Friday, 6 July 2012

It's really happening!

I cannot believe the kind comments and support I have had already from visitors to my little caravan studio, whilst I am participating in the Warwickshire Open Studio event. Despite the torrential rain - and not just from locally - I have had people drive to the southern tip of the county from Birmingham and Banbury and today, from Stratford and Alcester. And the two lovely ladies I met today were totally unknown and 'picked' me out from the brochure - 51 pages listing artists and their work. And of the nine who gave so far visited, six have asked if I will share my techniques in some sort of workshop. Oh! So at this point I have to acknowledge all the people over many years who have inspired me; all the books I have read and the people whose blogs I follow. Meeting fellow creators is such a release from the busy world of publishing and writing; sparking ideas off each other, always learning, always something new that encourages me to say "what if?" Then there is my dearest husband who, whilst he is bemused by what I so love doing, tolerates it most of the time. (Dearest in the sense that he could not be more dear, not that I have more than one for comparison: dear, dearer, dearest!)

And so I will share two other things today: first the latest spreads in my 'Moving On' journal that rarely sees the light of day. (Begun in early December 2011, I only reached page 13 this afternoon, and even then the words run away with me before I remind myself that this is a journal to document my creative work; so a few hasty sketch-scribbles fall onto the page, and I keep almost dipping my paintbrush into my tea mug. I'll let them speak for themselves.

And now to my latest project which I am using to demonstrate one or two processes in the caravan to anyone who asks. It's a rescued project - playing card sized 'pages' made from an old dictionary and OS map, that was to have been a tiny travel journal. But the flooding washing machine soaked them which separated the surface from the cards. I  fused the pages instead to calico and they will become a concertina napkin Florilegium'; the napkins provide the motifs (look how they merge with the page background when affixed with acrylic wax, and how any white tissue around the edge just disappears); machine-stitching will embellish the finished project. In my usual fashion, I have written what I plan to do, how I will achieve it, and a diary of the process so far. The images below show planning layout with snipped napkins on the actual pages (not in my sketchbook, though that exists too), and then 

Please click on any image to view it at larger, more readable size. Want to see it all for real? I know it is too far and out of the question for so many friends and acquaintances, but - wearing my marketing hat - the caravan is open tomorrow from mid-day until 16.30hrs, and again next week; same hours on Friday 13th, Sat 14th and Sunday 15th. If you need directions please check my 'About Me' profile. Everyone will be so very welcome, and thank you again to everyone who has believed in me and supported my 'exhibition' already.


  1. Hi Ann,

    I've had a quick look over your last few posts and I have fallen in love with your blog. I will be back. I love the way your journal and how delightful it would be to have a caravan studio. :)

    Cheers from DownUnder,
    Serena :)

  2. Hi Ann, good luck with your open studio event. Hope to get over to see you.x

  3. Exciting times! Love the florilegium - and the way the tissue disappears with the wax

  4. Thankyou Serena, Annette and Iz for your kind comments - and to all those who have visited my 'caravan studio' so far. Thankyou, too, to all my new blog visitors/followers; I really appreciate your interest and support, and can only apologise for my discourtesy in not yet having written personally to each one of you. I hope you will continue to enjoy my blog and posts.

  5. I love the books and journals you have been creating, and what a wonderful outlet, to use your caravan as a studio! Much success and happiness in your endeavors! Jeri

    1. Thsnkyou Jeri - the caravan feels so safe and secure. I love working in it when we are away traveling, and am constantly thinking of techniques I can use that don't take up too much space, or create overmuch mess. Glad you like what you see, Ann. xx

  6. I love this post... lovely ideas. :)
    I really like the technique where you used the OS map- that's really effective! :)
    It made me remember a technique I used in college a few years ago.. - I don't know if you've tried or heard of it... but flower pressing.. instead of doing it the book way.. I placed the flower/leaf/petal.. on top of some paper or even calico fabric and put kitchen paper on top (carefully) and hit it with a hammer.. ( I know, a bit violent.. but it gives a lovely effect afterwards..) :)
    I could send you a picture if you'd like? xx