02 Jul

L’Eroica Britannia and ME

So, just two weekends ago (Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th June) I felt I might simply have died and gone to bicycle heaven!

We had packed up a family picnic and hit the road early and travelled 60miles north to the picturesque Derbyshire town of Bakewell. As we queued amongst the families and individuals clad in vintage attire, I thought of how much I enjoyed fashion history and how I just love seeing people all dressed up. These cyclists and their families and their dogs were not in ‘fancy dress’ but in the very best combination of vintage cycle attire and the very best of British – full skirts, head scarves, hats and sunglasses. Some with a contemporary twist, like me I suppose! I wore a headscarf in my hair and teamed it with a full skirted, bird print dress, biker boots and a white leather jacket, but for my first time experiencing the magic of L’Eroica Britannia, I felt that I had made the effort and fitted in pretty well.

'Eroica is based on the thinking that our festival should be about celebrating the revival of age old glamour and the effortless style of days gone by.'

‘Eroica is based on the thinking that our festival should be about celebrating the revival of age old glamour and the effortless style of days gone by.’

I couldn’t help but smile, I was excited as we saw one beautiful vintage bicycle after another wheel past us. Lovingly pushed by a rather dapper gent in waistcoat, cycle breeches and a moustache that curled up at the edges or by the most bonny of belles in full skirt and bonnet! As I queue with my family, I read in the festival programme……

‘Eroica is based on the thinking that our festival should be about celebrating the revival of age old glamour and the effortless style of days gone by.’

Fantastic news this is to me, coming to L’Eroica for the weekend is to be a real treat as recently I haven’t been feeling too well at all and I have had to cancel or postpone many a social engagement and creative commitment, let alone riding a cycle sportive! This weekend, I wouldn’t be riding but it was one event that I simply was not prepared to miss!

 

Eroica

As we ventured further into the festival field, sky over cast, boots negotiating the muddy quagmire beneath us, I came to realise that with it’s mix of stimulating visuals, festival smells and musical sounds, L’Eroica was probably going to be the most marvellous of assaults on all of my senses!

A post journey pep was needed by way of great coffee at L’Eroica HQ. I never used to drink coffee, not really, until I started cycling, well – road cycling in 2014 that came to involve much needed caffeine stops with my 69 year old Dad. Now it’s a well known fact, that Zoe loves and appreciates a good Latte and my energy levels were already beginning to falter!

'A post journey pep was needed by way of great coffee at L'Eroica HQ'

‘A post journey pep was needed by way of great coffee at L’Eroica HQ’

Post coffee, we meandered around the ‘Bicycle Jumble’ – it’s like a bicycle part car boot sale only where pre-loved bicycles, cogs, bells, gears, handlebars and saddle bags are given the chance of a new life, to be loved again! As I walked with my girls, I said to them, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to know the story of each of the bicycles?  Were had it been? How many miles? How many races? Who had ridden it? What happens to it next? They smiled their beautiful smiles at their bicycle obsessed Mummy and Daddy as they were pulled to admire one classic old bicycle after another!

'pre-loved bicycles, cogs, bells, gears, handlebars and saddle bags are given the chance of a new life'

‘pre-loved bicycles, cogs, bells, gears, handlebars and saddle bags are given the chance of a new life’

Then came our picnic lunch, sat on a muddy straw bale at the edge of the Eroica parade ring, hoping to catch at least a peek of The Great British Sewing Bee’s exquisitely turned out Patrick Grant. Patrick, an expert in style and tailoring, attends Eroica to judge ‘The Best Dressed Family, Guy, Gal, even dog!’ And there he was, suitably dressed down in war time style utility trouser and navy bomber jacket. Let’s get this straight, the girls and I, even my hubby all ‘love’ The Sewing Bee, it’s our kind of family television!

Now, not only is Partick in the ring but he is joined by cycling legend Chris Boardman! Now, I may not have been feeling in the best of health, but two men I’d love to meet, hubby aside, were literally in the same field as our family picnic and well, that was an opportunity not to be missed!

