Monday, 12 March 2018

Hello everyone,

I hope you are doing well and have survived the arctic conditions, moving swiftly into spring!

I'm delighted to be running a new free course at Besson Street Community Garden for the Telegraph Hill Festival and NXG Trust.

If you haven't been to Besson Street, it's a lovely space in New Cross Gate, a little oasis of calm in our dear city, and well worth a visit. For more information on Besson Street Community Garden go here:

Taking the garden as inspiration we will explore artists who have been inspired by nature and gardens, such as, Monet, Matisse and Maria Sybilla Merian. There will be demonstrations and practical exercises.

Inspired by these artists, we will work in the garden, using creativity, abstraction and poetry as inspiration to create unique works.

Materials will be available, but participants are encouraged to bring along materials that they enjoy working with if they wish.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Happy new year to you for 2018!

There are places still available on my Still Life Artists course starting this Tuesday, January 9th.

The course runs for 10 weeks every Tuesday morning, from 10am - 1pm.

We will be looking at a different still life artist each week, and then working from an arrangement inspired by their work. Starting with Patrick Caulfield on Tuesday, there will be lots of interesting artists to explore, and plenty of practical help and advice for developing your artistic style.

Phone 0207 639 6818 to reserve your place, or:

Call in to enrol on Tuesday morning at the Thomas Calton Centre, Choumert Road, Peckham SE15 4NX. It's £120 for the 10 weeks, £60 concessions.

And on Wednesday this week - Jan 10th - I will be exploring the history of candle making and how to make candles, at the Open Wednesday art drop in at Union Chapel. The chapel is in Islington, on Compton Terrace, N1 2UN, very near to Highbury and Islington station.

Pop in, between 11am and 1pm, to make your own candle to light up January and bring good cheer for the new year! We'll be making candles form scratch, including the wicks, using all natural materials -  beeswax, herbs, rose petals, and essential oils. It's free, and all materials are provided.

​Also at Union Chapel, I'll be running a unique five model life drawing class on Sunday March 4th, 6 - 9pm. Tickets are now available, and cost £20, follow this link for more information or to book:

On February 18th, I will be collaborating with artist Caroline Gregory, as part of the Chinese New Year celebrations in Soho​. Save the date! More info to follow nearer the time.

With love and best wishes - Joanna

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Hello everyone!

Are you looking for a unique last minute Christmas gift?

Why not give the gift of art?

My 15 week life drawing evening class starts in February - 7-9pm, on Mondays, at Thomas Calton Centre in Peckham SE15.

Also in Peckham, my Still Life Artists course will start on Tuesday January 9th, with a free drop in on January 2nd.

These classes run from 10am - 1pm, and each week we will explore a still life artist in depth.

Then we will try out different practical art techniques, working from an arrangement inspired by the artist explored.

We will be looking at contemporary as well as more traditional artists - from Cezanne to Patrick Caulfield - there is sure to be something interesting for you!

For more information go here:

And last but not least, my Five Alive life drawing session at Union Chapel Bar in Islington will happen again on Sunday March 4th, from 6-9pm. With five models, music, and drinks available to purchase from the bar, it's a snip at £20!

Thursday, 7 December 2017


Tomorrow evening, Friday December 8th, it would be lovely to see you at The Golden Anchor pub in Nunhead, for Mind Your Head. A magical evening of art, music and film, curated by Caroline Gregory and Calum F. Kerr:

I'll be singing at 8, so don't be late!

Then on Sunday, come and find some festive treats on my table, at Barnado's The Triangle Craft Fair:

I'll be sharing a table with artist Dick Graham.

And next Sunday - December 17th - the artwork Shrine to the Seasons will be on display at Union Chapel in Islington, N1 2UN, for Carols by Candlelight.

These 5 contemporary icons are the culmination of a year's work at the Open Wednesday sessions at the Chapel, where I have been working with members of the public, making art on the theme of the seasons.

Doors open at 6pm. The event is very popular, so be sure to get there early! For more information follow this link:

​I look forward to seeing you! With love and best wishes - Joanna.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Hello everyone,

Lots of life drawing to choose from this November!

