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.
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!
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
Friday, Friday and in this work that I love so much Friday does not signal the end of the week for me. My days are different at the moment as I am still moderating my hours to allow for recovery time and so my working hours are short and I am allowing myself even more time than is usual to just dream and let my thoughts drift.
I spent rather too long in the studio yesterday just sketching and enjoying the company of Jeeves and Wooster but it has left me a little tired today. I also stayed up far too late last night tip-tapping on my computer for an exciting bit of news which I will be able to reveal in good time. So today I shall take it a little easier and will look forward to getting into my studio a little more over the weekend.
I have been continuing to work on the coursework for Stretching Within – one of the tasks being to draw the same object every day for the duration of the course. This will be an interesting experience! I chose a collection of old pottery ink bottles and already I am finding myself increasingly aware of the textures and imperfections in their shape. I have always loved them of course but they are there in my studio every day on the windowsill and after a while I have stopped ‘seeing’ them.
I have started with basic pencil and charcoal drawings, observational and true to life (although those blinking ellipses always fox me) so it will be interesting to see how these will develop and how I can make the drawings more interesting. You will be able to view the collection here.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend whatever you may be doing.
Yesterday I went on a wee jaunt with a friend to Leicestershire to visit this gallery. I am part of a group exhibition next month and wanted to check out the space in order to help me decide what work to exhibit there. Unfortunately I did not take my camera (a lesson learned) but it is in the most beautiful rural setting on an estate with a small grouping of interesting and quirky shops and luckily a lovely coffee shop selling coffee cake and hot drinks in vintage cups and saucers. Bliss. Ferrers Gallery is beautiful, small and quirky and I can’t wait to have my work shown there. I love Leicestershire and although the first part of the drive is down the motorway, you are soon surrounded by rolling hills and fields with ponds, sheep and ducks and mist. It was a grey day but lovely nonetheless.
Returning to Nottingham I just had to take Katie to the charity shop ‘up the road’. This is a real find – 2 floors of thrifty goodness and only a hop skip and a jump from my house. Over the last few years I have taught myself to walk away when tempted by lovely things. This life that I have chosen ensures that I don’t have a ready amount of cash at my disposal and I have to be choosy about where the pennies go. We live in a spacious house, books are my downfall and the rest goes on art supplies as and when I can afford them. Very occasionally we go off to a car boot sale and pick up the odd thing for the house. The last 3 times I have visited this shop I have coveted these serving plates – their faded buttery yellow tones just the right colour to ensure that I am drawn to them peeking out from under a pile of other plates and crockery. Three times I have picked them up and put them down again but this year I have decided that a wee treat now and again is not a bad thing so home they came. Along with a set of 6 butter knives bringing back memories of tea with granny and a real sense of nostalgia for her kitchen and pantry. Last night I rediscovered the joy of spreading butter with a lovely, springy butter knife! These small things matter to me now after the journey that was 2010. Small moments that remind me of the past and ground me in the present.
I realised that these platters and knives cost me less that the coffee and cake I enjoyed earlier in the day, but they will be loved and used for years to come.
Lesson # one – take your camera everywhere possible.
Lesson # two – if they are still there the second and third time, perhaps it was meant to be.
Well now that I seem to have gotten into the swing of blogging a little more regularly (I didn’t want to highlight this previously incase I ‘jinxed’ it) I am enjoying the process of writing a little something every day.
I like the idea of showing finished work, inspirations, works in progress and the to-ings and fro-ings of my day and it is something that I very much hope to continue with throughout this year – they say it takes 28 days to create a habit – right?
Wednesdays seem just the right day to show a little work in progress – and plus it just sounds right too. So here we are – a little hand dying and hand embroidery. These aren’t my usual fragments of nature brooches but something a little bit different…. I hope to have a completed photo to show you soon.
Another day, another daily sketch. A ritual that I hope to continue. I have been thinking a lot about the work I create and the work I used to create whilst at art college particularly in that first year, a foundation year where experimentation was encouraged and the process was as important, if not more important than the end result. This is something that I want to rediscover in my work today and for the future. I have a wee notion to go back into my art college portfolio just to see what forgotten images I might find.
My work was very different prior to my costume design degree, more abstract, more about place and a moment in time.
I discovered the work of Magali Rizzo yesterday and I cannot even put into words the way her images speak to me. There is a story, a sadness, a forgotten past. Although very different in the end art pieces, the inspiration reminds me of a costume project I designed in my last year of studies. I may dig out the research and costume renderings to revisit the themes. I have a feeling that going back may indeed help me to move forward.
I do not like to put images of other artists unless I have permission so I encourage you to read the interview with Magali here – it is a fascinating insight into the working process of an amazing artist. Her blog is here.