Me and 'The Chris Boardman MBE'

‘Chris Boardman MBE was just a jump of a hay bale and a few strides away.’

So there I was willing myself to go up and meet one of my cycling heroes! Chris Boardman MBE was just a jump of a hay bale and a few strides away. I felt nervous and unsure, but my Issy pushed me on, ‘Mummy I’ll come with you!’ she exclaimed. So I tapped him on the shoulder and blurted out ‘ Chris, I would like to give you this, it’s a print that I designed, inspired by Ride London, it’s for you!’ I’d taken it in my rucksack, just in case I might just get close enough and brave enough to hand it to him. I knew Chris would be attending Eroica as one of Action Medical Research’s ambassadors. I love watching him commentate on TV and I have  a Chris Boardman hybrid bicycle in the shed!

I’m grateful to my Issy for keeping her unphased, ten year old calm and managing, eventually, to take this fab photo of me handing my print in a tube to the lovely Chris! He looked pretty pleased, smiled warmly and said ‘ Thanks very much!’ So I’m desperately hoping he likes it !!

In a nervous attempt at conversation and to prove to my hero that I am or at least have been a ‘cyclist’ I told him that the inspiration for the print came from surviving the aftermath of Hurricane Bertha in 2014 whilst completing Ride London with my Dad. The officials  shortened it on the day to 86 miles as Box Hill and Leith Hill had become too treacherous to ride in the appalling weather conditions!

That day became the most invigorating, terrifyingly awesome day of my life! Triumphantly Dad and I eventually crossed the finish line unscathed yet a little soggy in the Mall and that was epic !

'Dad and I eventually crossed the finish line unscathed yet a little soggy'

‘Dad and I eventually crossed the finish line unscathed yet a little soggy’

I didn’t tell Chris that I over came pneumonia to train up for Ride London. My sister in law was undergoing chemotherapy to treat breast cancer, it had been an enormous shock for our family. I had felt desperate to help and signed myself and my already cycling Dad up to ride the 100 mile sportive and to raise money for Breast Cancer Care. When a winter cough went on to my lungs, I had to fight my way back to fitness for the ride.

Chris rode the first ever Ride London in 2013 and I asked him if he would be riding this year,

‘No, I’ll be flying out to Rio’ he says politely. ‘Of course’ I think to myself, ‘Rio Olympics, of course!’

I know that Chris had to give up professional road cycling due to osteoporosis, something I’m at risk of developing and what I really want to say next is,

‘Chris, do you have you any advice for a lady who has always loved bicycles and fell in love with road cycling two years ago, building her stamina to training rides of typically 30/40 miles.  A lady who managed to achieve her longest cycle sportive of 112 miles last year and yet this year has found herself debilitated and frustrated by the illness they call  M E or chronic fatigue syndrome?’

But I don’t!

Instead I smile at him and say ‘Enjoy your print and really nice to meet you’ and Chris smiles and waves returning to the bustle of several other fans waiting for photographs with my print in his hand!  A triumph in itself!

One man and his dog

One splendid man and his dog parade in the ring

My Issy and I return to our picnic, but not for long! This new found confidence in networking with celebrities has got us all excited, it’s an alternative adrenaline rush for me and soon I’m encouraging Issy, ‘ Lets go and meet Patrick!’

Followed by littlest Potter, we tap the very tall Patrick on the arm! He is every bit as charming in the flesh but very approachable and very natural. ‘ We all love The Sewing Bee!’ are the words that blurt out from my mouth!

I tell him ‘I’d love apply to take part in it but I’m more of a creative sewer than a technical one’ and that he ‘might pull me up on the quality of my zips and buttonholes!’ Since my hubby takes great pleasure in reminding me that this is what I said, I have decided to file it away in a moment akin to the ‘I carried a watermelon’ moment in Dirty Dancing!

