Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Ceramics - Class One

Well, it seems my life didn't begin last night after all - if anything I thought it would end! I felt so nervous and uncomfortable, I just couldn't concentrate. I can't really pinpoint what the problem was, but I think there were a number of things:

  1. The tutor didn't seem as friendly as he was in his emails. He was very serious and quite negative. He said that when we start throwing pots we won't produce anything in the first lesson, and later when another student and I expressed an interest in using porcelain he said he wouldn't recommend it because it's very difficult to use. It wasn't really what he said, but how he said it.
  2. I think my expectations of myself were too high. I had an idea of what I wanted to make but nothing was going right, which only heightened my anxiety.
  3. A very lovely lady sitting at the same table kept talking to me. She was very nice, but I really can't be creative and talk at the same time.
  4. I was very aware of how little time we had and I felt rushed.
The tutor showed us how to make small hollow animals at the beginning of the class, by fitting two cup shapes together. The cups were made by sticking our thumb into the centre of a ball of clay and squeezing the sides between the thumb and fingers to make them thinner. Once the two cups were joined we could decorate them how we pleased. I sat and played with the clay for about an hour and a half before finally making something in the last half hour! And by then I didn't have time to make anything more elaborate than this little head!

The expression portrays how I was feeling!

I didn't feel very comfortable in last weeks drawing class either and I started wondering if these courses were really for me. I had to give myself a good talking to, along the lines of "C'mon Linda, you are Undaunted! You can do this!" Tonight I just blocked everything out with music and head phones, and I felt much more relaxed. I shall post tonight's drawing as soon as I have photographed it.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Drawing and Painting - Class One

This Monday coming (the 29th) will be the first class of my ceramics course! I can't wait! I feel like my life begins on Monday.

In the mean time, I have begun a drawing and painting class! Not before time, some of you might say! It will be good for me because left to my own devices I would never choose to draw a still life, and yet I will have to as part of this course, so it will help me to become more rounded in my abilities, and help me to improve my observation skills.

This is the result of my first lesson - an apple and a shell, in case you can't tell!

The apple was drawn using a sort of charcoal pencil, and the shell was drawn using a piece of charcoal. To be honest, I'm not happy with either of them, but then I didn't really want to draw them! It's a start anyway.

Monday, 22 September 2008

My First Blog Award!

I'd like to say a very huge thank you to Leanne for giving me my very first blog award! Thank you! Isn't it cute?

And this is what Leanne said about me:

"Undaunted aka Linda is a creative woman reworking her way into the art world with great speed and excitement. I love to see her posts of her new works in paint and in pencil."
Wow, there have been so many times that I have looked at blogs of artists who have received awards and thought "That must be great to know that someone loves what you do enough to give you an award. I hope someone gives me an award one day" I never dreamt that day would come so soon! Thank you Leanne!

And now, in line with the rules, I shall list my seven nominees:

Philippa King's Loaded Brush: Not a blog as such, but it was through viewing Philippa's evocative paintings that I began to discover the real meaning and purpose of art, and felt inspired to return to being creative myself. I shall be eternally grateful to Philippa for that. As much as I love the work of others, Philippa's paintings stir something in me that I can't explain. When I'm a millionaire I shall buy everything she's ever painted!

Jafabrit's Art: With her unique versatility, Jafabrit's art spans all genres and ages. She would be just as at home knitting woolly jumpers for trees in an old people's home as she would spray painting graffiti with the youths from the local rehabilitation centre! Her art is always unique, and she can make something amazing out of just about anything.

Rosa Murillo: Oh my, what can I say about Rosa? I look at her art in amazement and wonder how a person could even come up with something so imaginative. Her mixed media paintings and collages are beautiful. She is also the mother of Found Art Tuesday - a wonderful concept of sharing art with complete strangers to brighten their day.

Kathy LaRocco is also a mixed media artist who paints and uses collage. Again, I can't help wondering how she even comes up with her ideas. Apart from producing work that is absolutely beautiful, I admire Kathy for stretching herself beyond her comfort zone and trying new techniques.

Fur in the Paint by Mona: Mona's work is a very different style to the other blogs that I visit. I first came across Mona's blog when I was searching for tips on how to use oil pastels - and I'm glad I did. She shares some fantastic advice on various topics from framing to selling, and her paintings are amazing. I'm completely fascinated by how she builds up the colour in her pieces, and how her use of "strange" colours on animals always looks so right.

