Saturday, 31 January 2009

Childrens Book illustration Girls and goats

This is an illustration I drew to go in my Granny's children's book, to be republished. The publisher died so it is waiting for a new publisher. It's been waiting 7 years to be published. The book is full of adventure and fun.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Let there be light.

I asked Robert what he wanted for Christmas and he said Miffy. So one night when he was out playing chess, I made him Miffy. It cost me zero, one old orange ceramic discarded lamp stand filled with nuts and bolts to weigh it down. Some discarded wrapping tissue paper. One discarded cane blind. Years of making lanterns at festivals and bamboo training from a bamboo master. If you do make a lampshade your self do it at your own risk. Make sure the top of the shade has a big hole in it, to let out hot air.
If you would like me to show you how to make a lampshade or festival lanterns, just get in contact.
If you need to make your Christmas not cost anything at all for presents. I can show you how to make any bit of rubbish into a family members dream come true.
If you got a festival or group of friends or club just get in contact.
One persons rubbish is another community's festival,l if reused in the right ways.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

More value then diamonds

This is a chandelier I made for my living/work space. The chandelier is made up of rejected plastic packaging. The one most valued part of the planet the pockets of oil below the surface, the oil that took millions of years to grow. This beautiful part of the planet the part that lubricates the planets core and keeps the internal fire core fire going.
So why on earth are we humans using up this oil at such fast rate that were going to kill off the planet. I cannot buy anything apart from my vegetables that isn't in oil based packaging. I cannot buy anything that hasn't got any plastic on it. It is everywhere, even on our roads, carpets are made from plastic. Shoes, clothes, Tupperware, kettles, the list goes on till I have covered everything, even apples have plastic stickers.
When I lived up in Bradford years ago near an Indian vegetable shop, they got things delivered sometimes in beautiful hand woven baskets that were made from long leafs.
Leafs are great they grow back you don't have to wait a million years and you can plant more of them. Weaving now that's great too its fun and easy to do. Everyone naturally weaves grasses together when there young or lying in the countryside in the sunshine.
A few years ago I did a weaving workshop with my friend Claire, at a big green festival in London. There were hundreds of children and some adults we taught to weave and the finished sculpture went in the nature garden part of the park, next to an amazing arch another willow weaver made with everyone.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Record of nuts.

Being an artist is enough to drive me nuts. A whole life skilling up getting better and better talented by repeatedly drawing, painting things, constantly having to think of new ideas about 200 per second, then having to work those ideas out so they will work. Working while asleep to think of ideas. Working for days with no sleep to get something finished to a deadline. All the time trying to get new jobs by networking. Getting paid peanuts when there is some work or having to send lots of letters to get paid. Its like being in a deep sea and running aground. Drowning in a sea of people, who laugh and walk on, occasionally the tide will take me to the right people.
All the time having to keep a hard labour job to pay for me to have the time to do art and to make it. Having to spend every moment in my studio with only time out to cook or go veg shopping. The only way to make friends is on the computer. The only way to keep old ones is to phone them every now and again. It is time to have an exhibition and hang my art on the walls of a real gallery. Where do people want my art? Who would want to come and see it on exhibition?
Is there a gallery out there that thinks they can sell my art?

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Art Doctor.

