Ho ho ho

It’s been a little busy in Allan House of late, what with moving into the festive season, a local art show to work towards, I also had my first assignment to hand in for an MA in illustration course I started in September.

One of the tasks for my studies was to create a blog around a key word “Storytelling”. The blog can be viewed in Wordpress where you will find how I approached the exercise and my outcomes. 

After researching how stories are structured alongside the way images are put together, I created a way of telling a story using old techniques which require a story teller as well as a listener. Working together, children's creativity can be encouraged as they work with the characters around a background.

Ideal for early readers, this format utilises the fairy-tale of Little Red Riding Hood but it could easily be adapted for different types of story telling and different types of events and social interaction.

The characters for Little Red Riding Hood on a storybook background.

The characters for Little Red Riding Hood on a storybook background.

Board Game Base-SallyJTaylor.jpg

Teaching and my first Skillshare class

Years back I wasn't accepted for teacher training college. This was straight after gaining my degree in Textile Design. I regularly taught in Sunday School and had always thought teaching would be a great vocation, gaining a subject specific degree followed by a certificate. This route was not to be.

Sharing what we know and how we do things is great, it somehow helps the soul to grow. If someone says "Wow, how did you do that?" or "Can you show me how to..." we jump at the chance to share.

There has been much discussion in one of my art groups, with a few having prepared, and  teaching art techniques on a website called Skillshare. "Good idea" thinks me. So, off I go to film a class....

Quite a few megabits of memory later, many 'out takes' of hesitation, deviation and just plain 'wrong' and a new Skillshare class is borne: 'Beginning with Brusho'. A step by step tutorial with a mix of screen shots, me talking to the camera and work in progress, a suitable length film showing how to paint some poppies.

If you want to give it a go: here is a code for the first 10 delegates: https://skl.sh/2GSVyOI


Looking into the Future

The art of Tasseography is not something I knew anything about which is why the February assignment for Make Art That Sells bootcamp class was so intriguing. Roll on 4 weeks and now I have a better understanding of this past-time and a lot more art. 

Tasseography is better known as Tea Leaf Reading, a mystical art of seeing and assigning meaning to tea leaves in a tea cup after the liquid has been drunk.

I drink tea as my preferred option; Builders, Earl Grey, English Breakfast or a herb tea, chamomile to aid sleep, Echinacea to ward off colds. But how to paint and what to paint?

But First Tea

But First Tea

There are lots of different images in the tea leaves but I have concentrated only on some of the positive. Elephants, anchors, flying birds, directional footprints, hearts... just some imagery I concentrated on. The final piece of work for this project needed to be a journal cover.

My Journal Cover

My Journal Cover

I have enjoyed this project; learning an aspect of life I didn't know much about, exploring a subject through art which has included painting on dried tea bags! It has been fun and consuming. Roll on March and a brand new assignment which I believe is something to do with faces...

Can you see an elephant in your tea cup? 

Can you see an elephant in your tea cup? 

A jumper design based an chamomile tea

A jumper design based an chamomile tea

For the love of Stripes (with the occasional flower)!

Not something I usually concentrate on but with the current course I am taking about Surface Pattern design, the brief required stripes.

Attempting to fulfil this, I tried painting lines but was uninspired :(. One of my vices is visiting art and craft shops - I always exit with things I need, but hadn’t intended to purchase. So when Hobbycraft have a summer sale and I am short of ink cartridges, I am soon there browsing through their offers returning to my studio with 2 new A2 canvasses, webbing, d rings, and a pack of Windsor & Newton double nib felt pens (they had run out of black cartridges).

Day 2 saw my sketch book filling with soft, brightly coloured Stripes, squiggles and flower shapes all travelling up and down the page… bliss… along with a few petals in geometrics formations. Job done.


After my old website needed some fundamental changes, I started looking around at what else was available as I needed to have a site which offered a range of functions, to be mobile and tablet responsive as well as a gallery and a shop linking to an ecommerce solution.

Here we are. The first post on my new site as I explore the different features  load in photos of my artwork and make an enjoyable on line experience.

Feedback is always appreciated! 


Mum's are a new series of acrylic paintings available to purchase through Mardleybury Gallery, as prints and cards through my website.