January Books

I’m on a bit of a book theme at the moment. I’ve made some small books for my first Sketchbook Circle exchange of 2017, the idea being that Mary and I will create a series of books over the year, adapting the size and format to suit the developing conversation.

I’m also making books to explore ideas I’m following in my own practice; I’ve constructed a ‘drawing contraption’ which allows me to fix a mark-making tool and a book to my bag in order to capture my own movement as I walk. 

I find constructing books oddly satisfying. I love the process of selecting and cutting paper; the physical involvement through the use of hand tools; the imperfect charm of the finished item. I am fascinated by the almost infinite possible formats and have been repurposing old book covers, CD covers and different types of paper. I’ve always had a bit of a notebook fetish.


Liminal: adj, technical, i) of, or relating to a transitional or initial stage; ii) at a boundary or threshold (Oxford Concise English Dictionary).

This is a word I have come across fairly frequently of late; it appears quite a lot in artists’ statements in degree shows and galleries, and I’d read it a few times before I happened across it in this post by Andrea Liu. I looked it up, forgot about it, forgot what it meant, and then it cropped up again a couple of days ago on the WordPress inspiration site, The Daily Post. So I looked it up again. This time the word resonated; I don’t think I’ll be adding it to my artist statement any time soon, as my style is a bit more down-to-earth that that, but I’m definitely at a transitional phase in my personal and professional journey as an artist.

It’s also another transitional phase in the Sketchbook Circle cycle; I have made my last contributions to the book I have shared this year with Louise, and will be sending it back for her to put in her own final additions; and Ben’s book will soon be on it’s way back to me for the final time. I’ve signed up for another year’s collaboration, and am hoping this time to push myself out of my comfort zone and enter into a digital collaboration as well as a sketchbook partnership. Sketchbook Circle has and continues to be a pivotal experience in my artistic and professional life; the group is vibrant, creative and supportive, and I have connected with some amazingly talented individuals. It has inspired me to take my work in new directions, and combined with this year’s experience on the Artist Teacher Scheme, I have been motivated to take my practice out of a sketchbook and work in new, and sometimes surprising ways. This excites me and scares me in equal measure, but I continue to put myself in situations which challenge me. I have been inspired to leave my regular job in order to pursue a freelance career, and I am making connections and discussing projects with new people. I look back on my first hesitant pages in my first shared sketchbook two years ago and reflect on how far I have come.

An Artist Residency in Motherhood


I have just signed up for An Artist Residency in Motherhood to help me focus on and document the first phase of my 5 year plan, which starts with the Artist Teacher Scheme this summer. I will be exploring some of the ideas and question prompts from the planning tool, which are designed to encourage self-evaluation and reflection, and to identify action points.

An Artist Residency in Motherhood is a project by artist Lenka Clayton, and the strap-line is:

A self-directed, open-source artist residency to empower and inspire artists who are also mothers.

Interested? You can find all the information at http://www.artistresidencyinmotherhood.com