Category Archives: Art and portraiture

Smash Fashion ! Embrace Style!


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I never thought I’d have this experience

 

Can you believe I’ve just put on a catwalk show? I’m still reeling.

To kick  off CHROMOPHILIA , the exhibition co curated and featuring the work of Fabulous Fashionista,  Sue Kreitzman and other amazing outsider artists who work with a vivid palette, I was asked to organise a catwalk show of my very colourful, upcycled and bespoke clothing . A big challenge, you may say, since this clothing thing is really very new to me. It’s been a year since I first met Sue, and life has turned upside down and back to front, and I’m loving it!

Well, I like a challenge, so with a two week deadline, I set to work coming up with a collection of clothes that would work together , both upcycled and ready to wear. I asked the women I had already made bespoke pieces for if any of them would be interested in modelling their garments on the evening, and I’m pleased to say I had a very good response. I make clothes for very lovely people. What a pleasure it is!

Then ensued two weeks of early rising, late to bed, obsessive work. I realised just how obsessed I could be one day when I realised I was sitting naked at my sewing machine. Good job my studio is high up and I had remembered to close my curtains…

I worked right up until a few hours before we had to leave for the show. The paint on one coat was only just dried and heat set. Talk about last minute dot com .

I was lucky to be working alongside the wonderful performance costume artist , Ann Sophie Cochevelou who had models dressed in her spectacular wearable art as well as Amy ‘Synth’ Kingsmill who gave us a taste of surrealism when she performed her living doll act. The wonderful Miss Baby Sol enraptured the audience with her beautiful voice and charismatic performance and Mervyn Diese balanced off the night with his spoken word piece about colour /politics and the eco system.

The theme of the catwalk show was Anti Fashion /Pro Style and as luck/serendipity would have it, we would be kicking off on the eve before London Fashion Week started. What a coincidence… or was it?

Fashion tells you what to wear, style asks how you’d like to express yourself.

Here are some fabulous pictures of some fabulous people expressing themselves. Enjoy.

Allegra catwalk Catwalk 17 catwalk 30 catwalk 36 catwalk 37 catwalk 38 Catwalk 41 Catwalk 42 Catwalk 43 Catwalk 45 Catwalk 46 catwalk 47 catwalk 51 catwalk 52 Catwalk 55 catwalk 57 catwalk Catwalk1 catwalk2 catwalk3 catwalk5 catwalk6 catwalk7 catwalk10 catwalk12 catwalk14 catwalk15 catwalk16 catwalk18 catwalk19 catwalk20 Catwalk22 Catwalk23 Catwalk26 Catwalk27 catwalk29 Catwalk33 catwalk35 catwalk36 Catwalk44 Catwalk48 catwalk50 catwalk51 catwalk53Oh what a night!

As Sue so famously says , ‘Don’t wear beige, it might kill you!”

I think these people are immortals now.

I hope to be able to do this all again soon.

 

www.iheartcart.com

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Wrapping beautiful, stylish, unique women in art


This blog post is not about fashion. Fashion in my mind is more to do with status than expression. This post is about style and about originality and art,  it is to celebrate diversity and beauty found in being fearless and expressing yourself.

The clothes I make for unique individuals, are a collaboration. I start off with suggestions from the client, I try to gain a feel of what the client is about: colour preferences, ideologies, and favourite imagery. One proviso, though, I do not do beige or pastel colours. It is just not something that I could make work. I’m all about vibrancy and passion which I do not feel is reflected in beige and pastel. This is why I’m very drawn to the beautiful kento batik african fabrics as they are bold and brave and sometimes quite eccentric in the printed  imagery chosen, which suits my taste right down to the ground. I’m in the process of making myself a dress  with fabric covered in prawns, yes prawns…

Isn't it just fabulous?

Isn’t it just fabulous?

I thought it was about time to share some of the wonderful pictures  from my delightful friends /clients who have shared the moment when they first wear their piece of wearable art. They are priceless. There will be more, this is , hopefully an ongoing perk of making wearable art for unique individuals.

