Friday, 27 December 2013

A few sketches from my recent Far East travels

A few sketches from my recent travels to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam December 2013.  They were scribbled very rapidly using permanent pen while on guided tours and then some water colour wash added later in the day, usually while sitting in a cafe or by the swimming pool.

 For more about my trip see my blog 'Travels with my father'

Scooters parked outside a temple in Vietnam

One of the temple buildings at Ayutthaya - I loved the roofs

The long, thin format of these sketches is due to being drawn over 2 pages in a travel, moleskin sketchbook.  Each page is approx. postcard size.
 A Buddha at Ayutthaya
Inside a courtyard at Raffles Hotel, Singapore

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Goldfinches - lino prints on gift tags for Christmas

My favourite birds - goldfinches. Up to 10 goldfinches at a time visit my garden to eat sunflower hearts, niger seed and to perch on and peck at teazels. I can see them from my studio window. Unlike blue tits, they sit fairly still for quite a while which helps ifyou are trying to draw them!
  Other visitors include a woodpecker, starlings, blackbirds, great tits, bullfinches, sparrows and, in deeper winter, siskins, fieldfares and redwings.
While I was drawing, I was listening to the 'Be Good Tanyas' who sang, 'the littlest birds sing the prettiest songs...'.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Walking the Dog - lino prints

Lino prints I've created after my visit to Whitesands Bay, Pembrokeshire. Since watching these dogs on the beach I've started scrutinising the antics of dogs in the local park...I must do more dog walking images!
 Leading the way...  lino print on ivory, silk paper
 Leading the way...lino print on red, silk paper
 Here's the ball - lino print on ivory paper
Slowly walking along...

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Artists' Book Exhibition comes to Bristol 5 Nov-30 November

at the University of West of England, Bristol, UK
(Tom Trusky Exhibition Cases, Bower Ashton Library)

Britannica Challenge comes to Bristol
5th November - 30th November 2013
If you missed the exhibition of artists' books when it was on at the Sidney Nolan Trust
it is moving to Bristol next week.
See more in the university's Book Arts newsletter...
There are some amazing altered books in the exhibition.  Here are a couple of photos of my book - Volume 21   S-T     'Swimming the Butterfly'.


Monday, 28 October 2013

Wightwick Manor - monotype

Wightwick Manor is a beautiful National Trust property near Wolverhampton and near the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal.  I did some small sketches and took some photos earlier in the summer when the wisteria was flowering.  I have been using these as reference to create a layered monotype today.  

I have printed 4 layers (on top of each other) on the paper (Fabriano Artistico) today.   I can't show you yet... it needs more layers.  Probably at least another 4, maybe a lot more.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Holding your nerve - wait to see what emerges

I spent a fascinating day on a canal yesterday near Bratch Locks researching for a new project.  A sunny warm day, strong sunlight, branches of golden leaves overhanging the water's edge.   People quietly fishing, sheep grazing nearby and two glimpses of a bright turquoise kingfisher.
 Ideas are growing and changing and it's great to have time to let this happen at a gradual pace.  It's good not to have to know exactly what the outcomes will be just yet. With visual art (and other creative endeavours such as creative writing) you need to hold your nerve and wait to see what emerges.  Your previous experiences and skills are a lifeline...

Thursday, 24 October 2013

New lino print - deer at Attingham Park (NT)

This print has developed out of a visit to Attingham Park (National Trust property) where there is a wonderful herd of deer.   Mainly they keep their distance, but there is a regular winter feeding time when they come quite close to visitors in the park.
 Blue, Graphic Chemical water washable ink on pale blue paper
 Blue ink on golden flecked paper
 Blue ink on flecked white paper
 Cutting lino
 Inked lino
Starting to cut lino - using white and black drawing to guide.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Sketches and sketching - The Big Draw

