Well hello

Just spent several hours updating my site thanks to a very nice lady  at University…who has been helping me figure out word press which is not at all intuative….websites are an anathma to me but I’m hoping it’s looking a bit prettier now.  Its also serving as a bit of a displacement activity for not doing work..I have been making these though….

and doing lots of drawing…… and lazy-copylots of prevaricating…

When I got back from the Knitting and stitching show last month  with the Embroiderer’s Guild -was helping out on their stand – promoting the Guild, the Worlds Longest Embroidery and the Hardhome tapestry…  I read Nicky Barfoot’s post of the Knit and Stitch and thought ah well don’t really need to bother to do a new blog  now as she pretty much said it all!!!    Thanks Nicky! The other thing I did like was the woman who was doing things with taxidermy ..she recycled old taxidermy items and added stitch to them..they looked great.  Great to see Marks and Stitch doing so well…. and also loved the guy opposite – the weaver with the body stuff going on.

Liss in Stitches Exhibition was successful with lots of lovely feedback…….blink and you missed it…

….finding it really hard to keep up with everything but I’m managing to keep getting to my Art History Lectures and working on my ‘pack of cards’ and just seeing what happens.  I’m keeping a sketch book so tending to write lots of things down and draw a  lot and hoping to  block out some time to actually do more making in the near future…been doing hand stitch which is portable too..what do you think Sarah?

Finding that I really need to focus  on what I have done and not on what I haven’t  done …… otherwise it gets quite depressing. So much to fit in!

Just got back from a week in Amsterdam was great..was inspired by Picasso, Tinguely  …. the Rijks Museum and the  Sedeljk.  More than the museums the place is just full of inspiration from the canals and buildings and great Art Galleries for the well heeled client..amazing what art is for sale!!!  Banksy, Klein, Koons,  Hirst as well as  Picasso and Van Dongen….wow!

Image result for image of a beguine woman

also loved the story of the Beguin women and want to include that in my work too…..Beguine**** … the start of the 12th century, some women in  lived alone and devoted themselves to prayer and good works without taking vows. At first there were only a few of them, but in the course of the century, their numbers increased. These women lived in towns, where they attended to the poor. During the 13th century, some of them bought homes that neighbored each other, and finally formal living spaces and some formed a community called a béguinage. Beguinages tended to be located near town centers and were often close to the rivers that provided water for their work in the cloth industry .

Still madly searching for inspiration…went to the Tate on Saturday evening and am now in love with Wilfredo Lam…one of Picasso’s mates..this is his version of my favourites….. Madesmoiselles d’AvignonImage result for wifredo lam the jungle..also liked LouiseBourgeois Artist room..Image result for images of louise bourgeois sewn legs and it was great to see a Leger painting in the flesh…Image result for leger circus image

And  now I am trying to stop going off on a tangent and go back to my mitochondria and under the microscope….. to help me stay focused….. am off to collect some more  images and then draw them ..going to mark up a  grid on my studio wall at uni and see what happens…..watch this space….

PS How are you Sarah? Are you ready for your cruise?  I will email you the book stuff!x Promise!

PPS Helping out at an Amanda Hislop workshop on Saturday..hoping for more inspiration!

PPPS Making stuff for Christine Watkins Art House Open Studios in Romsey first weekend in December. Looks like there’ll be lots of lovely things to look at and buy.

PPPS looking forward to Livvy Stainer’s  private view at the Flora Twort Gallery in Petersfield this evening..it’s on for a week….so get there quick!




I ..see below*…..Grayson

*’ see below’ as I cant manage to insert an EMOJI…Well what a week and it’s only thursday!

imageyes it really is the man him self…look in the back ground..check out those shoes! Starting with a  conflab about  room 6 exhibition at Birmingham NEC at the end of the month… to finalise arrangements.  Sadly I will only be there on the Sunday but the rest of the group will be there ….come along and say hello if you are visiting the   ICHF Unfortunately I am working elsewhere on Thursday and Friday , also giving a talk to Worthing Embroiderer’s Guild on Saturday which I am really looking forward to!  Head up to Brum early Sunday with the Mad Canadian and Mrs Massala Chai.

