Caroline Hands – Mixed Media Artist

Caroline Hands – Mixed Media Artist

I’ve been helping the lifelong mixed media artist Caroline Hands with her digital photographs and archiving her work so I went to the  open studio event at Second Floor Studios near Greenwich to see her work in the flesh – paintings and textiles look a lot different than a digital copy so it was fantastic to see her work on walls!

RunnyCustard: Caroline Hands Mixed Media Painter &emdash; Caroline Hands Mixed Media Artist 2ndFloorStudios

This is Caroline Hands in her studio wishing that I wasn’t taking her photo, in this room she paints and has her textiles, sketches, hand cut copper hats! Most of her canvases however were in a second studio along the corridor. Caroline will be moving both room contents into a larger studio in June.

Her work space doesn’t usually have wine and snacks, this was just for the open studio weekend. I’m assuming this to be the case!

RunnyCustard: Caroline Hands Mixed Media Painter &emdash; Caroline Hands Mixed Media Artist 2ndFloorStudios

Caroline talking to a gallery owner about her work featured in many publications.

RunnyCustard: Caroline Hands Mixed Media Painter &emdash; Caroline Hands Mixed Media Artist 2ndFloorStudios

she has also had her work featured on a book cover:



Lost in Wonder: Rediscovering the Spiritual Art of Attentiveness Paperback – 26 Oct 2012 – Esther De Waal

She has lived and exhibited in many places around the world, ran many workshops and events – her work spans textiles (she sold painted scarfs to Liberties!) Batiks, metal work, lino cutting/printing including this book:

 The Kilpeck Anthology Book

 RunnyCustard: Caroline Hands Mixed Media Painter &emdash; The Kilpeck Anthology Book

and these large cropper plates which she cut and shaped herself … this is my particular favourite:

RunnyCustard: Caroline Hands Mixed Media Painter &emdash; Caroline Hands Large Copper & Enamel Plates

 Where to find Caroline Hands Work

Caroline is based at Studio 7DE101 Second Floor Studios & Arts Main Office TW-27 Harrington Way London SE18 5NR Tel:

You can see more of her work on her website

And her Makerhood Caroline Hands profile page

Twitter: birdshands

you can see Caroline’s Film on her website as well: created by R&A Collaborations ‘Making a Mark’:

Whilst working with her I find out such titbits that aren’t featured on her website, (most of the following is in her own words), such as

when she was 11 she was judged 5  out of thousands at Harrods by Augustus John with her picture of Noah’s Ark

Ran an enormous Fringe Festival of the world with the well known Three Choirs Choral  Festival, 4 times!

Has had many artist in residence positions including residencies through the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham and helped with schools projects

 Worked with a great deal of dancers across the world such as Chitraleka Bolar in Birmingham.

Has braved many travels with local buses and on foot on her own in many varied parts of the world – she has many photographs of her trips which we hope to put into a book!

 Rages about injustice and celebrates the glorious mix of cultures around the world and in London

Stays humble in the face of nature and treasures our planet

Loves and craves for more time in Asia

Would probably lose herself in a love for Africa if she went !

 Has not sold out true to her vision and love

 Too crazily idealistic for her own good !

Is growing older but finds it impossible to contain her need to dance as soon as the rhythm celebrates inside of her

Working in the Arts takes dedication and hard work as well as a lot of energy which Caroline certainly has – I wish and hope I’ll become like that too!

Upcoming Exhibition Featuring Caroline Hands

AUTOCATALYTIC FUTURE GAMESOn a trajectory from Lascaux via aerosols, our bioaesthetic inheritance is cultivated beneath the inflated sun.  An accretion of stenciled hands in the darkness, then a trillion painted surfaces.

A group exhibition.   A variation of structured gestures and analogue procedures.
A compilation of paintings in 2015.

