I went to a little village called Cutar on the southern coast of Spain during the Month of July in order to ‘return to drawing.’ It had been some time I had used drawing to inform my art practice, so wanted to refresh my approach.  I had discovered a Drawing holiday run by Martyn Blundell and  pretty much signed up for it on the spot.  I had used ideas based on Martyn Blundell’s work  before, as an innovative approach to teach drawing to my students.  Martyn Blundell is an artist and lecturer, who uses many disciplines such as videos,  photographs and drawing which are often inspired from the making and transforming of  different types of lists. What first drew me in to his  art practice, was his way of connecting artists; forming collaborations to instigate new ideas and unexpected artworks, incorporating new media technologies as well as traditional methods to translate a thought-provoking message. So, I was really excited about what I could learn from the experience.

Below is a link to Martyn Blundell’s website.


This is the weather at Elephant and Castle as we left for Stanstead.

Journey to Stanstead

Although not totally thrilled with what I did produce, I think I have made a positive start on my return to drawing.  I now need time to process everything and utilize information gained from the evening crits, and work out the next steps.

This is another drawing student sitting on a wall in Cutar. We spent half the day drawing with crayons and pens

drawing on a wall in Cutar

First drawing spot in Cutar

I spent a good few hours creating a pencil sketch here

view from hill in Cutar- pencil drawing

So the weather was really hot and dry. It did not rain once. We went to lots of really interesting drawing spots each day as well as checking out local markets, eating tapas and  swimming in the sea. Below is a mixture of drawings from my sketchbook and also photographs of drawing spots.

We went to this fantastic rock formation and made a series of sketches listening to Spanish music in the sunshine


Some of the plant life at the rocks

olafur eliasson

olafur eliasson at Malaga Contemporary Art Museum

Plants in the garden at the house we were staying in at Cutar

Two artists talking about art before the evening art discussion

Sheets drying on the roof terrace. They dried in about 10 minutes as it was so hot!

view from the garden at the house

The abandoned Rum Factory we took photos of and also drew

Louise Bourgeois at Malaga Contemporary Arts Museum

Louise Bourgeois at Malaga Contemporary Arts Museum

Pint of beer

I thought the drawing trip was really good. I hope to go again with Martyn in the future and also go on some of my own excursions.  A drawing trip stops you putting things off, as at home, I will tidy the fridge or do the laundry or plan a lesson. Drawing takes time.  Or you may cram in lots of tourist attractions and need another holiday. This trip was both relaxing and hard work and completely changed my way of thinking about art and drawing and also teaching art and drawing. It was almost too good. 


Ingri Haraldsen



I saw this artist at The Armory in New york 2012. Haraldsen is a Norwegian artist living in Oslo. Here is their statement about the work.

I work mainly with drawing on paper as well as on walls. My practice is based around themes like the unknown, physically unreachable areas, our thoughts, the untold and the undescribed. I find inspiration in the intriguing details of nature, Norwegian folklore, science-fiction and surrealism. My drawings are usually produced impulsively and can sometimes be seen as series where the pieces are created based on each other, like a chain reaction.



Link to her website







Cameraless Photography short course at Camberwell College of Arts

On Monday, I went on the Camera-less Photography course at Camberwell. It was a two day workshop, where myself and several other students revisited cyanotypes, photograms and liquid emulsion techniques. The course instructor was John Lanteri- Laura.

John Lanteri- Laura

Here is a link to an image of his work and an interesting website:


What the website is about:

Photographic Practices is a group made up of artists working at Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges, part of the University of the Arts London. Common to the artists’ work, but not exclusive to their practices, is an interest in photography and lens-based media. The group aims to make links between lines of research and areas of interest to highlight the current state of the medium and its relationship to other contemporary modes of production. Commonalities emerged at the group’s inception such as the potential of photographic processes (in the widest definition of the term) to be intrinsic to the articulation of ideas. Where much contemporary photography invites the viewer to read images from the surface of paper or screen, like advertising, many of the artists in this group offer the viewer a chance for a deeper engagement with the way images come to the viewer, through projection, from the screen or in print.

I had a really good session, discussing  photographers, sharing ideas and then a good deal of time spent in the darkroom experimenting with all three techniques. Here is the outcomes I produced. I wanted to display them all as they as so different and random and unexpected.

