A photo of some of my Open Studios work taken by Radiance lady Hannah Nunn. Hannah has done a lovely piece about our Open Studios on her blog We talked about putting lighting in my woodcut dioramas and I'm really excited by that idea.

A few of the Laser cut books above are now available for sale and I will be putting them on my Big Cartel shop later today:


I've been playing with the folded woodcut/papercuts again and here is the latest one 'Frozen North' in progress in the studio.

Following on from there I've used a photograph of it for the image element on a poster I've designed for our Festive Open Studios at the end of November/Beginning of December weekend.  Seem to have a thing about Black, Red and Yellow/Gold this year (looking back at Stone Rosie The Elephant for example).

I've mentioned the (in)famous mulled cider on the poster as its something I do and during the past year I've had people knocking on the studio door asking for the recipe!

Tree paintings at the Water Street Gallery in Todmorden

These oil pastel paintings of the woods at Pecket Well Clough are included in the annual Winter Exhibition of small works at the Water Street Gallery in Todmorden. I've been selling reproductions of them for quite a while and now feel able to part with the originals.

The show opens with a preview on Thursday night - 31st October . I'm looking forward to nipping up there on my broomstick with it being Halloween and all.

This hand coloured Aquatint of yet more trees is also available to purchase there. The show goes on till after Christmas so I'm really hoping there's time for a committed dendrophile with empty walls and a generous wallet to find their way there.

3D Woodcuts


I'm fascinated by the effect of a single or series of folds on a piece of paper or card. It sounds simple, and it is, yet everything is changed. Something flat is made 3D, it can stand up and become sculptural. Once I applied this simple action to my printed townscape 'Northtown' the potential for experiment and play seemed endless, tapping into a long held desire to explore the world of mini dioramas

For me the barrier has always been the problem of display and framing. A lot of framers look askance when you ask about deep box frames with narrow edges which is the look I prefer. Most box frames I've seen are not deep enough and are also very clunky. I have seen some lovely ones on-line but they are ridiculously expensive and not the right dimensions.

So I asked my woodworker friend George Parker to make me something and these are the results. We based the design on some discontinued box frames from Ikea. They are accessed via the front as the glass slides up and down a routed groove.  The worst aspect is that I have to manually polish the edges of the glass as my local supplier won't/can't polish 3mm glass.

Polishing the edges is a real pain involving expensive diamond pads, sheets of felt, adhesive backed vinyl and a board balanced under a flowing tap - aaargh! My first attempt at dry sanding was a fine disaster, ruining a sheet of glass by getting hairlike scratches all over it, which is why I've gone with the wet sanding process.

I will make good use of the 8 boxes George has made me but I'm thinking there has to be an easier way?

Details of available woodcuts

In response to various requests, I've put a new section on my main site under Gallery / Work Available showing a selection of my limited edition prints available for purchase, including dimensions and prices.

This one, Green Annihilation (Bank Terrace) is 30 cm x 23 cm, is a hand tinted woodcut and costs £90.
I was pleased to see it used on the poster for The Art of Printmaking exhibition at the Cooper Gallery in Barnsley until 2nd November.

For anyone wondering about the strange title, it comes from Metaphysical Poet Andrew Marvell's 'The Garden' - "Annihilating all that's made, To a green thought in a green shade."

My Main Site

I've had my website with Moonfruit since 2007 and generally been pleased with its performance over the years.

The only major worry has been it being a Flash based site. Of course this is what made it so easy to build - no need to use any html code - just drag and drop text boxes and pictures, simple. But some people were definitely put off by needing to download and update Flash Player.

And then Apple completely ruined things by rejecting Flash for iPhone and iPad, meaning my carefully designed site has always looked ghastly and illogical on mobile devices.

Now Moonfruit have made it possible to migrate my site over to html5 so it should work properly on mobiles etc. It looks fine on my iPad but can people let me know if it looks weird anywhere else.

In the meantime, I'll be gradually making some changes to the site and putting new work on.

The story of Stone Rosie Part 1

At the end of April, before big Stone Rosie was delivered, a small parcel arrived...

... containing a very sweet, small white elephant, 20 cm high, resting on a bed of bright pink foam chunks, primed and ready to be painted with the intricate design I blithely submitted to Elephant Parade earlier in the year.

So after a brief exploration of my house and a quick trip outdoors to see the dandelions in the garden...

... the painting began.  It has to be said, when I first had the idea of decorating the elephant with the Rose and Heart stained-glass windows from York Minster as seen from the inside looking out,  I thought it would be just the big one. I never imagined the design scaled down to this size...

... and wondered if I could actually do it, especially as after a few days my eyes seemed to be going crossed with all the very close peering at the tip of a number 1 sable brush, whilst the kitchen table disappeared under the piles of painting paraphernalia.

But slowly, pane by pane, the little tinker gained her decorations, side to side, front and back, rosy cheeks, golden toenails and heavenly blue eyes, till she was revealed in all her jewel like glory.

I always knew that one day I would have to send Mini Rosie away. She was bound for Thailand where a team of dedicated Elephant Parade artists would replicate her to raise funds to ensure real life Asian Elephants continue to exist.  In the meantime though ...

... it seemed only fair to take Mini Rosie on a trip up the hill to the painting studio at Wainsgate Chapel in Old Town, where her big sister had recently been installed amidst much commotion, and where she could experience the lustrous effects of light glowing through stained glass, the very medium that had inspired her creation!

But alas the day of parting finally came. Resplendent Rosie bade a fond farewell to the botanical delights of Spring Grove...

... shed a pearl-like tear of elephantine sorrow, 

retired to her bed of pink foam chunks in the cardboard chamber, 

And disappeared for ever.