Paintings selected by each artist.  Exhibition created and organised by playpaint

Robert Dowling / Ben Cove / Gordon Dalton / EC / Michael Stubbs / Chris Godber / Sharon Hall / Tom Banks / Graham Carrick / Kiera Bennett / Alaena Turner / Louisa Chambers / Mari Reijnders / Phil Illingworth / Selma Parlour / Mimei Thompson / Alison Pilkington / Charley Peters / Andrew Seto / Mel Carvalho / Alex Ball / Clare Price / Howard Dyke / Jessica Slater / Ross Walker / Rae Hicks / Gemma Cossey / Mandy Payne / Tamara Dubnyckyj / Tim Ellis / Maggie Hills / Greg Rook / Jonathan Parsons / Lucy Boyle / Simon Burton / Sarah Poots / Lisa Penny / Le Guo / Phillip Jones / David Ryan / Andy Harper / Sophia Starling / Marielle Hehir / Simon Bill / Hogan Brown / Andrea Medjesi-Jones / Clare Chapman / Dan Coombs / Tom Ellis / Marcus Cope / Andris Walds / Virginia Verran / Cathy Lomax / Ian Baker / Lothar Goetz / Shaan Syed / Peter Lamb / Caterina Lewis / Paul Manners / Stephanie Moran / James Connelly / Oliver Bancroft / Lee Marshall / Kate Warner / Katie Pratt / Jason Hawkridge / playpaint / Kirsten Reynolds / Marta Bakst / Alexis Harding / Ben Cottrell / Caroline Hands / Gary Andrew Clarke / Jules Clarke / Katrina Blannin / Matthew Hunt / Rachel Levitas / Rob Leech / Andrew Graves / Charles Williams / Hannah Knox / John Tiney / Philip Allen / Simon Haddock / David Oates / Tim Allen / Lizzie Lloyd / Alli Sharma / Alex Dipple


Preview:  Wednesday 10th  June   6.00 – 9.00 pm
Exhibition Open:  11th – 14th and 17th – 21st  June   1.00 – 6.00 pm

no format
Second Floor Studios & Arts
Harrington Way
SE18 5NR

Contact /




Pattern Favourites…

I’ve not tried to gather my favourite patterns together before as there is far too much in the world to do such a thing.

I try to avoid Pinterest as I gather too many images from books, magazines, websites and in my environments with my own camera as it is. I’ve been trying to gather them and organise it all (with sources if I can) in Evernote but I now have far too many note books and notes in Evernote that I’m now overwhelmed via another app/database HA!

Maybe I need to learn to edit my choices better – that doesn’t just cover my likes and dislikes in design … very much in the real world too!

For home work on the Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design Module 1 we had to gather a few on a canvas to help us discover our signature style… so here’s mine.

a selection of patterns that Iike
a selection of patterns that Iike – click the image to see my pinterest page where you will find the names & links of the images.

As with anything taste and current favourites change – I’ve been doodling and creating motifs with strong lines but then I have always loved textures – 2D or 3D I’m not fussed.

I still have yet to do a colour mood board – I’ve had too much to do and having an inner ear infection made me lose a lot of time. oops.





Tesla Pup

I thought I would play with a doodle I created the other day that was inspired by a pattern in the V& book – I still want to change some of his markings though – not sure how yet.

Image The poop was accidental… I had a spare triangle left over and couldn’t help myself.

The doodle I created the other day which born this little guy out into the word… doodle poodle?


and the Lucienne Day ‘Graphica’ fabric that made me do the doodle…

Lucienne Day. Graphica.
Lucienne Day. Graphica. 1954



Playing with puppies…


Tesla Pups Repeat Pattern>
Tesla Pups Repeat Pattern
Tesla Pups Triplets - Repeat Pattern
Tesla Pups Triplets – Repeat Pattern (the bottom one with the green strip has no poop featured on the pattern – but three puppies… one is sniffing the butt of the one in front and the other is sniffing a nose!)
Tesla Pups Repeat Pattern
Tesla Pups Repeat Pattern

Played with some poop… sorry

I’m so used to photoshop that Illustrator can get very frustrating.

