Thursday, 7 April 2016

Studio 38

So we are finally there. The process has taken very nearly a year from start to finish. Our initial application to have a space at Ta' Dbiegi Craft Village was put in at the end of May last year. As it is a government run scheme the application had to go through an extremely lengthy and drawn out process. Filling in the 20 page long application form itself was a mammoth task. The same form incidentally as if we had wanted to start a tomato canning factory !  
Anyway we are there and set up. There is a shortage of available units and so in order to get a foot in the door, an angel in the form of Beryl Bugeja made us an offer to temporarily share her space. So while we await our own unit we are part of The Candle Maker !  Have a look at what Beryl makes, not just candles.
Our very dear and long suffering friend and wood turner Paul Singleton did all the woodworking jobs we needed. We hope to showcase a few of his very beautiful bowls in the near future too. Click on his name and go to his FB page to see his work.

STUDIO 38  has it's own website and blog. Click on the link to see what we are up to. I will still continue to put a monthly post here to keep all up to date with current work but I will also be posting on the new website. You can also follow us on FB

All our artworks are made by either Petra or me using where possible recycled materials. I will show some more detailed samples of work soon.

Looking through from Beryl's Candle shop to Studio 38. We still have a little finishing off to do around the entrance..

Monday, 7 March 2016


All finished. Some tidying up to do but that is it. Epic ! 

113 hours.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Ides of March

The 15th of March is going to be a special day this year. All will be revealed !

 It's usualy windy in March and the start of this month has been no exception. This morning the sun was shining but standing up straight on the cliff was hard. I took my camera out with me this morning to get a few shots of the cliffs and sea. Inspiration for some new paintings. I like to take some pretty wide angled shots, this tends to give a more abstract feel, not too much detail. It's all about colour, light and shade and strong lines. My seascapes usually end up fairly abstract and I thought I would share how I go about it.

So, first take some photos, they don't have to be technical or perfect in any way. Just go for some strong lines or colours that are pleasing. Something that intuitively feels good.

 I particularly like the cliff dropping straight into the sea.

The colours today were beautiful.

 Then roughly cut a template from some paper, in order to mask the majority of the photo. Through this 'window' you can select your favourite portion of the photo to use.

 Use a black marker and draw in the shape.

 .... and hey presto you have a few new painting ideas to work with ! 

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Ensó and the fire monkey

I have come full circle. A journey that started in 2008 has finally come to a close. The year of the fire monkey brings all that has passed to an end. I chose Ensó as one of the words I will work with this year along with 'allowing'. Ensó is a circle that is hand-drawn in one or two uninhibited brushstrokes to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create.

I am embroidering a golden circle on my hanging, Not quite the spontaneous ensó, but a collection of silk threads draped and then sewn on to the backing. 'Allowing' the circle to emerge on it's own rather than me trying to control it into a perfect shape. All part of the process.

So in the spirit of the fire monkey 
'Anything and everything that is no longer serving your highest and best interest  has to go. It is time to end any thoughts, habits, beliefs, people, places, or things that are no longer worthy of moving forward with you into the new.'

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Adding value and charity shop insider trading

Living on a small island means working materials can be difficult to come by. Things I took for granted in UK are hard to find here. For example certain fabrics, an extensive paint range and of course natural materials like waste wood and metals on which to paint. So I have had to re adjust the way I work and look for a ready supply of materials to use.
One thing we do have here are charity shops with bags and bags of unwanted clothes. Most of which one wouldn't want to wear but the fabric content is invaluable, I have always been a recycler and it's ethically a good thing to do for the planet. I love to use materials and discarded goods in my art work. Of course the money I pay for recycled fabrics also goes to benefit the charity concerned which makes us all feel good !
What is really important is that as an upcycler I add value to a piece before it is ready for resale. My reworked skirts have much time spent on them to add value and make them into a unique piece of wearable art.

It seems there has been some insider trading going on on the island ! Over the last few months I have noticed a decline in variety of garments for sale at the charity shop and enquired as to why. It appears that big bin bags of goods have been cheaply sold off from the shop for staggeringly below the going rate and then those individual items re sold at a massive profit at a car boot sale !!! Shocking ! What that says to me is that someone is making money at the expense of the charity (and the good will of the donnors) and at the same time depriving all us artists (!) of our natural resource, not to mention a Spring frock. You may think that is enterprising and of course it is, but I personally feel there is a fine line between making a living and cheating a charity. Now if the garments were bought at the charity shop for the going rate and then a profit made then we would all be happy. It's only my opinion ... just sayin'

Well that's this week's rant over and done with !
My new labels for my ReWorked skirts have finally arrived and I have sewn them on.. all ready to go.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Beaut !

January 26th and the weather is wonderful for the time of year. With renewed energy after a bout of airoplane circulated bugs, I felt a energizing day coming on. Familiarising my self with with a footpath route Raffi and I set off for a walk on the cliffs above Cable bay.
What a view, it was particularly breathtaking today as the terraced feilds are already begining to colour with the bright yellow of the wild flower Oxalis pes-caprae.

Past the ancient cart ruts to view Comino and Malta beyond. I am not sure where the ancient peoples were going with their carts down this track as it's a fairly hazardous way down through the garrigue to the water ! Perhaps the terrain has changed in the last thousand or so years. There is also evidence of the fault that joined Comino to Gozo. All very interesting and absolutely beautiful.