CAE Blog


Read through my latest blog posts and feel free to comment on them if you like.


Latest Posts

Christmas fairy tales

Posted on 28th March, 2015

Christmas is just a faint memory now but if you missed my Christmas cards the theme was fairy-tale stars, made from an old (notice the old German writing?) fairy-tale book by Hans Christian Anderson.


I am currently working on two puppet projects; Pilipapa Isla will be joining Anya Cat soon and as the Happyland family is getting bigger I am taking the liberty to invite some old acquaintances. Kindli Ruth is a representation of a print that I created in 1992 that was published by the Women Artist Slide Library in the International Woman's Art Diary 1993'.



Some other development coming out of my current preoccupation with felt is my button brooch range that I developed

from the inspiration of some unique button designs that I have found. If you would like to find out how to make one yourself please visit my Facebook page for step by step instructions.




Don't forget that my course Let's Talk about Art and the new course Let's Create a Studio Space  are available for booking as inset training. If you are an individual who is interested in any of the courses please get in touch as I will be able to provide a date and venue for your preferred course. I am currently developing a course on how best to explore basic colour theory with young children (Let's Explore Colour Theory) that will be available from Easter 2015. For the summer term, I am planning a very practical course on making imaginative story bags with and for young children.Please visit the workshop page on my website for more information about all the courses as well as the links to my Facebook and Pinterest page.


For those of you who read my last blog, you may remember that I went to London to visit some extraordinary exhibitions. At the Royal Academy the Anselm Kiefer exhibition has a very good exhibition guide that helps to explore the artists work. For anyone interested in German History, the Germany-Memories of a nation exhibition at the British Museum gave a great insight into the development of the idea of Germany as a nation. If you have missed it, BBC iPlayer Radio has done a great series accompanying the exhibition that is still available.

Fabulous Bauhaus September14

Posted on 10th November, 2014

   Bauhaus 2014    Bauhaus staircase    Prellerbuilding


After a fantastic summer I feel that life is getting back to its normal rhythm now. My highlight of the summer was a stay in the renovated Bauhaus in Dessau and the opportunity to walk down the famous staircase like the students in Oscar Schlemmer’s painting. It was fascinating and impressive how little the designs have aged or dated in the 90 years since it has been built and how much importance was given to the well-being of the students, ensuring spaces for their daily exercise as well as provision for social events. The experience was heightened by an overnight stay in one of the reconstructed student rooms (complete with its vertigo-inducing balcony) in the Preller Building.


           Betsy Fabulous Fairy        Pilipala Isla


Betsy Fabulous Fairy is now finished and the blueprint for the next puppet Pilipala Isla is in place, based on Isla’s encounters with and affinity for butterflies. The new course, Let’s Create a Studio Space, will be ready to take its first bookings from November 14. It will provide practical suggestions on how to set up a multi-functional studio space in a setting or school that provides the ideal resource for the development of children’s creativity.


Elly Elephant, Betsy Fabulous Fairy, Anya Cat

In Plymouth this September, a must for anyone interested in art in the outdoors is an opportunity to see some original work by Richard Long. A major exhibition, Walk on Plymouth can be seen at four major Plymouth sites.

I am looking forward to a trip to London to visit some extraordinary exhibitions. Firstly the Anselm Kiefer Exhibition at the Royal Academy, which spans his work over the last 40 years drawing on history, mythology, literature, philosophy and science. Then staying with the theme of history and science, the Germany-Memories of a Nation exhibition at the British Museum. I also hope to check in at the National Portrait Gallery to see the Grayson Perry display made during his channel four series Who Are You? I shall report the highlights next time.



Travellers tales

Posted on 29th July, 2014

Time flies when you’re having fun! I was lucky that I was able to make a quick visit to Germany and Switzerland in May, visiting the Arp Museum in Rolandseck and enjoying the incredible view over the River Rhine.




Another highlight was seeing the Journey to Tunisia exhibition in the Zentrum Paul Klee which celebrated the hundredth anniversary of the legendary trip of Paul Klee, August Macke and Louis Moillet to Tunisia. I am always fascinated by the fantastic interactive exhibition called Creaviva which the Zentrum Paul Klee provides for children and I’m very excited about my purchase from the ZPK shop: two replica Paul Klee puppet kits that I can’t wait to make and enter into my puppet collection.


                         Paul Klee puppet kits



At home Ellie Elephant has finally got her finishing touches and Betsy Fabulous Fairy is steadily progressing. The Let’s Talk about Art course is now launched and I am working on the Early Years Atelier course which will be launched on September 14. If anyone is interested in booking a session at a reduced introductory rate please don’t hesitate to contact me.


                     Elli Elliphant and Anya Cat



             Betsy fabulous fairy body        Betsy faboulous fairy - texture


I’m feeling quite at home at Thinqtank now; I hope to be able to deliver my courses at this venue. So if you are an individual who would like to sign up for one of my courses please contact me to set up a date.

Not to be missed this month in the Plymouth Museum is the Modern Masters Season which runs from May to August 2014 and includes work by Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí and Andy Warhol.

Plymouth College of Art hosts the Alumni Summer Studio at the Gallery 2014.

Finally, have a great summer and keep an eye on my website as I will post my pinterest link with lots of great art activities to do with children.


Happy Easter 2014

Posted on 28th April, 2014




‘Happy Easter!’….. and true to my cultural heritage I like to celebrate Easter by colouring and decorating eggs, and bringing in twigs from our apple tree to make an Easter Tree. Thanks to some little white eggs from my next door neighbour’s hens we had some particularly delightful Easter eggs this year.