 

Sue Kreitzman, Fabulous Fashionista wearing Diane Goldie , c.Art in Sunday Times Style magazine

My very first client, Fabulous Fashionista Sue Kreitzman wearing her portrait kimono for the Sunday Times Style magazine shoot. Sue remains an inspiration and has become a dear friend whom I treasure.

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Cassandra in her very sleek fitting Frida pencil dress. Oh how beautiful she looks!

 

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Beautiful Anne Marie in her Wonderwoman dress. She is quite the wonderwoman in real life too!

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The brief was Wonderwoman , pink and Cat Woman . Two divas on one dress, hmm, that would have resulted in a bit of a struggle, so Cat Woman was symbolised by the leopard print side panels.

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I think she looks spectacular! I hope it makes her feel like Wonderwoman when she wears it.

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Amazing Kate in her Frida’ Hummingbird’ dress . Kate is not only beautiful, but smart and free spirited . She loves dragon flies and dandelions.

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The brief was autumnal colours with a pop of red and orange, dandelions, Frida and dragonflies. Kate also requested a co-ordinating wrap. I wish I had Kate’s beautiful flame red hair…

Lolo1

This short cape was created for Lolo Moniasse, a model and muse. She inspires me . The theme was ‘Elements’ and features air, fire, earth and water.

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Lolo is not only physically beautiful, but incredibly spiritual and quietly radiates a wonderful warm energy that inspires and soothes in equal measures.

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Her short cape features a double portrait of herself, based on a photo by Simon Fairclough on the front and an original portrait by myself on the back, featuring Lolo’s fascinating scarification patterns.

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Beautiful, original and unique. The capes not bad too…

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This is another of my muses, my dear friend Marnie Scarlet. modelling her portrait tote bag based on a photo by Helene Jaspers. Without Marnie’s inspiration c.Art would have never existed. Love you Marnie.

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Here is another one of Marnie’s bags a quite bonkers pink Nelephant bag based on photos by Tigz Rice Studios.

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This is the back of the portrait bag, this side features an image based on the photo taken by Mark Lloyd of M L Imagery of the wonderful person who embodies living art, Marnie Scarlet.

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Visionary artist and brilliantly bonkers beautiful human being. Miz Thang I love you! Miz Thang sent me a plain white tux jacket all the way from the States and here she is rocking the transformed version. The brief? Well, it’s Frida Kahlo .

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Here’s Miz Thang again, wearing a cape I made for her based on her own incredible paintings of Circus Freaks. It had to be one of my favourite pieces to make .

There will be more posts like this, oh boy. How excited and privileged am I to do this?

Links and contact details

Sue Kreitzman

Marnie Scarlet

ML Imagery: mlimagery@gmail.com

Helene Jaspers

Tigz Rice Studios

Cassandra  http://www.thelondonbootcampcompany.com/

Lolo Moniasse

Miz Thang

 

To join us on the c.Art wearable journey, get in touch with me via my website or on my Facebook page or email me on thebabyfairyfifi@hotmail.com or send me a message via the contact form below.

By the way, you don’t have to be female…

Dress to Impress!


As my journey to create a collection  of wearable art continues, I realised I needed to make myself something suitably stylish to wear to represent my brand.

I don’t know about you, dear reader , but I really struggle to find clothes to fit, either my size ( between a 16 and 20 depending on the make ) or to suit my rather eclectic and I’m starting to believe , eccentric taste. Making my own hand painted clothes just seemed to be the obvious next step.

Sue , Scorpio and me

Here I am at Sue Kreitzman’s beautiful home with the Goddess of colour herself and my good friend and fellow artist, Scorpio.

