Sydenham Artists Trail

I'm taking part in Sydenham Visual Arts Trail - an open house/studio event. It's over two weekends and this Saturday and Sunday the 14th and 15th of July is the second weekend. I was so busy making the things I'm slow to write about it! 

It is from 11am to 5pm on both days and you can find me at 15 Bishopsthorpe Road, Sydenham, SE26 4NY, less than 5 minutes walk from Sydenham Station. Here is a link to the Sydenham Visual Arts Trail information page on the festival site (we are number 31). 

I'm showing my new small acrylic animal painting and lots of hand painted ceramics, plus lampshades I've made from my own fabric designs and digital prints and greetings cards.
Leila Khasal is showing her jewellery and also on show at the house are eight large mosaics relating to famous Sydenham area connections (Logie Baird, Ernest Shackleton, Pissarro etc) prior to being put up on a building in the community.

There are over 46 homes/locations in the area open and more than 100 artists participating - so lots to see and a lot of the open houses are in the streets joining Bishopsthorpe Road.

I would love to see you!

Shop Keeper!

I've just opened a shop on etsy selling prints, cards and ceramics. In the New Year I plan to also sell paintings and things made from fabric with my artwork on it. It was such fun photographing etc and no dusting to do like in a real shop.

I have a fifties green kitchen cabinet in our hall that I kept planning to get rid off (I bought it for £3 at an auction in 1991) which I've turned in to my shop/packing area. Dennis suggested I get a bell I could ring if I sell something :-)

Vintage Fair and vintage reflections

When I arrived in London in 1991 after art college via Paris and Scotland, my friend Katie and I rented a small, tall terraced house in South East London. No heating and no carpets...just gaps in the floorboards and wonderful coal fires in most rooms. (We'd take a taxi to the coal merchants with polythene sheeting to lie in the taxi driver's boot on the return journey).

In the basement we had a workroom where we'd stay up late listening to the radio and making papier  mache pots, painted boxes and furniture, mono printed and hand bound albums and notebooks. I'd done my thesis at art college on the Bloomsbury group and inspired by the Omega workshop we'd come to London to make and sell!

Over that first cold winter we'd get up early on a Sunday and stagger to the station loaded down with those big cheap checked laundry bags and head for a stall at Camden or Greenwich Markets. The money we'd make mostly went on cosy lunches and hot chocolates with marshmallows to keep us warm. We had business cards printed and that was our promotion done! It's strange now in this land of Etsy, websites, twitter and blogs to think how different things were just not that long ago. I remember whilst still in Scotland writing a letter to a ceramicist in London who I'd read about in a magazine asking politely for some business advice....I never had a reply. I always think of that unanswered letter when contacted by students. Nowadays it seems as if there is much more a culture of sharing and supporting amongst artists/makers - all made easier by the internet. Most of our planning for the move to London and our "business plan" was done over the phone - me in Scotland, Katie in Guernsey. My Dad wouldn't allowed me to chat on the phone so I'd go to the phone box across the road with a bundle of ten pence pieces and a notebook and pen.  Pre mobile phones and pre internet days. I wonder where we found the contact details for the market organisers...and I guess we read printed timetables to know which train to catch!

Anyway after a few winter Sundays Katie got a real job and I got a full time job working in a friend's shop (where mostly I spent my days drawing and writing stories on the back of the shop's fliers, occasionally there would be a customer - often lovely, lonely women who would return, after pouring their hearts out to me, with a box of chocolates or once an amber necklace!) and later I started a Post Grad Art History course. And our dream for the "Worldbackwards" emporium quietly died away.

After a round trip of fifteen years to North London I'm back living in South East London and two weekends ago I found myself up early and trundling along the road to the station with a wheely suitcase and a bundle of bags....helped by my boyfriend...regretting the death of our car in the springtime and on a train to Caterham Vintage and Art Fair. I caught myself thinking here I go again....still doing the same old thing "carrying my wares around" has nothing changed!

Later in the day Katie turned up to keep me company in the beautiful Edwardian Soper Hall and we enjoyed delicious cup cakes from Bake plus more yummy cake and coffee from A Grand Affair served in old china cups. With a sound backdrop of 40s and 50s music we chatted to customers and other stall holders and I ended up spending some of my takings - on vintage children's books and a 60s pale blue Finnish enamel kettle - not a good business model!

By the return journey in the evening I found myself reflecting how lovely it is to meet the people who've bought the things you've made and to be around other people who are selling things that they've made or gathered with love or care.

It didn't feel any longer like a step backward - just looping back around on a beautiful walk!

Caterham Vintage and Art Fair

On Saturday the 17th of September from 11am - 5pm I will have a table at the Caterham Vintage and Art Fair.
I'll be selling gouache and acrylic animal paintings, prints of some of my illustrations, painted ceramics and cards. The event is being held at:

Soper Hall
Harestone Valley Road
Surrey CR3 6HY

here is a link to a map

There will be tea and cakes, tombola (I might finally discover what tombola is!), a raffle and live music plus vintage and art stalls. I'm so looking forward to it!

