Mosaic Monday 31 jan 2011

Another treasure trove of inspirational images from my flickr favourites. Many thanks to the artists for sharing. Please do click through to the individual artists pages.

Up to the studio for me today where I am working on new work for two exhibitions. I am still playing with ideas and hope to start playing with materials today.

Wishing you a wonderful week! x

Making progress…..

26 1 11, originally uploaded by gilfling.

Today should be my last day of working on the dreaded admin and for that I am glad. The only place I want to be at the moment is my studio, playing and working away with the music on and the bunnies snoozing under the ironing board.

We are of course heading towards the end of the first month of the year and I am pleased with how it has progressed for me. This month was about taking time to recover and learn and re-learn and enjoy the process of making art. I may not have completed any great masterpieces but I am enjoying the just playing with materials and ideas.

Two things have greatly helped with this (well three things really). I have been more disciplined in at least putting pencil to paper every day. Sometimes it is just one of the little sketches, often it is more but it has certainly got my creative juices going and the newly formed habit means ideas are flowing much more readily. The action of using pencil and paper every day, in turn means that drawing is a lot easier for me. Why would I be surprised by that? It is so simple!

Regular blogging (something that I have struggled with so much throughout my blogging history) also means that I am more aware of what I am creating and why. It helps me to remember why I love doing what I do and it almost acts as my daily diary which motivates me to keep going! Thirdly the feedback here on my blog and on flickr has been incredible and a real blessing. So thank you so much for reading, commenting and giving feedback. Who knew that discipline, accountability and critique would be the three things that would reinforce in my mind that this above all else, is what I want to be doing with my life!

Thank you again. Now it is off to the studio I go….

Back to the beginning…….

paint practice, originally uploaded by gilfling.

I am so out of practice with painting. It is something I have always struggled with in a sense but I found my own way and style by getting comfortable with my materials and using a whole host of things to develop a piece. Most of my previous works use just about every kind of material I have to hand – collage, watercolours, inks, pencils, pastels, acrylics and oil sticks – all in the same finished piece.

Layers and layers of shapes and colours and lines all placed in a seemingly haphazard way, but somehow each ending up in just the right place to make an image work (in my humble opinion). I love using lots of subtle, misty blended layers that disappear into nothing such as in this piece, but there is also alot of line work created with pencils and inks to provide contrast and tension, these bring the image to life I feel. Perhaps this piece is a good example.

I think this is how I developed a distinctive style in my artwork over the last few years. Now i am trying to shake that up a bit and challenge myself. I continue to work through the stretching within e-course and am starting to use acrylics….on their own…..without my usual safety net of a table full of materials that I am comfortable with.

Gosh it is difficult and the results are less than satisfactory. But that is good and exactly the result I was looking for. I don’t want to feel comfortable. I don’t want to work in my normal way. I want to get back to basics, to work on cheap paper that I don’t care about. I want to produce lots of images that will probably end up in the rubbish bin. I want to practice and practice until I find my feet and my own style starts emerging again.

Usually when I work on a painting I am working from my imagination with lots of collected images that I use as a very loose starting point. Here I am just painting straight from images, trying to get to grips with using just paint and nothing else. I think I will work on quite a few more of these to see what happens. This is not to say that I won’t start introducing my beloved pencils and oil sticks again, it is just time to do something different for a while as a way of giving my work a much needed shake up and hopefully something even better will emerge.

Apologies for the dry, descriptive tone of these current blog posts – I guess my head is just in my studio and I am working through a process, so my train of thought is fully switched on to that! It feels good though and I am excited to see where it takes me……


beauty, originally uploaded by gilfling.

No work in progress today as I am pretty sure you don’t want to see a photo of my desk and my accounts…….

I have still to edit all 168 photographs I took on our trip away last week. Unfortunately I think most of the ones from Chester Zoo are heading for the trash bin as for some reason they came out really blurry. The few macro shots of the lovely plant-life however came out well. I have had my camera for 4 years I think and have been winging it all the way….perhaps it is now time to get into that instruction booklet and make some sense of all the buttons I know nothing about…

My day at the computer is done and I am creeping further towards getting this admin done. But now…. a cup of tea and then a climb of the stairs to the studio. Perhaps I will even work on some new drawings or paintings……..

Wishing you a wonderful Wednesday. x

Holding on…….

23 1 11, originally uploaded by gilfling.

Just a quickie today as I am knee deep in admin and it is torture. Next year I will be more organised…..

I am still loving these wee sketches that I create before bedtime and I can really see them developing into larger works – I just need to get through this week and then I aim to start painting larger next week. My flickr site is looking very black and grey and I would love to start working in colour again whether it be with pencils, inks or paints ….. or a mixture of all as is my usual style.

I have not been feeling too well this week. This horrible post radiation treatment fatigue has really got a grip on me and it is upsetting to say the least. A couple of hours doing my accounts yesterday followed by sorting some washing and putting the dinner on left me a sobbing wreck on the sofa last night (a frequent occurence in the last few weeks). I don’t know that I have done too much until it is too late….

Sorry for singing the blues… I guess it is just the reality of life as I know it at the moment…. a shock to the system when normally I can work for hours and hours without thinking about it. I had intended to keep this side of life to my other blog but it is sorely neglected and I am enjoying the daily habit of writing here – working on 2 different blogs in a day seems a little too much for the moment. I will update it soon, till then I guess a little bit of the more rounded side of life will appear here now and again.

