Today’s date tells me that I have been working full time for 22 months now. A drop in the ocean compared to others I suppose, but I still long to go back to my part time years.

I can only do my best as they say, as I struggle to spend just an hour in the evenings , tediously gluing together the parts of the paper balloons. More than an hour sends me over the edge.

I had originally booked 5 days off to work continuously on them, but I’m glad that plan has changed. If I can just work on the installation every day, I should have a few days free to myself if all goes to plan.

Since I put together the house and wood installation a few weeks ago, I’ve had more ideas on a similar theme that I’m keen to start work on.

A passing comment from someone I know that I’m ‘not in many exhibitions’, partly makes me want to make more of an effort to do smaller works and spread them out a bit. I thought I was doing OK with exhibitions – five this year isn’t a vast amount I know, but the work for all of them has taken a considerable amount of time and I can’t just ‘knock them out’. I think people just want to criticise for the sake of criticising sometimes, when really we all should be supporting each other.

Afterthought….actually, I’ve been in six – one was an Open that was so bad, I’ve erased it from my CV and memory it seems : / No more wasting time on these things!


Today I had my own Bank Holiday, which was really nice – despite everyone else being in work.

The sun stayed out, so I had my quota of fresh air and exercise that I felt that I had been missing out on.

In between the walks and blackberry picking, I did short bursts of work – finally assembling some of the pieces that I had been working on these few weeks. I’d come to the relatively easy part now, so I should be close to completion.

I’d emailed the gallery on Saturday to ask if we could meet up to discuss the installing, but I haven’t had a reply yet. If I don’t hear by Saturday, I think I will give them a call as I would really like to have a definite plan of action before I take the work across.

So this small box of paper balloons is all I am doing today. Doesn’t seem a lot to show, but I feel it’s a huge leap forward.


I sometimes wonder about the artists who say they are travelling up and down the country dropping off work and installing exhibitions.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think they are lying – I’m just curious to find out how they can afford to do that. I’m doubting that the galleries/ venues involved pay expenses – so does it all come out the of the pockets of the artists?

Also, If they are doing all of this travelling – how do they find the time to work ? ( paid or their own )

It’s crossing my mind as I have to spend yet another bank holiday weekend working, as my own work piles up around the house in various stages of completion, waiting to be assembled.

If it wasn’t for the fact that I saw two people dressed as seagulls, entertaining the holiday makers yesterday, while staring out of the window feeling a bit envious of everyone enjoying the sun – it would be depressing.

I bet they were artists.


I’ve been hit with the lurgy this weekend, which is really a gentle reminder that I can’t do as much as I would like to think I can.

As my only day off this week was spent in London, I’d been trying to finish off the Chapel gallery installation as well as deal with all the correspondence relating to our NY exhibition next year, in the evenings.

As with most of my installations, I get frustrated with the making and always believe they will never work. This one has been particularly bad as there are too many parts to it that need to be glued, with a waiting period to dry, before another part can be added. It’s just too complicated and time consuming. My bug has made me unable to think straight or have the patience to complete anything and I’m aware of the time ticking by.

With this in mind, and knowing I can’t realistically work on another installation this year, I’ve been revisiting some of my older work to see if they can be re-used.

I went through the boxes of paper houses I’d made last year and picked out favourites. Almost each one had a little story or memory attached to it and I enjoyed handling them again. I know I will probably feel the same about the paper balloons I am making, in the future…. but not now.

I don’t know what I will do with this ‘new’ work, but it was good to have a bit of a break and make something that was much less time consuming.

Now I can just sit and rest, knowing that I have achieved something, no matter how small


Almost a week without working and although I feel better for it, I’m starting to get a little restless.

Blowing my hard earned cash, I had another exhibition filled trip yesterday, heading towards ‘that’ London. It was quite tiring cramming so much into my one day off, but I really felt that I got my ‘monies’ worth.

The V & A wouldn’t honour their reciprocal deal to Tate staff to see the Bowie exhibition there, which was really annoying ( they said it was too busy ) But we did go to ‘Ripleys believe it or not’ for free ( a bit of silliness before starting the more serious exhibition tour)

Really liked the Patrick Caulfield at Tate Britain…was a bit disappointed with Gary Hume (looked so much better in reproductions IMO)… and was bemused at how unbelievably busy Lowry was. (pretty quiet in the other two!)

I hugely recommend Simon Starling at TB. Fabulous, mesmerising film.

I thought Tate Modern was a bit ….meh…but then, I was probably in exhibition overload by then and completely disorientated with the building work cutting off the Turbine hall. Having said that, I LOVED Ellen Gallagher. The small body of work I’d seen before in a previous exhibition, hadn’t been stimulating enough for me to research her work more thoroughly, so when I saw this huge expanse of work dating back over 15 years or so, I was completely taken aback.

I’d had a period of black gloss paintings myself a few years ago, but had abandoned them after reaching a mental block on them. If only I’d seen her work earlier, it may have inspired me to take them further. I had no idea she had gone through this period herself.

I’m so glad I did this trek as I feel slightly more charged up now. It can be so draining working on multiples as you can’t think beyond that small space you are occupying.

There have been several opportunities recently for postcard exhibitions, but my mind had gone blank when attempting to fill just this small scrap of card. I go into panic mode when faced with these things – how much work do you do? Can it be a small scribble? Does it have be totally decorative or more time consuming?? Every time I see the end results from others I think ‘Damn ‘ I could have done that!’.

I must promise myself that after I have completed this installation, I will spend more time drawing…. Or painting…or printing… just to open my mind again