 

Patrick Grant and Me

We exchange a little conversation about our love of cycling and getting soaked to the skin on many a cycle sportive. Then Patrick asks me if I would be riding L’Eroica the next day?

‘No, unfortunately not’, I tell him, ‘I’ve been feeling a little fatigued this year!’ I say in a rather shy deflection of the subject.

‘But I will next year and my Dad is riding tomorrow!’ I add in a last ditch attempt to regain some kudos!

As my girls and hubby stand grinning at my attempt at networking with the very best of contacts, I give Patrick my card! He may not ever feel the need to contact me about a joint project, but one cannot be blamed for trying! I’m hoping that he might look me up and perhaps book in for a one to one at Leicester Print Workshop if he ever feels the need to screen print, foil or flock a design for his latest collection!

As Patrick is pulled away to meet the next family of fans, he calls ‘Nice to meet you!’ This makes me happy as we go back to our hay bale picnic, but I can’t help thinking,

‘Fatigued? Fatigued? Why did I say I’d been a little fatigued? Slight understatement of the truth there Zoe!’ Did I leave Patrick thinking ‘So when you are tired, you don’t cycle?’

Why did I not expand and explain that I have M E, an overwhelming, chronic tiredness that can hit me like a freight train and last for days!? That I now long for the satisfaction of the kind of fatigue you experience after a cycle sportive of 60 or 70 or 100 miles, because to me that fatigue is well earned.

Lately I’m sometimes floored as a consequence of over doing daily living or pushing slightly too hard on a walk or getting all fired up about a creative project in a school, delivering it on raised adrenaline levels and then suffering the consequences for several days afterwards, they call it the ‘crash’!

Well it wouldn’t have been fair to load all of that on to Patrick, but maybe I should have been honest and not embarrassed to admit that I am at the moment living in a perpetual state of feeling half there, my head is foggy, I’m off balance and my cognitive ability is slower!

Or perhaps not!

(Here’s a light interlude, some photographs of the amazing families dressed up in the parade ring!)

A well dressed man and his son

A well dressed man and his son

'A beautiful mum and daughter look simply delightful in matching dresses'

‘A beautiful mum and daughter look simply delightful in matching dresses’

'A lady dressed as a wartime land girl and her family, perfect'

‘A lady dressed as a wartime land girl and her family, perfect’

So I feel that I need to speak out in my I blog and share this with my friends, family and followers. Life isn’t easy for anyone, but we are blessed to live it. Many have daily struggles with  illness far worse or challenging than mine, but here I am sharing my first Eroica experience but using it to explain whats going on with me right now and how I feel.

Despite my constant sore throat, dizziness and feeling like I wasn’t fully there, I was having a lovely time at my first Eroica Britannia. I was with my beautiful family and meeting people I admired and was surrounded by all kinds of cyclists and beautiful costumes. I couldn’t help but be happy, however inside my heart was breaking just a little as I wouldn’t and couldn’t be riding Eroica with my Dad on Fathers Day.

By 3pm my muscles were feeling achy, I was getting light headed and my fingers were numbing with the drop in temperature. So we went for another drink at Eroice HQ. By then, there was load music and a real load buzz of so many people chatting, laughing and enjoying the great atmosphere, but my head began to ring and my throat was getting more sore. Hubby looked at me and said ‘Let’s get you home!’ I knew that if I pushed to stay longer, I wouldn’t have the stamina to come back the following day to see Dad ride in to the finish.

So rather than camping out in my Mum and Dad’s awning and dancing the night away to the festival bands, we set off home. We’d had a very stimulating, exciting day and once I got in the car my face started burning up. By 7.00pm that evening I was bathed and laying completely exhausted on the bed! My head had gone back to feeling squeezed, my ears were ringing and my whole body felt that it might as well have cycled the 60miles home! Though completely and utterly shattered, it took me a while to get off to sleep. The conversations I’d had were whirling around in my mind along with the fact that I had met two of my heroes and the disappointment of not being able to ride the next day.

