Here we go then.

Happy New Year!

I don’t go too mad celebrating New Year these days,[the liver is pleased], but do like the inherent possibilities of refreshing and changing and improving things; forever hopeful, as usual. I don’t do resolutions lists though, I seem to have far too much to resolve, where to start, but there are one or two things I will try to keep reminding myself to do/think/achieve. I must write them down. Suffice to say last year was interesting, but not necessarily in the way I’d have chosen it to be, Jim.

A change of plan on Boxing Day left me free, which I must admit was exactly what I needed and was rather wonderful. Not being very good at leisure, I find it gets very boring very quickly, unless I’m out and about seeing new things and friends, I decided to start some new work. It wasn’t exactly an indulgence as I do need it for April, but had been tossing ideas around for some time, without making any decisions. One of the many good things about a day that is presented to you as last Thursday was is that it frees the mind, you feel as if you can have a bit of fun, and that’s what happened.

I had ideas about the new piece, mainly the title, which is a series of work called Natural History, and decided that it was going to be materials led. I am lucky enough to have many design/ideas sheets and sketch pads, all with ideas in still fresh to me and ready to be pursued, and I also have a collection of painted and printed fabrics, some a few years old now, and my magic box full of mostly prints and digital prints I have made too many of for previous projects, as well as maps, and other collage materials.

So I got it all out, and spread it about, and letting myself be inspired by what I already have, got going. Ah, that’s another resolution; to use what I already have. I started doing that last year, but it will be full on this year, and this too is quite liberating.

Here’s some of the pieces so far. One is almost finished, as I hand stitched it in front of various tv programmes, and the rest are ready to be stitched. I’m not sure how many there will be, there are a few more in the pipeline. Winter is a good time for working.


For those of you who like the initial stages of a project, this is when I get everything out, and indeed want to use everything I have. I don’t actually have huge amounts, but there’s still enough to make a LOT of work.


Believe this or not, this is the project organised into workable piles. Well, up to a point.

DSC_0044The magic box, small, bigger than it looks here, but it holds so much. If you go through it many possibilities occur.


More materials ready to go.


And below, the laid down work.



Same again, the palette I started with.



The pieces are 35 cm x 95 cm, more or less.



I’ve used some of my lino cut prints in the pieces too.




Above and below, some more laid down pieces, waiting to be finished.





This is the next one I will be working on; it’s subject is beetles.

And below is the finished one, which will be mounted on Khadi paper, as will all the work in this series.


16 thoughts on “Here we go then.

  1. And a very very successful and happy year to you too! Resolutions for me have only been verbal and within the family so far…but one of them is to begin my own blog! Imagine that…a crazy 65 year old who refuses to grow up and is certainly no lady…blogging? Oh well…we will see.
    Your work is as stunning and as inspiring as ever. Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Happy new year, Steph, to you, Phil and Chloe. How lovely to look at your beautiful work in this dreadful weather! What a way to begin a new year?

    I’m looking forward to being back at ceramics on Monday. Our Christmas went very well and yesterday we took the children to Christmas Carol at the Rep. It was as brilliant as Charlie had told us and he was just as entranced the second time. Jane x

  3. Thanks for sharing this journey with us. I’m planning on 2014 being a truly creative year. From the look of it you are off to a very good start.

    1. Thanks n, I hope your year works out as you want it to, creatively at least. I find the thing is to do something every day, whether you have a good chunk of time to devote to your work or just a little.

      1. Yes, that’s right. I managed it in 2012 by allowing myself just 10 mins a day – it’s surprising what you can do in that when you are really pushed. Sadly 2013 had more emphasis on illness, but I’m back and fighting. Thanks for the encouragement

  4. Really inspiring post Steph. Beautiful work – I adore that turtle! Our gorgeous family all went home today, so I am on the case tomorrow, with a resolution to DO more and think about doing less, with you as one of my icons!

    1. Thanks George, you’re right there, think-making seems like a good idea initially, but then only so long as it doesn’t just stop there, because as we know it’s not the real thing. I just get out the materials and start on something, let it grow, keep it going, and make sure I am enjoying myself, too. And ideally then finishing it; I have quite a lot to finish, it will be done, but I love starting more, that’s my really bad habit.

  5. There’s no stopping you is there? Turn your back for a few days and there you are beavering away again, reminding us that the thinking is important but the doing is critical. One of my blog pals posted a quote the other day by another artist called Stephanie – Stephanie Diamond. It was : ‘Make your work.Make your work constantly.Love it. Hate it.But make it.’ Just about sums it up doesn’t it? No surprise that I’m drawn to that Natural History theme of yours so I shall love seeing this develop. Let’s hope I also do more in 2014…… and that you have a moth trap!!! Have a great year Steph.

    1. Yes, beavering is the word, I do actually think of myself as beavering. I must admit it’s not too difficult for me, I’m just in that groove, after 30 years of doing it for a living; it is just a habit, I’m not a genius or continually inspired.
      Someone once said it’s all about turning up, just the way you do when you have employment where other people tell you what to do [ hated that.] Very good comment from the other Stephanie too; in a nutshell.
      There’s armadillos, jelly fish and weedy sea horses next Lesley, hope you like them. I think the best thing would be for you to come and build a moth trap for me…
      I hope you have a good if not magnificent year yourself, Lesley.

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