I will have to find out how to add textures as my attempts didn’t work out.

Tesla Pups Triplets - Repeat Pattern
Tesla Pups Triplets – Repeat Pattern

Related Images:

ABSPD Module 1, Week 1

Module 1 of Designing your Way

a couple of exercises – one of which is to go around your environment and take photos of the shapes you can find – circles, squares, triangles etc.
After insomnia, builders and other tenants keeping me up all night I have now gone nocturnal so I didn’t get any sunlight today 🙁 I will be up all night now but it does mean that I’m not going out to take photos and my place is too tiny and messy to take photos ha! I have realised that my place needs more circles and wavy ‘stuff’ as I have lots of squares and rectangles – rows of my framed photographic work, inspiration photos, my sofa is fairly square angular shaped, so is my coffee table and my book shelf is made up of squares… lots of lines from the books.. actually I may have to take a photo of that 🙂

I thought I would go through some of my own photos as a lot of the time I take photographs of shapes that I like – I don’t actually care too much about the name of a building or place, nor it’s history or iconic status (lots of those in London), it’s actually the shape and form… textures and reflections that I like, so my photos contain lots of textures and forms.

I now however, feel like a dog that is obsessed with pebbles led out onto Brighton Beach (UK) which is just covered in pebbles… my brain is going to explode with so many patterns and shapes.. I want to doodle them all but obviously I can’t right now as I have several other deadlines and project to do … phew yet gargh!

(you can click the pic to go to my photography website)

shapes/lines and grids found in my walks.
shapes/lines and grids found in my walks.

I have an obsession with clouds, water, sprouty stuff (lol), curves and circles… think that about covers everything then rolls eyes

I will do the exercise of taking some Instagram pics (which I’ve just restarted doing – using Instagram that is) of my next walk but that could be tomorrow or the next day and I’m trying to stick to the course daily assignments… so just in case.

I will update this once I’ve completely some doodles – I have 3 different projects to doodle on tonight and do some actual freelance (paid) work so I will attempt to stop clicking on all the links/interviews/members blogs that I come across on the ABSPD and MATS Bootcamp Facebook pages… gargh… too much visual stimulation lol.


quick sketches
quick sketches


quick mock up of the pattern inspired by my photograph of the underside of the high overhead bridge at Kew Gardens
quick mock up of the pattern inspired by my photograph of the underside of the high overhead bridge at Kew Gardens
quick mock up of the sketch of my photograph of reeds in the river Thames (in Henley-on-Thames... but could be anywhere!)
quick mock up of the sketch of my photograph of reeds in the river Thames (in Henley-on-Thames… but could be anywhere!)


One of the exercises asks to sketch a flower or tree which makes me think of the recent ‘flowers’ I did for the Creative Bug course in which Lisa Congdon discusses her ‘doodles’ and gives some tips – it was rather relaxing course as when I played the video and live chat sessions I didn’t pay that much attention… I was too busy doodling lol.

image from the Lisa Congdon 'Doodle' Course on Creative Bug.
image from the Lisa Congdon ‘Doodle’ Course on Creative Bug.

I tend to think everything has to be perfect otherwise it doesn’t count, yet I would never think or say that to another persons mark making / drawing skills so maybe I need to stop being so harsh and enjoy the process – after all, if I keep doodling then I will improve whereas, doing nothing means I will never even start, let alone improve… I know it’s obvious but I’m trying to reprogram myself!

Here’s my doodles – I’ve always loved black pen outlines…


I started turning them into vectors but still have more to do –

Vector Geometric Stems mobile


On week two I did some triangular mountains 🙂


The following week Lisa had everyone draw on photos – I had some some prints that had come out too dark at the lab – a photo of trees mirrored onto itself and then turned on its side.. I kept seeing a creature in there.

I plan to try to vector/photoshop this into a better version as I rather like it!

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 05.34.02

another doodle that I turned into a vector… not so keen on this one…

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 05.31.05

but I did make this pattern afterwards which I do like…

Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 05.31.16