It's still the period of the Big Draw so I thought I would show some sketches done in different ways and in different places.
Brittany 'Pardon' - pen and ink and watercolour wash.  This was drawn over a longish period (30mins-1hr, I can't remember exactly!). I waited until the crowd were fairly static and the procession had started and drew in the cross and people standing around it.  When the clergy gathered at the front I then drew them and the tree and added some splashes of colour.   The procession then walked down to the sea and there was a blessing of the sea/fish/fishermen.  I used a Pilot waterproof black pen and Schminke watercolour pans and travel sable brush.  The moleskin watercolour sketchbook was about postcard size.
 Goldfinches on teasels - pencil and watercolour.  I have drawn parts of these birds many times as they frequently come to my garden.  This is a composite of a number of my sketches.  They feed on teasel heads and also on sunflower hearts and niger seed.   Since letting more teasels grow and putting out this variety of seeds, I have increased the number that come to the garden from two to ten birds at a time.  They feed on seeds right outside my studio window or on the feeders and teasels a little further away.  I seldom complete a drawing of a whole bird, with colour, but they are much easier to draw than blue tits that stay for a fraction of a second!
 Pokers - pen, ink and watercolour.
I drew and painted these in the garden this summer in one fairly short sitting (up to an hour).  I love the range of orange and pinks and find them more interesting than the red ones.  I was using Pitt Castell, black waterproof pens.

Moroccan pots - pen, ink and watercolour
I drew this on site with a Pilot permanent ink pen in the Majorelle Gardens in Marakesh a few years ago. Then later, back at the riad where I was staying, added watercolour washes.

On the beach - pen, ink, watercolour.  I drew this on the beach and added the colour to the people on the spot.  I put a wash of colour onto the sea and sand areas later.

Monday, 7 October 2013

I swam with a seal

The photos below are of Pwill Deri - seals resting on the beach.
They can be seen around the coastline of Pembs at this time of year.
I was surprised though to be swimming at Whitesands Bay and a seal
swam around my legs and then surfaced right next to me. They are very inquisitive creatures!

Some sketches in Pembrokeshire

A few travel Sketches
Bishop's Palace, St David's Cathedral
in square sketchbook with beautifully embellished cover from GeorgieArts

Rock at Whitesands Bay -
permanent pen and Schminke watercolour wash in Moleskin notebook 
Towards Carn Lidi - sketch using Inktense pencils for the first time.
Strong colours. Permanent once they are dry.

Strumble Head Lighthouse - watercolour sketch in Moleskin notebook

Sketching in Pembrokeshire -warming up for the Big Draw

I've just had a lovely week in Pembrokeshire, walking, drawing and swimming. The weather was very mild but not always dry!  I was able to draw seated outside and also through the window when it rained.   The sky always seems so big here and the changing light endlessly fascinating.   I've been visiting North Pembrokeshire and walking the path for 25 years now and I never tire of it.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Exhibition at Bewdley Museum - catch it before it finishes on Sunday 22 September


 The Foundry Studio and Gallery, Bewdley Museum
Saturday 14th to Sunday 22nd September
Open 11.00 – 16.00 at weekends (weekdays flexible hours)
Including artists’ books by Graeme Hobbs, Mike Clements, Gordon Yapp, Mellie Lane, Jim Colbert
and the Marches Book Art Group

Prints by Linda Nevill of ImageTextImage and Liza Harding

The Old Foundry Studio, Bewdley Museum, Load Street
Bewdley, Worcestershire DY12 2AE

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Visual art and poetry

I've recently made a short video about why I like discussing ideas with poets, and collaborating to create visual art inspired by poetry and poetry inspired by visual art.

I also explain how the Wolverhampton-based group of artists - Imagetextimage - came about as a result of working with writer Emma Purshouse.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

How to create a drypont print

Have you ever wondered what a drypoint print is and how it is made?   If so, have a look at my video which you can see on my YouTube channel signposted on my website or go straight to:

Friday, 6 September 2013

Friday 13th September - lucky for the artists exhibiting at the Bewdley Museum's Foundry Studio and Gallery

You are invited to the opening of an exhibition of artists' books and original prints.

