About Me

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Arlesey, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
I am a cut paper artist and I live in Arlesey, Bedfordshire. I am originally from Wiltshire, from a very long village called Winterslow, just outside Salisbury. I make my work by drawing into a black piece of paper and then layering colours from behind which I cut into again. This makes very delicate and intricate paper pieces that are inspired by my love of the landscape and the natural world about me.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Take one paper witches hat and a tail - Stonehill School Art Club, Hallow e'en drawings

At Stonehill School Art Club I have been trying some new approaches to get the students to be more creative and have a little more freedom for their imagination to be lose. For Hallow e'en I simply gave them each a cut out paper witches hat and tail. It was for the children to work out what to do with them. We had a little discussion... and made some plans, and then the children got sticking and drawing. Only one child got stuck... she didn't want to do a cat, so I suggested the witch was part witch-part cat, and that went down well. Children often like absurd things....

Wire and Tissue creatures and sculptures - Art Skills Club, Letchworth Art Centre

This week at Art Skills Club at Letchworth Art Centre, the students worked with wire and tissue to make little mini sculptures and creatures. The wire we used was very flexible, easy to cut with scissors and had real challenges in making it look like something realistic! The students did so well.

Wire and tissue sculptures and creatures

Pigment and eggs!! - Egg tempera session at Art Skills Club at Letchworth Art Centre

At Art Skills Club, the club I run for 11 - 16 year olds at Letchworth Art Centre, I have been on a quest for the students to work with the best materials I can get my hands on. I brought in my own pigments for this session, along with eggs, vinegar and emulsion sized paper. The students had never seen real pigments before, let alone painted with them, so there was a lot of oooh's! and aaah's! at seeing just how strong and intense the colours are.

The students got to split the eggs to get the yolks, mix in water and vinegar and start to work in the dark layers up, egg tempera is all about dark tones to light. It's a naturally streaky paint to use, and needs a great many layers to build up to get the richness of egg tempera, but at least the students got to experience the feel of self made paint. It was a great session to run....

Friday, 21 September 2012

Large pencil drawing heads - Art Skills Club - Letchworth Art Centre

Large pencil drawing heads - Art Skills Club - Letchworth Art Centre - Spring Term 2012

At the Art Skills Club at Letchworth Art Centre, I try and get the students to work with all sorts of media, ways of making images and different sizes in scale. This session was making large scale pencil drawings of heads. Some of which were Manga based, some more realistic and looking at self-portrait, whilst others were in a cartoon style. many of the students hadn't worked on A1 size paper before, and we did a practice session before this of quick and fast pencil mark making to get the students loosened up before working this size. many of the students liked the space to work with, the freedom it gave them and the sense of boldness that they could achieve with more paper to hand, others however were completely spooked by it and stuck to drawing a small image right in the centre of the paper. it was very interesting to see how the paper made them feel.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Summer School - making an Alphabet Banner - Stonehill School, Letchworth

Waiting to be be sewn together, this is the painted banner made by pupils at Stonehill School, Letchworth, during a two morning summer school banner making workshop.  The banner is intended to hang in the front foyer. The banner is an alphabet banner - but this is no A for Aardvark banner - some of the animals were unusual - C is for Cyclops Shark! It was up to the children to pick the animals that they wanted top feature. The students varied in ability, so at times I drew outlines for the children to work inside, and other paintings were made by just the students designing each square. Paints used were high quality acrylic paints onto a twill cotton material along with a small amount of household emulsion.The strips featured here will be sewn together to form the banner with the patterned edging added as the finishing touch.

Sticky backed plastic - plastic "paintings" Summer term - Stonehill School Art Club

Stonehill School - Art Club Summer Term 2012

These photos are the work of the students that come to my art club at Stonehill School in Letchworth. These works are made with high quality, sign writers' sticky backed plastic - collaged onto foam board sheets to made plastic "paintings". Students worked freely with the plastic, cutting into it to make forms, shapes and patterns.  They used pencils to draw on the paper back backing sometimes, but mainly worked straight into the plastic.They hadn't ever used this material, so it was a very different experience for them. They loved the immediacy of working with the plastic, that the strong colour is just ready to use and stick instantly. It took a little bit of time for the children to master laying the plastic smoothly without too many lumps and creases. These pieces were made over three one hour sessions.

Soap carving - Art Skills Club, Letchworth Art Centre Summer 2012

Soap carving at Art Skills Club, Letchworth Art Centre

This session at Art Skills Club was for students to have the chance to have a go at soap carving. It uses the simplest of materials, just household soap and unsharpened kitchen knives and round ended scissors. Students cut into the surface, as well as cutting large areas away to reveal forms. they found that some shapes didn't work at all as the soap crumbled away too much. Strong forms worked well though, as did more textural surface mark-making. 3D masks worked well too, as you could cut geometric and structural shapes into the soap easily.

A selection of the students pieces - my example is the face on the top left

More examples of the students pieces

Monster soap face by Nicholas

Torso by Erin Sunderland

Ring by Nicholas

Tim Burton inspired face

face and textural carving by Alex Daniels

Letchworth Garden City Festival - pop up, arty drop in - painted mugs

A few of the mugs decorated by children and adults during the Letchworth Festival - these were made in a pop-up drop-in centre.

Scary! a lot of school work to post here!

Its VERY SCARY where time has gone.... in that I haven't posted on here for a year!!! Golly! I have been working hard in schools in that time...I just have got more than mega behind in posting the piccies. So bear with me as I play catch up... there will be a flurry of new posts.....

Art Skills Club - Letchworth Art Centre - Summer Term

These photos below are from a session I ran at the Art Skills Club at Letchworth Art Centre in the summer term where the students focussed on designing with text forms to make complete compositions. I showed them a selection of my own text based paper pieces, and demonstrated too how I work out the spacing for my lettering pieces, along with examples of how to use letter forms within strong graphic compositions. Students looked at the Faber and Faber "Eighty years of Book Cover Design by Joseph Connelly"  along with lettering books too such as  A Hand Job - catalog of Type by Michael Perry and the wonderful  Linda Barry's "What it is". Working initially in pencil, the students then beefed up their deigns with the use of strong felt -tip colour. The students produced some beautiful and bold works on paper.

My demo piece to show the students how I design with text

Alex Daniel's design

Sophie Tonkin's design

Nicolas Mace's design

My demo page

Erin Sunderland's design