Below is a cyanotype on orange paper of a paint mark from an old palette.

cyanotype on orange paper of an acrylic paint mark

Below is a cyanotype of broken glass from a chunky frame at Heals. A customer broke it and I kept the fragments. Also there are amongst other objects, a necklace and also tiny pieces of a broken car window which I picked up from a road in Bookham. I quite like the idea of these objects having a history or a story to tell, as they appear like forensic evidence. I have had these objects for such a long time and not done anything with them. Cyanotypes are quite effective when using see through transparent materials.

Cyanotype on white paper of broken glass

Here is a photogram of the broken car window.

Broken car window photogram

This is a liquid emulsion print from acetate laid randomly over one another. I stepped on the acetate whilst it was drying to capture my foot print. I like the idea of making mountains out of faces. This is my boyfriend as a mountain with my feet above his head. It should read ‘Fortune of the Gods’ but where I had not completely coated the paper, the image did not appear.

Liquid emulsion print of fortune of the gods

This is two acetate print outs placed on top of  paper. The paper is primed using silver gelatin and a soft Hake brush. The paper is left to dry then it goes under the enlarger with the acetate on top. I exposed this for 6 seconds.

Liquid emulsion print of hairy mountain dome on white paper

This is a liquid emulsion print, using a paper print out as the source material. It was my first one, so is a bit hazy, but I quite like that.  The light source is shone through the paper as opposed to acetate and therefore the image is more diffused. Also, I could have exposed it for longer than 6 seconds.

liquid emulsion print of the hairy mountain

This is a photogram on standard photographic paper mixing images of a  face with an acrylic paint mark on cardboard. The paint mark was actually an old palette discarded by a student, which I  fished out of  the bin at the school I was teaching at.  I have been thinking about what to do with it, so It has created a man waterfall.

photogram of man waterfall

This is an image I took in New York on my iphone. I created a photogram using the enlarger light at 5 seconds with it fully turned down. First I printed  an inverse of the image on Photoshop. This was printed on to acetate. Then the image was exposed to light.

old good things- photogram of New York shop front

The image below was created by rubbing vaseline on to light sensitive photo paper, then exposing it to  light  for 5 seconds under an enlarger. The areas protected by the vaseline turn blue over time. The areas that are black are fully exposed to the light.

vaseline photogram

Below is a test strip. I printed out an image onto acetate from Photoshop and while it was wet, made thumb prints in the ink. This is a print with liquid emulsion, used to check how long I should expose the image.

face mountain test strip with liquid emulsion


Surface II- The Crypt- St Pancras

The Crypt Gallery, Euston Road, St. Pancras Church, London, NW12BA

Surface II is open from 13th July- 22nd July 2012 and is curated by Fiona Chaney and Louise Harrington


Louise Harrington, Fiona Chaney, Sophie Cordery, Regina Valkenborgh, Lyndsey Searle, David Donald, Hazel Walsh, Stephen Buckeridge, Juliet Guiness, Sarah King, Sinéid Codd, Susan Eyre, Kelvin Burr, Amy-Louise Watson, Jessie Rayat, Nina Ciuffini, Hélène Uffren,
Jo Lovelock, Sarah Rose Allen, Debbie Lyddon, Susan Francis, Samantha Blanchard, 
Maria Gaitanidi, Cynthia Ayral, Natasa Stamatari, Alexandros Alexandridis 

I went to the opening of Surface II at St Pancras Church today. There is a gallery space underneath the church which has regular curated exhibitions. The show I visited today was a collection of 26 artists exploring the theme of surface.  The gallery itself is an  intriguing surface, with bare walls, arches, passageways and cavernous spaces and some artists had integrated their work directly with the interior.  For instance, artists had used the  walls to project  films upon, which produced an interesting result, as the walls were made up of  exposed crumbling brick work. The footage appeared fragmented and decayed. There was a lot of interesting ideas about surfaces, using painting, photography, performance and installation.

The artwork below is by Susan Eyre. It was impossible not to touch the surface of her work, as the texture was so inviting.


Susan Eyre


Susan Eyre- detail

Another artwork that I enjoyed was by Regina Valkenborgh, made with a beer can pin hole camera.


Regina Valkenborgh

Louise Harrington

Louise Harrington

 Louise Harrington had created this sculptural photograph placed in one of the caverns at The Crypt.


Fiona Chaney

Artwork by Kelvin Burr; chalky, faded, sanded down surfaces, with pools of colour being revealed in cavities and  diffused and soft mark making over the smooth top layers.

Hazel Walsh

Hazel Walsh displayed a series of images, which looked almost like drawings. They were really beautiful and unusual.