Marathon Life Drawing is a two day course taking place on two consecutive Saturdays at The Thomas Calton Centre in Peckham SE15, on Nov 4th and 11th:

The course runs all day from 10am to 4pm on both Saturdays Nov. 4th and November 11th, and is priced very reasonably at only £40 standard, £20 concessions.
You must bring your own paper and whatever mediums you want to use. We provide the drawing boards and easels. There will be a mixture of poses, both short and longer ones, and the opportunity to learn different exercises and techniques. I will be teaching the class on Nov. 4th, and my colleague Rebecca Allen will be teaching it on Nov. 11th, so it's a great opportunity to experience different teaching styles!

You can email me if you have any questions:

Or phone the centre on 0207358 2100

There is also a £5 registration fee for taking courses at the centre. 

My Monday evening class at the Thomas Calton Centre also has places available. It runs from 7-9pm on Mondays. There are 11 weeks still left to run. We try out different mediums and exercises for short and long poses each week. Come along and enrol! If you want to start this evening, we are having a special Halloween theme, with hints and tips for drawing circles and spheres and learning how to tackle "negative space".​ There will be pumpkins!

On Sunday November 19th, from 6-9pm I will be running a very special one off session in the bar at Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, Islington N1. Called Five Alive!

There will be five models, acrobatic and yoga poses, feats of strength, music, paper and charcoal provided, and drinks available for purchase from the bar. The cost is £20. For more info and to book tickets go here:


This month you will also find me at Union Chapel running my Shrine to the Seasons session, all day on Wednesday November 8th. Drop in between 11am and 1pm or 2pm and 6pm to join me in making a contemporary icon wooden panel, on the theme of winter and the moon. The sessions are free, and all materials are provided, as well as tea, coffee and biscuits! The panels will be going on display at the chapel for Christmas, and will find a permanent home there next year.

And on Saturday November 25th from 6-9pm, I will be at the Hill Trader's annual Christmas Market, selling homemade bath salts, cards, watercolours and oil paintings. Come along to find an unusual Christmas gift, drink some mulled wine, eat a pie, or just have a look and a mingle. The Hill Trader cafe is situated on Kitto Road, at the top of Telegraph Hill, near the lovely Telegraph Hill Park, SE14 5TW.

And finally, here is a picture of one of my Boudieware Cake Smash Crash cakes that was on show at Vanya Balogh's Q Park car park exhibition The Crash, that took place during Frieze week, earlier this month. Thanks to Vanja Karas for the photo:

And thanks to Sarah Sparkes for this pic. of me with the cakes:


The cake shapes are cast in plaster from plastic food packaging, and decorated with broken toys, glass, crockery, beads, edible glitter and ephemera, discarded, found or salvaged from everyday life. The work was inspired by Boudieware - a little known eighteenth century craft technique and form of upcycling, from the North East of England. The sculptures reference environmental concerns, waste and value, indulgence, decorative aesthetics and beauty, the links between cooking and art, our English heritage and lost crafts. They are a development from my live art interaction "Cake Smash" and my Nippy Maid Vox Chocs work.

​Happy Halloween!!!

With love and best wishes - Joanna

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Dear Everyone,

I'm very pleased and excited to be taking part in THE CRASH, curated by Vanya Balogh, in association with Geoffrey Leong and Q Park. You are warmly invited along to the opening party, this Friday October 6th from 6pm - 10pm on floor -3, Q Park car park, Cavendish Square W1G OPN, here:

More info can be found at Artylist here:

I'll be showing my new sculptures "Boudieware Cake Smash Crash", which are a development from my Cake Smash live art interaction. The sculptures are based on Boudieware, a type of "upcycling" amateur home craft from North East England, popular in the 1800s. I first saw items of Boudieware at Tate Britain's Folk Art exhibition, more info on that here: 

Next week, do please come along to Shrine to the Seasons, taking place at Union Chapel, on Compton Terrace in London, N1 2UN, nearest station Highbury and Islington. The session takes place on Wednesday, October 11th. Drop in anytime between 11am - 1pm and 2pm - 6pm. Join me in making the third contemporary icon panel for display at the chapel next year, on the theme of Autumn and the harvest.​ All art materials are provided and participation is free.

