“Far From The Sodding Crowd”

I have just come across this beautiful, funny and strange short film on the BBC Film Network website. Created to celebrate the array of days out to be had in Britain, that doesn’t involve a theme park or shopping, but more the adventures of jumping into someone’s unique collection, family run museum and/or beautiful obsession.


May we all look out for those small brown signs, keep our curiosity alive and learn wonderful things.


Blind and Box Drawings

Here are some images I have made over the last few weeks.  Firstly some more drawing box images from getting out and about.  I am really loving this process and bringing red into the palette is particularly exciting.  Following this some blind drawings made in moments sitting in the park, watching spring arrive, plus some blind drawings of people at train stations.  I like how they have come out and thoroughly enjoy this process of drawing people over actually trying to make them look like how they are.

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box drawing with red no2

daisies blind drawing

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Backpack Drawings: Documenting Journeys

First Backpack Drawing Box Experiment

After first visit to Drawn, before meeting Debbie Locke

Drawing Boxes No 1

This was real trial and error: Two pots; left – Charcoal pieces and red brick pebbles from the beach. right – ink cartridge with two pin pricks in.  Paper attached to bottom by blue tack.  Closed, sealed and put in backpack. Walked and cycled for 90 minutes.


Blue pieces added to very messy, inky bag containing (inevitably) bled cartridge box.

Charcoal Pot Drawing

Abandoned inky pot for return journey.  Broke down charcoal for to dusty, smalled pieces in other pot.

Second Backpack Drawing Box Experiment

After meeting with Debbie I used found object from home to create small drawing boxes. These experiments travelled by walking, train and car from my home in Bristol to childhood home in Wooden, Pembrokeshire.

Small Drawing Boxes

Small Box Drawings

Experimenting with paper from inner envelopes.

Small Box Drawings

Due to the confined space in the boxes and the rigidity of the wire that attached the pens there are many areas of ink bleed from stuck pens.  Even though desired effect was not made, I do like the images.  The capturing of dormancy and being stuck as well as small movements feels particularly poignant for the journey in which they were documenting.

Hand Drawing in Car – Layering

Hand Drawing in Car

The blue marks in this image from left to right – 5 minutes of drawing in car on Motorway (not driving!) with pen in writing position moving to 15 minutes of holding top of pen freely.  Layered with painted ink circles.


When creating this documentation became an interesting element. I wanted to be “free” and let my pen do what it wanted to but I found myself moving from keeping paper still to letting it move freely with the car, giving in to a tired arm and slackening the position, moving my pen away from the edge of the paper and back to a point as and when came to the end of the paper.

Hand Drawing in Car

Drawing Two Pens in Car

Close of up hand drawing made in car from Stakepole Inn in Pembrokeshire to childhood home in Wooden. 25 minutes. Holding both pens by the top in right hand.

The marks made from motorway driving and countryside driving are extremely different.  I love the freedom and layering of the countryside driving… Reflects the environment beautifully.

Third Backpack Drawing Box Experiment

Drawing Box No 3

The most recent drawing box is made from scrap pieces from local scrap store and jewellery wire (found in a drawer). A thick grey felt pen, black hand writing pen and water filled brush pen.  Box taken in canvas bag (carried on one side) for 40 minute walk and train journey.

Box Drawing

Box Drawing

This image is so very pleasing.  I finally feel like I have cracked it!  Adding water filled brush pen (as done by Debbie) to the box adds a beautiful layering effect. This crosses over into Peter Matthews work from previous post, and feels like the secret ingredient to this image making process.  Having a strong bond with the sea, and a homeliness when by and in it, having water as a contributing element of this drawing resonantes with me.

Home Project Reflections

Looking back at my experimenting with this process over the last few weeks is very satisfying.  It has (as with the boxes themselves!) been an interesting journey (that is merely beginning!) and a drawing approach that adds much to my whole creative process of immersing in “Home”.  Links made with the body as home, documenting experience as means of grounding an home making, documenting journey too and from home and different homes and using home found objects.

Home Project: Experimenting and Insights.

What a great and fruitful week it has been!  I have found myself swimming in the process (and slight obsession) with this creative project starting with the word “Home” and have been playing around with all sorts of things.  Different approaches to drawing I have found myself focusing on, and some very interesting writing sessions have brought out all manner of  ideas.

Having the time and energy to give to fully jumping into this exploration I have found myself brimming with ideas, thoughts, insights an energy! What a whole lot to handle!  The biggest, and most unexpected learning that has come out of this ongoing project, is learning, inch by inch, how to unleash and then try to tame this wild beast that appears to be creativity!

These ups and downs have brought me more and more in tune with listening to a part of myself I don’t think I have ever really heard before.  Where as in the past this struggle to define and battle to fully comprehend what was going on would have worried me deeply and blinded me with frustration, there is a certain flow beginning to take hold.

It also appears I am becoming friends with this relentlessly reflective part of me that I have berated for so long.  This.  Feels.  Wonderful.

