Home is where the heart is

April 10th, 2014


A very recent piece which was done from start to finish, admittedly in several sessions. Some work stops and starts for various reasons – interruptions, difficulties, lack of inspiration or materials, it needs to dry…anything and everything. It’s a pleasure to have an uninterrupted run.

This is a long-promised piece for a very good friend. I’ve long been entranced by the patterns in the landscape, and in my days of researching medieval maps used to wonder how generals planned battles before the aeroplane. Alexander the Great climbed a mountain to be able to survey the land under his sway, or so the story goes.

Now we have Google Earth which brings the bird’s eye view to life and helps you to get the facts (roughly) right. But it’s impersonal in its way, even though you can sweep in and see homely details. This particular farmhouse sits in an interesting pattern of fields which change their appearance according to the seasons. Early spring is a good time to see the bare bones.

The lovely Knapeney is a home and a delight to its owner and I decided on impulse to apply gold leaf to the central section where the house and outbuildings sit. Here are some details.

Knapeney, detail

Knapeney, detail

Pure gold

Pure gold

Knapeney, detail

Knapeney, detail

Leaving York (again)

April 5th, 2014

Leaving York (2)

I love trains. They have direction, volition, speed. They cut through the landscape which you are able to view in a way people never managed to do before the train was invented: as an endless unrolling scroll. You begin to see how scenes fit together, how geograpical features evolve and change and succeed each other. Before trains, you could only see as far as your eye could see and there’s not much diffence between walking and riding or driving in a carriage in that respect.

And I adore stations. Straight is good, curved is a lot better. Brighton station has a not-bad curve – I’m shaping up to doing a painting of that soon. (‘Leaving Brighton’, which I posted recently, shows the reflection of one train and the station behind in the windows of a second train. No curve.)

But York station is divine. Like a cathedral. Soaring roof-supports and metalwork, glorious glass canopies, simple ornament, repetitive pattern linked to function. And that wonderful long, perfect curve.

I used acrylics and pastels on a sheet of specially-made paper. It’s quite a large piece (74x100cm). My own curve isn’t perfect but I drew it swiftly, freehand, without trying too hard, trying to convey the simple spontaneous pleasure and movement in that series of arches.

Leaving York (detail)

From the House of the Trembling Madness

April 4th, 2014
Reflections from a first-floor window

Reflections from a first-floor window

A recent trip up north led to some new work. This one maybe needs some explanation. York Minster, yes, that’s obvious. But it’s seen out of a rather high first-floor window at the lovely House of the Trembling Madness, ancient building, bar and off-licence with lovely food. The sun was brillant, that supernaturally bright light you get after a huge downpour. And the flat-ground-floor roof below the window was covered with a sheet of water.

And somehow there seemed no way of doing the piece without being really literal. My work seems to have become more directly representational recently despite the fact that I’m trying to simplify and pare down. It just goes to show that it’s usually the picture in charge, not the artist.

I used a heavy specially-made sheet of paper with acrylics, but added pastels later.

Affordable Art in London

March 25th, 2014

AAF, Nicholas Bowlby standdd

The great thing about doing an art fair with a gallery is that apart from making, labelling and perhaps packing the work you don’t have to do a thing.

After running gallery/open house type events this is such a relief. Even if you don’t send out a single invite people still come. No cooking or bottle-washing either, let alone transporting, hanging, labelling, invigilating, admin, publicity, private view and heaven knows what. Not to mention clleaning the loo.

If you look hard you can see my Universal Origins, Near Seven Sisters and Cliftonville Tea-Gown.Work was being regularly moved around and rehung.

Mind you, one pays a hefty commission. But I’m inclined to think it’s worth every penny. I haven’t had the feedback yet from the Affordable Art Fair though….


The trials of an artist

March 23rd, 2014


When people see a finished picture I guess they feel (if they think about it at all) that the artist had an idea, got together the materials and then made the piece – maybe with some hitches here and there.

The reality in my case, is this. The cat in my life is determined at every stage to make the proto-picture hers. No matter how damp, uncomfortable or precarious, she bides her time looking for an opportunity to get on there and have a good roll. Next, it’s time to do her toilette. Paw-imprints, hair, mud, unsavoury bits of debris – they all get on there unless I’m really vigilant. Wet paint – no bother. Framing – bring it on.

Here are some more pictures: the car biding her time, the prowling, the evidence.

