Everything has a story

There’s always a story. It’s all stories really. The sun coming up each day is a story. Everything’s got a story in it. Change the story, change the world.

Terry Pratchett A Hat Full of Sky

Walking along a beach I came upon bundles of fishermen’s nets and this one caught my eye. Look closely. All sorts of stories came into my mind and walking gives you time for ideas.

What comes into your mind?

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More about colour

A new start in September for Colour Sense online workshops – learn more about colour and tone in your own time at your own pace. The series of three workshops start on 6th September 2021.

To find out more and subscribe go to my website http://lizard-dance.com and you’ll see the details in the shop.

Start by finding the difference in these two images.

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Colour Sense

In these rather bleak times have enjoyed developing some online workshops. They’re all about colour, so they’ve cheered me up!

I find going back to basics and working in a structured way is very helpful, clears my mind and motivates me to get down to some work. So that’s what has been my focus in writing the Colour Sense Workshops.

Spiral bound sketchbook compiled for Colour Sense 1 and first pages of samples

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Colour in 2021

Just for a couple of weeks my house has been filled with colour and now to it’s time to pack all the decorations away. Colour is such an important part of everything I enjoy and has been even more, so during these last few months, deprived of the buzz of other people’s company and opportunities to engage in face to face creative activities.

A comment made by Edmund de Waal in an interview when asked about his own work came to mind :

‘What better way to talk about pots than to make them.’

I decided to immerse myself in colour and how it affected my own work, so decided to revisit colour theory and actually mix and explore colour. Out came the paints, brushes, and sketch books. My enthusiasm lead on to developing some new online courses for anyone who wanted to explore colour, increase their awareness and expand their own horizons – a topic I had often explored with students in a studio setting.

Colour Sense workshops 1, 2 & 3 are now available online and I’m looking forward to welcoming the first students in early January with a private Facebook page for participants for comments, queries and feedback.

Course details are available on my website and booking is available in the shop http://www.lizard-dance.com http://www.lizard-dance.com

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Good news for the Ropewalk Gallery!

They have received a grant so they can keep the doors of the quarter mile Arts Centre open. It is wonderful to be able to immerse oneself for a while in somewhere beautiful and inspiring and enjoy the cafe, shop, museum and exhibition galleries.

@Ropewalkbarton http://the-ropewalk.co.uk

I do agree with a friend’s comment on hearing that

Echoes in the water:traces in the land was open for viewing.

‘I think actual exhibitions and events, where possible – even in adapted circumstances – are very important at the moment, for morale and the human spirit.’

Looking through 1,2 &3

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Echoes in the water:traces in the land

Soulmates – featured in Found and Bound now showing at The Ropewalk, Barton on Humber

Collecting has always been important in developing my ideas, and although my finds may not be valuable they are precious to me – the essence of a time and place.

Here are two found objects that just want to be together. They were found in Barton on Humber and are part of the Found and Bound collection.

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Echoes in the water: traces in the land

Ropewalk Gallery Barton on Humber

The exhibition opens on Saturday 12th September so Jan and Mary were delighted to deliver their work to the gallery – a lovely space leading out into a delightful garden.
Here we are deep in conversation and looking forward to seeing it all installed.
@Ropewalkbarton

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Echoes in the Water : Traces in the Land

Exhibition of new artwork by Mary Sleigh and Jan Miller at the Ropewalk Gallery in Barton on Humber will open on Saturday 12th September. Their topics resonate with the local area, the landscape, history, and industry. While exploring, they have come upon traces of past activity, uncovered the unknown and unexpected, gathered natural and man-made materials and responded to the elements at different times of the year.


There is a recurring thread that runs through Mary’s work. It’s about a sense of place and its stories. There is a different emphasis but in essence there is a common theme which reappears in recent past work; Cloth Stories, Peat Lands and It starts with a Step.

Mary, like most people love a story. There’s always a story where people have lived and worked and even when nature has taken over, people have left their mark. So, it’s that connection with places and people and unexpected discoveries that keep cropping up in her work.

River Story – concertina book partly open
Digitally printed images on linen of paintings at the edge of the Humber



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Cool green moss

I enjoyed my visits to Japanese moss gardens and especially loved those moments of tranquility, surrounded by cool green moss, so I’ve been collecting cool mossy images – just what I need occasionally especially in these strange and unsettling times.

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Making time

I found this quotation in a sketchbook whilst clearing out my workroom, one of many displacement activities before I settle down to making work.

An African quotation just right for the times at the moment.

‘Europeans have watches, Africans have time.’

In these strange times I have that elusive thing – time.
Surrounded by what seems like chaos and too many possibilities I enjoy the gradual process during sampling, experimenting and handling materials of resolving a way of working and creating some sense of order. I love this part when once I get stuck in, one thing leads to another. Now’s the time to get started.

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