Tonight I was up at the Norfolk and Norwich hospital to meet some artists and the hospital arts coordinator Emma Jarvis for a meeting to look around the whole children's area of the hospital for it to be beautified by us as a team. I had to rush there as I was coming from my cleaning job and was already late. With my camera bag and A1 drawings paper in a big plastic bag because it had been raining today and I didn't want to end up with a soggy mess of paper. I was waiting for a bus and saw a taxi, so I knocked on the window and he pulled the window down and asked where I was going? I said, I needed to be at the hospital. He said, Get in promptly, he might of been thinking I was about to have a baby or something. As we drove into static traffic as you ya do in rush hour, he asked me. What I was doing up there tonight. I told him I was designing art and furniture to go in the children's wards and play area and I am getting the prisoners to build it all from my designs. His spirits lifted and he promptly told me he use to be an undercover cop in the 70's in another part of the country. His work buddy use to carve wood and he is still friends with his buddy still today. He said he admired my confidence, that I could show people my art and it being made into the real thing. He also added that what I was doing was the best thing he had heard in his entire life.
That is making the kids ward look great for the poorly kids and getting the prisoners to do something great for the community. I thought he was nearly going to cry. He must of spent the best part of his life trying to cut down on crime. Nipping it in the bud, before they only got themselves into more trouble. Wishing that they would all do something for the community, instead of destroying it, for everyone else.
Well that made me feel a lot better about my first proper job in 7 years.
I speed walked through the West atrium past the shop and down the static electricity stairs, that I must not touch the stair well, metal hand rail on my way down. I rush through the canteen to look for the new arts team and out to reception and ask where Emma Jarvis is? The lady pointed to a girl sitting in the waiting area all alone. I went over to her she had a calm, cosy appearance we got acquainted. Kate she paints sea life scenes and is an illustrator she is going to do see through images on all the windows that have frosted glass or that look out on to the mortuary or just glass petitions that have to let in light but not be seen through. Kate is usually a children's book illustrator.
Then Lisa turned up. I didn't recognize Lisa, her hair was different in long plaits. I had vaguely met her at a green energy day at the hospital, when I was showing my work and Robert was telling people about stop junk mail. It was a great day a bus turned that gave out advise and free energy saving light bulbs, and the carbon trust had pencils made of paper and were making a documentary about a lady who was bought in to reduce carbon impact at the hospital.
Lisa's husband Steve Little is in the green party as a councilor.
The next artist Hannah Giffard, turned up she did beautiful beach paintings that were already at the hospital.
Emma quickly gave us a very fast run down about the project all the the different rooms and wards and corridors that will need covering with art, we went in to the first room with rows of beds and grey walls and all the other hospitable things that were in there, the walls needed painting and the kids need nice art to look at while lying down or across the room. Then was rows and rows of consultation rooms that need art in. Then play areas and reception where receptionists would normally be looking at a hearing aid coloured long wall with nothing on it.
The room that would be most frightening for a child would be the forensic room, that needed art on the walls. Then we got to the room I would be working with the children's waiting room plus play area a reception area. I was left there for a while to measure up the room for a table that would wrap around a pillar for the computer games to go on. something for the toys to go in, and toys and tables for the younger kids and something for the books. Making it a more fun environment for kids that might be in extreme agony. The toys and furniture have to have 18,000 children a year play with it for over twenty years, its got be sprayable, wipeable, durable, its got to be passed by health and safety and the technicians, carpenters, joiners, hospital staff, parents and the ultimate test the children have to like it.
The hospital arts project is a charity run project that relies on donations and if you would like to make a financial contribution to go towards the cost of the materials for the children's area project, do not hesitate to ask the Emma Jarvis, who is fundraising for the project. The artwork we are making has to be all in very soon, so were working to a very tight timescale and budget.
I have complete faith in this project and I am already looking forward to seeing the joy children's faces when they see it all finished and looking amazing and amusing.
Some children spend more time then other children at the hospital for what ever reason, so its important to give the kids something to do or look at, which will speed up there good health.
I remember when I was four years old, waking up in hospital. With a man and woman in white. A stainless steal dark big room with nobody I knew. I thought, I had been abducted by aliens. I hadn't been abducted. I was having a split open chin sewn up. I had cut it open while skipping across the road with my first boyfriend Christopher from two doors down. Our parents were chatting on the street and we both tripped up and hit the road. I think it was my new patent tight leather shiny shoes and being the first skip with my legs I had ever done. When I was first dating Robert, he did the same thing when we were running together and I had to take him up the hospital on a Saturday night and look at a piece of art for hours that was in front of the of the pews of seats in front of a wall. Amidst all the people in agony in the waiting area I could have a little giggle to myself at the art on the wall it was Emma Jarvis's boss Simon posing in a 1950s style information picture.
Now enough blogging I have to get my designing, maths and imagination head screwed on. I will be back with the next up date on this wonderful project.

Profile Costume

If you have a look at my profile picture on the right hand side of the page. You will see I am wearing an outfit I made. Many people refer it to being a modern futuristic outfit. The design of my outfit is very old and comes from China but I have no idea which part of China or which Dynasty. Years ago I worked with the Chinese elderly at a harbour area of Sydney. We worked together and they showed me how to make there outfit in a giant scale for a puppet. Showing me once was enough to stick in my mind, years later I made this outfit going on what I can remember. But my biggest memory was the elderly retired seamstresses showed me how to be more efficient while working and they use the sewing machine completely differently. They are not hunched over the machine like us westerners getting more and more back ache as we use machines.
There also not wasting time with complicated designs. They also start sewing or any industrious industry has to be skilled so there children help making things to. I started early too at four years old but there was no pressure to keep the family alive from my sewing.
So you wonder why the Chinese do so well in industry it is not just making someone work long hours with low pay there is more to it then that. There is 1000's of years of handed down skills.
All the industry's I have worked in over in the UK. Make the employee suffer for having worked in it. Increasing the National Health costs. Catering I was in this trade since I was 15 years old, in cafes and restaurants, across the board. The UK has chefs that don't have any other life other then the kitchen. There hours start early and finish in the early hours and your standing in the one spot all that time, twisting on the spot. Now after a few years your legs get all varicose veiny and health deteriorates and you start going mad and shouting at costumers.
Now in China they have exercise breaks in the day out side all together. When I was a kid I use to remember factory workers playing football in there breaks here.
I am not saying we should all work like the Chinese in everything, but it would be a good idea we learnt how other people do things better. I would like to see work places with 5 hour days and paying better rates and employers taking an interest in health like organizing activities, for the workers.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Rose Popay


