From 2011 to 2021 I created originals, prints, cards and books inspired by the landscape. You can see my archive here.
In 2020 I took all my courses online and reconfigured the focus of my work. I built upon my in-person workshops and the focus became the sketchbook as the central part of developing unique and original ideas. My online courses share this love of the sketchbook for connecting to self and 'the source' and creating a foundation for developing a strong creative voice - whatever the final outcome.
I began to use my sketchbook more and in that space found I was letting go of the landscapes that had captivated me for so long and moving towards a more mark based interpretation of what is around me. This rendered itself in an excitement with more abstract shapes, gestural mark and a rekindling of a relationship with textiles.
In order for me to move into this space I have felt the need to 'put down' what went before and so have created an archive of the previous decade's work. Whilst I make steps into the new version of me I have added this page to share what I am creating and give myself permission to grow.
In order to find creative flow you have to allow room for growth. There is a vulnerability there as some ideas work and others don't. There is a back and forth trying new ideas, never sure if they will be as good as you want them to be, or good in the eyes of others. There is the dance with the art materials, with the mood, with the idea of what it is to be an artist. Here are some of my wranglings!
Working with simplified forms developed in my sketchbook 2021. Acrylic, charcoal and chalk on card.
My sketchbook pages are getting bolder. I am finding it easier to work with a reduced palette whilst I focus on shape and texture development.
My studio wall always gives a good indication of where I am headed. I am making stronger marks, more blocks of colour and texture. The work is getting bolder and bigger.
Current inspirations are African strip cloth quilts and Gee's Bend cloth quilts.
I am enjoying working with ink, chalk, Stabilo Woodies, Inktense blocks and charcoal as well as with mono-type. collage is still a go-to media to work in as it lends itself to imitating applique and quilting.
The symbols of nature continue to fascinate me but in a bolder and more naive way.
Helen, February 2023