Tag Archives: feminism

Animated Muses

18 Oct




I posted last week about a digital animation I made of some of my life drawings of female models who inspire me, my muses. It appeared last week at the FiLiArt conference and exhibition in London. I didn’t want to put it up until it had premiered at FiLiArt, but that’s over now so here is the animation, working with seven terrific artists’ models.




It’s the first time I have exhibited something like this and I’m pleased with it. I have a love/hate relationship with digital drawing but this seems like a good way of using it. I use a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 with a free Markers app.


My Muses In London

9 Oct


I’ve just emailed a digital artwork that’s going into an exhibition in London this weekend. It’s an animated sequence of some of the female models I work with and it’s called “My Muses”. It’s made up of life drawings that I’ve done on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 tablet with a free Markers app. I’ve been hitting the ‘Save’ button frequently, every few seconds, to build up a record of the drawings as they progress. Husb transferred them onto a desktop and edited them together in Adobe Premiere Pro.


The animation is appearing at the FiLiA annual conference at The Institute of London near Russell Square this weekend. I am so lucky to be able to work with such exceptional women. Artists’ models are rarely given the recognition they deserve, it’s not an easy job, there’s more to it than just sitting still, they inspire us.



The women I work with are older, middle-aged, younger; large and small; black and white; a student, a teacher, a soldier, an artist, a stay-at-home-mother, a free spirit; employed and unemployed; from all walks of life. They have one thing in common – they are My Muses.

I won’t post the animation just yet as it’s getting its debut at the FiLiA conference, so I’ll post it next week.


The FiLiA conference is at the Institute of Education, Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL (nearest tube stations: Russell Square, Euston) on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd October. Please follow the links below for more information.




A lot of my artwork is available on my Artfinder gallery.  If you’d like to have a look, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page.

A Political Woman

13 Jul

leanne wood

I travelled up the Rhondda Valley this evening to The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir where Leanne Wood, the leader of Plaid Cymru (The Welsh Party) chaired a debate between academics Simon Brooks and Daniel Williams about nationalism in Wales . It was very interesting although a bit on the academic side for me, but I guess that’s what academics do. I’m not affiliated to any particular political party but I am very impressed by Leanne Wood who is an intelligent, educated woman from a working class community who went to an ordinary comprehensive school, not from a background of wealth and privilege like a lot of politicians. She is also the first woman to lead Plaid Cymru in its 90 year history.

Of course, I had to have a scribble. I was sitting at the back which means limited vision, making it hard to see a lot of detail, which restricts the drawing to main outlines. I used a dark graphite stick and a white conté crayon into my A4 hardbacked sketchbook that I had prepared with brown wrapping paper. It was a very quick sketch because she was moving as she chaired the debate; it’s not a bad likeness but it would be nice to have been closer and had a bit more time.

Making Them Visible

8 Jul
a full mouth

An older woman in graphite and conte crayon

I’m getting really enthused with these 10 minute sketches from Googled images of elderly women. I started just as a quick bit of practice but after 4 or 5 I find myself really getting into it. There are so many beautiful older faces to choose from and it dawned on me that for me this is a feminist issue, this is an age group that is usually invisible, ignored, marginalised in our youth obsessed culture. So I’m going to carry on drawing them. I don’t know who they are, there is rarely any information about the people in the photos but it doesn’t matter; I think the important thing for me is to focus on them and draw them and make them visible through my art. I might not do one every day because I am working on other art projects as well, but I think I’ll make this a long term thing.


I’m drawing into my A4 hardbound sketchbook, prepared with brown wrapping paper, ripped and stuck randomly, to give me a midtone to work on top of, with graphite and conté crayon. This woman had an extraordinarily lined face, covered in patterns from her life’s experiences. As I was drawing, the scribbly markmaking became quite psychedelic. I want to fill the whole sketchbook with these elder women  and then maybe do something with them digitally, because otherwise it’s just about impossible to display a sketchbook without taking it apart.

Finding Inspiration Part 1.

11 Jan


Canvas stapled to the wall

Canvas stapled to the wall

I’ve been working with some other artists in a group called 15 Hundred Lives and we have been doing a 2-day monthly public art event for the past 5 months. We take over a fairly large artspace, Creative Bubble in Swansea and start a new piece of work, inviting the public to come in and see how we develop a piece of art from scratch. It’s been very good for me because I’ve been experimenting and doing things I wouldn’t if I was just plugging away on my own in my studio.

 Working over a ground of yellow ochre acrylic paint

Working over a ground of yellow ochre acrylic paint

 Finding inspiration is the hardest thing about being an artist as far as I’m concerned. Technical ability is improved by diligent practice but finding something to draw, print, paint, whatever is the hardest thing for me. But inspiration can come from all sorts of places. Just before the last Creative Bubble event in December, I was reading a newspaper article about a woman who has set up a feminist website to commemorate women murdered by men in the UK during 2013, many, but not all, victims of domestic violence. It’s called Counting Dead Women. I printed out the article and some of the photos she’d put on her website and spent two days working from them. I hadn’t been looking for subject matter like this but the article inspired as well as distressed me and here’s what I did on Day 1.

Developing the first portrait of a murdered woman

Developing the first portrait using Winsor & Newton oil bars

I found the article and the process of creating these portraits harrowing. It really started to bring the statistics to life for me. More tomorrow……….

%d bloggers like this: