Monday, 28 July 2008

Last Week

The past week has been a week of adding finishing touches and varnishing pieces, in preparation for the exhibition which starts on Friday.

Originally I was going to display Sunrise, Leaf, Red, and She's on Fire, but I felt that the combination was a bit too random. Plus, I really wanted to give She's on Fire to my sister because she loves it so much. Then I decided on Sunrise, Leaf, and Nana's Bulrushes. I was totally settled on that idea, until late yesterday evening when I suddenly decided it will now be Sunrise, Leaf, and Footprints in the Sand!

Earlier in the week I had added another layer of sand to the Footprints piece and I think it looks much better now, so that's probably what helped to swing it!

The other pieces are now varnished, and She's on Fire is wrapped and ready to leave. I managed to get a slightly better photo of it before I wrapped it.

It's funny how you get used to seeing these pieces hanging around. I think I'm going to miss this piece, and we're going to have a lot of bare space on our walls for the month of August!

This week I have also been working on another triptych called Morning Haze, for my other sister.

The colour differences are quite subtle, apart from the brown obviously. This piece looked a little blue on my screen, which it isn't at all. The grey is a warm grey, sort of beige grey, and I mixed it with the cream colour to produce another colour in-between the two. I now think that I should have added some very pale trees, just showing through the haze, but as my husband pointed out, my sister really likes the minimalist look.

Morning Haze - emulsion on canvas, 50cm x 40cm x 3.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Open Art Competition Photographs

I don't know where this past week has gone, so in the absence of anything creative of my own to show you, I thought I would post a few photo's from the Open Art Competition.

This was the beautiful piece which unsurprisingly won the best sculpture category. I saw the artist, Stella Benford, bringing the piece in before the judging and she explained that it was made using wire and papier-mache. It is titled "Little Black Dress".

I am quite a fan of Stella's work, and amazingly I find that at local exhibitions I am often drawn to particular pieces, and then I find out they are all by Stella!

This incredible piece titled "D.C" by Steve Essom won best amateur, believe it or not.

And this piece by David Hunt "Arboreal Melody in Salcey Forest" won best professional.

This was one of Anita's entries. We're both curious to know if anyone who knows this woman has recognised her!

Anita picked this one out as her overall favourite. "The Garden Path" by Hannah Pugh.

My favourite was obviously "Little Black Dress", but out of the paintings this one stood out to me...

...and surprise surprise, I then found out that it was painted by Stella! It's titled "Broken Glass" and I love how the broken pieces are painted with texture, as if the canvas is broken glass. The light above the persons head is from the lights in the gallery, but the light above the head of the "reflection" is painted. The photo doesn't do the piece justice (do they ever?) but Anita and I both felt that Stella could have picked a more attractive model!

Well, that's my little round up. There was/is obviously lots more to see actually at the gallery, but some of them were difficult to photograph, particularly the ones behind glass, because of the light. Besides, there were 136 pieces so I'm not going to photograph and write about them all!

Friday, 11 July 2008

My Second Life Drawing Class

Yesterday I went to my second life drawing class. Here is the result.

I think the model was sitting in a position that was more dificult to draw than last time, or maybe it was the angle that I was looking at her from. Anyway, although I'm not happy with her face I am pleased with my overall progress - after all, I didn't even draw her face last time! I wasn't sure what progress I had made, if any, until I came home and viewed my first and second drawing side by side. If nothing else, I'm pleased that the drawing fits on the paper this time!

First Life Drawing

I feel that the areas I need to work on now are drawing hands and feet in detail, and drawing portraits using a model rather than a photograph.

Life Drawing 2 - 6B sketch stick on heavyweight A4 paper.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Even Happier!

I can’t tell you how many months I have searched in vain for:
a) A place to fire my clay piece, and
b) Ceramic classes

I found a place in another town that would fire my piece for a price, but as it would have to go through the firing process twice (before and after glazing) it seemed a little expensive. Other places that I had tried, including my old school, failed to get back to me.

Then a couple of nights ago I stumbled across the adult learning section of our county council’s website. They hold 10 week ceramic courses (one evening a week) but they have just finished! Then, coincidentally, I came across another website that listed ceramic artists, and the tutor for the 10 week courses was on there with his email address! I emailed him, and he said that not only could he fire my piece for me, but that classes start again in September! Yippee! I found classes! I found classes! But it gets even better…

After the 10 week course starting in September, there is another 10 week course starting in January, and then another 10 week course starting after Easter! “For ever and ever” as the tutor put it! He doesn’t tell students what to make but he is obviously on hand to teach the students slab building, coiling, throwing and glazing. It sounds like just what I have been looking for! Yippee!

I can’t wait ‘til September!

Friday, 4 July 2008


I'm happy this evening for two reasons:

Firstly, I showed Nana's Bulrushes to one of my brothers and asked him "Where do you think I got the inspiration from for this piece?" (without telling him the title of the piece of course) and he immediately replied "Nan's house"! I was so surprised and happy about his reply, I decided to ask one of my sisters the same question later in the day - and she said the same thing! It's a wonderful feeling to be able to paint something that can evoke memories in others.

The second reason why I am happy is because this evening I have spent some time doing the only other thing that can bring me as much satisfaction and contentment as being creative...

...watching someone I love experience the feeling of satisfaction and contentment through being creative. This is my 13 year old niece, Mariah. She fancied doing some painting today so I gave her a canvas to paint on. She was quite nervous because she had never painted on canvas before, but once she got going she became engrossed in what she was doing and she had so much fun!

I expect I'll be showing more photo's like this one throughout the summer - in a moment of madness I told my nieces and nephews that during the summer they could all take turns in coming round to make something with clay! It's funny, since I started rediscovering art it's the only thing my nieces and nephews ever want to talk to me about, and whenever I go round to their houses they all start drawing pictures for me! I love being an auntie!

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Nana's Bulrushes

So here it is, later than predicted, the triptych I have been working on, on and off, forever.

The inspiration for this piece was prompted by a post on Jafabrit's blog, saying that 60's and 70's crafts and fashions were back. I've noticed a slight 70's feel in the decor of some places, such as Café’s, and this got me thinking back to my own childhood. My Nan's house had orange walls in the dining room, with a vase of brown Bulrushes sitting on top of the side board.

After painting the canvases orange I painted the Bulrushes very quickly (with a brush that was probably too big for the task), and then spent the latter half of my life trying to neaten them up! Looking back, I think masking tape may have made the task easier, but I painted these free hand. The orange is like a burnt orange, labelled "India". As usual, I'm not sure if the photograph really does the colour justice.

Nana's Bulrushes - emulsion on canvas, 50cm x 40cm x 3.