Sunday, 23 December 2012

Winter greetings :)

A little late I know but I hope you had a very Happy Solstice  and warmest wishes for the whole of the Yuletide Season. Have fun everyone and thank you so much for visiting my musings throughout the year. It means a great deal to me  :))

Monday, 3 December 2012

Cold Beauty

 A winter's walk can be such a magical thing. There is something so special in that cold crisp golden sunlight. It wakens the senses and touches the imagination in such a powerful way!

 I was off work a couple of weeks ago, and in between all the grey rain days we were lucky enough to get out on such a walk. I  took a few pictures to try and catch that chilly russet beauty :)

 And a magnificent sunset....

It seemed as if there was a great castle in the sky!


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Rêve de Monuments

Wishing my dearest friend Laetitia all the very best with this incredible exhibition that she is part of . Reve de Monuments opens at  the magnificent La Concierge in Paris on the 22nd November and runs till the 24th February 2013. It promises to be a spectacular and very special event :) I've not seen  Laetitia's creation for this exhibition yet but  from what she has told me and the glimpses she has now posted on her blog I know it will be quite extraordinary !!

I'm going to try very hard to get over to see the exhibition and I would recomend anyone else who can to take the opportunity. I think it is going to be wonderful :))


Thursday, 8 November 2012

Making my mark.

When I work on new mask designs I do a lot of sitting and dreaming and a little scribbling in my sketch book. For me these small, doodlings just help to capture a feel of what is in my imaginings, they trap small details that I find can escape me too easily. But they are always fluid, I never try and make what I have drawn and I never try and draw exactly what I hope to make :)  I know what those rather vague little messy marks and  hasty notes are saying and they just lead me a little and nudge me when perhaps I feel a little lost .

 They may not be pretty but they are always the start of something new ;) So these are the scribblings for two of the three new pieces I am beginning.....

Two views of the Crow-Witch.  (the little Briar Rose piece just snuck in, nothing to do with the main mask)

Visions in Blue

And the The Storyteller? Well she is still only in my imagination, but very strong! She will call up images of birds of prey, wild windswept trees, leaves that hold visions and keys to mysteries. She will be all greens and golds mixed with the russets of autumn.

I am enjoying the companionship of these three very much :)

Monday, 29 October 2012

'Nightshade' mask

Atropa Belladonna or Deadly Nightshade. She is the first to bloom  in my Poison Garden series, but she will appear again later in another form. A plant so full on intrigue and so wrapped in herblore and magic, she still has many faces to show me.

I will be offering her for sale in my Etsy shop soon along with some others both old and new.

Photo: Chris Dean. Mask: Tanith Hicks

Photo: Chris Dean. Mask: Tanith Hicks

Just wanted to add a little piccie I took myself to show the black glass beads that hang from the Nightshade flowers.  Please note that the colours of the mask are much more true in Chris's photos :)

Monday, 22 October 2012

Wrapping myself in words

Books are vital to me, my head is full of them, and being a librarian, my days are full of them as well ;) When I'm working on my masks  I always feel such a strong need to immerse myself in words that follow the paths that my art is travelling down.  I search urgently, dipping into volumes and flitting restlessly from book to book until I find the ones that wrap me tightly in their pages!

As I  begin to pull together all my ideas for my Witches/Poison Garden of masks, all lovingly tended by my Witch/Crow mask (this is just my working title for her at the moment), I'm also gathering books around myself to feed and inspire me on my creative journey.  I've just begun 'John Saturnall's Feast' by Lawrence Norfolk

I'm already hooked, this is a new author for me and I like his writing style very much!

I'm looking forward to delving into 'The Poison Garden' by Sarah Singleton.

'The Poison Diaries & The Poison Diaries: Nightshade' by Maryrose Wood

It doesn't concern me whether books are written for adults, teenagers or children, I just read what I'm drawn to :)

These last two novels were inspired by the very wonderful 'The Poison Diaries' by The Duchess of Northumberland, illustrated by Colin Stimpson , which was in turn inspired by the Duchess's beautiful but deadly Poison Garden at Alnwick Castle.