Empire II goes to Berlin! There will be a special screening of the Empire II film showreel in Berlin on October 15th from 7pm - 11pm at Burnerstrasse 12 12047. More info at:

And finally, thanks to everyone who attended the Nunhead Art Trail, it was a lovely weekend and the weather was super! Here's a link to a little video of the display at number 57, Athenlay Road:

With love and best wishes , Joanna

Friday, 22 September 2017

​Hello everyone,

Just to remind you to pop along to Nunhead and follow the Art Trail, open from 11am - 6pm on Saturday and Sunday this weekend...Nunhead is a very special place, a wonderful village in South East London, with a thriving unspoilt 1950's style high street. They still have a butcher, a baker, a greengrocer and a fishmonger, all nestled around the lovely village green with community centre and gastro pub attached. Recent additions to the high street include lots of lovely eateries, a craft beer shop, a delicatessen and vintage craft and furniture shops. The map includes the tranquil wilderness of Nunhead Cemetry, one of the most beautiful and wild green spots in London.

More info and a map here:​

I'm number 69 in the brochure, 68 on the map, and as well as having a painting at Tracey Francis's homage to The Nunhead Open at 156 Hollydale Road - number 15 - I'll be exhibiting with artists Dick Graham and Frances Greville at 57 Athenlay Road SE15 3EN, where I'll have plenty of interesting work on show, including small affordable pieces, as well as my newly reworked musical mushroom sculpture "Conical Wax Cap":

and my new series of oil paintings, last seen at Cafe Gallery Projects in Southwark Park.
The oil painting “HMS Impregnable” is part of a series of paintings which are an exploration of the wonder and fascination for floral motifs in our history, and a metaphorical description of the power of flowers to uplift and revive the spirit in times of adversity. 

Blue roses stretch across the canvas, surrounded by blue sky above and green sea below. The blue rose is a flower of the genus Rosa (family Rosaceae) that presents blue to violet pigmentation. In literature and art it is a symbol of love and prosperity. The impossible or the unattainable.

Since the blue rose is a rarity in nature, it stands for something that is hardly within one's grasp, an object(ive) that seems too difficult to achieve. Thus, the blue rose is admired and revered as an unachievable dream. It also expresses love at first sight, royal majesty and splendour.

In this painting, vibrant blue roses dance across the canvas, sharing space with motifs such as butterflies, sailors and mermaids. Included are smaller floral patterns described using stencils of William Morris designs, sourced from the domestic architecture at Union Chapel, and Darwin’s famous ship HMS Beagle, being chased by a sea monster, with quotes from his writings found in the Penguin book “It Was Snowing Butterflies”. One of the Little Black Classics series, the book contains a selection of Darwin’s extraordinary adventures during the voyage of the Beagle from December 1831 to February 1832.

Within the paintings can be found 83 names, painted on white strips, emerging from the pebbles at the bottom of the sea. These are names of some of the people tragically affected by the government’s changes to disability living allowance, and the bedroom tax, as documented in Ken Loach’s film “I, Daniel Craig”. For example, Colin Traynor who suffered from epilepsy, denied disability living allowance and found fit for work: 5 weeks after his death his family found out that he had won his appeal. His father is quoted as saying “ I firmly believe – 100% believe – that the system this government introduced has killed my son.” Stephen Hill, who died of a heart attack while awaiting heart surgery, one month after being found fit for work. And Cecilia Burns, found fit for work while undergoing treatment for breast cancer, she died a few weeks after winning her appeal.

These elements are painted in oil on canvas, with vibrant colours, using a broad range of techniques. From free scumbling translucent brushwork, to intensely fine lined detail drawn in paint onto flat colours across the canvas, and stencilling using hand made stencils.

The roses represent the difficulty in achieving a balance between the intense beauty of wild nature and the urban landscape. The source for the roses comes from The 1990s, when my art expressed itself through installations, using furniture, found objects, embroidery and taxidermy. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher rolled out Care in the Community. Hospitals and institutions closed. I attended an auction of furniture and equipment and found a hospital screen. The poignancy of its chintz rose pattern inspired me to start painting again. The patina on the fabric, rich with emotional resonance. Sanderson Chelsea. 1950s style retro. English beauty, wonder, fascination. Floral motifs, history. Domestic architecture. I started drawing and painting as an experiment. Describing and capturing process, a description of flowers. Since then I have regularly used this motif in my paintings, and still do to this day.

Here's a link to the live art singing interaction, "Full Fathom Five", that complemented the painting on September 3rd. Filmed by artist Calum F. Kerr:

And here I am with the lovely Caroline Gregory who also performed on that day:

With love and best wishes - Joanna