On the Sunday we got up slightly later than the day before, getting dressed up and making a picnic was more challenging than the Saturday. Thank goodness for a supportive husband, he said we didn’t have to go, but he knew how much I wanted to!

Early on Sunday, before we even got up, riders had started to gather in Bakewell. Those first riders would be cycling 100 miles of undulating Derbyshire roads including kinder, flatter stretches such as The Monsall Trial all dressed up to the nines in their vintage gear and riding pre 1980’s bicycles. Some with very limited or even no gears! My heroes!

Eroica, the start, the middle and the finish!

Early on Sunday, before we even got up, riders had started to gather in Bakewell

There are a choice of three routes to choose from when riding Eroica, the 100miler is named ‘The Hero’. The 55 mile route is named ‘Sportsman’ and the 30 mile route, ‘Tourist’ all totally stunning routes I imagine by looking at the map!

Although I would have loved to have been one of the riders crossing the finish line, we enjoyed watching them all come in. Photographing their bikes and their costumes and listening to the brilliant commentary of numbers and what the riders do and their ages, from the very young to the more mature! Eventually Dad came in triumphant from tackling the Derbyshire hills, another life experience and yet another sportive under his belt. His priority is asking how I am and mine is to promise him, ‘Next year Dad, we will ride it together!’ If we don’t ride the 50, the 30 miler is a definite must !

Dad came in triumphant from tackling the Derbyshire hills!

Dad came in triumphant from tackling the Derbyshire hills!

‘We want people to rediscover the beauty of fatigue and the taste of accomplishment’ – Giancarlo Brocci, Creator of L’Eroica

So that was Eroica 2016. The place where I made a promise to myself and to my family to get myself better and that next year, they would see me all dressed up in a frock that I have made, with a print that I’ve designed, on a vintage bicycle, triumphantly crossing that finish line with the biggest of smiles on my face!

Lets just put it this way ‘ I’m tired of being tired’ and next year Eroica is top of my bucket list! It’s going to take patients and time, but I need a physical goal to aim for and to hear our girls calling out ‘Come on Mummy, you’ve done it’ would be music to my ears!

In the meantime, I have my creativity and so many photographs to work and draw from. There are prints to be designed and creative projects to be done at a slightly lesser pace. I am still me, I just have M E and I won’t let it define who I am. There will be a plan of graded exercise to help me get me back on form!

Perhaps my hubby will even grow a stylish moustache that curls up at the edges and ride  with me and my Dad  next year !?

Triumphant riders cross the finish line

The Italian word L’Eroica literally translates as ‘The Heroes’

‘ L’Eroica started in 1997 because of one man, Giancarlo Brocci, who admired the values of past cycling so much that he wanted to reconnect others to the heritage that inspired much Italian history, literature, culture, and music.’ – The Britannia times 2016

03 Jul

Welcome to my brand new online shop!

It’s NEW, it’s FRESH, it’s OPEN! Ta Da ! I am so thrilled to welcome you to browse my online shop! It has been a real creative and hard working journey to get here ! I am so happy to offer you vibrant, colourful, products of the highest quality and I wish you all HAPPY SHOPPING!
Do make sure that you sign up to my news letter to stay bang up to date with my WORK, SPECIAL OFFERS and LOT’S OF ARTY GOODNESS, there is so much more to come!

Love Zoe x

A huge thank you to the very talented Fiona Millington Pipe for shooting my products with me! I loved styling the shots of my products with you and I am so happy with the profile shots that you captured for my site!

03 Jul

Spotlight on Reservoir Cogs

This spring, my passion for cycling and creativity was fuelled further when I was asked by Racetime Events to design a print to celebrate their brand new event Reservoir Cogs!


The Cycle Sportive takes place on July 5th and will take in some of the most scenic roads and reservoirs in Leicestershire.