So I made this dress:me in dressIMAG1610_1I used a beautiful african kente batik fabric with green swirls, red, pink and orange details , that at first seemed to be flowers but on closer inspection , turned out to be keys. I used a 50’s inspired full circle halter neck dress pattern ,  hand painted a Frida Kahlo self portrait with parrots for the top of the dress, then painted two flying parrots for the skirt . I then cut out large, irregular flower shapes from the brightest colours I had and appliqued them to the skirt.

 

Once my friends saw my dress, they asked me to make dresses for them too. So I made these :

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Frida Kahlo sacred heart dress in black cotton with hand painted images and appliqued flowers

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Frida Kahlo Hummingbird dress with dragonflies, dandelions and poppies.

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A shorts playsuit , Frida and parrots theme

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A Wonderwoman in pink dress, with leopard applique. For a very special friend.

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Frida parrot dress in pencil , close fitting style.

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A large Frida Kahlo fully lined wrap , appliqued with green velvet, dandelions and a hand painted Frida with applique flowers.

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A special dress for a 4 year old princess .

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A goddess bolero and dress two piece, featuring appliqued and hand painted Hindu goddesses on the front of the dress, and back of the bolero.

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The back of the bolero

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Front of the bolero, featuring a satin appliqued lotus flower and four gold buttons , symbolising gold coins.

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Bespoke punk rebel woman themed dress. All handpainted with quotes and portraits of prominent punk women.

IMAG1615_1 IMAG1617_1 IMAG1721 IMAG1754_1 IMAG1758_1 IMAG1852All of these dresses are hand made, hand painted and appliqued and cost £135 plus £8 post and packing. To order yours, please email Diane at thebabyfairyfifi@hotmail.com with your preferred colour way, dress size, choice of images and /or text or a general theme.  There is a months waiting list, so do place your orders as soon as you can to avoid disappointment.

Short kimono style jackets are in the pipeline. Capes are always available to order.

http://www.iheartcart.com

http://www.facebook.com/c.Artbags

Forget Fashion, Embrace Style!


What is fashion?

 

Fashion, is it about wearing clothes to make you look good?

Could  it about fitting in to the current trend so that you feel comfortable in your surroundings? Is it a demonstration of personal taste and status? Maybe fashion is more about demonstrating your youth and desirability by wearing current trends ?

It’s definitely not just about wearing clothes. There is an entire industry built up around fashion that relies on first making us ( mostly women but increasingly these days, men)  feel insecure so that the marketing forces can sell us something : make up/ plastic surgery/ perfume /and yes, fashion.

I’ve never been one for fashion per se. I can’t stand the wastefulness of current trends that throw away perfectly good clothes just because someone has dictated them to be ‘so last year daaahling’.

But I do love clothes and dressing up and colour. Oh I so do…me Colourful me me in heaven me in dressI’m wearing the most incredible pop surreal millinery  on my head, by the wonderful Bink of Pearls and Swine. Do check her stuff out, it’s INCREDIBLE!  The dresses I make myself. If you fancy one made for you , get in touch. I can make your vision of yourself happen.

www.iheartcart.com

www.facebook.com/c.Artbags

Fashion is targeted mainly at youth, no surprise there, as youth is perceived in our society as the ultimate symbol of beauty. I can’t deny that youth is beautiful all on it’s own. There is no need to gild the lily of youth.

Those of us who are a little, lets say , more mature , are usually forgotten in fashion. We do not count because we all know that women over a certain age become invisible , don’t they?

Or do they?

Well thanks to  Ari Seth Cohen and his Advanced Style blog, current thinking is starting to change. There is an ‘old lady’ revolution going on, but I prefer to call it a Goddess Revolution. My own personal inspiration is the Goddess Sue Kreitzman Sue Mami Watawho I  consider a dear friend and inspiration. An exponent of the wearable art movement, Sue doesn’t as much get dressed as curate herself. She is a walking work of art and a massive supporter of other artists and makers.  She is the Queen of colour and I am delighted and flattered to be currently making her garments of a decidedly colourful nature, featuring hand painted images of her own artwork that are appliqued and embroidered and sometimes painted directly onto the garment itself. ( This picture features a garment I made based on the Mami Wata theme, featuring Sue’s artwork once again).