Tuesday started badly when I managed to fall over in a posh gallery in Grafton street looking at Tom Wesselman pictures….. gorgeous …. and also dropped and smashed my phone in to smithereens. I tell you what, young girls who work in posh galleries  are not particularly sympathetic to ever so slightly older women who managed to fall over in public…who haven’t even had a gin!!! I  didn’t bother to explain that I have a dodgy leg I just pacified my self by persuading them to give up one of their comfy seats and I then  sat and read their art books for an extended period of time while  my ankle recovered.  Think it had the desired effect of peeing them off.  I was in a lot  a lot of pain!!! An ice pack or a  bit of concern wouldn’t have gone amiss!!! Anyway I then managed to limp to Charing Cross  for a rejuvinating coffee to meet portrait girl before our audience with the man himself (GP) at RSA house. Thanks to Portrait Girl  we ended up in the preview drinks party with the man himself  and lots of arty great and good types. Mr Perry then spoke especially to me… and an audience of around another 199 people!!!!…… invited by the Essential School of Painting. …… and it was flipping amazing!!! I just love him more.  Everything he says about art just makes so much sense to me.  I feel inspired and will strive to make great art..watch this space…hopefully…..Alan Measels may be your god Grayson and you art mine…and you are really funny to boot!  




And so fired with inspiration…..Gray’s anatomy is nearly there just a few i’s to dot and t’s to cross I have started making mitochondria…thanks A! When  inspiration is hitting an iron curtain just consult a scientist..have now got enough material to keep me going for at least the next year!! Who’d have thunk….image

Anyway all hail Grayson .. I will forever be a fan!!!

P.S Thanks for a great catch up on Friday Sarah, can’t wait to felt some cuffs..they really are beautiful!

Forgive me dear reader it’s been 60 days

since my last  blogsession however I am still image Perhaps it was the post prandial seasonal lull..but I haven’t been totally dormant.. I’ve started  an artist’s page and I’ve been making a lot of stuff . So with  the glut of blue cheese and gin and too much Xmas cake a distant memory I am back in the blogosphere? (and arent you happy about that!!)   Reading Nicky Barfoot’s blogs has made me laugh thru january , well feel happy then get terribly depressed when i realise i should be blogging too and that I need to get back into the saddle…. she’s also managed to provide me with displacement activities…good and  not good..as I  should be doing other things!!!! Check out her post on the textile challenge https://www.facebook.com/TextileChallenge……and reader, I  did enter..heres my ‘Patch’ original huh!! You bought patches to make something.. Gedditt?????

image Anyway the good news is he sold and made lots of dosh for the canine trust..really pleased..it was fun to make …….


So what else  have  been doing..well .Ive been making something that I’m not allowed to talk about..more in my next blog, and have been finishing my’ grays anatomy’ work for Birmingham in March …

Have  pilfered loads of grey stuff ……

Heres a preview it’s all about the body and have taken a lot of inspiration from grays anatomy……Ralph Steadman  evidently used to use it a lot too!!!!!

steadmanI love his work and the exhibition at the discovery centre last month was absolutely amazing!!!

imagealso been finishing off my piece for the Embroiderers’ Guild on the celebration of 300 years of Capability Brown…heres a sneak preview.


Check out the Embroiderers’ Guild site for information of exhibtions across the country happening near you.https://embroiderersguild.com/index.php?page_no=278   I based my piece on Uppark, Petworth  and  Hills Garden in Horsham.  Went to great exhibtion in a little museum and art gallery there which has uncovered original maps by Brown. http://www.capabilitybrown.org/ Was particularly drawn to this as it was pushed foward by a formidible woman called Frances Irwin, illegitimate and widowed. I really liked the strong female connection. There was also a  fab piece about him on the Gardening Show on radio 4 a few Fridays ago so my sketch book filled nicely and gave me lots of ideas.  I still needed to wait a while to dream about what I was going to do…don’t ask…….  And my sewing machine is on the blink again but I still managed to do something..