The Let’s Talk about Art course is now ready; some in-house sessions are booked and I am ready to write the next course. One of my preliminary ideas is for the next course to be about how to plan an Early Years Atelier. This course will be a practical course supporting practitioners with planning and resourcing creative environments for children. Features of other courses I am develoing could include: supporting individual children’s creative development, planning creative sessions for under threes and how to set up group projects. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any suggestions regarding what course would be specifically interesting to you.


I’m feeling more settled in my work now as I have joined THINQTANQ - Plymouth Co-work. Using a co-working space enables me to focus on my projects and give me the opportunity to meet with like-minded people. If you would like to join me at the THINQTANQ launch party on the 2 May please get in touch or contact  or .




Please have look at the new Sketch Book Stories webpage. With these ‘stories’ I want to make the creative thought processes visible. For many artists, sketch and scrap books are as personal as a diary but they also convey the fun of playing with creative ideas. In them, ideas are affirmed, reaffirmed, sometimes discarded and sometimes just waiting to be revisited. My sketch book is full of ideas that are waiting to be developed.

Please don’t miss out on seeing the Laura Knight exhibition the Plymouth Museum. A selection of very varied paintings - from familiar Cornish landscapes, to her portraits of women working during the war, to the historic painting of the Nuremberg Trial. It’s a rare opportunity to see such a big selection of high quality paintings in Plymouth.

Please note that you can now contact Creative Art Education via Facebook.

If you would like to be notified of any new blogs or website updates please forward your contact details via my Facebook page or website contact page.

March 2014

Posted on 15th March, 2014

This month sees the launch of my ‘Let’s Talk about Art’. (Please check the courses tab for information of times and location of courses). Preparations are going well and the course will cover building practitioner’s confidence in Art Talk and how good creative education relates to all areas of learning. I am especially looking forward to sharing ‘The true story of all the colours’ by Eva Heller with participants.

Please watch out for pictures of the Ellie Elephant puppet appearing on the ‘My Art Work’ tab. In the meanwhile, I have started work on the ‘Betsy fabulous fairy’ puppet. After initially knitting the body for the puppet I have now decided to discard the first body and start it again, this time in felt.

Betsy fabulous fairy -body   Betsy fabulous fairy -skirt   Betsy fabulous fairy - body


In February I had another fantastic visit to Manchester having a look at Joana Vasconcelos ‘Time Machine’ in the Manchester Art Gallery (MAG). Very inspiring were her monumental sculptures and installations using techniques associated with female labour like crochet and patchwork.

With delight I again observed the inspiring work done by MAG for education in the Clore Art Studio. Children were encouraged to go and explore the Gallery wearing hard hats and explorer belts and investigate sculpture using paper by balancing forms to move between two and three dimensions.

Here in Plymouth don’t miss out on seeing a broad range of approaches to drawing at the Jerwood Drawing Prize exhibition at the Plymouth College of Art and the Plymouth Art Centre. Also unmissable are the Peter Randall-Page marble sculptures at the Peninsula Art Gallery. Please don’t miss the note on the wall that you are actually allowed to touch the sculptures. Recommended!!!

Lastly many thanks to Chrissy for commenting on my last blog.

This is for you.

                                        Chrissy H.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Posted on 12th February, 2014

Dec ‘12/Jan’14

Christmas is a great time for practising skills with the annual making of Christmas cards and decorations.

  Monoprint  Monoprint

My highlight this December was my visit to Manchester Christmas Market looking at some traditional Christmas crafts. This trip also gave me the opportunity to view the Grayson Perry tapestries which were on show at Manchester Gallery. The six tapestries called ‘The Vanity of Small Differences’ depict his exploration of class and refer to William Hogarth’s ‘A Rake’s Progress’ (1733) which brought back memories of studying Hogarth’s work during my college years. Also inspiring were the Community Programmes that Manchester Art Gallery provide. In the Clore gallery space, children can make their own artworks using a pallet of everyday domestic objects. This project gives children the opportunity to open up their eyes and minds to art. In Plymouth, the Arts Centre provides a monthly ‘Creative Play’ which is an Early Years family activity for children under six.

Here in Plymouth, I very much enjoyed the adaptation of ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Le Navet Bête Theatre Company at the Barbican Theatre and very much look forward to their next production ‘Extravaganza’ in May 2014.

Worth seeing in the Plymouth City Gallery is the exhibition ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’. A highlight is the painting by Patrick Heron and the short video showing him working in his studio.

Welcome to Creative Art Education Nov.'13

Posted on 25th November, 2013

Welcome to my blog. With this blog I intend to provide information about what is currently available in Plymouth with regards to Art events and what courses and work I am currently developing.

Worth a visit in Plymouth is currently 'Artists Make Faces' exhibition in the Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery. A rare chance to see origional artwork  by many infuential artists on the theme of faces. Highlights in the exibition were, for me, seeing a painting by Giuseppe Arcimboldo (who has influenced my own work) as well as the painting  by neo expressionist Georg Baselitz and the woodcut by Karl Schmidt-Rotluff. The work most suited for a dialogue with young children is, in my opinion, Hew Locke's 'Jungle Queen II,2003' in mixed media.

The second very exciting exhibition coming to an end this months is William Kentridge as Printmaker at the Peninsula Arts Gallery.

As a printmaker I was impressed by the scale of his large prints and inspired by his use of vinyls as printing plates. Worth noting is also his work based on experimentation with light and shadows. This  work would be very suitable and fun for reproducing with children.

In the studio, I am currently working on further puppets for the Happyland series using knitting and felting techniques. The photos show the progress of Ellie Elephant I and I hope that I soon will post a picture of the finished puppet.

Ellie Elliphant Ellie E. - detail Ellie E. - detail

Currently also in development is the 'Let's Talk about Art' course which will be on offer from March 2014.