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 /




Mixed Media Canvas with Issues

I’ve always been slightly scared of painting on canvases… actually I’ve spent most of my life fearing the white page like a lot of people do.

When I was a kid my family would rip up or throw away anything I drew, painted or made, so I guess I got the ‘message’ that it is wrong/bad to create, make and draw etc. yet I still keep coming back to it.

I bought some canvases last year and they have been sat doing nothing the whole time like a lot of my art supplies (I’m practically a collector of modelling, drawing, painting, diy tools … comes in handy when you do finally decide to make something though :-D)

I decided to actually try to do something with the canvases that didn’t involve using them as a photo backdrop to my jewellery product photos…


I will scan these properly soon (once the protective layer has fully dried) but here’s some mobile phone pics for now.

Blue Mixed Media Canvas
Blue Mixed Media Canvas
Close-up of Blue Mixed Media Canvas
Close-up of Blue Mixed Media Canvas
Blue Mixed Media Canvas
Blue Mixed Media Canvas

I really like the close ups so I will do a very detailed scan and create some prints from those.



These was the canvas sat with the others last week (mentioned in an earlier post)

Painted Canvases
Painted Canvases


I forgot to scan the canvas before I applied the oil colours on top… dammit!

it’s hard to see in these mobile phone pics (sorry… it’s an old iPhone) but the background is in layers of white and blue with thick gel medium between … all applied with palette knives then another thick layer of gel medium on top (that stuff is actually quite expensive if you use it like I do!!!) which gives the top layer of oil sticks a ‘lift’ … I would like to try that effect again.

Close up of one of the canvases... like this one the most!
Close up of one of the canvases… like this one the most!


I’ve spent such a long time listening and reading about creative business as I’m technically a small creative business owner… errr… but mostly I just work freelance for my old company scanning/cleaning/data researching photos… (which runs out soon… eek!) I do occasionally sell prints of my photographic work but I want to move into illustration and designs which is proving difficult… apparently people are not aloud to have several interests (I see them all similar though?!) so I have to keep it all separate… urgh… it’s causing me conflict and confusion… most of my ideas blend the two or at least elements cross into each other.

One thing they all mention in creative business is about connections with others. I’ve always known that most things in life are about who you know which is difficult as I’ve always been the stranger … moved constantly as a child and never know how to get people to do anything as I always think people can choose for themselves and, if they don’t want to do something then it’s fine… this is not a good thing as it means I do everything myself and then others expect me to look after them too … anyway back to what I was discussing… connections, bridges between people and their needs and desires… some can be blood lines other times it’s not but there is some kind of family/familiar bond/place between them or at least an emotional response, like attraction, hierarchy, a need to be more than they actually are … maybe even avoiding seeing themselves as they are.

This canvas started as just a need to get over a fear and I think it’s actually ended up showing another route that I’m suppose to take… make more connections despite the inner scars… (ok, I’ve been following/watching a fair few spiritual tutorials/ meditations as well so it’s all combined!!).

So I declare this canvas to be about connections, building bridges with trepidation & deep scars!

I will have to think about an actual title.

(Anyone else seeing boobs & errr menstral err issues!?!? well, I did want something fairly primitive in emotion)

MATS Bootcamp June 2014

Last Monday we were asked to doodle nautical type icons… think bottle in a ship.

I as always, have to run off and go overboard (‘scuse the pun) and got stuck in one idea.. yes, I did other doodles but Nautical is done so much it’s not easy to be original and I really wanted to see my little drunk Octopus character come to life (before he drowned!!).

This little guy is drowning his sorrows before he drowns!

Octopus sketch
Octopus sketch

initial vector lines started… didn’t like the tentacles or eyes at all…

initial illustrator paths
initial illustrator paths

so I started the illustrator part again…

Octopus in Illustrator (mobile pic)
Octopus in Illustrator (mobile pic)


I then transferred the vector forms separately to photoshop for textures and colours.

not sure what happened to the umbrella… looks terrible.

also still have to do the startled starfish who I think will be in the crows-nest rather than the boat front… I’ve change my mind on this impromptu figurehead stance!

I’m also debating as to whether he has a jumper… yellow, knitted and stripy… hmmm…

Octopus in boat illustration
WIP – still have yet to do the actual sea waves… and startled starfish!

Today we received news that our nautical doodles to be laid out as wall art… and distressed wood type base?
I know how to transfer photos to other surfaces so I might actually try adding my final design (not the above illustration though) to a piece of wood – I’ve actually just painted backgrounds on canvases but those are for other ideas.

It’s a shame the bottom left small square canvas got ruined… I needed to change my ink as it wasn’t saturated enough to transfer… I print onto tracing paper which helps keep the ink wet then onto a gel medium base on the canvas… also if you have used gold ink for the base I recommend adding a clear gesso or layer of gel medium to that to stop it peeling off… oh well, all in the name of experimenting (I’m not that experienced at mixed media)

Painted Canvases
Painted Canvases

(mobile phone pic)

Close up of one of the canvases...  like this one the most!
Close up of one of the canvases… like this one the most! (mobile phone pic)

Threadless Tesla Pup T-shirt

I put my little Pup on Threadless… so if you feel like voting then please be my guest 😀

just click on the pic below and click on 4 or 5… if you want to click on 1 or 2 then errrr… don’t!

Tesla Pups Threadless T-shirt
Tesla Pups Threadless T-shirt