47563890384dc56f841216a1c7f282e3Another reason for lack of blog is I have had to take on another paying job to keep me going on the art front but there are  lots of nice things in the pipe line and, as a good friend said to me,  Jan and Feb are the most miserable months and the best time to work lots.  I’m also still in touch with uni and hoping to finish my degree next year, so I delayed the module I was going to do this term so can work to earn money to pay for the module..isnt that a 220px-Catch22?

As my on line shop is suspiciously quiet at the moment, I am reading this at the mo!!!!image

Dont you just love the title….Need to work out where my market is first…doesn’t seem to be in Petersfield!!! ah well someone in Midhurst loves me…they bought Patch!

Also been to Bedales to see the Tate travelling exhibition of the Matisse cut outs.. so lucky to get it here in Petersfield

Started back at my life classes the other week doing two classes a month…..

I have been procrastinating a lot but procrastination can be seen as thinking and I do keep doodling in my sketch book so it’s all good…. Keep the faith… And all that jazz…

Looking  forward to exhibiting at the Brockenhurst Needlework Fiesta in April and have some workshops planned at the Ashcroft Centre in Fareham. I will also be taking part in Open Studios again in August, will be exhibting closer to home too this time ..in Petersfield with ‘the art group collective’

Ps Sarah..him in doors has just bought me a bike from somewhere in the new forest..do you think he’s trying to tell me something?..as we need to pick it up..when are you around?

PPs thank you for all the grey stuff A..its being put to very good use…….

Desperately seeking Claudia…

well we weren’t really but after a very cultural day out in London we found ourself with this lady on the red carpet! (We start with a German Woman we will end with an Italian Woman..bear with me)


So how did it all happen …well out and about with Glasto Girl, stop one was the ICA and the Bloomberg Contemporaries – some interesting and very memorable  stuff …nothing that totally got me…apart from the sandcastle which was rather fab – the six year old would have loved it too…

Rubbish photo of Jonathan Meir's fab sand castle , it was big!
Rubbish photo of Jonathan Meir’s fab sand castle , it was big!

…..a lot of video stuff which I disliked intensely, great space.  Julie Verhoeven – Whiskers Between My Legs – interesting  (and some great disco music) sound, video and textiles installation….but made me feel very negative, totally get what she’s saying but I prefer the celebration,  I think we get knocked enough..



Then on to see my piece at                                           The Mall Galleries.   What a great space. Have also added exponentially to my learning  curve –   the reason it didn’t actually make it on to the wall at first was I’d put the flippin back on back to front! So a big thank you to Dawn Thorne and her bag of nails and big hammer.  I am now up and I am officially hung in my second London exhibition. Lots of lovely stuff to see at the galleries and I’ve actually sold… a card for three quid ….so not going to be booking my flight to Antigua just yet…

Keep on running...
Keep on running…

Next stop afternoon tea at the National Gallery and on to the National Portrait Gallery to see my mate Grayson’s work….strangely he hasn’t called me about my box yet.



Desperately running out of time we legged it back to the National to try to see The Rokeby Venus cos I want to include it in my next piece.  My favourite thing in the whole world to do is to think of one great painting run in to the National, ask where it is and go straight to it without looking at anything else….(a bit sad but it makes me happy).

the Rokesby Venus Velasquez
the Rokeby Venus Velasquez

Anyway I digress… The Rokeby  Venus  was  attacked by suffragette  Mary Richardson in 1914. (Did you know women weren’t allowed in to the National Gallery afterwards without a man to vouch for their actions and ladies needed to remove their muffs incase  they were hiding knives therein… amazing is that!!! And here endeth the history lesson.)