This past Sunday , I was honoured to be part of the feature in the Sunday Times Style magazine where Sue was wearing one of my wearable art  kimonos that I recently made for her.  The cover features a splendid jacket by the very wonderful Lauren Shanley. My garment is the one in the feature. Style Cover Style inside style mag copy

Sue toothy3 Sue toothy2 Sue toothy1So I say forget the fear of being different, bat away the stuff they feed us to make us insecure. Age isn’t something to fear, it’s something to be embraced! The only reason fashion changes every season is to make us buy more stuff… think about that . Dig deep inside yourself and discover your real style. It’s lurking there somewhere.  Find it , then once you find it, just flaunt it. Because daahling, we only live once. So let’s make it a fabulous , colourful , fearless life.

 

 

From Virgin White to Glorious Colour : the birth of a Frida Jacket


Creating something special for the extraordinary artist , Miz Thang

What a fortunate woman I am at the minute. I have recently been commissioned by the extraordinary American Folk artist, Miz Thang  to create something wonderful from a vintage white tux tailcoat. The theme was Frida Kahlo which made me very happy as Frida is very close to my heart.

It was pretty daunting to make the first painty marks on this pure white garment that had been flown all the way to me from across the Atlantic Ocean. But I stuck my courage to the sticking place ( sorry Lady Macbeth) and gave it a go.

It’s currently flying it’s way back to Miz Thang on an aeroplane. It’s a well travelled tux. Here is it’s story in pictures.

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I can’t wait to see pictures of the marvellous Miz Thang wearing her new arty tux. It is such a joy to help people become walking art pieces, especially when they are already fabulous artists!

I’m currently working on the most amazing cape for her, featuring her very own , delightfully bonkers paintings of circus freaks. This one is worth waiting for… I can’t wait to show you!

Opening up to the world and receiving it’s ( very colourful) blessings


Art , Fashion and the power of the muse

Sue and SueHere’s Sue Kreitzman and Sue Bourne the producer behind Fabulous Fashionistas. Sue K is wearing a coat I made for her inspired by the African Goddess Mami Wata.

I was recently at the opening night of Sue Kreitzman‘s solo exhibition Sue Kreitzman World at Cult Mountain in Shoreditch. ( I’m afraid it’s now over…it’s taken me far too long to get round to blogging. ) It was a great night, full of colourful characters scorpio at sue's                     ( My lovely and very talented and stylish  friend Scorpio the artist)

and even I dressed up for the occasion. me at Sue's exhib     (Forgive the cheesy grin) Hair flowers by the  incredible Bink of Pearls and Swine

The evening passed quickly , Sue was a great hit and a true star. Her work looked splendid in a gallery setting. It was great to see her colourful creations up close. One of the main highlights of the exhibition was a painting by the talented Ella Guru Artist of Sue and her close friend and artist, Anne Sophie Cochevelou in Sue’s incredible home. Sue in front of paintingIt was such a privilege to have my own work exhibited alongside Sue’s as part of her world. What a lucky woman I am! 2014-03-13 20.07.12As the night drew to a close, a vision of loveliness walked past my table. I knew I had to get to know her. I smiled and she smiled back. I couldn’t help myself as I stuttered: ” You are beautiful”. You can see why … Brit and Lolo(Lolo on the left with gallery owner, Brit)

When a muse walks into your life, there is no room for being shy, so I contacted this shy and sweet natured woman on Facebook and asked her if I could make her an item of clothing to wear, inspired by her. To my great delight, she was very excited by the offer.

