Gallery of past work

Thursday 23 September 2021

Developing an image

On Instagram recently (link in the side bar), I posted these details among others of the tiny Miniature Reflections pieces that I have recently shown hanging in a group in the Lansdown Gallery.

They were developed from an image that I've now worked on further in Photoshop with a view to some new work. Initially, I made the image more and more complex with overlays and duplication and then gradually simplified it again to reach satisfying end points that I could save for future use. 

I use this technique a lot with various others as I develop images for my work. 

1. The original image                                        2.  Duplicate layer added with layer by cut         3. Turned layer added onto first image 

4. Layers mirrored making complex image      5. Two layers, one turned & cropped     6. Simplified image hiding one layer 

I will undoubtedly use these images as I work towards my next piece of new work, most likely choosing from the last three. I will print them onto fabric and manipulate them in the hand (armed with a pair of scissors!) as I piece them with other fabrics. 


Tuesday 21 September 2021


Our exhbition at Lansdown Gallery in Stroud has now ended without me posting photos of the last two sets of my work so this post is set to remedy that. The theme in both series is monochrome and the striking black / white contrast that it offers. 

First is a group of pieces developed from photographs looking up into an outdoor tented theatre space near Cairns in Queensland Australia. These photos were converted to black and white and manipulated and cropped in Photoshop and then digitally printed onto glossy photographic paper. Finally, marks were made with a fibre pen extending lines and detail beyond the photos and a small number of stitches were added to give texture. 

As seen in the gallery this time, Australian Landscapes I - IV* (apologies for the reflections) were the result. 

Details of each are shown below ...

Next is a new series of small abstracts developed from the photo taken in Darling Harbour that I used used for all my other work in this exhibition. I took these to a new level of abstraction and greatly simplified the images, experimenting with how far I could go and still retain a result with impact. I'll be interested to hear views on this!

(Herein lies an important photography lesson about making sure all the pieces in a series are hanging straight before taking a photo - ah well, too late now!)

Individual photos ... (Right clicking on each individual photo will give better sight of all the fine detail.)

Now I'm beginning to think where to go next, as, the more I work in this way, life without stitching and thinking about design is somehow not an option for me! It gives me purpose and pleasure - whether there is a pandemic with lockdowns or not - and seems to be a part of who I am.

*Some viewers who have been following this blog for a long time may recognise the Australian Landscape series from about 2016. It seemed apropriate to show them again in this new setting and in a slightly different format as they make links with current work. It turned out to be a popular choice!

Thursday 16 September 2021

An Artist's Book and Window Panes

This time, I'm posting three pieces with a very similar colour palette, all of which have imagery originating from the same high rise building in Sydney which has featured in all my most recent posts - but with colour manipulated. 

The first is the artist's book High Rise that I mentioned in the  last post.

This book includes a short piece of text hinting at the destruction of ancient ways of life which can occur when large modern cities proliferate without sufficient control over building and with limited respect for those already living there, perhaps for millennia. 

In case the text in the book is hard to read on screen, I've included it here. 


High Rise 

                                                      Soaring shapes of steel                                                           
                                             Modern living in a box                                                 

Soaring shards of hardened steel and gleaming glass storeys high clean cut

Undeniable symbols of a future secured at cost the land ignored

The past eclipsed by archaeology of the most permanent most destructive kind ...


Also included in this post are two digitally printed, stitched and framed pieces working around the reflections in high rise buildings. They are heavily stitched in the same limited colour palette mostly using two strands of  DMC and Anchor embroidery threads. 

Window Pane I and II ...

... and in detail ...

These were unfortunately photographed in the gallery and behind glass (apologies!) which has reduced the definition.

These pieces can all be seen in The Lansdown Gallery in Stroud up until (and including) Sunday 19th September. Details are given in the side bar of this blog. 

Monday 13 September 2021

Brunel Broderers in Stroud

Brunel Broderers is currently showing work in the Lansdown Gallery, Stroud, under the title Inhabit.  Details of the exhibition can be found in the side bar of this blog. 

Members work in a variety of methodologies, although embroidery is generally at the centre of what we do. On show this time, there is a mix of wall work of different kinds and 3D installations. There are pieces on paper and card as well as on cloth. 