I am making a donation by adding three pieces of artwork to the sportives’ charity draw. Profits raised by the events fundraising will be shared equally between two charities which are both very close to my heart, Rainbows Hospice and Hope Against Cancer.

Here’s some more info on how I went about fulfilling the design brief, along with the final print and the products that you can win if you cycle the sportive or enter the draw!

Enter Reservoir Cogs Charity Prize Draw Here

You can also purchase the Reservoir Cogs print products in my shop to remember your epic journey!

Shop Reservoir Cogs Products Here

There will be two different distance options to Reservoir Cogs, Big Cog 112 miles and Little Cog 50 miles and of course, I have opted to ride the 112 mile route, even though I have a full days teaching lined up for the very next day!!

The 112 mile route starts in my home town of Coalville, Leicestershire and takes in some stunning scenery along the way, passing Swithland, Cropston, Knipton and Rutland Water Reservoirs.

Inspired by this epic and beautiful route and ‘The Cog’ aspect, I set to work drawing landmarks that represent the stunning reservoirs and cutting cogs from lino! I also cut my finger a few times as I always do when tackling lino!

Once the lino cut cogs were complete, I enlarged them and exposed them to silk screen, printing these in a pale grey formed a layered background evoking the texture of the landscapes and the movement of the bicycle cogs!

The description of the route made a fitting additional layer to my printing in the background and helped to build the composition.

I knew that I wanted to build the piece using the colours of the Racetime Events cycling strip and included some riders sporting the cycle top, with all riders wearing variations of orange, black, grey and white cycle kit.

Orange was an effective colour to use throughout the my printing, I used it to highlight trees, buildings and the landscape of the fields and to hold the piece together!

This print was born out of the passion I have for the charities being supported, my love of pushing myself to create new, bold, unique designs and of my love of cycling throughout Leicestershire on my days off! It grew and developed so naturally, like great satisfaction you gain when tackling a large, steep hill!

17 Nov

‘Passion to Print Exhibition’ hosted by Leicester Print Workshop and Leicester’s Cultural Quarter!

'Passion to Print' with Leicester Print Workshop

Passion2Print is Leicester Print Workshop’s biennial exhibition of contemporary printmaking.

This exhibition showcases the high quality and ambitious work being created by LPW artists, displaying their experimental, innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to printmaking.

This year P2P 2014 takes over Leicester’s Cultural Quarter with the exhibition being held in multiple venues: Phoenix Café BarCurve Theatre’s exhibition areas and mezzanine and the LCB Depot’s café, gallery and Print Room.

This year’s show features new work by over thirty LPW Artists.

Click on this link to read more about this year’s exhibition. 

Lampshades on exhibition   at 'The Depot Leicester'

Lampshades on exhibition at ‘The Depot Leicester’

‘Riding High’

A collection of unique hand printed lampshade designs!

Riding High is a collection of contemporary multi-textural screen printed fabric lampshades inspired by the increased popularity of women’s cycling.   I have always loved the image of the bicycle and have recently found a real passion for cycling. The motivation behind this collection of prints is also quite personal and emotional.   On 10th August this year, my father and I took part in ‘Ride London’ an amazing 100 mile cycle ride, in the most challenging of weather conditions! Our motivation being to raise money for a charity very close to our hearts. My ‘Riding High’ lampshade is my interpretation of this awesome day!   To create this textile artwork post ride has been wonderful as it has allowed me to reflect on a personal, year long journey and upon triumphs and bravery within our family. As well as the importance of the bicycle both historically and within contemporary society!   Along the way I have become a huge fan of cycling and found new admiration for all who cycle!

'Riding High' Screen Printed Lampshade

‘Riding High’ Screen Printed Lampshade

 

13 Nov

Thrilled to have work selected for Leicester’s ‘The Cank Street Gallery Open Exhibition!’