I hope Friday 13th September is lucky for all the artists who are exhibiting their books and prints during this evening (6-8pm) at Bewdley Museum's Foundry studio and gallery, and there is a good turn out to see this exciting work.

Most of the artists' books are a combination of both image and words and relate to a wide range of subject matter. 

Some of my own prints link to the work of the brilliant ImagetextImage poets - Emma Purshouse, Dave Finchett, Jane Seabourne, Nick Pearson. Subject matter includes garlic, 'Spot the Ball' and a woman losing her mind in Wolverhampton...

If you can't make it to the opening, the exhibition is on:

Saturday 14th to Sunday 22nd September
Open 11.00 – 16.00 at weekend

(weekdays flexible hours - check before visiting)

 Go to Bewdley Museum website

Book-Arts Workshop with Lin Charlston at Bewdley Museum 
Bewdley Museum - Foundry Gallery and Studio
Sunday 15th September, 10.30am – 2.30pm

 Lin Charlston has been a practising book artist since 2000 when she gained MA Book-Arts with distinction at Camberwell College of Arts. Her artist’s books are represented in public collections including Tate Britain, The National Art Library at V&A, Yale Center for British Art, The Art Institute of Chicago and Collezione Aprile di Cimia in Turin. 

Lin teaches book-arts locally at Westhope College and has run workshops at the Sidney Nolan Trust and further afield including Plas Tan y Bwlch in Snowdonia, Tate Britain and a three day course at the V&A in 2010. Lin was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2006. See more about her at

Cost of workshop is £10 from Bewdley Tourist Information 0845 6077819

Developing my on-line shop

I've been developing my on-line shop selling original prints (woodcuts, lino prints, monotypes, etchings, collagraphs, carborundum prints, oil paintings, iPad drawings and Fine Art greetings cards.   

I'm aiming at clear photographs of the work, interesting descriptions and some technical information.   It's difficult to know how much technical information to give.  If people want more will they find it on my website?  I hope so - or they can contact me directly.

Encyclopaedia Britannica - altered book exhibition is on at the Sidney Nolan Trust, The Rodd, Presteigne, 7-15 Sept, 2013

 You can see my 'Swimming the Butterfly' entry for the Encyclopaedia Britannica Challenge at the Sidney Nolan Trust  from 7-15 September... see below.


h.Art exhibition - Fine Art Prints and Encyclopaedia Britannica Challenge

7 - 15 September 2013  10.30am - 5.00pm - Tithe Barn Gallery

This is our 12th Annual Fine Art Prints exhibition showing new work by artists using the Trust's printmaking studio and workshop or attending our range of courses.
Alongside we are showing our Encyclop√¶dia Britannica Challenge. In 2012 the Sidney Nolan Trust was given a set of 1950s Encyclop√¶dia Britannica after all attempts by their original owner to find them a new home failed. They were destined to become pulp when the Trust stepped in with the idea of asking artists to select a volume and transform it into a new work of art. Participants include established book artists and newcomers to this exciting fine art medium. Some are regular members of the group of book artists working at the Trust; others simply responded to publicity about the project.

'Swimming the Butterfly' - Volume 21 of the Encyclopaedia Britannica - Sidney Nolan Trust Challenge

Swimming the Butterfly’ – Volume 21 of the Sidney Nolan Encyclopaedia Britannica Challenge
On receiving volume 21 I flicked through the pages, my mind flitting and flying from one subject and idea to another.
Eventually, it was the hot summer, and experiences arising out of it, that led me to my final creation. I have never been swimming as much as I have this year and my garden has attracted more butterflies than usual, including one of my favourites – the Peacock.

Skimming through the text I settled on a section headed ‘SWIMMING’ and read about the butterfly stroke. It led me to think of the phrase, ‘Swimming the Butterfly’ and the surreal connotations of combining butterfly and swimmer. It’s a racing form of the breast stroke, so I felt that it had to be organised in lanes across my book and I had to decide upon a winner … the butterfly that excites me the most – the Swallowtail.