Lolo Moniasse  an extraordinary human being. She has an incredible spirit and a unique look, her unique scarification making her a walking work of art. Dariusz Adamek Lolo                                            (photo by Dariusz Adamek)konfral                                           ( photo by konfral.com)

I had had the idea to make capes. It seemed to come out of nowhere. A gift from the Universe, you might say. But the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. I am a very committed feminist and I wanted to celebrate women in my work. What better way to celebrate the everyday hero that is woman than by putting women in capes? And not just any old cape, but a cape that is a wearable piece of art.

So I set about making a cape for Lolo. First I sought inspiration from her images. I found an image by a photographer called Simon Fairclough of a tribal shoot that he had done with Lolo. One of the pictures in particular caught my eye. I thought about the chat I had had with Lolo about her back scarification and how it symbolised the elements. So I decided to base the cape on the theme of the four elements..

IMAG1260_1Here is the image of Lolo as Earth. Painted and embroidered. Based on Simon Fairclough’s photo. This went on the front of the cape.

I used two different but complimenting African batik fabrics to make the basic cape . On top of that I appliqued images that I hand painted and machine embroidered and I used contrasting fabrics to applique luminous orange flames around the bottom of the cape, and silver fabric to applique fish. White cotton fabric was appliqued to create feathers. ( Earth, fire , water and air).

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The back of the cape featured a portrait of Lolo showing her back scarification which I embroidered to enhance the 3D quality of the scars. IMAG1267_1 (1) IMAG1266_1Lolo was depicted as an Elemental Goddess, with four arms, each arm holding a symbol of each element.  Appliqued leaves scattered about in green.

It was wonderful to see Lolo wearing her cape. She is going to shoot it properly with Simon who inspired the front image with his beautiful photo. I can’t wait to see the result of those images.

But for now, here are my humble photos of a very happy Lolo in her elements cape. IMAG1304 IMAG1302

If you like what you see and fancy a cape of your own, I’m open for orders . They cost £150 for the short cape or £200 for a longer thigh length cape. The capes are fully lined and each one is a one off , unique piece. The theme /images are entirely up to you. I’m currently working on a few orders, so there is a one month waiting time. Good things come to those that wait.

www.iheartcart.com

www.facebook.com/c.Artbags

Making Fabulous Fashion for a Fabulous Fashionista


My oh my , how I’ve been busy! I’ve barely had time to breathe since I started on this path of making wearable art for the wonderful woman  and Fabulous Fashionista , Sue Kreitzman. Sue Mami Wata

Since I wrote my last blog post, I’ve made so many more pieces , I think I shall just post pictures and let them do the talking.

Since my last blog post, I’m terribly sad to report that the purple coat that I customised for Sue with her portrait on the back

purple Sue2 purple Sue has been stolen by two men coat thief 2 coat thief1

( pictured on cctv cameras in the gallery)

when it was on exhibition at the quirky and exciting gallery/cafe Cult Mountain in Shoreditch.  If you recognise these men please contact the police as the theft has been reported. Who knows what prompted someone to steal such an identifiable piece. Who would wear a coat with the person’s portrait on the back that you stole it from? It makes no sense.

Sigh.

I suppose I can say that a piece of my art has achieved notoriety. I’m going to make another portrait coat for Sue  and try to make it even better. Frida shirt front h& H2 h&H1 h&H3 Sue Frida 4 Sue Frida 5 Sue frida shirt 1 Sue Mami Wata Back of jacket IMAG1047_1 purple Sue Sue's frida back Sue's Frida detail Sue's Frida pocket 2 Sue's Frida pocket1 Sue's Frida shirt back Sue's new jacket Sues frida Mami Wata in sunSo there you have it, pictures of the work I’ve been doing, making wearable art for fabulous people.

 

There’s still more to come.

 

To view a full collection of what I’ve made thus far , do head over to my Facebook page : www.facebook.com/c.Artbags

My website , if you fancy having a look is www.iheartcart.com

I love my life.

 

The Fish are Angry


We can’t fail to notice that the weather has gone a little crazy, just lately. Worldwide we are being subject to severe weather, from heatwaves, floods and freezes, gale force winds and earthquakes and tidal waves.