Waiting for an opportunity

Waiting for an opportunity

getting closer

getting closer


The Affordable Art Fair, Battersea, opens today.

March 12th, 2014
gown-shaped art piece

chic gown for the wall

Time for another belated catch-up.

The sun is shining, the builders have gone (for now) and I have reclaimed my studio. More about all this soon. For now, this is a reminder I’m still functioning and some of my new work is on show this week at the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea.

I have recently hung lots more new work here at the Wolf at the Door and am happy to show it by appointment to anyone interested.

There is lots more information about all this on my public Facebook Artist page. Do have a look, and ‘like’ the page (if you do like it!) I shall post all the relevant links below in the hope I can get them to show as live links. This was one of the problems that discouraged me from posting on here but I hope this site (and I) will be a lot livelier soon.




Cliftonville gown detail

Cliftonville gown detail

Cliftonville detail (2)

Cliftonville detail

Happy New Year

January 1st, 2014
Winter sky - detail

Winter sky – detail

Look into the Night Sky! New Year brings the need to ponder on life and time. Warmest wishes for your very own individual tranche of it.

I haven’t updated this blog very often this year because of technical problems that were beyond me to resolve. In particular I couldn’t place any live links here. It was a difficult year personally. I hadn’t the time to follow up.

Hence I’ve tended to use my two Facebook pages for regular updates, the JT artist and the Wolf at the Door pages. If you click on these links you should immediately get an idea of what’s happening on my art, life and gallery fronts. (Despite everything I have shown work at some excellent shows with a very good gallery.) I’ll have a final go to post the Facebook links below.

Upshot: my https://www.facebook.com/JillTattersallartist will not appear live here whatever I do, but you can paste in this link or get to it via the live Wolf at the Door Facebook link below.

And now, dear friends (New Year’s Resolution coming up) I will enlist proper technical help and support to update, overhaul and renew this website!


Missed the boat? Took the train!

August 7th, 2013

It’s been a year of accidents (most recently one involving boiling water and me) and we’ve been much taken up with building works. As a result I’ve missed a few boats (deadlines for exhibition submissions, choice exhibitions, applying for things…). Also I haven’t found time yet to update this website and fix various glitsches – soon, I hope.

But I have caught a train or two. Most literally, a Southern Train – see the brand new piece above, not framed or priced yet. It’s quite a big beast, 2′x4′. I was struck by the complex reflections in the windows of the train I was about to board. Another train was on the opposite platform and you could see it and distorted architectural details of the station. I adore stations!

My solo exhibition at Sussex Prairies is still on. There is a Glyndebourne-style picnic there on 22 August with music by The House of Hats, with artists and sculptors with work on display also in attendance. Tickets available via their website. Also their annual Rare Plant and Art Sale on 1 September when the gardens will be at their peak with giant swirls and drifts of colour.

I have a fair bit of new work in the pipeline. The fine weather and new terrace have provided excellent conditions for making large sheets of paper! The cat has had a glorious time licking water from the paper bucket and lying on the paper as it dries.

One Million Points of Light

July 26th, 2013

I’ve just revisited this interesting project started by renowned holographic artist Andy Pepper in 2006 – and it’s still there to see. Have a look; artists in over 120 countries ‘lit up’ blocks, singly or in a pattern, on a grid. The number of visits to each block was counted. I joined it in 2007 or thereabouts and, at random I confess, was featured as artist of the month in July 2008:


The piece used to illustrate it was my section of an Exquisite Corpse. This was made of recycled materials and put together as a whole with two other artists, John Lincoln and Stuart Goodacre as the centrepiece for a joint exhibition. The Torso has hung on my walls since; I’ve not tried to sell it as I have a sentimental attachment to the old geezer.

However, times move on, it’s good to move things on and out and create new mental space. The Torso (which has a beating heart – honestly!) has been on show with Nicholas Bowlby and in the course of things will probably pass out of my life. So here is a picture of the whole piece again:

and me putting it together:

I have several new large pieces nearly finished – not quite ready to photograph yet. The weather has been excellent for making and drying paper!

In the Barn at Sussex Prairies

July 17th, 2013

There is going to be an event before long to publicise this exhibition of my botanical art and the work of other artists and sculptors placed all round the lovely Sussex Prairies. I have an enormous space to myself, the only snag being that people don’t all realise the existence of the attractive newly converted barn, the Garden Room.

Here are a few more snapshots: