Wolves are people too…

I spent a whole afternoon painting wolves, and I love them. These critters just came to visit my imagination and insisted on portraits… I chose my favourites and created a book, using recycled books pages, thread, and stitch. The substrate of the book is cartridge paper which I dyed using walnut shells. I thought this was appropriate for wolves in woods and I like to have reasons for doing things sometimes… just sometimes, not always.

I am not too keen on the cover at this stage… needs something, it’s that white squareness that is bothering me…

Wolves are people too…


They are a strange combination of hidden sexuality… they are unnaturally tall


Severus, he was a man. As gypsies go he wasn’t so bad…


…until he got moody. He just wasn’t husband material…


Colophon by yours truly…


Little Red Riding Hood

I have decided to focus on Little Red Riding Hood for my first theme within the fairy tale series. I have read many versions of this tale and I still like the original Perrault version, apart from the ending. I dont want Little Red or her grandmother to actually die.  Maybe I will write my own version with all the best bits from the many re-tellings of the tale.

The illustrations below are by Gustave Doré. This is exactly how I imagined it as a child. Sadly I lost my original books of fairy tales during the itinerant lifestyle I led in my teens and twenties, so I am not sure who they were illustrated by, but it could well have been this artist as they feel so familiar. Gustave Doré reminds me a little bit of Edgar Allan Poe in his looks, his art certainly fits the Poe genre and he did some fantastic illustrations for The Raven.


I like wolves, I have been looking for my own wolf since those lost childhood days, when the biggest treat of the week was Mum coming home from work on Friday evenings, with a Little Red Riding Hood style basket full of gorgeous smelling library books for me to lose myself in. Books were my security and sanctuary then, as they are now.

These images are very suggestive, the way the girl eyes the wolf, and him rubbing himself against her in the woods. She certainly doesn’t look afraid, more daring I would say. I think I like these images because of that, they hint at the deeper meanings of the tale.


Perrault wrote a little poem at the end of his tale, a kind of moral:


Little girls, this seems to say,
Never stop upon your way.
Never trust a stranger-friend;
No one knows how it will end.
As you’re pretty, so be wise;
Wolves may lurk in every guise.
Handsome they may be, and kind,
Gay, or charming never mind!
Now, as then, ‘tis simple truth—
Sweetest tongue has sharpest tooth

Images sourced from: http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/ridinghood/index.html

Multi Story houses

I like houses that tell stories.

This three dimensional fairy tale scene is a follow on from my last installation project, based on the effect of shadows and light, and how you can transform a room to a place that is a doorway to another world. That too was influenced by fairy tales.

The house has its own story, it is constructed from recycled book pages which I rescued from a tip. There is no glue or tape holding the house together it is just paper folding. I like that it is held together by the words and pages that make up the stories, houses should be held together by stories. Everything in this scene is recycled, including a few tatters from my dreams, little wisps that caught on the branches as I was waking…



Books I am sleeping with…

These are the books I am sharing my bed  with currently, some for the first time some for the second or even third! A complete mixture – book tart that I am…

photo 3

More book bed joy…

Oh wow… I am on a roll here, and I think I may have caught a wave…

Check out this collaboration between RCA students and a hotel chain!!


Images sourced on 24/6/2014 from:


Thinking about books… again…!

I have been looking through all my old sketchbooks, FB posts, blogposts etc, and I came up with a conclusion…


The thing I would love to have, that is currently at the top of my wishlist, is this:


There are lots more book rooms like this but I love the darkness of this one. So…. my mind wanders onto it’s other track of art, college… and next semester.


And I want to make one of these book bed installations… I have posted book artists before, but I have now found my muse in the form of British artist Ruth Beale


I don’t want a bed that looks like a book though, I want a library that works as  a bed…!


Well I am looking into this… maybe I was mean’t to make installations after all… certainly fits with a theme of habitat.

Here is another article about Ruth’s Bookbed:



Photos sourced on 24/6/2014 from:






A Mad Hatter?