Global warming cannot be ignored. It is here.

Some might say that the fish are angry. I have a really good friend called Mervyn Syna who is a very wonderful talented artist and poet, part of a wonderful East London Poetry and Spoken Word Group, Red Army Fiction. He has been telling everyone for some time now that the fish are angry. I think we are starting to understand what he means.

We have disturbed the equilibrium of  our planet and now we are feeling the consequences.

I had these thoughts in the front of my head when I received the next lot of images from  Fabulous Fashionista and outsider artist Sue KreitzmanSue for her next customised garment: a kimono. One of them resonated deeply with the fish theme: here was a wonderful image of a mermaid with a happy fish on her head , with the words ‘Return the fish to the sea’ written around the image. kimono2 kimono3 kimono4It was as if the fish had come to me personally to deliver another message.

The other paintings were of a woman holding on to a heart with the legend ” Choose Love” .kimono1 kimono6 kimono7 Most fitting that the garment was finished on the most romantic day of the year, Valentines Day.

The last painting was of a woman with two clocks, one on her head with the legend ” Time quickly passes” around the clock face, and another clock on her abdomen. Could this be a reference to a woman’s biological clock? kimono5

Putting all these paintings into one garment had the effect of creating a very strong message. Choose love ( for the planet) Return the fish to the sea ( stop polluting their home!) and do it now, we’re running out of time ( time quickly passes) . kimono7

The images were painted on to the kimono and the black fabric was embellished with subtle but sparkly black glitter to create a stunning statement piece. kimono4

I can’t wait to see Sue wearing it .

I’m sure the fish will be very satisfied their message is getting through. They chose artists to be their messengers. Clever fish.

If you are interested in commissioning your own piece of wearable art, drop me a line on thebabyfairyfifi@hotmail.com and we shall chat.

Blogging, what’s that?


It’s been so long, so long since I’ve blogged, I don’t even know where to begin.

A lot has happened in my making world: crochet came and went ( it will be back, it’s just on the back burner for now) , a new brand has been started c.Art which is a fashion line ( initially hand painted bags but has now expanded to encompass all forms of wearable art , some of which can be found for sale on my Big Cartel website .

There are political ( feminist mainly) hand printed tshirts,

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there are upcycled items of clothing that are themed around strong female icons Frida bw dress frida jacket Frida lace2 Frida naked jumper Fridaskirt purple frida dress Red jacket redrose3

 

( Frida Kahlo/ Medusa/ Marilyn Monroe ) and I shall be adding to the range as time goes on.

There are also jackets bearing the ” This is Not” legend which is exclusive to the c.Art brand. One of my favourites is a dark take on Disney monopolising childhood, ” This is Not… Childhood” featuring Snow White wearing Mickey Mouse ears and a printed and embroidered Dead Bambi’s mother scene.

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So yes, I’ve been busy at work creating a range of what I call Radical Street wear for the young and not so young, but for people looking for something completely unique with a little bit of an edge. So far the range is proving popular with fellow creatives and artists. sparkly medusa yellow frida

One very inspiring and creative person I’ve recently met is one of Channel 4’s Fabulous Fashionistas , the amazing Sue Kreitzman. Sue bought one of my early c.Art bags that had a hand painted Caravaggio’s Medusa on it, as she is very inspired by the gorgon with the snake hair. CIMG4197 CIMG4201 CIMG4203

We met again at her birthday party where she invited me to perform with my puppets for a childlike birthday party fitting for a woman who doesn’t take life too seriously. At that party, Sue asked me if I could paint on an old raincoat she had picked up from a flea market in New York. It had really big shoulders and she wanted me to do something to it to distract from them.

So I did this: coat 3 coat4 Sue's coat

 

Sue was so thrilled with the result that I’m now in the enviable position of being Sue’s primary wardrobe creator. Isn’t that just incredible? What more perfect a person to represent c.Art ( wearable art) than someone who is known as living art.

