Thursday 27 January 2011


Well, I have taken the big life altering decision, and am now awaiting the outcome of my application for voluntary redundancy.

In all of the confusion about my organisation being downsized, our office location moved last week, so I'm having to adapt to a long commute into the City centre, and a new working environment, which seems odd. I feel strangely disengaged from the process. I plan and ponder my future in the 'real' world. I know what I really want to do is to concentrate all my efforts on my art.

The exciting news is things are moving forward. I have been asked to run a simple doll making workshop at my quilting teacher's shop, and the Bristol City Council Local Education Authority course planner is interested in me having a slot to run something too. I'd never thought about teaching, but a couple of people suggested it, and I'd forgotten that I used to run craft workshops for children, and have done loads of work based training over the years. I like people and I'm interested in them. I found it very rewarding helping them to gain new skills, albeit in a work situation. So, I'm going for it, - well nothing ventured, as they say.

I hope it will be a great learning experience for me in creating and developing the events, and fun too. I know it will be a challenge, but it's one I'm looking forward to.

I'm working hard on my art, and getting the latest batch of dolls completed, and I have so many ideas for new pieces. I really feel more creative and more positive than for a long time, despite the 'blips' of concern I still have about the day I do not have a 'proper' job and a monthly pay cheque any more. Thirty years plus in the Civil Service - am I institutionalised or what? (You used to get a medal for long service at 25 years. I kid you not....)

Life is too short to be unhappy when you don't have to be. So things are changing, and I think this blog will be a little different to reflect that!

Ok, here's a few of my recent drawings and some of my nightly sketches. Patty Culea told me to draw a face a day, and so, since last October I've been doing that, in a tiny book, each night before I go to sleep. I apologise for the picture quality but it was hard trying to get any sort of decent shot, the book really is small, and the light is poor.

The only stipulation for the faces is that they must come out of my head - absolutely no reference, and I can't use an eraser. The early ones are awful, ( I mean really bad!) but these days I am improving, and branching out into some new directions. I hope some of these will eventually become figures in cloth and clay.....

Jane- I had in mind an Austen heroine... think Lizzie Bennet....

Mandy ( she looks like a girl I work with.. don't tell her!)

I don't know where she came from, except, I want to be more whimsical and do some naive pieces. This little girl is 'Visions of Sugar Plums'. I feel I'd like to work this up into a painting?

And here are the boys from the world of faerie:

Gordon, I think is a bit of a 'Del Boy'. (USA readers, check out 'Only Fools and Horses'; classic British comedy.)

I rather liked this quirky creature with his bush baby eyes, and slightly malevolent expression.

And, finally, this is my pencil interpretation of Linda Ravenscroft's painting 'Rosebud Fairy'. I had all Linda's books for Christmas and they have been a terrific source of inspiration. As I am completely hopeless at copying pictures, I wanted to see if I could achieve a likeness, and I really had fun attempting her.

Note to self - I use the word 'really' too much, I had to take it out three times in this post
( yes, really.) xxx


  1. Jules, these are wonderful! And i love your personal rules. This week I sketched with an ink pen, no erasing! I enjoyed it. But yours are grand to see!

  2. Onwards and upwards! Good for you for making the break. Being scared is OK, backing out isn't, so you're doing just fine. Courage is about doing things that you're scared of, not never being scared.=)

    Ooof, when I see your drawings I feel very disinclined to take the OCA art course as I feel I really wouldn't be good enough for it. Every time I see someone's photos, they're always so good they look like a pro's done them!

  3. Jules, you amaze me! Go for it!!!

  4. I am going to start today and follow your example and draw a face a day.Hope I can one day draw as well as you.

  5. Yeah for you! Move forward...your talent is amazing and will take you far! Good luck with your class teaching, let me know how it goes! Best wishes to you!


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