Pandemic Pondering #560

Yesterday was a proper English holiday day. It rained all day but we still managed a ‘bob’ on a grey beach. After a hot shower and breakfast we set off on foot to explore the cold wet beauty of the North Devon coast.

I will spare you the monotony of grey seascapes but we did manage to find some local and not so local colour.

Rock formations and tidal pools

Sometimes holidays in England definately need the right clothes because the right weather does not always blow our way. We have the right clothes!

We brought colour and interest to people walking the coastal path by bobbing in the sea when no-one else bothered. I also thoughtfully used my fluorescent bouy so they didnt incorrectly assume I was a seal at play. My natural grace in the water is easily confused with the movements of a marine mammal and it would be cruel to trick people,on the 630 mile hike of the South West Coastal Path, into believing that they had seen Martine the Coombe Martin Seal frolicking with a mackerel.

Although I do sometimes tinker with them.

We located rain forest plants. Although locating a good coffee after 4pm takes an intrepidness we do not possess.

Dicksonia Antarctica

Perhaps most significantly in these Covid times of restricted travel we found a cute Japanese Tea Set in a charity shop. Which helps me to spice up this blog with quite a lot of foreign influence.

And at least an illustration of foreign travel.

My Place – South London Women Artists- Brixton East

IMG_1113South London Women Artists put on their summer show at Brixton East last week.

Founded in 2008 this collaborative group of women artists are rapidly gaining traction in the London Art World and beyond.

An exhibition at the brilliant Brixton East venue has become a bit of an SLWA summer tradition. The curators of My Place asked artists to respond to the theme of the same name. The artists responded magnificently , those featured here photographed best but all of the work was of a very high standard.


New Ideal Home-Pat Cove


I think this was one of the pieces selected by an art critic  who exclaimed that he liked this and one other piece but that “the rest was shit.” Thankfully the comments in the visitors book were more fulsome and complimentary.



The Ladies Bridge- Waterloo Bridge Karen Livesay

IMG_1116This video installation looked amazing projected on the wall next to the three prints of Waterloo Bridge that accompanied it. The text projected is the actual writing of some of the women who were welders on the bridge.

Talking text, which is my current obsession, I bought this painting by Valerie Lambert.

IMG_1134Valerie, a London based Scot, feels that bridges signify her place in London.  It’s hanging very happily in theoldmortuary now .

IMG_1278The success of this exhibition is not only the work of women. Celestine, a man of infinite patience, hung every piece of art. The building, Brixton East, is also pretty special.

Did you ever see such well stocked loos ?



LEONOR FINI: Artist, Libertine, Provocateur

Loved this . What a fabulous woman , great artist. Wish I could have lived in that world.

Masked Sphinx

Leonor Fini - cat

Portrait of Leonor Fini by André Ostier (1951)

“I am independent. I am free. I am not a surrealist and beyond classification.“

Leonor Fini (1982)

Unconventional, free-thinking and experimental, Leonor Fini was once the ‘it-girl’ of Paris and was one of the most photographed women in the art world. Known more perhaps for her flamboyant nature and penchant for dressing-up and cross-dressing rather than her painting, she had an illustrious career in theatre and set design, illustration, product design and film too. However, it is her status as a painter that needs to be examined; so we can appreciate her unique influence on 20th century art history.


Fini in Corsica (1957)

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina (1907) to mixed Argentine, Spanish, Italian and Slavic blood, Fini fled with her mother at two years old to Trieste, Italy, to escape her father. There are stories of her father’s plots to kidnap her…

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Printing on maps.

Printing on old maps was an idea formed in my mind a while ago. With the advent of mapping systems paper maps are less relevant in everyday life. I love maps , particularly when the pressure of navigating to a destination in a timely manner has been removed. The crackle of an ordnance survey map was the first sign, when I was a child, that a trip was being planned.

I love the physicality of them, the awkward folds, the musty smell , the promise of adventure. I could’nt bear to part with my fathers maps when he died and I hate to see them unloved at charity shops.

I came up with a plan to print on old ordnance survey maps. I’m at the very early stages of this   and have been buying old ordnance survey maps. Initially I’ve been printing, painting and stencilling but soon I want to start Letterpress printing on them.

As often happens in art , things don’t go quite to plan . Ordnance survey maps lead different lives from one another. Stored in different ways , treated, or not, with respect. Stored in smoky,damp,daylight,houses, sheds, rucksacks. Each has a different quality and it has become an adventure not dissimilar to working on hand-made paper.  I select a portion of map to print on and then gently steam iron the creases  out. Then I decide what to do with each one depending on its intrinsic colours and those that it’s gained along the way.


Today I’ve managed to match the blue of the text on one printmap and the yellow of minor roads alongside mustard of the nicotine stains on another.


The maps remember their folds , and many are stained along the creases . Some do not succumb easily to inks or paints and fall apart during the process .

I’ve been asked to do an In Memorium print on a friends grandfathers map. A good bit more practice before I do that I think .

Another day, another print.

IMG_0683Who knew that printing on old Ordnance Survey maps would prove to be such a compelling activity . This must be about number 6 and I feel like I am getting close to something I would be happy to sell. The journey! has been thwarted by the differing qualities of the paper the maps are made of. They also react to the weather and atmosphere as my studio is in the garden. I hadn’t realised the maps were quite so delicate and as mine are all recycled they have all had very different life experiences with their previous owners .This makes them unpredictable when taking up the print medium.IMG_0654Inspired by this chap and by an idea I had a week or so ago , I decided to print the VW’s in the colour palate of the original maps so the harmony of the complete image has the same quality as the original untouched maps.

in this print the VW Combi/Kombi is just north of Glastonbury heading to Worthy Farm.