I have just discovered this totally sane, contemporary philosopher, who a few people label as crazy. No way is he crazy… This guy thinks like I do, and about the same kind of stuff, and I like that in a man…

Meet Roy Sorensen


Image stolen from: 3am Magazine

Check the link, check out the interview, and while you are at it check out the rest of the magazine. It has a lot of good stuff, and the title is very apt. It keeps you awake until the small hours…

And if you like this dude, then check out this book that I am currently reading, all about light and shadow, which I have been obsessed with for much of my life.  Roy is one of the thinkers behind my Light Nelson project, and possibly future art.

I am very interested in all aspects of shadows, including the darker side of human nature.


It’s all about the B word…

When it comes to habitat, I like my cave… not the cold wet slimy kind, but the kind with a warm hearth and books… lots and lots and lots of books… books everywhere, and Tarot cards and art stuff.

So… my project (actually our project now) is going to be along those lines… books, Tarot, warmth and of course recycling, which is a big part of my art anyway.

Some very funky stuff has been done with books…


bookcell-lead01-537x390\ Brian-Dettmer5-537x402


See what I mean?

Images retrieved on 12/5/2014 from inhabitat.com




This is a WOW!!!

Thanks to my blog feed, and Mary Ann Moss, I just found the most incredible site called Colossal.

Wonderful articles…so many but check out this 800 page, handmade book, created 271 years before pantone was developed!


You want it don’t you?


Mwaaaaaaaah….  stunning handwritten script too…


Images retrieved on 9/5/2014 from Colossal

My throat hurts from laughing…

I have a sore throat, a head full of something that feels like it came from Gollum’s cave, couldn’t sleep. So I picked up my iPad and read a book that I had got on Kindle on a 99p deal. The new Bridget Jones, Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding. I mean who doesn’t love Bridget? Especially when you are a bit under the weather. I have to admit knowing that Colin Firth’s character had died, was the reason I have put of reading it until now, I mean he really was the whole point of Bridget Jones, at least in my book.

So I settled down under the duvet with my iPad screen turned down low to save my eyes, and soon realised I was not reading what I thought I was. The book I had opened was actually entitled Bridget and Jones Diary – Mad about The Toyboy by Bridget Golightly. I laughed, a lot, even though it hurt.


It is parody, it is way over the top, it is slapstick and clichéd, and it suspends belief. But at the same time, it is warming and funny, and it gives you hope and warms your heart. My favourite passage:

Half past nine. Joan came knocking on my door again this evening. I told her to leave me alone but she insisted she had something very important she had to show me. Reluctantly, I followed her out of the B&B into the dark and down the road. After a little way, she stopped and looked at her watch. I looked around. ‘What’s going on?’ I asked, a little grumpily. ‘Why have you brought me here? Isn’t it enough you’ve hidden my phone, now you’re trying to finish me off? Are you planning on pushing me under the next tram?’ ‘Shush,’ she answered. ‘We just need to wait a minute.’ ‘Wait for what?’ I said. ‘I don’t get it. Why are we here?’ ‘I told you. Just wait,’ she answered, curtly.‘No,’ I said. ‘I mean, why are we here? In Blackpool? I’ve been here hundreds of times. Why did you think this would make me feel better?’ ‘Ah, but have you ever been at this time of year?’ Joan asked. ‘Well, no. Of course not. Why would I? It’s freezing! I don’t get it.’ ‘I’m afraid my savings didn’t quite run to the Arctic Circle,’ she said, looking up from her watch, ‘so I thought this might do instead.’ I followed her gaze. Suddenly the black night was filled with sparkling rocket ships, laughing sailors, the gleaming tower – all aglow with a billion watts of good old-fashioned northern electricity. ‘Blackpool Illuminations,’ she announced, proudly, ‘the real Northern Lights.’ I stared at her, then back at the lights. ‘Why Joan…’ I said, beaming, ‘they’re wonderful.’

I tend not to read funny books or romances etc, (unless of course Colin Firth is involved), but his works for me – highly recommended.

Oh and before I forget, Bridget and Joan have a twitter page which continues the fun, here

Photo via: https://www.oneworld-publications.com

Quote from Bridget & Joan’s Diary by Bridget Golightly