I’ve since made two more jackets for Sue: a purple self referential coat with a portrait of Sue on the back and various pieces of her work on the front. purple Suepurple Sue2Here’s Sue working it! Sue and I 2 Sue and Scorpio Sue in purple

 

Sue’s home is a veritable Aladdin’s cave of assemblages and paintings, things picked up from flea markets and other ethnic treasures. It is quite something to behold.

Here’s another jacket that I’ve painted with images from Sue’s fabulously vibrant ‘Matissesque ‘ paintings. Catncoffee1 Catncoffee2 Catncoffee3 Catncoffee4And here’s Sue wrapped in her own painted mythology, what a wonderful sight to behold! Sue latestSue has become not only a dear friend but a total inspiration. I don’t know where it will lead, but I do know that Sue is promising to keep me really busy with her garments.

I’m excited to show you.

This time, I promise not to stay away for so long…

 

 

I am an Artist


Facing my reflection

Today I had what I think they call a Damascus moment. I’m no spring chicken, next year I turn 50, half a blimmin century and I think I’m going to have a Croning ceremony as I embrace my status as an older  Feminist woman in our society. But this post isn’t about that. Although it does have something to do with my Feminist stance.

Let me explain…

I grew up believing my  ultimate goal as a woman was to grow up and get married. Some day my prince will come… I used to go to sleep as a young girl of 6 or 7 with my hair spread out beautifully on my pillow just in case my prince came in the door at night.

I did grow up and get married, not before having a stint in art school and discovering that I had a talent for drawing and painting. My tutors and colleagues really believed in me. It was a pity that I somehow never shared their belief.

Why didn’t I believe?

I think it was because my mum repeatedly told me that I was not an artist and never would be because I could only copy.

Those words would burn deep into my psyche and end up echoing round my head as an adolescent, then right throughout my adulthood. Until now.

But I’m running before I’ve learned to walk. So I got married and had two beautiful daughters who have now grown up to be wonderful young women, one of whom has a daughter of her own. I’m now a proud grandma.

I’m no longer married. Nobody told me that the Disney princess prophesy ended like this.

But I moved on and I grew. I now don’t believe in marriage. My goals in life have changed. When I grow up I want to be an artist instead.

Well, today I think I grew up.

After spending a day with my eldest artistic daughter at the BP Portrait Awards at the National Portrait Gallery it suddenly struck me. I should have my work on the walls. There was no reason why I couldn’t be amongst this fabulous display of diverse portraiture. What was I waiting for? I had already painted a portrait of a street drinker friend I had made about 10 years ago that I think would be worthy of submission. Jimmy1 Jimmy2 Jimmy3 Jimmy4For over ten years this painting had been rolled up in a corner, hiding. Today I took it out and looked at it with new eyes.  The word started to bubble up.

ARTIST.

I was waiting to embrace the word. The word that for almost 40 years had felt far too big for me to handle. ARTIST.

It was hard to say. ARTIST. ( You’re not an artist, you can only copy) Shut up mum.

ARTIST. ( You’re not an artist … )

ARTIST. I AM AN ARTIST.

I went around my flat with my little camera, taking photos of myself , not smiling. Not posing. Just being me. Being serious. Taking myself seriously.  Just being me, the artist. Not the woman, not the mother, not the children’s entertainer, just me. THE ARTIST.

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Then I started to feel like including myself and my work. My flat is full of my work. From painting and drawing to soft sculpture. It is a veritable private temple of my creativity. It’s time to go public and stop being afraid of showing the real me.

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So  Mum. Now what do you think?

I’m a mother fucking artist.

Yes I am. Oh yes I am.

And today is the beginning of my artist journey as an artist. Not an apologist.

Unlike the adolescent me who had the ability but nothing to say with it, I’ve got so much to say now , it is hard to know where to start.

I’m starting tomorrow. Tomorrow I paint.

I am a woman and I am an artist.