So… on to some documentation of my experimenting.  I have a whole heap of bits I have been playing with, and would like to drip bits out over the next week while I carry on working.  Having this as a space to gather my thoughts and record what I have been doing, learning, feeling, hoping and reflecting upon I wish to utilise more.  In trusting that what I am doing has value as a process I say well done and thank you to it by giving it space to breath here away from my papers and books.

Drawing With Found Homeware and Objects and Bleach.

Drawing with Bleach

Found Objects: Coffee Shop Stirrers and Deli Cocktail Sticks.  Household Bleach.

Drawing with Vintage Utensils

Found Home Objects: Vintage Kitchen Utensils.

Drawing with Bleach

Process: Getting stuck in (in well ventilated room!) with AO piece of browny-gold paper (found at Scrapstore)Bleach Close Up

Close up – Materials make delicate, natural looking marks on the paper.  I enjoyed the surprising result of how rigid mark making tools and harmful bleach make organic shapes.  The beauty of finding things through the process!  It took some teeth gritting to not control this process too much trying to make it look like some “thing”.

Interestingly, upon reflection, I recall how more at “home” I have always felt out of door sat amongst long grasses in the field next to my child home, in my allotment, on beaches, out of sight of houses and often people…

Deeply in this process.  Amazing.

Drawing With Heat on Receipts.

Drawing with Heat of Household Receipts.

Household Receipts – Using Utensils (above) with hairdryer.

Drawing with Heat

Texture and Layers.

Heat Drawing with Potato Masher

Small, unintended details.


Writing: Imprints in Wax

Here is the complete experiment.  Next stage – explore making the same consistency with crayon wax + soft furniture wax.  Cooking up a treat!  Inspired by the wax sealing stamps keeping privacy of mail intact before Royal Mail came along.  The personal stamp, the keeping correspondence sealed, but with a soft delicacy that is vulnerable to manipulation and the temptation of nosing others.  I am intrigued by the idea, the psychology and the blurred boundary between the public and the private, our home and outward lives.  How as an artist and writer in order to make authentic work in some way these boundaries have to be faced head on, in some way.  Whatever the idea, the expression, whether it’s delightfully daft and/or heartbreakingly honest, the courage to say it, to put it out there is the same.  To be seen.

Home in Wax

Home in Wax 2


I like the sickly look and texture of this wax and the way in which ink left on the stamps has been transfered muddying this sentiment. Only in documenting this experiment has the soft quality of these materials become something different, something darker (in my eyes anyway…).

Being in this process is amazing!  Feeling very at home and enjoying the highs and challenges.

Bloomin’ brilliant!

Home: Wee Update – Ideas Being Played With.

What a few weeks it has been since I last popped on and updated Bloomin Elle.  I now have a shiny new MacBook which is a great investment for me in paying back into my creative making with a computer that works (for one!) and can allow me to make films, music, images and all sorts with ease.  Granted, I have “learn to do these things” on my to do list still, but I am getting there!

I spent the weekend back in Pembrokeshire with my Ma last weekend and going “Home” has never been more poignant or potent.  Returning with a different outlook on how I wanted to spend my time took me to some interesting, emotional and creative places.  As a child and young adult I spent much time out in the fields, on beaches and by the sea (as I have mentioned in previous posts exploring this connection) and this time was no different. Being in the home my Dad built – with his writing still on the walls – memories of time there together are often hard to avoid in the solitude and space of sleepy Pembrokeshire.  Completing my daily writing was challenging as emotions surfaced, but simply being with these emotions I found great strength and connection to a creative force that was ready to be unleashed.  I spent time walking by the sea, and have documented this through sound recordings, and gathered a range of found objects that I am now beginning to play with as beginning sources.  It would be nigh on impossible to document everything that came to mind, every idea and tangent found over those days, but I shall pop a little of the documentation here to, again, document the journey that this project is taking me on.

I am in the first of three weeks I have set aside to play with these ideas…. and I can already see that “Home” is baring much inspiring fruit and am excited about the whole host of avenues to be explored.  You may be able to tell… Research, ideas and explorations are feeling a bit like a big ball of crazy coloured wool at the moment.  The sifting process to draw out threads and focus I am eager to start soon.  It certainly is quite something to sit with the cacophony of creative ideas and not run scared for not having any of the ends (to stick with the wool analogy) tied up yet.

Here is one experiment from found objects at home in Pembs.  Making something new out of the every day.  Baby Bell cases and jam jar lid…  I enjoyed the process of looking at things around me with different eyes, the fact that the materials were free (bonus!) and the process of ‘cooking’ the wax and seeing what happened.  The water bubbles in the final set wax (from the dripping bowl) I really liked. They offered little portals into the words underneath the wax.  This jar lid happened to be the first that came to hand, and I found the words interesting and relevant.  The idea that companies, brands, are focused on the “home made” culture/vibe/aesthetic/approach even when they are huge organisations with very little homely about them.  We feel secure, safe when we are made to feel at home.  We like to have things around us as a “reminder of home” and this psychology can often be manipulated.   It made me think of the aisles and aisles of “home cooked” microwave meals for one, cottage pies, lasagnes, pies, that lie in supermarkets everywhere and how the mirror a losing of a sense of do it yourself community and slow living.  A reality of the time being catered to as “convenience”, but for who, really?

So, back to the playing…