imageGreat bit about suffragette history-  totally coincidental in the national portrait gallery…all my art work is fate!!!! – Anyway absolutely loved Grayson but sadly the Rokeby Venus is on flippin loan to Belgium or somewehere! So sadly have imageto make do with the iPad version for the time being!! Also no time to see Freud’s gift of Corot’s  ‘Italian Woman’ (having a bit of an ‘anything connected to Freud’ is fab phase) so have included here especially for you in this blog …watch out for her as she will appear with my next pieces along side Venus, the heart and its workings.. don’t ask it’s Y6 biology and it just seems to fit….in keeping with all I am trying to say..it comes from the heart!  Anyway if you are still following this Sarah,  off we meandered to Shaftesbury Ave to see Les Mis which was  great!( I didn’t like the film but the stage show was fab!) and as we traipsed towards Wardour Street we came across a film premiere and that’s how we ended up on the red carpet with Claudia of course!

the Italian Woman
                        the Italian Woman

I love days like this, loads of inspiration, I have had to be surgically removed from my sketch book to write this blog  and it’s taken a while…….another small daliance is that I am also am totally stressing over my new mobile phone contract…..totally boring all the people I know with tariff options and irrelevant hand-set facts – so have to put a phone in my work somewhere.

imageNo finished bits to show but here are some backgrounds that I am going to stitch into and see what happens..still planning to make my ladies into triptych and also to make a coat!! image Oh  and I made a purse and it’s

imageshocking..terrible zip insertion won’t be able to show Lynn..but I love it!!!

P.S. I have got more stuff to say about Romsey Abbey but it will keep for another day.

GG and me....
GG and me….on the red carpet
Col, take that...
Alicia and Col, Take That…also on the red carpet with us…

out of the ashes….

Right have decided to bunk off college today and try to get head together and assimilate Dublin and the way forward.

Still got bunnies in my life
Still got bunnies in my life


Not too skint to avoid indulgence at Empress Mills! See  Sue -  am still experimenting with new thread!
Not too skint to avoid indulgence at Empress Mills! See Sue – am still experimenting with new thread!
Does white wine and soda mean I qualify as bonfide artist?
Does white wine and soda mean I qualify as bonfide artist?

Loved the experience but it was a hard slog as I’m really worried about money. You can happily survive on surprisingly little, however a scone for lunch every day ain’t that great.(Free jam and butter!… does this mean I truely am a great artist or do I need to drink pastis?) Fortunately Caroline is great at coming up with fantastic budget hotels. Not many places I am used to staying bring you fresh milk on demand!


I have been rubbish at taking photos. Actually I quite like to just look and soak it all in, but that’s no good for you – is it Sarah – cos an odd photo here and there would be quite good wouldn’t! Sorry.  Also when I have tried to search for some online very little of it allows you to copy. I think perhaps as everyone is worried about people knicking their ideas. So, sorry!  Will tell you /explain about it when I see you.

Fantastic to meet some great textile artists that didn’t get the opportunity to talk to in London and also  good to meet the Irish contingent. Textile art is alive and well across the water. Some inspiring work. If I had money I would have bought Amy’s collar and Rebecca’s hare –  Graduates From GMIT.

NCAD also doing amazing work as well as the the arts council, especially loved the  work produced by second year Limerick students in collaboration with Electric Sheep. I want that coat! They are auctioning it for Oxfam which is fantastic. No photos! Sorry! I also loved the women of Finglas… keeping crocheting alive and separately,  I had a very interesting conversation with a woman from Newcastle which included croched vaginas! Fantastic! Hope you are continuing to worship at the alter of Grayson!

Jean Beattie
Jean Beattie
Jean littlejohn
Jo Bennett

Thank you Jo and Jean it was great to meet you. ( I love textile artists!)  I really loved having the time to look round their exhibition space properly. Quite beautiful work.  Jean also showed me another way to use to use markel, her drawing is quite lovely. Was too scared to have a go on the big space with art van go.  Really hoping to get asked back another time so that I can have a proper go too!

The Dublin phoenix                                                              The Dublin Phoenix

I had the best time thanks to Kevin and Viv  at art van go …..don’t think I could have kept going if it hadn’t been for them letting me use their lovely papers and jelly plates so that I could print to my hearts content. Definitely needed a good distraction –  art therapy. Am now in love with jelly plates,  locti  and  Japanese lens paper! An amazing way to spend a Sunday morning! They will never know how much were a life saver!!!

