Thursday, 30 August 2012


Heavy Moon

I am an occasional insomniac.  Last night, with the paralympic opening ceremony on in the background, and then some random music on the radio, I rediscovered the "Paint" programme on my lap top.  Joy!  I used to love drawing with this years back, using the mouse.

I became really excited - playing with the different tools, line thicknesses and such.  It was an absorbing couple of hours and it's great that you can "undo" and "redo" stuff without causing any frustration or cock ups.

The quality of the lines, using the mouse as the drawing tool, with their wobblyness, are slightly juddery, this tentative and naive quality is something that I want to pursue.  I found myself making the drawings, thinking of them as if they were huge canvases and it was strangely liberating.  Maybe seeing the Fiona Rae the other day in Leeds was feeding in to my subconscious;  Cy twombly's work is never very far from my thoughts at the moment either.  I remember beginning some more abstract, stream of consciousness drawings a good few years ago and finding the process a bit pointless.  That was then, now I am finding this a useful way of exploring ideas for a new set of paintings and prints.

Putting my abstract thoughts down in a visual way, I was also thinking of music at the same time and asemic text; something I have been groping towards very slowly.  Robert Wyatt's album Cuckooland was very much in my head along with Stravinski's Rites of Spring and visual memories of landscape, particularly winter ones. 

No. 1
Can't Sleep
Secret Messages in the Snow
Notes on a Journey
Try to Stay Calm
Winter Stems

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Work Delivered!

Some of the old stained glass, I love its abstract qualities.

All six pieces safely delivered. 

A quick walk round the cathedral as I've never been before.  The screens for the art work have arrived and the work men are beginning to cordon off in preparation for the hang.  All quite exciting!

The substantial screens, waiting to be erected, that the work will hang on.
A King!  Can't remember which one, I'll have to read the guide book. . .
My work, ready for hanging.
To see all of the photos I took in the cathedral today, go to my facebook page:
And don't forget to click on Like for the whole page please!

Monday, 27 August 2012

The Great North Art Show Approaches

With my trusty studio assistant Pete, I have just spent a couple of hours mirror plating and labelling all six pieces of work for The Great North.  We have encased it all in bubble wrap and stacked it carefully in Pete's car, ready to deliver it tomorrow.  (Once we have made sure the builders are happy with what they are doing for the day).

The Private View is on Friday night and the kids are all coming up to see the show over the weekend.  Yay!  I am really looking forward to seeing them all.  Jenny Agutter is the guest of honour for the PV, much to Pete's excitement; he has always had a bit of a thing about her!

It will be interesting to see the show in its entirety; there are a few artists that I want to meet and talk to about their work, so I think I am quite excited!  I must remember to take plenty of my business cards . . .

The framing of the work, particularly the drawings, is exceptional, it gives the pieces so much more presence.  Anthony Bentley of Ginger Hall Framing in Kirkbymoorside has done me proud!

Friday, 24 August 2012

A Quick Visit to the Studio

These two large paintings are probably finished, I'll have to store them on a roll before I decide later whether I should do any more work on them.

Covered up with plastic to protect them from dust.

So, off I went to the studio on Tuesday, to escape the building work for an hour or so, because my mirror plates were out there and I needed to get some painted white before I screwed them to my work in preparation for The Great North in Ripon.  I also had to cover up the two large paintings because my landlord was going to be doing some angle grinding outside the door on Thursday of this week, to try and sort out the problem I have been having with rain getting in and causing a big puddle, which has been soaking into the wall boards we installed.  I know from the building work going on at home, how dust can seep everywhere and I don't really want the paintings covered in a fine film of it.

The mirror plates drying on the floor; reminded me of geese flying across the sky!

It was lovely and peaceful; I could hear Sally Taylor working away upstairs while i rubbed the mirror plates with sandpaper and then painted them white.

Sally peered out from her upstairs window to see what I was up to and when I showed her I was painting mirror plates, she said she wished she was!   We all struggle. . . .

While I was waiting for the mirror plates to dry, I applied some more paint to the small canvas that I had left on the easel.  I had, during the last session, put on loads of paint in a sort of panic, which I then scraped off, leaving just traces.  It was onto this that I brushed a light grey.  Still not clear in my mind where these are heading, but I am enjoying the process.