Rose Popay is my new friend I met through Face book a few days ago. Her work is amazing and creative. I love all of it and if I was rich I would buy all of it and her as well.
Like me she was born into a theatrical family and she performs with her family and as a solo artist. Roses work spreads across all fields of art bringing happiness to everyone in her path.
She lives in Bristol home of the graffiti art boom, her funniest characters is a graffiti artist called the Art Tart! There is a great video on You tube of her joining in the Banksy Cans Festival where she makes shaking the can an art form in itself.
If you have ever wondered who helps make Damien Hurst's work, its Rose Popay of course.
Forgive me for I have sinned in revealing the artist behind the scenes. One of Roses other characters is a Nun.
When I was in Australia I also dressed up as different characters for fun for different occasions and years later a man at a party asked me if I had met all my other characters thinking they were all different people.
This film is so inspiring in fact so inspiring that a call was made to Weyland Prison this morning and the lads there are going to be making all my furniture designs into real furniture for the Children at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Thank you Rose you have answered my prayers.
Please take a look at Roses fantastic work at and if you would like to see her work in the flesh Rose is about to have an exhibition.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

New Norfolk and Norwich Hospital Arts Project Website

The New and amazing hospital arts project website has been launched into your home, so you can now see all the wonderful work that has been going on there and the new projects in the future. The hospital arts project has been running for well over ten years and is a huge success, gone are the days when hospitals were all grey or white. Art is very important for good health for everyone. When I was in Australia I worked with thousands of people who had never done art before. Once they had ago they never looked back and the results were all positively beyond my own comprehension. I have a few examples one lady I helped to paint her first painting she was in her early forty's and completely deaf and could not speak she was totally frustrated with not being able to communicate with people. After she had finished her painting we had a big group exhibition and on the opening night she cried in front of her family that were there. She had painted herself inside a cage inside her giant ear on canvas. I asked if she was OK and one of her family said she was crying because this was the first time she was able to express herself in her life. It was very moving. She now paints all the time and made a studio for herself.
Now there are many individual cases that would make up volumes of books.
The hardest thing for the Hospital Arts project is how do you please everyone who are all different from patients to nurses and staff all at once. Well Emma Jarvis has worked extremely hard at doing that at the hospital. Inside and outside there is art everywhere from atrium's to corridors to wards to floors to ceilings. She certainly deserves an award from the Queen for all the time and thought and overtime she has put into it.
Where do I fit into all this, well I am a hospital arts volunteer, which I really could not pin point the exact job description because it changes daily. My main job is to look after Miss Jarvis and listen and bounce ideas back and forth, then there is the physical jobs of shifting and lifting and hanging work at 2 am when everyone is asleep. Or on occasions being an emergency stand in artist with my own art work, when an artist who is suppose to be lined up doesn't show up.
Yesterday was an acception I did not show up for the website launch because I had a cold and did not want to walk through the wards and give it to very sick people on the mend.
Last week I made some special authentic buttons for the website and assisted as a navigator on a trip to a printers in a remote location. This week I am designing furniture for the children's area. Next week I will be looking for carpenters and joiners who would like to build the furniture.
If your looking at the hospital arts website my buttons are under interior design, then press the case study button.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Norwich versus Tesco empire.

