Crete is an island of mountains. Famed for the beauty of its flora, it is a place I have always wanted to visit in spring. I have just returned from a botanical tour with Greentours http://www.greentours.co.uk/ a wonderful experience providing a wealth of visual material for my art. These are the plants and landscapes that will inspire my art through the year to come.
The Gargano Peninsula in Southern Italy is famed for its wild orchids. I have created a series of textile collages of the orchids as they emerge from among limestone boulders. You can follow the pieces as they take form in my studio, accompanied to the sounds of birdsong and the bells of Podolico cows that graze the hillsides.
Choughs are the emblem of Cornwall but for most of my lifetime they were absent from the county. They returned in 2001 and now many walks along the coast of West Cornwall are accompanied by their calls as they fly with the jackdaws. They pair for life and are almost always seen in couples. Poldark is not the only romance among the tin mines on the Cornish cliffs.
In early spring I yearn for sunshine so I can bask in its warmth and light. The same is true for overwintering butterflies such as the Peacock Butterfly on the cliff above Nanjizal.
There is a particular elegance to the waves that curve into Whitesands Bay at Gwenver. They seem to weave together in a stately dance. In this textile collage I describe the interacting forms in hand-dyed, light reflective fabrics that shift and change like the sea.
Seeking an antidote to January, I have created 'Red Anemones in Olive Grove' a textile collage full of summer sunlight that shifts and changes as you walk by
The Podolico cows of Southern Italy roam free in the landscape. How I wish all cattle had this experience, it was a joy to witness.
The rich surfaces and light reflection of my textile collages are particularly suited to creating the dynamic qualities of moving water. The wave curves through deep sea-greens and teal then crashes in intricately cut foam of silk, satin and velvet.
I have a particular love for the delicate blooms of camellia 'Rainbow' that flowers in winter. Hand-dyed silks and satins capture the blushing from white to pink on the tip of each petal, with velvet describing the rich crown of stamens.
The leaves on my maple tree turn many different shades of crimson and yellow. I have been watching them float down-stream. The challenge in this textile collage was to convey the leaves beneath and on the surface of the river. Added to this I have, for the first time, strung the overhanging grasses with a spider's web. It shimmers, fading and re-appearing in changing light.