I entered two of my largest pieces of work to date in to Leicester’s Cank Street Gallery Open Exhibition this Autumn! I was delighted when they were selected to be featured by such a well established gallery! These two pieces are so dear to my heart as I was inspired to create them by my little girl who features in them both! They also express my love of screen printing as the main images were put on to screen and printed! I lovingly added hand painted colour to them in mixed media, including acrylics, water colour and hand stencilling techniques! The work also signifies the start of my returning to print on textiles as they provided the inspiration for my collection ‘Family are Key’ textile collection.

'Miss Lily Dreming' at Cank Street Gallery

‘Miss Lily Dreaming’ on exhibition at Cank Street Gallery Leicester

'Drama Queen' on exhibition at Cank Street Gallery!

‘Drama Queen’ on exhibition at Cank Street Gallery Leicester

The two pieces were hung in the galleries impressive display of diverse , high quality art and I was delighted to attend the Private View hosted by the gallery on October 16th ! These pieces are for sale at £900 each and to quote the owners of Cank Street Gallery, ‘They have already been much admired!’

I am thrilled to have them included amongst such talent and I am delighted with the response to the work. I will be offering prints of these two pieces in my online shop very soon!

'Drama Queen' Original artwork

‘Drama Queen’ Original artwork

13 Nov

Stunning results at our Children’s ‘Let’s paint Autumn Workshops!’

 

'Let's Paint Autumn!'

‘Let’s Paint Autumn, children’s paintings on canvas!’

‘What a fantastic display of colour! Just wanted to say thank you to you from Zoe W – she had a fab time at the Mandala workshop and each day when she came home, she was buzzing with excitement about what she’d learned and what she’d produced that day – so thank you.’ Autumn Art Workshops 2014 – Ali W.

For ten young artists aged 5 – 11 yrs, the first two days of the half term holidays were filled with rich colours, leaf prints and painterly textures! The children painted beautiful circles of vibrant colour using acrylic paint on canvas! We took our breaks in the crisp Autumnal surroundings of Manor House School in Ashby ! The grounds are filled with leaves from the huge trees that line the school field! Just perfect for collecting and printing with !

'Creating the colours and layers of Autumn leaves!'

‘Creating the colours and layers of Autumn leaves!’

The children loved mixing up shades of Autumn on their paint pallets and they achieved some simply stunning leaf prints made from hand cut polystyrene blocks! We built up layers and layers of leaves as if they had fallen to the ground in circular patterns! I am so proud of my young artists once again as their finished canvases are really something to behold, each one unique and individual and  together they would light up any gallery wall!

'The stunning results at my feet!

‘The stunning results at my feet!

'Happy Printers!'

‘Happy Printers!’

'Happy in my work!'

‘Happy in my work!’

 

13 Nov

Stencils, screen printing and squeegees with year 9 at Oakham School

'Vibrant, organic stencil prints'

‘Vibrant, organic stencil prints’

I had the pleasure of visiting Oakham school on 14th October and representing Leicester Print Workshop as their Textile Tutor. The long, rural drive to arrive for an early start was well worth it! The gloomy Autumnal weather was lifted by the colourful, vibrant, organic prints that were produced throughout the day! Working with an enthused group of year nine pupils again was a real treat! The pupils looked at organic, Autumnal mood boards for inspiration and made sketches of their ideas for stencils.

We then transferred ideas into paper cut stencils with wonderful flowing lines, delicate details and ambitious structure! The pupils then experienced creating a colourful background print on to fabric using an open silk screen for the very first time! The results ranged form ultra bright, autumnal orange stripes, to moody, streaky, storm filled skies!!

'Ambitious, detailed and organic!'

‘Ambitious, detailed and organic!’

By the afternoon, printing was in full flow and pupils began to place their stencils on top of their backgrounds! Contrasting ink colours were chosen and mixed and organic shapes were screen printed ! Here are a few photos of how we achieved the stunning, silk screen printed results!

'A table top filled with colourful, layered prints!'

‘A table top filled with colourful, layered prints!’

