the Switch House

We visited the Switch House gallery extension to the Tate Modern, it was freezing cold today and especially cold walking across the Millenium Bridge. The building adds nothing to the current power station site of the Tate Modern, it’s entrance makes no sense in relation to the Tate building, it’s even more confusing once you get inside… enough said.

We were freezing after walking across that cold river bridge and had a hot drink in the new cafe and went to see one of the exhibitions.  The Building appears huge, a behemoth from the outside but inside is another story.

The Rebecca Horn exhibition was wonderful I must say, and a joy.  However there wasn’t much else, considering this is a new art gallery in London – a rare thing nowadays.  As someone said on twitter, the money would have been better spent going to the cash strapped regions.


The Switch House, photo by Jim Stephenson, UK


Tate Modern:  Rebecca Horn


Rebecca Horn, Switch House Gallery, Tate

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Christmas Carols 2016

Subs and I went to St Martins in the Fields in the Strand again this year for a lovely carols concert, a real start to Christmas, we sat up in the gallery and looked down on the choir and all the families and children as we sang our carols…


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Autumn Leaves bookwork

This is a prototype of a bookwork using monoprinted leaves collected this autumn in north London by myself at Highbury Fields, our garden and by Subs in the gardens of north London where he works

The paper is Indian handmade paper, the inks are printmaking inks, water based and the cover has a bookcloth spine with handmade paper leaves attached to Indian Lokha paper which is very fragile and kept tearing.  It is in a concertina format.  I will rethink this and try another type of format later on.

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Christmas card 2016

I have made a lino print Christmas card this year, with different coloured covers and as usual I include a black cat, unfortunately the lino I send for on Amazon had a fault on it which is why the cat has a blob at his feet.


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Autumn Leaves book

The leaves are amazing at the moment, colours from bitter yellow to dark brown, orange, red and pinks.  I want to make a concertina book using the leaves collected this month.

Subs brought me some Bean Tree leaves as well as lots of different leaves from the gardens he is working in.


I am monoprinting the leaves using water based printmaking inks on hand-made Indian paper.  I will add layers of different colours that overlap and show through.  I am mixing the ink with extender to provide transparency.


I think I have added enough leaves now I have to make these into a concertina type book

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Printing book covers

Subs and I went down to Borough to Intaglio Printmakers to buy printing inks.  I want to print some book covers using oil based inks rather than pasted papers.  I bought black, burnt umber and others.

I made a few sheets today using just these two colours and making marks on the paper as well as adding paper shapes. I also created a stamp using string strung onto card which produced some nice thin dark lines.

I also worked with turning over the once printed paper strips and relaid the again on top of the paper, ready to print.  I used a japanese baren, it’s perfect for home printing of relief prints and monoprints.

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Rachel Ruysch

Subs and I went to the National Gallery today to look at 2 paintings by Rachel Ruysch which were talked about on a radio programme this week.

I don’t usually like such paintings but this one is full of such rich detail, the insects, butterflies etc.  Her father was a famous anatomist and he did some very bizarre etchings and drawings of bodies, skeletons and insects – which Rachel grew up with.  She was famous for her amazing paintings: the light, the detail the way she uses colour – amazing….

We found the room and then had  tea and cake in the new cafe – then I went to  Paperchase to buy some paper for more books.  It was a really nice sunny day.  Subs bought a book by David Toop in Fop.

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Meet up in Regent’s Park

Link to my photos of  this meet up


The Secret Garden in Regent’s Park, London

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Courtauld Gallery

Great exhibition of spirit drawings at the Courtauld Gallery – I also went into the other rooms and saw Manet, Gauguin and the wonderful etchings of Jasper Johns.

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Spirit drawings

Courtauld Gallery :Georgiana Houghton: Spirit Drawings :16 June – 11 September 2016

Georgiana Houghton (1814-1884) was a Spiritualist medium who, in the 1860s and 70s, produced an astonishing series of largely abstract watercolours. Detailed explanations on the back of the works declare that her hand was guided by various spirits, including several Renaissance artists, as well as higher angelic beings. In 1871 Houghton rented a gallery in Bond Street and presented 155 of these works to an astonished London audience.


The Eye of God, Georgiana Houghton

I went to this yesterday.  You have to look at these amazingly detailed and multi coloured paintings with a large magnifying glass which is provided – in this way you are taken into the painting and see the amazing detail, the tiny lines and curls – wonderful.

I also went in all the other rooms and saw paintings by Seurat, Manet, Gauguin and etchings by Jasper Johns – a wonderful gallery


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Found exhibition

Subs and I went to the Foundling Museum today to see the exhibition Found by Cornelia Parker.  60 artists were invited to submit work based on memory and special moments; John Lennon’s report card, an old blackened shoe found in the river, two aluminium spoons used by a grandmother for 7o years and worn down….. It was all housed in the wonderful interior of the museum with its 17th and 18th century art, moldings, fireplaces, long case clocks…. wonderful, followed up by tea and cake in the cafe.

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Summer projects

I am on holiday this month so I have some projects on the go.  One is to learn how to teach online and I am doing a course with the British Council and UCL on teaching online.

The other is a short course with the Museum of Modern Art, NYC on photography.   I am also working on some drypoints which will form part of my Family Album project in printmaking.

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Glazing pots at Morley

Our last evening at Morley College glazing pots.  I’ll pick them up in two weeks. We used so many different glazes:  I used light blue/dark blue and light green and dark green.

long pots

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New Ceramics Course

I’m doing a new ceramics course at Morley College.  It’s a fantastic studio and the tutor is very experienced and professional in her approach.

Lovely first  evening making yet more pinch pots, I’m looking forward to Friday’s soft slab building so that I can remake the plates I lost and my Betty Woodman inspired sculptural vases and flat pieces.


two pinch pots joined with a lid cut in the top


a variety of small pots in different clays

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Book cloth

I made my own book cloth to use to cover a hand made book.  You can use printed material or print your own.  I printed my own cotton muslin with things I had collected from the park: leaves, petals, etc.  I used normal printmaking ink, Caligo with extender, the material was backed onto paper and glass to make it stable.

Once printed I will use it to cover a book, it’s quite fragile, and I can’t iron it to seal the inks as you would with fabric painting inks.


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