So just a few to keep me company so far, and I haven't even touched on the non-fiction titles yet,  but a vital part of what helps me in my art :))

Friday, 12 October 2012

A little bird.

I  recently set up a Twitter account. Unfortunately I don't get the time to post here half as often as I'd like to. So thought it might be a way of letting people know I was still around, if I haven't put in an appearence for a bit :)

 I'm quite enjoying the spontaneity of it. I'm not posting ' what I had for breakfast' etc, just thoughts, ideas, little snippets, things that capture my attention or inspire me. So please stop by and say hello. It would be lovely to catch up with you there :)

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Ultravox. Hammersmith 28th Sept 2012 . Review/Thoughts

Still not got my feet back on the ground.  I didn't get a chance to catch the guys on the Return to Eden tours in 2009 & 2010 and being as this is my favourite group ever, it's not so difficult to imagine how I felt. So the chance to be at Hammersmith, seeing as the last time me saw them there was in 1984..... well I was just a wee bit excited ;)

The concert was  incredible, an absolute marathon at over 2.5 hours long split into 2 sets. They played all the songs I love and know so well, along with a good number of tracks from the new album. The sound was extraordinary and the atmosphere was magic :)

I was up on my feet the minute the lights went down, I'd promised myself I would be. The opening track ' Brilliant' was really powerful, with an unexpected and excellent drum solo from Warren. It's a track I'd not been 100% sure of on the album but live it took off to a different level, edgier and stronger, I loved it!  The first half of the set leaned a little more towards the moodier darker tracks.  'Rage in Eden' was beautiful and haunting, particularly liked all Billy's additional violin work. I admit I had tears in my eyes during 'Visions in Blue', a particular favourite. The crowds response was very good, didn't take long at all for most people to be up and singing, if not quite dancing ;) The set finished with a stonking rendition of 'The Voice' complete (I was so happy to see) with the now legendary drumming at the end. Sadly I once again missed out on one of those precious drum sticks, but you can't have it all.  Only problems, well there were a few quirks regarding the mixing, these were mainly  resolved as the night went on  (and anyway that's live music), also the volume seemed a little quiet.

Shouldn't have worried about that, by the second half they had definitely turned the sound right up! I love to feel that bass going up through my feet into belly :)) And the pace had gone up as well, it was amazing, hardly time to draw breath between numbers, a real sensory overdrive. The new tracks certainly stood their own amongst the classics. They sounded rougher live than on the record and really shone. To mention just a couple, well, 'Lie' was awesome nearly finished off my voice box singing along with that ;) and 'Change' was hypnotic and enigmatic, it drew you in.  Other outstanding tracks of the night.. difficult to say as it was all so good, but 'Hymn', ' Death in the Afternoon', New Europeans and 'All Stood Still', certainly brought the house down. A fantastic version of  'Astradyne'.'We Stand Alone another huge favourite of mine was gorgeous and of course 'Vienna' a real shivers down the spine moment that was !! :) All this enhanced by great lighting during the show and I also liked the backdrop projections, simple but very atmospheric.

Back for two encores from past and present.  I know it's not been so popular amongst other fans but I liked 'Contact' as the final number, it was a brave and typically challenging Ultravox decision. To bring us all up so high with the energy and excitement and then play such a quiet and very poignant piece... made you think and I liked that :) Sadly it was marred by the now pretty infamous 'triflegate' incident, which left us all stunned and brought down with rather a bump. Then the guys were gone and it was all over.

