I particularly enjoy the planning aspect that goes into making a print. With screen printing textiles I try to make items that are useable. I print on duvet covers, t-towels, baby vests, t-shirts, dresses, shopping bags, laundry bags, shoe bags, zip bags - whatever that is 100% cotton. Almost always I use ordinary copier paper to cut out my stencils, I can usually get up to 20 prints from one sheet. If I intend to print several colours I have to plan which ones to print first so that I am able to see through the screen to register the next colour as accurately as possible. Each one is individually printed by hand so obviously the degree of accuracy is variable!
I love printing lengths of fabric, sometimes for a specific project, for example when planning a single bed quilt based on a seaside theme, I printed fabric with blues and greens to suggest sea, grass, waves for the bits separating the images. Then I also print squarish images such as beach huts, crabs, oyster catchers, sailing boats, seals, ice creams for the pictures in the quilts. Or puffin themed quilt. Or tropical themed quilt. Or birds quilt.
I hope to soon start fabric based on a recent visit to Costa Rica with colourful foliage and frogs and toucans.
I particularly enjoy running workshop sessions where students can see how the process works and successfully produce items that they will be able to use and enjoy at home.
I have been painting with watercolours for many years now and really enjoy using vibrant colours, seeing what happens when paper is wet and how different colours sometimes react with each other. I usually use transparent colours to keep the luminous effect on white paper.
Sometimes I draw with pen and ink and add colour afterwards, the contrast with the control of the pen and more random results of the wash are very pleasing.
I usually prefer to paint big but the challenge of tiny is also interesting for a change and sometimes I use these tiny paintings for cards.
I always get my ideas from what I see around me, in the garden, around Britain or abroad. I love visiting foreign places, seeing different ways of life, communicating with people who speak different languages.