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Blog 4 – Lorna Watkins, Visual Artist and TAP+ Tutor

Image credit:Lorna Watkins, tetrapak prints, Coláiste Mhuire, Ballymote

Lorna Watkins
Lorna Watkins

Lorna Watkins lives and works in North Sligo having graduated in Textile Design at NCAD after studying at the Grennan Mill Craft School and Edinburgh College of Art.  Her practice includes painting, drawing, printmaking, textiles and collaborations with communities and other artists.

She was selected for the 188th, 191st, 192nd and 193rd Annual Exhibition at the RHA, Dublin and the 197th RSA Annual Exhibition, Edinburgh this year.  Her paintings and drawings have been shown in invited group exhibitions in London, Berlin, New York, Chicago and Beijing.

She was awarded a Fellowship by the Ballinglen Arts Foundation in 2019 and has been awarded residencies at Cill Rialaig and JOYA:AiR in Almeira, Spain.  She is a recipient of the Agility Award from The Arts Council and Thomas Damann Travel Bursary.

Lorna has been working with TAP+ in Sligo since 2022 and was a TAP+ Summer course tutor in 2023.

It’s all in the planning.

We are all starting to wind down for Christmas so it’s a good time to start thinking about any future TAP+ or Blast projects that may be on the horizon in the New Year.  Maybe reach out to any partners that you may be working with in January or February, have a coffee or arrange a Zoom meeting for an initial meet and greet.  It’ll just be great to have touched base before signing off this term.  

How do you do your actual planning? Do you record on an app? Do you take notes old school in a diary? I do a combo of both.  I use the Goodnotes app on my iPad and a bullet journal.  For the bullet journal, I like to use a Leuchtturm 1917 notebook. I divide every double spread into a week and keep a double spread spare for listing monthly activities.  I love how it’s flexible, I can draw or use pages at the back for longer notes.  For detailed notes, I use my Goodnotes app.  I highly recommend it if you have an iPad.  You can hand write notes or type, record audio from lectures and you can insert images.  When I’m working in a school, I would take photos then insert them into the notes to remind me of what happened that day. I use the 2 systems to keep me on track. 

Maybe ask Santy for some new notebooks? Or an iPad if he’s very generous! 

I recently worked in a secondary school, Colaiste Mhuire in Ballymote on a BLAST Residency.  Both Oona McGrath and I spent a lot of time planning to maximise my time with the students and it really paid off.  We decided to do a two day intensive session with the students.  We had a coffee in August and then had a studio visit.  Oona discussed what she wanted to get out of the residency, she really thought about what her students needed so that was brilliant. Once we figured out what we were going to do, we were able to make a detailed materials list.  I recorded this in my bullet journal and then screen shot it into my Goodnotes app to have a permanent record of it.  Everything from what print paper to how we were going to protect the tables in the art room. It was very specific and it really worked. We checked in with each other coming closer to November and then it was smooth sailing when I turned up into the class as everything was perfect. I had visited the room beforehand and we had planned how the room needed to be rearranged before we started.  It just made everything so much easier to work on the day, everything was in place and the focus was on the students as it should be.

Have a peaceful, restful time on your break and a Happy New Year.



School Level

Primary & Post-primary