Cas Holmes – Sketchbook workshop – March 2016


After an enjoyable talk the previous day (see report below) Cas Holmes lead a workshop on sketchbooks.  She started off by asking the group how many of us regularly kept a sketchbook and unfortunately only a couple of hands went up.  We all know we should but for various reasons we don’t – can’t draw and lack of time were some of the excuses but Cas encouraged us to live in the moment and to record it for future use. A sketchbook was a personal record of ideas, colours, interests and was an important tool for developing the individual’s work.

Using a variety of materials we coloured pages of our sketchbook and found papers, created collages, added stitch and free machine images from our chosen theme.  One exercise I found very liberating was to sit in a group for five minutes drawing images from the garden.  No excuses this time and lots of us were surprised and pleased with the results!

Time went incredibly quickly and at the end of the day we all displayed our work which was so different reflecting that we were all individuals and had taken on board what Cas had explained that the sketchbook was a personal record and not for anyone else.


Thank you Cas for a most enjoyable day.  We understand the value of keeping a sketchbook – let’s hope we do it!

Report by Ros

Cas Holmes – March 2016


Magpie of the Mind

Our inspirational speaker this month was Cas Holmes.     Cas has a Fine Arts degree in painting and photography which she uses with good effect in her work which is also enriched by periods of long term study in Japan and India when she looked at uses of paper and textiles. Much of her inspiration comes from the her native Norfolk landscape which she sees as always merging and shifting and very importantly her Romany grandmother who used to say “Take me as I am so I may be what I become”. Drawing what she sees in the landscape around her is also very important in giving Cas inspiration.   To Cas her sketchbooks are vital, not only in giving her ideas for future work but as a reflective process to show her what will work.


Cas describes herself as a “magpie” a collector, inquisitive, creative and acquiring things from the world around. This is seen in her work with ‘found materials’, textiles and mixed media which are torn, cut and reassembled to create translucent layers which Cas then links with stitching, often birds and flowers which she sees in the local landscape. Not only does Cas use old fabrics but even her sewing machine, a 730 Bernina, was rescued from a skip, repaired and put to good use in creating her work.

One ongoing piece of work is ‘Tea Flora Tales’ which are pieces of work,  half postcard size, which can be stitching on fabric, paper or mixed media which Cas will assemble into hanging strips. Details of this project are on Cas’s blog and if any member wishes to make one of these then they should contact Deena Beverley.

This was a very thought provoking talk encouraging us to look around at our surroundings for ideas, recycle materials we already have and to keep sketchbooks.

Report by Christine H
Thank you Christine!  Ros