Degree shows

Staffordshire University is holding its first degree shows for a couple of years. We went to see the fine art show today. Its also on tomorrow. I thought the show was one of the best I had seen in years. (we go most years). There was a lot of interesting images and ideas. Some exceptional painters and thought provoking installations. I decided not to take photos as each of the students will have their own copyright and I didn’t have permission to take pictures of their work. If you are in the area tomorrow pop in and take a look? Check on Google for opening times. Staffordshire University, Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

I’m still here!

Proof I’ve been working on my MA project all day. I’m going to give it a rest now. It’s ten thirty in the evening and I’ve got to cook our evening meal. No rest for the wicked at they say. I also want to do today’s #bandofsketchers prompt before midnight! Then more work tomorrow. I’m really quite tired but also excited. I spent an hour with the PowerPoint slides too big. Thought it was a major problem. Turns out all I needed to do was click control and – (minus)! Thanks to a student friend I’ve managed to do a lot today. But I need a rest. X


Its almost time to submit my final major project but I’ve become very nervous about it. Such a lot rides on how I do. I’m already suffering from insomnia but this is just making it worse. I’m wondering why I can’t sleep, but I guess it’s thoughts like “have I got enough images?” “what if I forget to include?” “how do I create?” Don’t get me wrong, I have learnt a lot over the course of the last two years. I am attempting things I would never have done before. And what am I going to get out of it, apart from those new skills? Would anyone employ me as a free-lance illustrator/ author/ crafts person? Lot’s of questions. I think my style is my USP. I tend to do my own thing. I am probably too analogue. But I have a passion and I want what I am doing to be interesting. Do I have to be subsumed into a generic style? I hope not!

Linocut dragon

I could not sleep last night. Various things kept me awake so I decided to experiment with linocutting and printing till dawn. I tried different paper, adding felt pen under the ink and even printing onto a layer of post-it notes. Not too bad for a novice, I even managed curves and didn’t cut my hand!

One thing I forgot, the print reverses the image, hence my initials are backwards! Duh!

Past times

Sketches from 2004. The main drawing was a friend and I think the other two were practice faces. I draw faces less now. I try and draw them convincingly but I think you can get tied down into the same lines, the same shapes. It’s hard to break through muscle memory when you have drawn and painted for more than fifty years! I must say I owe a debt to my mom who let me go to college instead of insisting I got a job at the end of my time at school. That time was instrumental in making me the artist I am! X

Report finished.

Feeling a bit less stressed. I’ve got my report in with a day to spare! Gives me time to try and solve another problem tomorrow! If only life was easy. I think I’m going to have another sleepless night while I worry about that. Then next I’ve got to finish putting my Illustration portfolio together. I have almost a month so time to do some more experiments and trials. I want to write some limericks for it too!

Writing about dragons

My college project is about dragons. I have to write a report and I’m getting bogged down with all the information I’m trying to put together. From dinosaur fossils that could have been mistaken for dragons. To their ancient mythological history. Then I looked at Bestiaries and the bible. It’s surprising how many places they appear. There is a dragon or group of dragons for every continent. So much so that I cannot talk about all of them. They seem to split between benign and protective beasts or evil and sly. Then I look at the symbology of them. I tried to include some semiology within the report. Finally I’m looking at modern imagery, novels and children’s stories. I’ve also started to write a children’s book and I’m using my illustrations for it. I hope to finish writing soon but each time I think I have finished I find more to put in and more to edit out. I think I have too many quotes and I need to put more in my own words.