To make just a perfect day, I got the unexpected treat of getting the chance to say hi to Chris Cross a couple of hours before the concert started. I wandered over to the Odeon (as it always will be to me ) quite a bit before the doors opened.  I was bored of being in my hotel room and basically too excited to sit still. Saw Chris just outside the stage door and he graciously signed my 'Brillant' CD for me !!!! It was a bit tragic, as I was as star-struck as I had been when  I was 16 or 17, still couldn't think of anything sensible or interesting to say and my hand was shaking like a leaf as I handed him a pen to sign with. Forgot to ask if I take a picture, my brain turned to mush ;)

Then very lucky after the show as well.  I hung about by the stage door in the hope that I might catch the others to complete my autograph collection. After the incident, that I mentioned, didn't really think there would be much chance. Certainly sure that Midge would not be in a mood to meet any one (and who could blame the him), and thought the others might shoot off as well. By midnight, I think the few of us remaining had rather given up, then one of the stage crew popped out to tell us that the guys had all gone home. As he was talking to us who should wander out behind him but Warren Cann!! A real gentleman, even though he was obviously exhausted he was happy to sign stuff and chatted away to us. I did get my photo taken with him but sadly the chap who took it couldn't work my camera properly and so nothing came out *sobs*

It was an amazing and  emotional evening that I wouldn't have missed for the world. I had wished that they might have played something a little more unusual, perhaps 'I Never Wanted To Begin', 'Passionate Reply' or something like that, but let's face it we all have our favourites and they can't possibly play them all and it certainly did not spoil my enjoyment at all :)  The guys have just got better over the intervening years, Midge's voice is still stunning,  it really was the best Ultravox concert I've been too, well worth the 28 year wait  :)  And a seriously wonderful birthday present, thank you so much for the ticket Chris (that's my Chris, Chris Dean not Chris Cross) just to avoid confusion ;)

 Thank you so much, Billy, Warren, Chris & Midge !! Now just waiting for the live CD  to come out  so I can enjoy it all over again!

So to finish my ramblings just a few more of my piccies, rather crap I know but full of memories.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

'Dancing With Tears in My Eyes' :)

Just got back yesterday afternoon from London. Yes the day had finally arrived after what seemed an age, Ultravox at the Hammersmith Odeon on 27th Sept 2012 :)))

Still trying to get my head together,  my voice back from sooooooo much singing;) I will write up more when I've calmed down a bit, but enough to say for the moment that it was the most incredible Ultravox gig I've been to (and I've done a few ;) ). An extraordinary evening, the guys were on absolutely top form! Two and a half hours of  brilliance and got to meet some really nice people as well :))

I tried to take a few piccies but being rather short it was difficult, lots of backs of peoples heads, although my view in reality was really good. But  just for the memory ;)

More to come.........

Saturday, 11 August 2012



Photographer: Chris Dean. Mask & Model: Tanith

                                                        Requiem  (Special Commision)

Photographer: Chris Dean


Photographer: Chris Dean


Photographer: Chris Dean

Book I'm currently reading or re-reading I should say : Carnevale by Michelle Lovric. She is a wonderful author and I go back to her evocative works often :)

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

It's A Kind of Magic

Sometimes the past can pop it's head round the door in a most unexpected way.  I was so excited to see of photo of myself  in the new Freddie Mercury biography by Lesley-Ann Jones .

Yes, I'm the body painted lady in the lift with Freddie! I was so lucky back in 1986 to be part of the now seemingly legendary Queen party at the Kensington roof Gardens.  It was held after their concert at Wembley Stadium on the 12th July, the last gig of their 'Magic' Tour.

During 1985 - 86 I'd been involved in a couple of courses run by the marvellous german make-up artist Bernd Bauer. He was/is particularly renowned for his body-painting and I'd already had the chance to be a model for his work on the front cover of 'Timeout Magazine'.

'Timeout Magazine' 1985. I'm the cocktail in the middle!

 . So I get a phone call  a couple of days before the party asking if I'd like to be a model there and it took all of a split second to think about it and say YES  :))

It really was an astonishing and utterly unforgettable evening. I was painted up to look like I was wearing a bell boy uniform and my job was to bring the guests up to the Roof Gardens in a mirrored lift . (which is where the photo was taken).  There were other body-painted models there, some mingled with the guests whilst others were painted up as shells and stones and lay in a huge faux aquarium! An extraordinary sight.

