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April 9, 2014


The six school blossom workshop sessions have all been delivered now, I seem to leave a trail of blossoms everywhere I go! The past two weeks have been frantic preparing, collecting materials and delivering the workshops, I feel tired but relieved 72 children have happily created blossom art.

In the preliminary visits to the schools I shared the process of my blossom paintings showing my sketchbooks and original paintings, talking through the blossom project and techniques I have developed.The children listened attentively and set to work gathering blossom sketches and photos for the blossom sessions. 

Focussing on a project dependent on nature’s timings can be worrying but I realised I should have had faith when I arrived at Cherry Tree Hill school and the blossoms were in full bloom along the roadside. We walked year 5 to stand under the trees to blossom gaze for a while before returning to the classroom to paint.

The children’s art work is wonderful far exceeding any expectations I had, the preliminary visit paid off. Their  paintings are vibrant experimenting with layering the paint creating different effects; textures, patterns and colours.I am delighted with the collection of 14 104 x110cm group canvases plus 15 smaller ones from both schools.

Today at my local school aswell as blossom paintings we created blossom machines, the task was to create a machine which could move the blossom petals in some way. Trying to replicate falling petals or petals being swept up in gusts of wind.Presented with fans and a balloon pump, recycled materials, card, tapes, strings and boxes the year 3 and 4 children worked in groups on their ideas. They were very imaginative and worked incredibly well together. We now have a Blossom Park including a slide which pumps petals down it, a Blossom TV with remote control and a fan which moves the blossom around. Maisy the Machine including a handbag and wash bag, Henry the Blossom Machine has paddles which move the petals. Mary Queen Blossom Machine, King Fred and Spider Blossom Machine which has six drinking straws attached to a container filled with petals.

It amused me how the children wrote signs; back in five minutes/ out of order/ handle with care. Their blossom machine manuals were interesting with clear instructions how to work their machines.

I am always a little nervous how successful the sessions will be, but children always seem to create with great enthusiasm, I just need to present them with creative possibilities and have faith in the process and their innate desire to create things.

All will be on display in my pop up blossom studio at the Quad Derby on Saturday 26th April 2014 11-5pm in the participation room. Free event.

I will also be sharing the Blossom Project outcomes in a workshop at the Quad, Friday 25th April 9.30-3.30pm Please contact me if you wish to book a place.



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