Today is a big day for Norwich, today we are fighting one of the biggest planet destroyers of the world. A supermarket chain which name should hang its head in shame. I don't even have to mention its name as everyone knows and everyone wants it to go. What has this chain done that could be so bad that we don't want it. The chain that has sucked the life out of everything it can.
The chain that wants to destroy everything in its path. The chain that has left us all in rags and one or two people in riches. What ever path I decide to take in life this chain will kill my chances of survival and everyone elses.
If I wanted to grow some vegetables and sell them locally, how can I do that, when the chain will stop it in the first season by selling there vegetables very cheap. So cheap the farmer who grows for the chain the vegetables is growing them in mass quantities that require big machines to grow and the use of tons of pesticides that kills off all natural life as in other plants and earths creatures. The farm labourers will be working for little and no pay to grow the food and most lightly be illegal workers in a catch 22, situation. Then abroad the chain will be growing mass monoculture of vegetables and be destroying local life there and native habitats.
The food now has no value and is treated in all respects with no value, a throwaway, disposable, unloved, uncared, uncherished, ungrateful, etc. Its trucked around the world several times to package, wash, preserve, mix, to be cooked, grated, manipulated then is picked up and thrown in a mindless trolley experience and then taken home to deteriorate in a cupboard or fridge or end up in landfill for the tax payer to pay for.
Another aisle I could take would to be a fashion designer and make unique clothes that fit the individual perfectly and suit there style made with care and attention, joy, with quality cotton, hemp natural fabrics and dyes. I could even employ local people to help make these clothes. I could train since birth in sewing and tailoring. I could pass on my skills to employees and other designers. This job title has been filled by the chain, the chain that employs gangs of girls and children to make there clothes, whole extended family's work for less then a weeks wages to try and meet there sweatshop targets of producing something for nothing. There talents as tailors reduced to blood sweat and tears and a poke in the eye with a big stick.
Have you ever tried to make a garment of clothing? Even those words give a lot of people fear as they remember the jumper they started knitting 15 years ago or the half made shirt or the pile of clothes that never get repaired hiding in the back of a cupboard. Yes the feeling of great difficulty looms over. So why after this feeling do humans pay the beyond minimum for a clothes. Is it like magic that something has appeared before are eyes that is almost free, that we should take it. There will be nothing left if we take everything.
OK I could rant on about every possible job on the planet and my chances of survival would be Zero. So the chain has caught every single person in a cage without anyone realizing. We no longer have any freedom, rights. We are ruled by this chain and the chains leader is an evil dictator. Is it a mass brain washing that everyone shops at the chain without realizing the consequences of there actions.
The chain has smartly collected everyones I.D. and more then just your I.D the chain knows what you have for breakfast, when you fill up your car with petrol, how much toilet paper you use. To save a few pennies you hand over a plastic card to let them have the information.
The information they use to getting you spending more and being even more tied to the chain, like insurance, phone, bank accounts, mortgages.
It is time for everyone on the planet to weigh up there options, do we want lots of local shops, grocer, baker, candlestick maker on the high street that looks so sweet and homely, unique, attractive and something to call our own or do we want a depressing high street with a couple of chains on it. This is our life this is where we live, make the decision and stand up to the monster.
In simple words strive city or stave city.
A local shop keeper near in Norfolk fighting off the chain here.
Things could not get much worse the supermarket has share holders who at present are being told to keep there money in the cheap chain because it is a safe bet and being told to pull out of small businesses. Now with my average intelligence I recon this will make the monster bigger. I say keep your money in small businesses and pull out of the chain. Pulling out of the chain by not investing there will make small businesses stay open and circulate the cash locally in other small businesses.
My local vegetable shop uses paper bags and they pack my shopping bag and they ask how I am and have a conversation. They take in local produce from local growers. They sell fresh smelling vegetables that taste nice. They let me help myself or they get the veges for me. I get my vegetables on my bike and they fit on the back in a box or in the basket at the front. The journey on my bike takes three minutes. My time in the shop is about 5 minutes.

Majority of the population taxes, insures, MOT repairs, fills with petrol there car to drive around to all the chain shops to look for the cheapest deal for a dozen eggs or a bunch of bananas.
This can take all week driving around and around wandering down miles of aisles, queuing for hours and spending hours trying to park and gaining parking tickets on the way and being stuck in traffic with fumes and then spending more then you need to spend in the shop because you have found a deal on something that you don't really want but the packaging is nice. You have to go at the busiest times in the shop because your at work the rest of the time. The time when the shop is full of screaming kids and red faced angry mothers and teenagers hanging out, when dads are picking up a pint of milk and the tension is peaking to being trolleyed in the back of the legs and trolleys blocking aisles and shelves are in mess and all the bells are going on the tills.
Happy on my bicycle crying in my Limo.

The public can have there say about the Tesco Unthank Road plans will be held at Blackfriars Hall, St Andrew's Plain, Norwich, from 10am on Tuesday, January 13, to Friday, January 16.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Manchester NYE part 3

A short walk in the freezing cold before we had back to Norwich. Robert is very tempted to start ice skating, the sound of ice being thrown on the lake was like whale's talking to each other.
Debbie's back garden out of her kitchen window was entertaining us for ages the wildlife all trying to get the nuts that this squirrel is hogging.

