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I managed to catch Rembrandt: The Late Works at the National Gallery last week. I might have missed it had not been for my mother’s insistence we go and see it and I am so glad I did. The prints blew me away: so much reworking and reworking of the plates, and then each ‘state’ so complete. And I was really interested to see how he used different papers, including Chinese and Japanese papers.

The other thing that struck me at the exhibition was the way he painted hands – they are sometimes really enormous – coming at you right out of the painting.

Thinking of those prints sent me into the studio with a sense of energy and excitement. Today I pulled out some old mono prints which just had a couple of layers of ink and added another layer, which I am going to leave to dry and then work on again.

I also finished another ink on panel drawing last week as a response to the earlier “Held Within” – using freer marks and wet, smudgy lines.

The plan now is to work on a much larger scale.

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I had a much needed break over Christmas and New Year – no studio work and very little other work – which gave me time to recuperate from a kidney infection which I’m sure I got from being run down and tired after the gallstone pancreatitis scare and still managing to get the Stitched Time exhibition off the ground. There will be all sorts of health stuff going on this year so I will need to pace myself if I can.

Nonetheless, in terms of studio practice 2015 kicks off with a drawing (shown above) in the Deep East Winter open exhibition at The Mayor’s Parlour Gallery, a return to the studio and some exciting developments planned for later in the year, more of which in due course.

I have also just uploaded my first ever flip book, which is a digital version of the Stitched Time zine: the original was home printed and hand bound using Chinese/Japanese stab binding and red embroidery thread which I sent to all contributors as a rather lovely object. I decided to do the digital version, which of course is not the same, as several people asked if I was planning to do one, which I wasn’t initially. My layout skills are at beginner level but perhaps the small mistakes give the digital version a kind of handmade feel.

Unfortunately my website is down for the moment as it is being ‘migrated’. Luckily I am getting some help with that because although I can FTP my web updates now, after plenty of failed attempts, the email I got regarding the new server had me totally baffled. Dover Arts Development now has a VPS – virtual private server – which can host or manage the DAD website and our own personal sites. I think that is the gist of it anyway but how to actually operate that is going to be a challenge!