The event is organised by Anita of Mrs Antil's Apartment.

here is what she write on the Press Release:

"The Caterham Vintage and Art Fair is a community event for affordable vintage and art lovers as well as those who are just curious or love a rummage through vintage clothes, accessories and home-wares.
This will all take place on the ground floor of the beautiful and historic Soper Hall in Caterham Valley, 3 minutes from Caterham station.
All items will be reasonably priced - making beautiful and old things available and affordable for the local community.
There will also be vintage inspired art, as well as a variety of quirky, original art works from Surrey and London based artists including: LittleToucan, DiDoesVintage, KatyLou and Trina Dalziel.
Old fashioned music hall style live entertainment will be provided by quirky, sultry and soulful singer-songwriter, Ziba.
There will be a vintage 'tea room' to replenish with ration recipe cakes, pretty cupcakes and of course tea!
Entrance is free and anyone from 5 days to 105 years is very welcome.
Come and have fun!"

Visit me at Sydenham Visual Arts Trail

I'm taking part in Sydenham Visual Arts Trail - an open house/studio event for artists to show their work. It takes place on Saturday and Sunday the 9th and 10th of July and Saturday and Sunday the 16th and 17th of July from 11am to 5pm on each day.

I'll be showing my new acrylic and gouache paintings, large inky drawings and hand painted ceramics - all on animal themes both real and imaginary. I will also have archival digital prints of some of my illustration work and greetings cards.

You can find me in the home of textile artist Diana McKinnon who will be showing her amazingly detailed free machine embroideries. And Sally Earlam will be showing her silver and semi precious bead jewelry. If the weather is dry there will be tea and cakes in the garden (with money raised from teas going to charity). I'm almost as excited about planning the cakes I'll make as preparing my work...but not quite!

Diana's House is at 40 Dacres Road, London SE23 2NR just 5 minutes walk from Forest Hill Station (which is on both the mainline from London Bridge and also the Overground that runs from Highbury and Islington  through the East End to Crystal Palace/West Croydon). Here is a link to a map (we are number 37) and on the right you can click and download a pdf of the Visual Arts Trail Map and Guide -  on the guide. There are over 45 homes/locations in the area open and more than 100 artists participating - so lots to see. Plus ten minutes from Forest Hill Station is the wonderful Horniman Museum which is also well worth a visit.

If you are local and able to come along it would be really lovely to meet you. Let me know if you read about the event here and I will have a small present for the first (or perhaps only!) person who mentions my blog.

Circus Ceramics for Cosmo China

I've been having lots of fun at Cosmo China in Bloomsbury recently painting plates and mugs and eggcups and butter dishes etc with this circus theme. It developed from the blue circus design I did in the spring as part of a collection of circus themed repeats. And they came from the little sketch above from my sketch book in the winter. I love the way ideas, themes and projects can grow and in doing so change form.

Ceramics at Cosmo China

This autumn I’ve spent a few days painting china at a wonderful shop /workshop in Bloomsbury, London. It’s called Cosmo China and it has been running for over twenty years. Artists are invited to paint and if their work sells they are invited back…..I have to wait and see if any of mine sells! I hope it might as it's a lovely change to my day to sit around a table with artists and use a paintbrush as an alternative to too much furious mouse clicking!


Above are some more ceramics from my winter evening class (mentioned here /trinanewwork/2009/06/ceramics-scraffito-work.html ). In the summer term I went to a course focussing totally on glazes - which I found fasinating even though it felt like a throw back to school chemistry! I was hoping it would help me gain a clearer idea of how to get the colour results I wanted as some of these ones hadn't turn out as I'd hoped. (the deer outline on the top one - with the pagoda - just faded away and the bottom one I was hoping for blues and browns but everything just came out brown!)
What I came to realise is there are so many variables it's hard to have control over the results until you become either very experienced in handling lots of glazes or just focus on a couple of glazes and always use the same technique. I haven't decided yet which way I'd like to go - but probably the latter!

Ceramics - Scraffito Work

These are some pieces I've made over the winter at a ceramic evening class at City and Islington College at Finsbury Park (fantastic facilities and wonderful tutors). It's taken me eighteen years in London to finally get around to attending a class (every year I would think about it and end up doing something else!) I'm really glad I finally did as it seems I may be moving out of London - I just hope I can find a class or workshop or somewhere to fire and glaze my work wherever we go to live. As I'd love to add to this scraffito set that is based on dogs and dog related families.

The top one is based on a film I saw on youtube. CCTV in Chile filmed a dog knocked down on a motorway and his dog companion wrapped his arms around his neck and dragged him across three lanes of fast moving traffic to safety.

The wolves I sketched while watching a nature programme. On Saturday night I saw a family of foxes - two adults and three cubs - playing in our garden. I would like them to be the next plate.

I will post images of more ceramic work soon - before they get too broken or chipped!