Making a contribution

I like to contribute art to worthwhile causes.  Recently I made a piece for a Secret Auction to raise funds for The Martlets, a hospice near Brighton not far from where I live.  I have no idea how much it will eventually raise – 50p, £5 or even £50, who knows.  But every little bit helps and it costs me nothing apart from my time and effort.

peel of bells

donated artwork to The Martlets Secret Auction

I made the above piece of work which I called “Peel of Bells” using mixed media that included a photograph I took of a foxglove plant in my garden, free motion machine embroidery and water-soluble paper.  The piece is 21cms X 15cms which was the prescribed size.  I hope somebody likes it and buys it to raise money for this worthy cause.

I have also just recently contributed a piece of work the AccessArt Share-a-Bird project which is a nationwide initiative aimed at schools and has two main aims –

  • To celebrate and highlight the diversity of artists and makers in the UK today.
  • To demonstrate the importance of visual arts education for all.

Earlier this year a call out was made to artists to create a bird which would then be sent to a school to spread the message.

  • Artists, makers, designers and craftspeople are openly invited to make, sculpt, paint, draw or make a print of a bird and send it to AccessArt. A label will be attached to the bird, naming the artist /maker, and describing their inspiration.
  • AccessArt will send out the birds to schools in the UK. No money will change hands, though the artists/makers will receive recognition, and the school (teachers and pupils) receive a gift: the artwork (to keep) and the gift of inspiration.
  • A bird has been the symbol of AccessArt for many years. AccessArt is a UK charity which aims to inspire and enable through sharing of good practice and we see the bird as a messenger. By creating a flock of birds, and sending them out into the world, we hope we can help new ideas spread and new connections to be made.

My contribution was a peacock.  I had intended to design and make a fantasy bird, but everything I drew looked a bit like a peacock so in the end I just thought… OK, it’s a peacock.  I made a watercolour sketch which I then scanned and printed digitally onto soluble paper before stitching over it and finally dissolving some of the paper.  the end result was mounted in an embroidery hoop.

2015-08-14 20.05.16

watercolour sketch


the end result

share a bird logo

a thank-you from AccessArt

Collaborative and contribution projects like this are great fun and a fabulous way to make some work that is a bit different from what you would normally do.  It frees the mind up and also hopefully does a little bit of good along the way.

Find out more about AccessArt at


About paisleypedlar

Artist, Sewist, sometime Cyclist and Arm Chair Activist
This entry was posted in acrylic painting, advertising, Art, art and design, colour, Crafty things, drawing, drawing and painting, education, embroidery, Fine Art, flowers, hand embroidery, machine embroidery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Making a contribution

  1. Cedric de la Nougerede says:

    Thank you G, that was very interesting and I liked your peacock. I thought I would like to help and though I don’t mind giving away paintings, giving money as well was not for me. I have given a talk to the children of my local academy, but felt it would be nice if children were taught to draw, in the same way as they are taught to read and write. Boys tend to abandon drawing when they discover that what they draw is not what they see. They know their cars and planes (and probably birds as well) and artistic interpretations do nothing for them.
    Read “Drawing on the right side of the brain.”

    • Thank you for liking my peacock, I enjoy contributing to projects like this as I think smaller organisations like AccessArt do an excellent job in encouraging creativity. The giving of a cash donation for this project was not compulsory, but again, I don’t have a problem with charitable giving of this nature. Well done for giving a talk to your local academy. I hear what you are saying about the teaching of drawing and while I agree in part with what you say, I don’t think that teaching drawing in the same way as other academic subjects is a good idea, quite the reverse as I think it would only promote prescriptive sameness which would be very dull indeed. I have read the book you mention and would recommend to you “Drawing Projects – an exploration into the language of drawing” by Maslen and Southern and also
      “Vitamin D” which to my mind is one of the best books about contemporary drawing available.

      • Cedric de la Nougerede says:

        I’m sorry Gillian. Didn’t mean to upset you. I give to lots of different charities, but usually ones that alleviate suffering in animals and humans.
        When I’m talking about teaching drawing, I’m not talking about teaching Art. Drawing is a skill that can be taught, like writing. Because children are taught to write doesn’t mean they are all going to be authors all writing the same stories. Art is something that can be encouraged but not taught.
        To learn to draw and sketch allows one to convey a visual image of an idea and is used by engineers, designers and architects around the world. Drawing is a very necessary ability that everyone can learn to do. It is a skill – not art. As Andrew Marr said “It is not art, it is more important than that.”
        I think drawing should be taught in Primary schools. Art is something latent within us and will come out whether one is taught art at school or goes to art school or not. It has little to do with the ability to draw. I worked for 6 years in the corridor opposite to the Slade School of Art and having seen the works they produced I could never call myself an artist.
        Just a Design Engineer who makes pictures.

  2. You haven’t upset me at all Cedric, quite the opposite. I think it is very important to openly discuss things like this as challenging debate and considering opposing viewpoints expands the mind. I understand exactly what you are saying and agree with you to an extent, but I also think it is important to recognise in the very young that their own vision is vital and just because what they have drawn on the paper doesn’t look like whatever it is supposed to be, doesn’t mean it is bad, wrong or anything like that.Primary age children are at their most imaginative and creative, being largely uninhibited and this is why I don’t think the drawing lessons in an academic style are a good thing for this age group since there is the very real danger that criticism or bad teaching (due to the teacher not having enough knowledge of drawing themselves) may stifle future artistic endeavour, or worse still children could end up believing that the only drawing which is deemed to be ‘good’ is one which is a photorealistic representation of something.
    I admire those who can create and interpret engineering drawings or design drawings. I am hopeless at mathematics and have always struggled with anything like that.
    The words on this blog are my own ideas and opinions, they are not necessarily right or wrong and I am always open to what others have to say. You always need to know both sides of an argument before you can make an informed decision.
    I hope you continue to read my ramblings and that they continue to amuse.

  3. Cedric de la Nougerede says:

    Thank you again. I do love your ramblings and always pass them on to my brother who disperses them further afield. You visit places that we are too old to get to and your descriptions and photos really make us feel that we are there.
    Maybe its because I could always draw that I do not understand modern art. I wish I had stayed on at the Brighton College of art ( only did two terms) but National Service put paid to that. When I came out, I had to get a job and earn some money – hence a draughtsman, which I remained for 45 years.
    Keep doing your blog, it is wonderful. C

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