'Delightful results!'

‘Delightful results!’

01 Sep

A wonderful woodland medley enhances the entrance and hall to Thringstone Primary School!

‘The mural looks absolutely stunning. I was so thrilled to see it up when I got to school on our first day back – it’s beautiful!’   Jo Hallam Art Co-ordinator and Yr 6 Class Teacher.

 

A wonderful woodland greeting!

A wonderful woodland greeting!

This delightful medley of local woodlands was designed and inspired by children’s drawings. Over two special days, children from each school year worked in small groups with me to achieve this nature inspired delight! It now proudly greets everyone that visits the school in the reception and hall area. It really does make you feel happy just looking at it and it stands as a lasting reminder of the beauty of Thringstone woods.  The children are so lucky to have an amazing natural resource right on their doorstep! 

Take a closer look!

Take a closer look!

 

A magical place - Thringstone Woods!

A magical place – Thringstone Woods!

 

31 Aug

Passion to Print 2014

Passion2Print - A Contemporary Print Showcase

Passion2Print is Leicester Print Workshop’s biennial exhibition of contemporary printmaking.

I’m thrilled to have been selected to create work for this exciting and dynamic exhibition in the heart of Leicester’s Cultural Quarter.

This exhibition showcases the high quality and ambitious work being created by LPW artists, displaying their experimental, innovative and multidisciplinary approaches to printmaking.

This year P2P 2014 takes over Leicester’s Cultural Quarter with the exhibition being held in multiple venues: Phoenix Café BarCurve Theatre’s exhibition areas and mezzanine and the LCB Depot’scafé, gallery and Print Room.

This year’s show features new work by thirty LPW Artists.

P2P 2014: 14 October to 12 December 2014

 

31 Mar

An ‘Alien Invasion’ inspires an explosion of artwork at Broomleys Primary School!

'Bang - here comes our artwork!!'

‘Bang – here comes our artwork!!’

It was an absolute pleasure to be invited to Broomleys Primary School and asked to be part of a super exciting creative project ! What better way to fuel a child’s imagination but to have an alien space rocket crash land on school grounds ?!  Several exciting events followed as children set about deciphering alien codes, investigating events and tidying up their classrooms after they had been turned upside down by the apparent alien visitor! The children were even asked to help rebuild the rocket to allow their unexpected visitor to return to their home planet!

'Our pencil crayon design'

‘Our pencil crayon design’

It was an amazing and inspiring task to take those events and turn them in to a visual story to be kept forever! On day one, I worked with four groups of ten young artists, the children were selected by their teachers for their creative ability and put in to teams that included children as young as foundation year right up to year 6 ! We took our inspiration from the ‘Pop Art’ comic strip style of story telling through art, using colours that ‘Pop’ and shapes with sharp, dark outlines! The children were so absolutely focused that they did such an amazing job and I can’t wait to see their new playground mural go up !!

'Capturing the story of a very unusual visit!'

‘Together we captured the story of a very unusual visit!’

'WOW, all finished!'

‘WOW, all finished!’

On day two, fourteen children were selected to work with me and each capture a section of the amazing mural on canvas ! Each child was given a different area our ‘Alien Invasion’ mural to recreate! Again, the children were absolutely fantastic as they carefully set about painting their given sections ! They painted the rocket crash, the alien, the words  – ‘BANG’ and ‘BLAST OFF’ and even the rocket countdown as it prepared for home! I was delighted with how each child mixed their colours, carefully matching them to those used in our mural. All of the children spent all day with their heads down, focused on producing a truly amazing ‘POP Art’ inspired, wall of canvases to be displayed in their library and treasured for ever!!

I must thank Freya Munslow, my fabulous workshop assistant  who came in to help us all, it was really great to have you. Thank you to Broomleys School for inviting us and for The Friends of Broomleys for funding such a  thrilling project!

'Magnificent magnifying glass!'

‘Magnificent magnifying glass!’