I had to use the flash as the light levels dropped drastically, the paint was still very wet, hence the flare.

I scraped all the paint back leaving just a trace of what I had applied.

Applied a layer of light violet grey brushily and left alone for a while before I try and finish this and it's companion piece.

And then back to the building site at home, but it is exciting to see some progress being made at last, it will be great when all this structural work is done and we can open up the landing space to see our views from the floor to roof glass wall.

One of my new views from the newly opened up window in our bedroom.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Old Projects, Leading to New

I recently found some old photographs (very poor quality, technology has come a long way!), of some book projects that I completed.  Not long after I moved up to North Yorkshire, I became seriously ill and as soon as I was able to stand I participated in a brilliant course taught by Christine Shaw entitled Creative Hand Made Books, if my memory serves me correctly.

I had become very interested in artists' books while living and teaching in Basingstoke; I had designed a unit of work for the AS into A2 year students, which encompassed their contextual research, something many of them found difficult.  This scheme of work enabled the students to present their work in an artist book format of their own choice, enabling the less academic to create a more visual response to their chosen art historical area of research and the gifted ones to really excell.  It was an exciting and interesting unit to teach and the students seemed to enjoy it.

Christine Shaw's class was really exciting, using simple book binding techniques coupled with her main area of expertise, which is textiles.  A wondrous mess was made, culminating in some great books!

I gave most of these books away as gifts to family and friends.  The techniques I used varied depending on the book; some of them were blank some of them filled with little images that I hoped the person I gave the book to would find pertinent to them.  Techniques included collage, stamps, lino printing, mono printing, fabric dying, stencilling and embroidery.  All very absorbing.

I have been pondering the age old problem of how to make some money and come up with the idea of using the sitting room of our house, once the space has been completed by the builders, to create a temporary gallery over two weekends and the week in the middle.  I'll send out invites to everyone I can think of and just put up on the walls as much work as I can, with browsers of smaller pieces and some home made books. With luck I will make some sales.  I shall serve cake too, complimentary if a purchase is made, at a cost if not, hah hah!  With luck, I shall be able to pay for the new front door with the money I make, and, who knows, contribute to the rest of the fast dwindling building fund!

Once this mini pop up gallery is closed, we'll move back in, ready for Christmas.  Groan!

All of the photographs of these books are on my facebook page:!/SueGoughArtist?bookmark_t=page

Examples of Christine Shaw's work can be found on the Brigantia web site:

All images copyright of the artist, all rights reserved

Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Development Continues

After a nasty morning, I left home to spend a few hours in the studio:

To view all of the photographs I have taken of the development of these paintings, go to my facebook page:!/SueGoughArtist?bookmark_t=page

All images copyright of the artist

Irritable and Anxious

I am heartily sick of all this packing up and chaos at home, however I am trying to keep the end result in mind so that I don't unravel completely.

Should be in the studio today, but the builder may be on site and I need to discuss some things with him.  I am feeling very irritable because it is now 5 days since I was in the studio.  It is so hard to keep the thought processes going with constant interruptions, as the wonderful painter Charles Tyrell says,

"... if I'm not painting all the time I am living a lifestyle which allows me easy access back to where I was, and that's not an easy thing to do, to get back to the core of activity.  Any distraction at all - a night out or a weekend away - involves a huge loss of concentration"

Packing yet another box the other day, I found the little booklet from the Gandon Editions series about Charles, and, on re-reading it, was instantly uplifted.  He talks in his conversation with Brian Fallon about his practice, it's development and his attitude to being an artist and I felt such affinity!  This is obviously why I bought the tiny book in the first place.  I am holding it close at the moment to drink in the images and re-read the words of wisdom.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Latest Layers

Gradually building up the paintings.  Two very distinct moods.  The more contemplative, subtle one is a joy to work on.  The other, larger one, which is much more lively, expressing energy, life and growth is a real tussle.  I am relishing the scale and I suspect, after a bit more work, this painting may have to be rolled up and put aside for a while, then looked at again after a few weeks/months before I finish it.

All images copyright of the artist