100% cotton rag handmade papers. I dye these with natural plant dyes such as turmeric, indigo, annatto & mango leaves, then use ink & watercolor for these whimsical spontaneous drawings that have been inspired by things I have seen on my travels in various countries. What I have seen in India, the tropical forests of Malaysia & in the clear coral reefs of Eastern Indonesia have inspired these layered & patterned paintings. Ink, plant dyes, watercolor on handmade cotton rag papers.
Please come see me at the Parallax Art Fair in the Chelsea Town Hall, London. Booth D5. October 20 & 21. 11am-5pm. I’m showing this series with my ‘Fish market’ series.
At the Fish Market
Markets are my favourite places to visit at home & when I travel. And, it is the fish markets that I find most fascinating. Its been great to see all my basic sketches made at, or after, visiting local fish markets in Indonesia, Malaysia, UK, Italy, come to life as these colourful small scale paintings.
Its so easy when you live in a big city to just accept ‘fresh’ fish sealed into a polystyrene tray & cling film. Often, there’s just one or two types of fish on offer, & they may be farmed.
When I travel to these ‘by the water’ places, the fish still have their colours, & vendors display them proudly lying on lino, plates, sacks, baskets, stones, banana leaves & colourful sheets. Straight from the sea, river or lake, they come in all shapes & sizes. They still have the life in them, fresh, & you can still thank them for the goodness they impart when you transform them into delicious meals.
Its hard to have the same connection when food comes to you, completely drained of life, sealed in plastic.
My visual diary of the way in which market vendors display their fish for sale, with a dose of colorful whimsy. These are all small scale works. Gouache on watercolor board.
Please come see me at the Parallax Art Fair in the Chelsea Town Hall, London. Booth D5. October 20 & 21. 11am-5pm. I’m showing this series & the ‘Turmeric Dyed’ handmade paper series.
Animal Dream Visions
This animal series is in progress. The visions are based on the instant flash of visual memory that I have of actual circumstance when I have seen or glimpsed these particular animals. The ‘visions’ are etched in my brains visual memory & it is this ‘vision’ that pops into my head when I think of these animals. Each has a particular story. Some of these visions are from very recent memory, while others are those that are recurring from when I was very young. Inspired very much by nature, shapes of leaves and flowers, I often magnify the minute patterns found within them to create tactile textures as a back drop to the animals.
I will add to this collection as each animal vision painting is completed. The aim is to exhibit these paintings only when I have completed the series. Gouache on cotton rag papers.
Vision 1. ‘Running barefoot…..a hare startles me.’
Vision 2. ‘The banana flower nectar raiders.’
Vision 3. ‘Flotsam & jetsam.’
Vision 4. ‘Like moths to a flame.’
After My Jungle Walks
This is an on going series of paintings made spontaneously after my walks in the jungle. They are all about the colours & layers of vegetation & pattern in tropical jungles & how I remember them. The jungles are not just green. Gouache on paper. Many of these paintings have found homes.
My still life’s are made up of an eclectic mix of items from my own collection of items from the places I live & visit. They are nostalgic, whimsical and often linked to things I remember from my childhood. This is the connection I have to these objects. They trigger a memory that lingers in my thoughts. Water colour, gouache on various handmade papers.
The subjects are an amalgamation of objects & scenes that I have seen, (for example, at the markets) but I often change the objects with my own items collected over many years. These lend a personal touch of nostalgia & whimsy to the paintings giving them a direct connection, or trigger, to my own memories.
A South Korean Sojourne
In 2012 I had the opportunity to be one of two artists in Penang to take part in an artist’s exchange programme in Gwangju South Korea. Forty days in the countryside of Gwangju resulted in this portfolio of paintings. All were painted on the large scale traditional handmade mulberry papers using the wonderful water based Korean pigments. I also started experimenting with my woven paintings on a larger scale. These paintings are a visual diary of what I saw and are a visual expression of some of my gut impressions as I went through the 40 day residency. A wonderful experience in every way.
Springtime around my Piemonte home and studio is so inspiring. Nature shows all it’s magic colours and designs. A continuous abundant growth. This series of paintings were/are made while staying in Piemonte during Spring and the turn to summer. Korean water based pigments on handmade mulberry paper/ Gouache on paper.
Fish have always been one of my favourite subjects. I used them first in all my textile prints but now have gone on to paint them whenever I have time in between other work or projects. To me they are a symbol of life, vibrancy & joy. Mine are always whimsical & energetic. The seas & reefs I am lucky to dive & snorkel would be nothing without their numbers, colour & pattern. One of my big inspirations.
Flora and Fauna
Flora & fauna have always been the starting point for all my artwork. I grew up in & around tropical jungles & gardens. Wherever I travel or am at home, it is the local flora & fauna that I am drawn to. It is my instant inspiration & I constantly learn new things about nature each time I study & sketch it. Over the years I have painted hundreds of my layered & patterned images of plants & flowers. Most are of gouache & watercolor on paper. Some using acrylic on canvas, whilst others use collage & mixed media.
Sprites & mermaids were childhood dreams of mine. I spent my time playing make-believe that I was a mermaid or jungle sprite. I drew them constantly when I was young & I continue to do so today. They are my fantasies made up of mask like faces, pattern, fish, & tropical foliage. I have always believed that jungle sprites & mermaids are the protectors of the world’s natural places today.
Colour & Pattern
This is something new but old that I have been working on. I’ve always used the technique of layering colour, pattern, print & collage but these are being done specifically to start working on some large scale all paper pieces. Inspired by the autumn leaf fall, seasonal light & shadow, & the change of colour. The cycle of the seasons. In the same way I work first with bright colors, muting them as I work each layer one on top of the other. In progress. Gouache on paper, printed, destroyed & re-assembled.
I do not deliberately go out to paint a self portrait. The vision comes to me when I’m in a certain emotional zone. Something clicks in my head because of what I’m seeing at that moment. Of the paintings I am showing here, three were painted in South Korea, one in Malaysia.
South Korea was an eye opener for me. I went with no expectations & was absolutely besotted with it. The countryside I was placed in was truly beautiful & the agriculture was perfect. The culture & ancient history is mesmerizing. At first I had too much in my head & I could not sleep from dreaming of everything.
Once settled in my studio, the amount of insects, & tree frogs, that came in through the open windows at night was amazing. In the studio if I stayed still long enough, the insects would come land on me. ( This self portrait is now lost. It disappeared after being exhibited in Gwangju.)
I loved eating Kim Chee & ate it everyday. It kept me healthy all through my stay. The stinky bad breathe after, however, did not lay peacefully side by side with the manicured beauty of the agriculture, or the beautiful surgical beauty of the young people.
In Malaysia we are losing too much of our unique natural environment. I often wish that the stars would grant my wish for the plants, animals & insects that I love so much to live side by side with us humans fearlessly.