Kick up backside

It’s been a while since I written any blog posts, so I have given myself a kick up the backside to get back into writing on a more regular basis.

I’ve signed up to the 2017 TEA sketchbook circle and have been enjoying working with 2 new partners,  my book is a concertina style, one of my partners last year had this style book and I like the way the pages flowed into each other and that was the book which I’d wished that I’d been able to keep.

I’m now taking a bit of time to consider how I can develop these pages, I’ve been raiding my supplies and am thinking textiles, quilting has also been suggested to me, but for the time being I’ve had to package the book up to send to my partner.  The book from my other partner has already arrived and she has done a lot which I can respond to.


Gingerbread Workshop

This months meeting was held at Bodafon Farm, Llandudno.  The sun was shining and we worked outdoors in the park area. We made sun-catchers out of plastic lids, tissue paper and ribbon. Simple but effective.

I really enjoy working with these kids, they all seem to have their own ideas of what they want to do, such as the flamingo, dolphin and fishes.

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I had a supply of photo paper and a some developer so decided to experiment with Chemigrams,  this was a first attempt for me, so was a lot of trial and error.

But first, a bit of research on how to do the process,  The chemigram process was discovered by Pierre Cordier in 1956. It’s a  process that uses resists on photographic paper. Cordier discovered that a resist can hold back the chemical effects of developer and fixer on black and white photo paper for a time. Paper put into developer that has been exposed to normal room light for varying periods of time will turn black, except where a resist blocks the chemical reaction. The parts of the paper protected by the resist will continue to change colour from extended exposure to room light, likewise, paper put into fixer turns white, except where a resist blocks the chemical reaction.

With a back and forth from developer to fixer or fixer to developer, the resist begins to dissolve, so the next chemical bath either turns slowly exposing paper under the dissolving resist black (developer) or white (fixer)

Source Alternative Photography

I raided my cupboards for substances to use for my resist and used butter and honey.  With the honey producing the best results.

A selection of my scanned chemigrams

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Where’s the sun gone?

I thought I’d take advantage of the sunshine last week and do some cyanotypes on a mix of solar paper and home prepared cyanotpye paper…I’m glad I made the most of it as there’s no sign of the sun this week!


I have since learnt that hanging prints out to dry in direct sunlight is not recommended as it can mean that prints darken, these have ended up with less contrast than shown in this photo

Whilst I enjoyed my afternoon in the garden the results were not as good as I hoped, there’s not enough contrast in any of the prints,  I have ended up with pale, washed out  prints in varying shades of blue, rather than the characteristic blue and white of the Cyanotype.


Some useful websites which I have come across,  Alternative Photography, this is a great website, where you can find information about processes and photographers/artists working with historical processes today.

Jacquard Products, I haven’t fully explored their website yet, as there’s a host of information on it, but this link will take you to their Cyanotype page where they provide PDF’s of instructions on the process, FAQ’s and Tips & Troubleshooting. It would have been beneficial for me to have read this prior to starting, I just need to wait for the next sunny day before I can put the tips into practice


Uni all done…

It’s been a few weeks since all work was handed in,  the final degree show was installed,  we had the opening night, which was good and really well attended. The work has been taken down and it’s waiting for our results now. I promised myself that I would keep up with this blog, so here goes with the first blog post which won’t be for my professional practice module.

I’m feeling a little bit lost with what seems like too much time on my hands, I need to stay focused on making work, and in light of this I have signed up to a Sketchbook Circle , I’ve joined as a late comer, half way through the year and will I will be working with 2 other ladies. The idea of the circle initially was to encourage art teachers to find time to make their own work, the circle has since expanded to include anybody who is interested in joining.  You keep the sketchbook for a month then return it to your partner who will response over the next month whilst you work in a different sketchbook with your other partner.

I’m a little bit unsure as to how much to do in the book, so I have held back a little bit whilst working in my partners book, I was a bit cautious about filling too much of the book up.