As I have explained in several previous posts, the work I am showing this time mostly explores the spectacular skylines of modern cities with their high rise office blocks and reflections. In the main, it was developed from a single photograph of a high rise building in Darling Harbour, Sydney, Australia. This photo was enlarged, manipulated, overlaid and cropped repeatedly in Photoshop.  

Three Towers 
Printed and cut card hand stitched together with thread

This small installation on glass contains imagery derived from reflections and also from the visible external structures which hold the building together. The text printed softly on the internal walls of the towers is from a small artist's book that I intend to show in my next post. 

However, despite the dramatic outward appearance of these exciting structures, there are hints throughout my work at the destruction of ancient ways of life when such modern development proceeds unrestrained. A circle stitched or printed into the work references this darker social history. 

Three Strips
Pieced from painted and printed fabric and hand stitched 

I had particular fun with a series of small card labels designed to hang and turn and with applied printed, cut and punched images back and front. This time the circle or part circle was the dominant form in each piece, with the reflection imagery from the Darling Harbour photograph contained within. 

Miniature Reflections 
A series of labels each with applied printed and cut card circles and part circles

Brunel Broderers is a group of textile artists and embroiderers (currently numbering 5) based in Gloucestershire and surrounding counties. I have now been a member for three years, although the group has a long history.  It is always a pleasure to exhibit with them. 

There will be more work to come in future posts ...

Wednesday 11 August 2021

Exhibiting in Stroud, Gloucestershire

I may have been silent for the last few weeks but I haven't been inactive. Although textile work has had to share time with much needed meet-ups with family and friends and escaping to a family holiday cottage in Scotland as soon as we were allowed to do so under Covid regulations, I have been busy making work for this exhibition with the Brunel Broderers. We will be at the gallery in Stroud from 8th to 19 September. 

It has been such a strange time for everyone. My stitching and art work have been a mainstay for me during all the restrictions. Most important has been the focus provided by this exhibition. The theme of Inhabit has encouraged me to make a varied response and has resulted in work both on paper and on cloth. 

As so often, my work has been developed from overseas travel (not of course possible recently). I have written much on this blog in the past about my trips to Sydney, Australia, and Vancouver, Canada. Both of these vibrant modern cities continue to intrigue and fascinate me with their dramatic modern architecture, high-rise office blocks and many reflections.These buildings have provided rich scope for me to develop abstract digital imagery through manipulation in Photoshop. 

But behind its outward appearance, there are hints in the work at the destruction of ancient ways of life and possible damage to landscape and archeology when modern development proceeds largely unchecked.

The exhibition shows new work from all the members of the group. More details of the approach adopted by each member can be found on our blog at

We will be stewarding throughout and look forward to welcoming anyone close enough to come.

Monday 31 May 2021

Making changes, joining and finishing off

Why does it always take so long to finish off a piece of work? It doesn't seem to matter if I'm working with paper or fabric, or with print, photographs or mainly in stitch. It always takes me longer that I expect to get everything how I like it. 

The Tower piece I first showed as a small maquette in April, has needed many changes to the individual images that make up the final tower. This sort of piece in particular seems to evolve slowly. 

Since this is a 3D hexagonal piece with no practical possibility of printing the whole in one go at A3 size and then joining down one line, I'm considering several joins. Do I print out the separate strips of tower images in threes so I have only to make two sets of joins on the opposing sides of the piece, or do I print them out separately and join each one to its neighbour which makes it much easier to cut out the look throughs which are an integral part of the piece but may result in a distracting forest of thread ends? 

Next, I'm pondering how to make the joins to best effect. The options would seem to be joining with thread, with bent staples to reflect the metal structure of the original building, or using tape or small cardboard joins on the the inside of the piece. The card option seems clumsy and can be seen when looking down inside the piece and bent staples have practical issues as they are difficult to do consistently and the card can easily become damaged as photo 3 below shows. 

I have therefore opted for thread sewn through and tied either on the inside of the piece, or on the outside to make a feature of the join. A variation of the latter seems to offer the best option. 

I then have to sort out the imagery on the inside of the piece. I have opted so far to use a section of words from the small book, the initial images of which I showed here. I am still playing with the weight, opacity, size and font of the words to be printed on the reverse side of each face of the tower. 

So far, the size and opacity of the lettering needs more work as some of it jumps when the piece is viewed as a whole - and I may yet change my mind about this completely!