realise that when I was at a low point I avoided the studio. I find this quite interesting but have learnt over the years that some self care on those days is often enough. Get clean, walk the dog, do some chores and so on can be consuming enough. Maybe I didn't have the energy to face the studio. Does painting have to take energy and concentration?
I used to love colouring in books and I notice that there quite a few out there for adults too! I have one and I've seen a few that I like the look of - maybe that's more of what I could have done over the summer!

Anyway - this is a short one - got the builders and plumbers in and I'm needed for bacon butty services!

thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

My 30 day challenge!

I'm determined to try to blog at least once a month - no matter how I'm feeling. So what have I been up to?
First and foremost - great news! I have been accepted into the gorgeous Golden Hare Gallery in Ampthill, Bedfordshire.  I'm sooooooo happy about this! Early days but very exciting.
What else?
Oh yes, I have joined another facebook 30 day challenge, started on the 1st of June. I'm recording all progress on my facebook business page:
but I decided to set my own perimeters this time - instead of aiming to complete a painting everyday I aimed to try and paint everyday. [Last time I became ill after a couple of weeks and it felt like failure - so not wanting to set myself up for failure I set my own rules!]
So far so okay. :-)
The point is to experience growth and enjoy the "flow" created by daily art-making. I don't feel I'm getting the full benefit of it yet as I've been sleeping most days.... I'm trying not to beat myself up about this.

What's new is that I'm trying some experimental work using image transfer with portraits. I love Gustav Klimt's decorative portraits and also religious Icons with the use of real gold on the painting and also I love the pre-Raphaelite red haired women. Soooooooo:
"The Dove"
"For such is the Kingdom"
"The Poppy"

These mixed media works were created using an image of my daughter which I transferred on painting one, I painted over the face. The paper transfer perished a little. So the next two I glued on the actual photocopy of the photo and protected it with a layer of acrylic medium. I then painted into the eyes and mouth a little.
The result was clearer but not what I wanted exactly. Although I do like them!
So the next ones I have started [not posted here yet!] I did the image transfer and then put a layer of medium over it so the paint and water won't distort the image as much.
These are just experiments, I've painted in the clothes, wings and flower by hand. I'll keep going for a few weeks and see if it's anything that I can offer as commissions.

I'm looking forward to going into the studio tomorrow to work into the next three.

thanks for looking!

Friday, 1 May 2015

Every child is an artist...

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up" Pablo Picasso.
I believe this totally - nice one Pablo!
I love children's drawings soooooooooo much! My lovely daughter Evie is now twelve years old and her drawings are now more realistic and have lost the captivating simple symbolic cuteness that I adore so much! Of course I admire her new artistic super duper skills but I'm looking longingly up at the framed cute crow she drew when she was four or five! :-)

I try to draw like a child most days! Sometimes it works - sometimes it doesn't!

So quick update - I've sent some paintings off to Lys Boutique Gallery in Zurich which is very exciting! I've also had two paintings accepted into the Society for Women's Artists Annual Exhibition in Mall Galleries, London this June! Yippeee! I have a short group exhibition in Parkside Hall, Ampthill, Bedfordshire coming up on 22nd-24th May. Then I have a solo exhibition in Priory House, Chicksands, Bedfordshire. It's all good!

But what have I done all week? Sleep! Four afternoons in a row. Today's Friday and I'm upright and awake. So far so good! I've had a bit of an M.E. relapse. I've probably been overdoing it a little bit - I always get the payback! Any emotional upset and it affects my muscles - and I'm doing around three miles a day [most days] dog walk with my friends and their pooches. I had a busy weekend dropping paintings off in London for the Mall Galleries exhibition so I over did it.
I've had M.E. [or chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia - depending which doctor is speaking] since a second bout of glandular fever fifteen years ago. It comes in cycles so I mustn't complain. [too much]
I am going down to my studio now to try and get back into the groove after all my sleeping. [I should be beautiful by now with all that beauty sleep!]

Evie's crow!

see you!

Monday, 23 February 2015

Pebbles pebbles everywhere!

And not a drop to drink! [Except Earl Grey, de-caff]

Well I've taken some photos of my pebbles! I don't know why I love them but I do! I've been collecting random pebbles for years. I love smooth speckled eggs, round balls and ones with hearts in them best!

A mix of found and bought

These are bought stones, see the two small boji stones? [Two small grey ones] .You get a male [spikey] and female [smooth] and they are supposed to ground you. You only get them from one place in the whole world to be genuine ones. Colorado I think.... YOu can get bigger ones but they are a bit pricey!

 A seed pod from Australia and china and walnuts [from christmas - where is the nutcracker anyway?]

Some spherical pebbles out by the pond.

 In my studio

 In my studio

 A bowl of nuts and pebbles and china, inspiration for my still life paintings

 Speckled eggs in a wire basket, in my studio.

 Ooops the flash bleached out a heart centre! But look at my cute teddy!

 Dorset memories

 Scotland memories

Anyone who had a heart! boom boom

I have more! A little heart one in my purse, one in my car and a bigger one that my daughter Evie has next to her bed.
The stacked flat grey ones are slate and where everywhere in this little harbour in Scotland. They have speckles of gold in them. I had to do a bit of climbing to get those! Just loved how the whole beach had these circular smooth stones!
The two white ones on my mantelpiece were from a little beach in Dorset that was hidden away. Quite a find!
By the way - in case you're worried, I don't take pebbles from places where it says not to.
Aren't the spherical ones amazing?! Totally ball - like!

Look! A little world!
These were from Walmer, Kent, only found when the tide is right out.
When I first started painting I chose to paint pebbles wedged in-between the wood in the groynes on the coast.
 I think I painted over this one!
This was part of a set of three.

So that is over 20 years of my pebble obsession. I know I'm not alone in this. :-)
Thank you for reading!

P.S. I've got an idea for a series of portraits inspired by Gustav Klimt. 
I'll keep you posted.


Monday, 26 January 2015

So here's to 2015

I'm a rubbish blogger! Too negative? Well I'm a happy blogger [medication allowing - chortle] but not a very regular one.
What is it about routine? I love it - the security, the feeling of being grounded, the sense of having roots.
Then again.....
what is it about routine? I hate it - the trapped, hemmed in feeling of "having to".
Am I a commitment phobe? Probably not relationship wise but I do prefer those BBC one dramas to wrap up in one episode!.

I had a lovely christmas and new year with the family. Lots of dog walking with my Wolfie and my new [dog walking] friends. I've been in the studio a fair bit but not enough. That's the routine I want to get into. Daily habits. Good ones to help me with my creative flow.....

But it is 2015!
This is the year for me. I can feel it in my bones - I want it to be my best year yet as far as my art career goes.
I have an exciting start! Just got accepted into the Candid Arts [Angel, Islington] exhibition to be shown this February. And I have been offered a solo exhibition in Priory House [Chicksands, Bedfordshire] this coming summer!

I'll talk about my pebbles next blog!
thanks for listening