Details from Sketchbook


May Workshop at Mostyn

This group is called ” The Mostyn Ninja’s” they are a group of young artists aged 11 – 14 , they meet every other week at the gallery.  I have been asked to cover the next few sessions, so for the first session I decided to introduce my own practice to them by doing some emulsion transfers.

I had everything planned,  I was going to get the kids to do some scanned portraits so I was going to take my own printer and laptop with me &  I had the emulsion paint and some watercolour paper.  I didn’t want to chance that the brushes available would be hard with old glue and paint so at the last minute I decided to take some paintbrushes with me.  I arrived with plenty of to set up, only to find that there was no access to the studio (where equipment and water were) It was changeover week, so the gallery itself was closed, and the shop staff couldn’t let me through due to the shutters being broken.

We held the session in the meeting room, which was fine, it was just a bit inconvenient to have to get water from the public toilets, and I was relieved that I had actually brought everything that I needed for the activity!


We had a bit of a hiccup with my printer not connecting to the WIFI, which meant the scanner wouldn’t work  but luckily we were able to use the office printer. The kids really seemed to enjoy the activity, they had fun scanning their faces and enjoyed the mess that they made with the paint.

The kids were great, and towards the end of the session, they all got stuck in helping to clear up the mess.


This was one of my favourite from the day

One thing that I learnt from today was that you really can never be too prepared, and that I should always have a back up activity planned, if we hadn’t been able to use the office printer I would have had to come up with something pretty quickly.


A selection of the work produced at the workshop


Degree Show Catalogue

Statement and images have now been submitted for the degree show catalogue, I have used my statement from my photography interim exhibition as a starting point again, but this time have spoken a little bit about my studio practice also

Gill Hughes

Fine Art and Photography

Contact: 07557 059725



What started as a journey of self-expression soon became personal narrative of childhood hopes and dreams. My daughters who feature, have become a representation of my younger self. Being a parent is a stark reminder of the passage of time, with the realisation that life is short and giving thought to lost dreams and forgotten pleasures. My photographs have mostly been taken around the coast where I live, the beaches offers a feeling of infinite space and sense of freedom which I yearn for. They remind me of idyllic childhood memories of carefree days at the beach, when the summer holidays always seemed long and hot.

The use of the lens-less cameras is important to me, as it creates images which are reminiscent of a nostalgic past. The soft focus gives a dreamlike quality which adds to the atmosphere and the light leaks and flare implies to me hope of regaining those innocent childhood aspirations. The slow shutter speeds which allows for the blurring of moving figures, producing surreal ghostlike apparitions which creating an ethereal mood.

I initially intended to keep my fine art and photography as two independent bodies of work, however the fine art has naturally evolved to compliment the sentiments of my photography. In fine art I explored alternative ways of treating my photographs until I found a process which I was happy with that emulated the ambiance of my photography.

Images for the catalogue




Studio Practice

Postgraduate Certificate in Education

I’ve looked at the PGCE course at Chester Uni more for the future rather than for the next semester. I wanted to see what the entry requirements and modules were to see whether it was a viable option for me.

Information on the PGCE (Primary Education) course


  • Applications are invited from graduates with a good honours degree (normally a minimum of 2:1), or from students in the final year of their degree.
  • Neither a Higher National Diploma (HND) nor a Higher National Certificate (HNC) are acceptable as equivalent to a degree for the purpose of PGCE entry.

Extra Information:

  • At the time of application, candidates should have a minimum of GCSE grade C or above (or equivalent) in English Language, Mathematics and a Science (preferably combined).
  • Applicants must disclose any criminal record, and all successful candidates will be required to apply for and be in receipt of an enhanced Disclosure from the DBS before taking up their place.

Professional Key Skills Test:

Students applying for Initial Teacher Education courses need to be aware of Government regulations regarding mandatory skills tests in literacy and numeracy. Skills Tests must be completed before you are able to enrol on the programme. The Skills Tests do not replace the standard GCSE grade C requirements in Maths and English.