Woodcuts at the Cooper Gallery in Barnsley

I am taking part in this Printmakingonline exhibition and am showing some of my woodcuts.
I've never been to the Cooper Gallery but hope to get down there to see this as it will be an excellent show with lots of variety and different skills being showcased.

The busiest Spring and Summer

I've had such a busy time since March having moved into a new, additional studio (not leaving the old one) designed and decorated 2 elephants, one tiny, one large, shown work at 3 galleries and been Featured Artist at Spirals in Hebden Bridge, as well as creating the website for Hebden Bridge Open Studios and then participating in the event.  I'm sure there were other things too that I can't even remember in the mayhem... oh yes, setting up a mini shop on Big Cartel  and making a Facebook page.

So its great to find a bit of (temporary) peace to get back to blogging, I've missed the reflecting and evaluating that creating these posts entails.  Its raining now so there's not even the great outdoors to tempt me away from the Mac, only the photographic reminders of a wonderful week of coastal walking on the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales based in a National Trust Cottage Tan y Bwlch overlooking Porth Neigwl (Hells Mouth Bay).

This photo by Mike Henton

HBOS 2013 First Day

A great first day of Hebden Bridge Open Studios with many lovely visitors at Brooklyn Studios. 
A pleasure to explain the woodcut process to some delightful children and adults.

A mid Summer morning is the only time the sun shines directly into my space - and here's the new greetings card soaking up the early rays.

Hebden Bridge Open Studios 2013

A frantically busy few days getting my slightly neglected studio space at Brooklyn Studios ready for Hebden Bridge Open Studios.  All is now spick and span although I have aged 5 years in the past week!

I will be in my studio from 11 am to 5 pm tomorrow and on Saturday and Sunday, so if you are in the region, do drop by for a chat and a cup of tea.

This year I've got more woodcut prints on display than ever before, as well as some paintings, artist's books and folded paper cuts.

In honour of 'Open Studio Pink' - (the magenta used on the Open Studios logo and literature) I've given on of my cyanotype cards a make-over via the marvel that is Photoshop. The foxgloves seemed the ideal subject for this shade of deep pink.

The Elephant not in the room - say hello to Rosie

Can't believe its been 6 weeks since I posted anything here.

On May 14th I took delivery of a beautiful 70 kg life-sized baby elephant sculpture to paint for Elephant Parade and my life has not been my own since then. My design had some very intricate elements so all in all a fun but very time consuming activity.

A major difficulty was that Rosie's rotund rear would not go through the door into my newly acquired  painting studio up at Wainsgate Chapel in Old Town so I've had to paint her in a rather dark corridor. My life as an artist is always filled with 'interesting' challenges!

Elephant Parade is a social enterprise based in Holland that organises the world's largest art exhibition of decorated elephant statues to raise awareness of the plight of the Asian elephant and to support elephant conservation. You can read all about it at

In February 2013 I was approached to submit a design for an elephant on the UK tour and formally commissioned in March.  As well as decorating the full sized 150 cm tall elephant, I was required to paint a 20 cm model that will be used to make the replicas sold to raise funds for the real elephants.

I've had to resist blogging about the project for a while as Elephant Parade requested the full design should be kept under wraps until the start of the Parade on 21st July, but now I can start showing what I've been up to all these weeks.

Inspired By Landscape - New Exhibition

Here's the invitation card for the new Inspired By Landscape exhibition I'm taking part in. I submitted images of all 3 of my reservoir valve towers and wish there had been room to include them all as they work much better as a group or triptych.

The gallery is too small to take my 8 ft by 5 ft charcoal drawings and their projected films of moving water, so instead I'm showing three A0 digital prints featuring montages of the tower drawings and photographs of reservoir water.

I've also made a new piece of work called 'What Colour Is Water?' but haven't found anywhere suitable  to photograph it yet.

For someone who loves light, I seem doomed to spend my time in shady places.  I would happily live in a mostly glass house if situated in a natural setting, like the top of a cliff, overlooking the sea...

Hebden Bridge Open Studios 2013 5th, 6th and 7th July

I've been working hard for the past month building a new website for Hebden Bridge Open Studios, editing and uploading all the 84 artists' details and images.

I volunteered in the full knowledge that it would be very time consuming, but have to say I underestimated just how much work would be involved.  I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that loads of work = no money makes no sense at all.

Here's the link to the website:   Hebden Bridge Open Studios 2013

Unfurled (Buds in May)

Just one week ago these big fat pink and silver buds were bursting at the seams and seven days later the whole valley has gone pale green.

Furled - map-fold booklet

Finally after many false starts and unrelenting cold it seems the Spring really is beginning the process of unfurling despite a lack of any significant sunshine here in the South Pennines.  It will probably end up being one of those don't blink or you'll miss it kind of Springs.

Last Spring I made a one-off book form based on what seems to be generally know as the Turkish map fold structure, as part of the 28 Drawings Later project. After much favourable comment I've made a saleable version which is now available to buy on-line at my Big Cartel shop:

I like the simplicity of the map fold form and enjoy the challenge of creating content that relates conceptually and/or visually to the folding and unfolding action that the viewer participates in.

The idea of folding something to make it fit in a smaller space does relate neatly to the reality of leaves curled up tight in their buds, waiting for the unfurling of Spring as well as the concept of holding someone close in our hearts. Hence 'Furled' where the text reads 'You are furled in my heart like a leaf within it's bud'.

Furled comes in a translucent paper origami fold pocket, has a cover made of 300 gsm Snow White Canford card and is ink-jet printed on acid free cartridge paper, follow this link for more details.

My original interest in the artistic possibilities of the map fold was facilitated by google images so it seems only fair to include the following pictures documenting the making process. Apologies for the not brilliant photography, there's just not enough light in my studio to make life easy.