Tomorrow will be better.


Mosaic Monday 24/1/11

Hello Monday….

Another collection of images from my flickr favourites and again I am feeling inspired. We were away for a few days last week to Chester for a relaxing break but I returned home feeling more than a little exhausted. The weekend was just the perfect recovery time to spend browsing flickr and discovering ‘new to me’ artists and makers. It really is a pleasure to visit these artists pages and view the wonderful work that is there – you may discover some ‘new to you’ wonders too….

I am still taking things slowly but finding that increasingly I want to spend more time in my studio. My daily sketches are just crying out to be made into bigger pieces, paintings and mixed media and I am feeling good about the images and stories that are being unearthed from my thoughts. This week however much of my time inbetween resting will be dedicated to tedious admin – yes I am that person that always leaves my accounts and taxes to absolutely the last minute – and then panics, and then just has to knuckle down and get things done and then vows to be more organised next year….every year.

Wish me luck….

A huge loss……….

We have just returned from a short 3 day trip that was our belated honeymoon in Chester. Upon checking my emails by phone yesterday I was absolutely devastated to read that my friend and mentor Tracie Eagles passed away on Wednesday night very suddenly and unexpectadly. Tracie was an integral part of the Design Factory team based in Sleaford working as Project Officer, creating the newsletter and working on the website and as mentor to Design Factory members. Above all else though she was a warm, generous, bubbly person who was such a source of fun, smiles, encouragement and practical advice.

I first met Tracie around 3 years ago when I was nervously thinking of applying for Design Factory and she played a huge role in the development of my creative business, offering words of support and encouragement when I needed them. She saw something in my work that I don’t even think I knew was there at the time. I was so honoured when the girls in the Design Factory office commissioned me to make a doll in red (her favourite colour) as her leaving present. Tracie moved up to Scotland with her partner last year but was always there whether via email or phone – chatty and with an ever ready laugh. Although I did not know Tracie for very long she made a huge impact on my life and my work and I shall miss her so very much. I know she will be missed by many. I will certainly never forget her. My thoughts are with her partner, family and colleagues at Design Factory.

Rest In Peace  Tracie x

WIP Wednesday

I have many little fragments of things on the go at the moment – lots of threads of ideas that will hopefully start forming into finished pieces. I am trying not to rush the process, but instead I am enjoying it for what it is. A flurry of thoughts, a little of this drawing here, this stitching there. Returning to previous incomplete work that I did not pursue for one reason or another, but that perhaps I am now wishing to return to.

It feels jumbled, it feels random, it feels good.

I feel more inspired than I have for a long time.

Working through a process….

I am continuing to work through the stretching within e-course and it is good to be drawing again! Drawing (from observation, from my imagination and just drawing because….) is something that  I really neglected for most of last year (possibly even the last two years…?) and this course is helping me re-discover materials that I have not used for a long time. It is also encouraging me to get back to basics, to make mistakes and learn from them, to make work that I do not actually like very much and to work out what is not my ‘style’ which will hopefully lead me further on in the journey to finding out what is (my style….)

The process of working with materials that I would not ordinarily use, such as charcoal and charcoal pencils, means that I am working in a way that reminds me of my art studies at school …..twenty something years ago….. and I think the drawings are not much better than they were then….but it feels as if I am experimenting again and playing…something that has been lacking in my art development lately.

I worked on the most agonising self portrait over the weekend and really, I can only begin to pick out all the things that are wrong with it…. but that is great!! It is not only the successful pieces that provide a learning experience but it is the unsuccessful ones – the next time I will have a better idea of what ‘not’ to do…

The first week of the course was spent concentrating on drawing skills and this week moves onto painting – again it is such along time since I have picked up a brush! But it is good to be making art again, even if I am more than a little rusty.

I read this post by the artist Terri Windling this morning – and it was a real ‘Ah-ha’ moment for me. I encourage you to hop on over there, it really is a wonderful read. I have no idea what stage in the journey I am on, sometimes think I have developed my own unique style and way of depicting my world but I have a sneaking suspicion that I have a long, long way to go yet, towards visualising my own unique style.

PS the drawing above is not my self portrait unfortunately – it is based on a photograph clipping that I had in my inspiration file – I think it is by a famous photographer but unfortunately I do not know the name. This drawing is more successful I feel than my self portrait but I still have a long way to go to rediscover my style – an exiting process!

Mosaic Monday 17/1/10

Mosaic Monday 17/1/10, originally uploaded by gilfling.

1. Untitled, 2. Making / Failing, 3. winter…, 4. three little arrows, 5. Beeswax Coated Crow, 6. Head of Feathers, 7. Painting 1-15-11 A, 8. Untitled, 9. 15

Created with fd’s Flickr Toys

Many thanks to the wonderful artists and artisans for creating wonderful work.

Another wee selection of beautiful imagery created on flickr. It is a lovely way to start a new week afresh being motivated and inspired by te amazing work out there. Please click on the individual links to the artists pages.

Today….a little pottering….a little coffee and cake with a friend….. a little studio time…

Wishing you a wonderful and creative week…. x