Collage at Touchstones


Embroidery on mixed media.  Segment of larger piece.

This little fella, and his rolled up newspaper, can be found  “walking along” on the collage I’m currently displaying in the People’s Art Exhibition at Touchstones, Rochdale. I’ll display the whole collage here after the exhibition comes down.

I couldn’t make the “preview”, so I haven’t seen it hung up yet.   Last year my work got hung near the “kiddie’s colouring table”. I rather liked that, and I hoped the little ones enjoyed it.

I see that my last blog was five months ago.  In the gap there has been a long hot-wet summer  and lots of  “low-brow” novels that I thoroughly enjoyed.





At Jericho turn right and follow sign for Birtle



At Jericho turn right and follow sign for Birtle

(Collage, mixed media, embroidery)

In my last blog I invited readers to make up their own narrative/theory about this collage.  Here follows a bit of background.

This is one of five collages I created that feature jigsaw-shaped collage and figures.  I also wanted to feature the lovely bright blue embroidery thread in this particular collage.

Some time before beginning, I’d been leafing through the photos in a book about the world’s great pilgrimages, and decided to use the word “pilgrimage” as a prompt to my imagination.  My favourite picture in the book was of a Sikh gentleman bathing in a holy lake, high up in the mountains.  Nearer to home, I often walk around another lake.

I found the travel direction, “At Jericho turn right and follow sign for Birtle” in a Ramblers’ leaflet.  I was amused by the juxtaposition of Jericho and Birtle, and decided to use this as the title as it seemed to fit with “pilgrimage”.

Another “thread” that I wanted to explore was lost and found things.  I found the note “Please make John some scrambled egg” when we moved a fire surround in the house where I used to live.  The note about “the one” actually says “I couldn’t find the church.  I went to the one at Salem and the one at Roundthorn.  Gone to the 11 Ways.”  I copied these two notes out, because one is now lost again and I wanted to keep the other without marking it. Bottom right, the Geisha lady was inspired by a wedding day gift brooch  that belonged to my mother.  I took it to school, probably without permission, and lost it.  I’ve written about the girl with the feather in an earlier blog (she pinched that lovely feather off me).

The other figures are new acquaintances that just arrived somehow.

The word “journey”, perhaps more than pilgrimage, is a very powerful one for me.

My next blog will be in January 2016, so until then SEASON’S GREETINGS TO ALL MY READERS!!!!!


(I’m very sorry, but the title of the Pilgrimage book eludes me but there are in fact many on the subject).





A collage for you to ponder…

At Jericho turn right and follow sign for Birtle.JPG

(mixed media, collage and embroidery, November ’15)

I exhibited this collage at Touchstones Open Art Exhibition, Rochdale, recently.

I’m not going to tell you anything else about it just yet, not even the title.  Make up your own theories and narratives (if you like).  Next week I will tell you the facts I know.  There wouldn’t be any point me doing the collage if I knew what it was all about.



October already..

michaelmas daisies

Michaelmas Daisies (embroidery on felt/mixed media) – unfinished.

Scale and perspective are interesting subjects. After much anguish, procrastination and endless lists (perhaps these are all one and the same thing) I moved up recently to larger canvasses. Now,out of my comfort zone, looking back, I can no longer “feel” how I was in that situation, as with so many situations. It was so worth it to move on. It is good to have the option to work large or small. This small embroidery, just a “sampler” worked on an experiment scrap salvaged from one of my old notebooks, makes a change from the larger “baby” I’m currently exhibiting at Touchstones, Rochdale (until November). I will show the larger canvas here when the exhibition comes down.

The Rack o’ the thee Awards, November 2013

l'boro square pictures 002

First of all, I’d like to wish my readers a belated Happy Harvest Festival!
(small embroidery and mixed media, Angie, Nov, 13)

Damn the autumn, it turns me rack o’the thee!* I’d like to turn a giant vacuum cleaner onto those wet yellow leaves. I’d eliminate the sour yellow wetness that fans coldness into every corner of my skeleton. I’d zap the pavement leaves, like they do with chewing gum, to prevent them from causing skids. I’d rake them from every corner where they lurk, along with woodlice and other untouchables. How did I ever prefer this season? It has turned on me, becoming foe not friend, reminding me of sad memories every time it comes along…

Anyway, onwards and upwards! My inspiration today is “Drawing & Design for Embroidery” by Richard Box. Do not let the title put you off if you are thinking of beginning to learn to draw. I can recommend this book, having looked at a few others over the years. I almost feel like I know “Richard”, and that he has held my hand. It is crammed with quotations that resonate, including from a nun, Sister Columba. Yes, I can award this book my Rack O’the thee award for inspirational writing.

*(Rack o’ the thee, Lancashire engineering term for not being straight, or something like that).

(Richard Box, Drawing & Embroidery Design for The Fearful, 1988, Anchor Brendan Ltd)

“It is in order to really see, to see ever deeper, ever more intensely, hence to be fully aware and alive, that I draw what the Chinese call ‘The 10 thousand things….”

Frederick Franck, quoted in “Drawing & Design for Embroidery”

(my mixed media work can be purchased from No.10 Gallery, Baillie Street, Rochdale, and Touchstones Art Gallery (People’s Art Exhibition, Rochdale (until 23 November))

Everyone’s Got a Doughnut ‘Cept for Me!

l'boro square pictures 002

Secrets (young women in The Square), mixed media & stitch, Angie, 09/13

The Lady of Shallott



And moving thro’ a mirror clear
That hangs before her all the year,
Shadows of the world appear.
There she sees the highway near
Winding down to Camelot:
There the river eddy whirls,
And there the surly village-churls,
And the red cloaks of market girls,
Pass onward from Shalott.

Sometimes a troop of damsels glad,
An abbot on an ambling pad,
Sometimes a curly shepherd-lad,
Or long-hair’d page in crimson clad,
Goes by to tower’d Camelot;

Alfred Lord Tennyson

To read the whole poem please click on the link

A doughnut would have helped me a lot when I was young and my hair dark, long and glossy. The shine on my bun would have been my own little halo. A doughnut, for those who don’t already know, is a circle of foam with a hole in the middle. A pony tail can be pulled through the hole and neatly tucked under the doughnut. The result is a perfect bun. Today my inspiration is life’s rich tapestry, doughnuts, fashion, black tights and blue shorts, disco trousers, leggings, women in general and all their trims.

(my mixed media work can be purchased from No.10 Gallery, Baillie Street, Rochdale, and Touchstones Art Gallery (People’s Art Exhibition, Rochdale (until 23 November))

Robert W Hill (artist) – art exhibition, Touchstones, Rochdale

A new friend and an old friend share this blog today. I recently visited my local art gallery, Touchstones of Rochdale, Greater Manchester. One of the fine exhibitions recently opened is entitled Sea. It is a diverse mixture of artists and styles. My own personal favourite was the painting entitled Wave by British artist Robert W Hill (1932-1990). I was mesmerised by it and will be going back to take a second look. Click on the link above to see the work of Robert W Hill.

When I was a teen I read many books about Judy Garland who began life as Frances Gumm in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The star started out singing and dancing as a child and grew up on the lot of MGM.