Ben and Leon in the lounge before the sun came up.

Me by the lake New years day, after a great night in Manchester.

Next years Christmas card!

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Manchester part two

Debbie kindly put us up for the night in her cosy house near by.
All of Mully's friends were very enjoyable lovable people.

Around the fire which took several bare hands to get going, the testosterone was a force not to be messed with.

The burning of old and coming of new, people chatted around the fire all night

More photo's tomorrow..

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Happy new years Eve Manchester

Two options for New years Eve this year, one of them was to sit home in the easy chair, listening to all my clock paintings ticking with the irregular pattern of spontaneous explosive noises outside with flashing lights through the net curtains, vaguely dossing off to long distant memory's of the days of when I would be jumping up and down shouting woo hoo with mates at a party. Then falling asleep ten minutes to midnight.

Option two:

Braise myself, take a deep breath and stare at a face book invite to a party on the other side of the country with friends I had not seen for well over a decade. putting my emotions to one side and a plan of action in focus. My hand clicked the mouse that hovered over the I accept button. Then I yelled up to Robert do you fancy going to a party at my friend Mully's house in Manchester. He instantly replied yes. So it was set in stone were going. Robert hired a car on line and packed it up in his lunch break and I made a packed lunch that would keep us going for a few days and all that was needed for freezing conditions.

We jumped in the car at 5pm and drove through thick fog, ice and -4 conditions, reading road signs in thick fog became a difficult task and the roads not having road signs made it even worse. Robert drove and chewed his finger nails all the way and I clung to my seat belt with a stomach like a gong. The road took us straight into Manchester centre leaving us in an even more hair raising situation of tackling the Zombie drunks wandering into the road. At last I see a sign saying Moss side but have flashes that this could be a bad area, Robert turns off the main road and I am desperate to get out of this area to be somewhere closely related to where we were suppose to be. I see a man walking on the other side of the road and I run up to him and ask him where we were and where we wanted to be the street light hit the mans face and he was covered in scars, his dog a pit ball terrier was pulling him along. I could not have picked a harder looking man then this one to ask directions. He replied yes my sweetheart you need to go that way your completely miles away. I said thank you and Happy New year and he said same to you my sweet heart. We drove again and got lost again and asked again, but this time the parson was Russian and could speak very little English, then again this time it was a petrol station guy trying fix his till. We were closer but not quite there. Then Robert used his indirect and drove in the right direction. We found the house and I jumped out and put on my Alien costume that was in the boot, we opened the front door and walked in I spoke to a lady from Prague and she fixed up my mask. I walked into the kitchen passing faces I new well my Alien eyes were fogging over and people were hard to see I went up to Mully with his headphones on leaning over the decks. He said did you know it didn't say fancy dress on the invite. He recognised me straight away and the way Hays went on all night.

The party hosts Mully and Lucy at home in Manchester.

Mully spinning disks with his techno setup on the kitchen table.

Thumbs up from the hostess.

The gang our back, its been along time, its been a long time!

Friday, 2 January 2009


A day trip to Southwold in Suffolk with our Dutch visiting friends Jorieke and Arthur. The tide was in and the wind was blowing cold ice around.

I am searching for amber on the beach as the tide was going out.

Jorieke and I searching for interesting shaped stones and amber. After getting cold feet we walked into town in search of food and warm drink. As it was Sunday the pubs had finished serving food at 2pm. We found my the tea-rooms that I have always gone to when in Southwold.
On the way round the town we found lots of great art gallery's. One of them I spotted Alex Johannsen's work in the window. Amazing pottery humorous dogs, in the shop there was more of her work, birds and a hamster.

The Southwold beach huts, all these photos were taken by Robert Rijkhoff.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

The de Veres of Castle Hedingham

The de Veres of Castle Hedingham was written by my Grandmother Verily Anderson. During the early nintys while I was studying my final year of my degree in Bradford. My Granny Asked me to illustrate the book. I traveled around researching with Granny as a child, all the churches in France. So I traveled to Castle Hedingham and the local area and took in the prominite buildings. James Ciansuruso worked on the project with me and we drew day and night to come up with the final drawings for the book. The book was published and Granny had her book launch at the Castle. She also made us wear medival costume and we paraded around the grounds with her at the lead with an Anglia TV news camera crew following us.
The book was a great launch for me as an illustrator and I went on to illustrate books and posters and have drawn non-stop where ever I go.
When I was in Sydney I came across a theatre group which covered the story, several years later, they came to Norfolk and performed the play to Granny at the Univercity theatre.
The book is available at amazon book sellers.