I  loved every minute of it and once all the guests had arrived I was able to just party along with everyone else. A never ending supply of champagne, Queen giving a brief  but wild performance, dancing all night and then a cab home at about 7.00 in the morning , it was a hard job but someone had to do it  ;)  It took about 4 baths to get all the body-paint off but what a hell of an adventure and such a special thing to be a part of. So to see this piccie was such a treat :))

Tuesday, 5 June 2012


The first buds in my Poison Garden are beginning to unfurl. Here are ' Deadly Nightshade' (Atropa Belladonna) and one of her dark sisters, 'Bleeding Heart' (Dicentra Spectabilis). Still very much works in progress but won't be too long before I can start to paint them :) Making their respective flowers to add to their decoration will be quite a challenge and I've still not quite decieded what medium to use. Perhaps paperclay, though mulberry paper may work for Nightshade....... I'm not sure.

I'm also working on 2 larger pieces (full face masks) . 'Lady Laudanum' as mistress of poppies is another of my poison plants. Also 'Visions' a very personal mask who is not part of this series. It will be a little while longer before they progressed enough to share :)

When finished these will be for sale on my Etsy page.


Bleeding Heart

Naughty Spider never likes to think that something is happening that might not actually involve him, so he just had to help out ;)

Thursday, 17 May 2012

'Ashes of memories still aglow'

So excited !!!  Ultravox my favourite band ever, have got a brand new album coming out on May 28th  and from the clips I've heard it sounds like it's going to be wonderful :))))

More details here!

And I just got my ticket for their UK tour, Hammersmith Apollo, September 27th  :)) Last time I saw them there was in 1984 !! So many memories............... I can hardly wait!

Monday, 23 April 2012


Photographer: Chris Dean. Mask & Model: Tanith
Materials: Paper, wire, glass beads, acrylic paint, bronze powders. 

NEW MASKS should be coming very soon. I'm working on a series inspired by beautiful and mysterious plants with a darker reputation! At present Belladonna (Deadly Nightshade), Bleeding Hearts and Opium Poppies are beginning to bloom ;). Will  have some work in progress pictures to show shortly.

Friday, 20 April 2012


 The Green Fairy has inspired two very different masks and I know she has more more to share with me  ;)  The first piece was shown in A Garden in Darkness exhibition, Paris 2009.  The second one was destined for an exhibition in the Netherlands, but was very sadly lost  on her journey.

Photographer: Chris Dean. Mask: Tanith Hicks
Materials: Paper, wire, glass beads, acrylic paint, bronze powders, acrylic wax.

Photographer: Chris Dean. Mask: Tanith Hicks
Materials: Paper, card, wood, faux pearls, acrylic paints, bronze powders, acrylic wax.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Help Protect Vunerable Hares!

This  is relevant to UK residents only. 

 From the The Humane Society International

'The hare population has suffered a serious decline in the UK, with an estimated 80 percent reduction in the last century. A government target to double springtime numbers by 2010 failed to achieve its goal.  
And yet, because of a lack of protection during the breeding season, each year tens of thousands of dependent young hares are left to die when their nursing mothers are killed.
Early Day Motion 2531 urges the government to introduce protection in England by setting a close season during this sensitive period. Urge your MP to protect young hares from suffering .. ask him or her to sign EDM 2531
Legislation has just come into force in Scotland making it an offence to intentionally or recklessly kill, injure or take brown hares from 1 February to 30 September (and mountain hares from 1 March to 31 July). Much of mainland Europe protects hares during the breeding season too.'

 And please don't worry if you are not too confident writing letters, like me ;). If you follow the links they will lead you through to firstly finding out if your MP has already signed the EDM. If they have not it will take you through to a pre-written letter which you can alter if you wish or send through as it is. It take a couple of minutes and yet could make such a difference !!
Very best wishes and thank you
Tanith x

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

End of Wakefulness.

Photographer: Chris Dean. Mask & Model: Tanith
Materials: Paper, wood, faux pearls, wire, acrylic paints, bronze powders.