More stuff to work into
More stuff to work into

Apart from doing some amazing printing from a found objects  and work to make from that, I now have lots of food for thought from one of the fashion scouts who suggested making garments from my pieces. I really like this and am going to explore! Lynn…help!!! Note to Caroline … scorpion appears to have gone missing so it’s going to be interesting when FLybe actually find it!

I need to say thank you to all the amazing people who stopped to talk to me. Your comments were lovely and I loved the craic!

imageEspecially thank you to Arthur –  I hope LauraLyn charity does really well and I am definately exploring the burglar alarm idea for my boxes…if successful I won’t forget your royalties!

Georgina Bellamy jacket
Georgina Bellamy jacket

Right roast chicken to make for the kids and archers catch up…

Ps Georgina it’s absolutely no good telling me about expensive fashion brands I can’t afford. I do however expect a FROW  seat and free garments from your first collection

PPs I can’t leave petersfield Caroline, I just bought a Betty Jackson top for  4 quid from a charity shop!

been far too busy to blog

Hello my amazing followers…for those of you new to this incredibly popular site that’s a joke by the way…. I appreciate this is only read by myself and Sarah…but if you have dared to take a peek after picking up my card today or chatting to me ….if I let you get a word in edgeways….hello.and  thank you for stopping to look at my work.  I am having am absolutely amazing time at the knitting and stitching show. It’s fantastic , the people are amazing the work is amazing and next week when my head has stopped spinning and I’m not quite so pooped  I will tell you all about the gems that are here and all the fantastic things that have been happening to me….if you can still come before it closes on sunday then please come. Meantime her’s a little bit of stuff to keep you going….

Selfie in front of the wonderful Caroline Bell's work
Selfie in front of the wonderful Caroline Bell’s work


My name in card...
My name in card…
The ladies are back
The ladies are back
Heroic hieronymous
Heroic hieronymous
Graduate showcase
Graduate showcase

And for all those girls who bought my badges have you googled Picasso? Do you know who he is? And have you googled Mademoiselles  d’Avignon? Laters x

ps thank you Embroiderers Guild  for asking me to come and exhibit my work, words cannot express how thankful I am.

Pps and hey and Grayson if your reading this the box is yours!

Messieurs perrie
Messieurs perrie

pps Mr x stitch have you started blogging  about me yet? Textile art is the future.

ppps goodnight Sarah you should be asleep.

The artist formerly known as Dowdeswell…

Just make things clear to my many, many followers out there I have two names.  I have the one that I was born with Helen Amanda Sill, and boy did I hate that when I was little, evidently everyone is the hospital  ward was Helen Louise …shall we do a straw poll of all those 37 year old Helens out there…are you all called Louise or what?

Anyway I digress,  and the one I signed up to accidentally by ticking the wrong box on my marriage certificate, which incidentally I am very happy with but you know, I didn’t really think about it  and was suffering from baby brain at the time.  So I use the Sill one when exhibiting  cos that’s me and I am my art and the Dowdeswell one is  for everything else.  I bet Grayson doesn’t have these problems when he turns up as Clare.  Anyway I’m sure you are all, the many,many of you,  absolutely so pleased that I shared, and I’m off , here’s some more nice pictures to look at…… Knit  & Stitch here I come ready or not….been creating and drawing in an attempt to have a few things to sell try to help fund my trips around the country and overseas….

imageimage I give up! Still can’t download any new pictures! Total pain! You’ll just have to come to my show to see everything I have been doing! Aargh technology! Give me a sewing machine any day!  Here’s some old pictures to keep you happy!

imageimageIMG_0896 - Copy

Spanx and the art of motor cycle maintenance

Not long to go. Just dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s. Been running around sorting frames and cards and postcards this week, well hopping actually, yes the lovely crutches are still in use.  Decided to add Grayson Perry into my ‘women and books’ for good measure…can’t do any harm!



Here’s some more images that will be making an appearance.  Just read Sarah,s post… Last time in room six.  Really hard to believe… the end of an era really sad it’s all coming to a close…. hoping more to come ……