Cynthia's Colorado Art Studio: Cynthia is surely superhuman? She's a Mum, a ceramic artist, and a teacher, she grows tomatoes, and always seems to be experimenting with new glaze recipes, and yet somehow finds the time to blog about her results - extensively! Her use of many different techniques and her tutorials make her blog fascinating as well as educational. And in addition to all that, her pieces are beautiful.

I can't not mention Leanne's Art and Life, even though she has already received this award and was the one who awarded me. I just absolutely love her sculptures. Every time I look at Leanne's blog it makes me want to rip open my bag of clay and get started on something immediately! (Then I look at the mess and lack of space and change my mind!) Her pieces are fun, cute, and definitely inspiring.

Is that 7? Oh ok, I'll have to stop there. For all those who have been awarded, here are the rules:

1) Choose 7 favorite blogs and…
2) Put the logo on your blog
3) Link the person you received your award from
4) Nominate at least 7 other blogs (didn't we already do that?)
5) Put links of those blogs on yours
6) Leave a message on the blogs of the ones you’ve nominated

Sorry if I've waffled on a bit, but I'm sure you'll agree that these are all fantastic blogs.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Second Exhibition

On Monday Anita and I hung our second exhibition. It was a nightmare of a day for various reasons, but we finally got home by about 6pm, rather than 1pm as we had expected! You know when you just have "one of those days"? I seem to have them fairly regularly!

Most of the paintings were the same as last time, but we both managed to include two new items each. Let me give you a tour...

As you enter the doors to the bar/restaurant area, the bar is on your left. You turn right to face the seating area, and there's Bob hanging on the wall to your right.

Step forward a little and poke your head around the wall on your right and there's a couple of my triptychs and Foot Prints in the Sand...

...and further along the wall are Anita's paintings.

Right at the end, nearest to the window, are her three abstract paintings. I couldn't get the whole wall to fit into one photo!

On the other side of the large window, on your left, is another triptych and Anita's Brotherly Love on a section of wall that sticks out.

There is more restaurant area to the left and the walls in this area are taken up with photographs of local scenery and photographs of famous people who have performed in the theatre, but for some reason there is a kind of brick pillar in the middle, so that's where we hung Yoof. Anita felt that it would really stand out and be noticeable to people there as they first entered the restaurant area, and I think she's right.

Here are the two "new" pieces that Anita added to the show.

I have a good feeling about this exhibition. I hope we're not disappointed. The bar has a lot of people passing through it before and after shows, so hopefully a lot of people will see our work.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Bob Marley

I cannot believe it has been nearly two weeks since I last updated! What on earth have I been doing with myself? Well... being ill mostly. It's just that time of year. So I haven't actually been doing very much in the way of painting or... well, anything really.

I decided to pull my finger out last night though and get this painting finished, as it will be included in The Escape Artists second exhibition, starting on Monday!

I've had Bob Marley songs going round in my head everytime I've sat down to work on this! I was hoping to pick a title based on one of his songs but I couldn't settle on anything, and now Anita has already typed up the labels etc. using the working title "Bob Marley". Oh well, at least no one will get confused as to his identity! His shirt should be green by the way. Why does everything always look blue on my screen? Anyway, here's a little something for your entertainment...

I decided to replace the Bob Marley "Redemption Song" video for these two! They're so good that I couldn't choose between them! Just watch and you'll see what I mean!

Bob Marley - Acrylic on canvas, 50cm x 40cm

Monday, 1 September 2008

Life Drawing and Latest Painting

At last! I have some photos to show you! Here is the long awaited drawing from my last life drawing class, which was 13th August!

I had intended to do a little more to the drawing once I had got home, because as you can see, I seemed to get less done that night than the previous occasion! One day I will finish a drawing in two hours! I shouldn't be too hard on myself though; many of the others take a photo of the model so that they can finish their drawing/painting at home. I was just going to work from memory, but I never got round to it.

This is my latest painting which I finished last night. It is based on a previous found art piece, and is entitled "Yoof". The photography is particularly bad so you'll have to use your imagination with this one! I don't know why the blue looks paler in places. It is windsor blue and white.

Life Drawing 3 - 6B sketch stick on heavyweight A4 paper
"Yoof" - Acrylic on canvas, 50cm x 40cm