Tuesday, 24 May 2016

#creativetuesday | postcard experiments + thoughts from Hockney's Pictures

Hello there,

Here's playing around with images from books, collage, erasure, all mounted on a #postcard - ready for upcoming postcard fundraiser.

Been considering a multitude of art projects. As life changes, art changes. I find.

And so some thoughts from David Hockney for you:

"How do you represent a changing, three-dimensional world, through which we move, and by which we are moved; and how can you achieve that in a still image on a flat surface? How, indeed, do we see the world? How do we represent it to ourselves, inside our own heads? How can an artist convey that internal representation to others?"

I am definitely intrigued by not only how we perceive and 'see' the world around us, but how and where those inner & outer experiences meet and get depicted. 

I've been doing some simple drawings from my immediate environment too. Something about capturing the essence and simplicity of one's life. Slowing down & observing. Something Hockney obviously did a lot of.


Wednesday, 11 May 2016

#Cupid #Collage & Creating the 'Online Creative Retreat'

I'm ever so slightly obsessed with taking square photographs at the moment (thanks iPhone). The challenge of trying to get what I want in to a square frame. I stood for ages trying to get this frame 'right' with people at the V&A not knowing whether to walk in front of me or not! Here is Cupid.

Ran my collage workshop today at Imperial College. What a lovely group. And walked home through the thoroughly soaked streets of London (Kensington). I haven't been out in to central London for so long. I forget what's 'out there', beyond my home and life in South London sometimes.

I bought in some new postcards images to work on some new postcard works.... more to come ;)

I am busy developing a new online idea/project. This one has been bubbling away for a while, and now I'm in full swing on it (the clue is in the title). So if you'd like to find out more, head on over here and join the mailing list and you will be first to know :) 

subscribe here (or on the side of my blog too!)

Here is a sneak peak of today's group working hard in Studio SW7. There are drop in sessions on Wednesday afternoons too, with artist Mindy Lee.


Sunday, 8 May 2016

21 tasks in 21 days (art & creativity)

a photo taken from a Winter Walk earlier this year....

We are celebrating a spring in to Spring and Summer here. With it a burst of creativity always comes. I am busy preparing works for the Postcard Show at Sprout coming up next month & I'm teaching a collage workshop next week at Imperial College - an annual event for the last few years now. I love these lunchtime art sessions.

For you, I thought I would put together a list of 21 creative tasks in 21 days. An adaptation from a friend's art course project. I have tweaked and personalised to suit the experimental angle I always enjoy.

1. Make a canvas stretcher (across four bits of wood of any shape), using an unusual fabric, such as: old piece of clothing, bedsheet, already used canvas that you will re-purpose for this project, super-thick paper even? other? Then create a painting using both water & oil based paints

2. Do a watercolour painting on a typically non-artistic surface - what do you not usually paint on? Create an unusual watercolour of your day today. Paint a feeling (think Rothko), or the sky from your window, or the creases of your bedsheets, or the ripples of a reflection...

3. Collage together some photographs to create a new composition; cut, tear, scalpel parts out and then reposition on a new surface (paint this too if you feel so compelled)

4. Collage together found photographic imagery with text to create a new word and image piece

5. Combine 4 materials together to create a collage or sculptural piece using items bought only from a DIY or hardware store

6. Take a photograph and make a print without using a traditional camera - how else can you take an image? (clue: Solar Paper). See this article for some camera-less imagery inspiration.

7. Take a photographic image in a location and at an angle where the scale is ambiguous

8. Take an image using your camera but make your own lens/filter (non photographic)

9. Take a photographic image without touching your camera - what can you set up? how can you do this? what effects come from this process? through a cushion at the button?!

10. Print an image on a non-paper material or surface.... what can you use? what effects arise?

11. Film a journey to a location you have never been to before? Think of different ways you can film, capture, document the journey and make a mini film

12. Film or photograph the same object or subject many times in different locations or circumstances

13. Create a film work by piecing together 'found footage' i.e. other pre-existing footage. See Christian Marclay's 'The Clock' for inspiration

14. Select a variety of materials to create your own sculptural relief piece

15. Make a simple mould by pressing an object into clay or similar (or other process) and cast it - you could use melted household tea-light candle wax?

16. Create an unusual 'assemblage' by unifying multiples of 2 opposing objects or materials of your choice together

17. Display a found object or 'ready-made' object of your choice in a way that allows for a re-interpretation of the original context/object

18. Re-configure, adapt, modify an already existing object bought from a shop, car-boot, or other to make a 'new' sculptural piece - how can you add to, or take-away to create a 'new work'?

19. Make a negative non-physical space physical... think Rachel Whiteread's work

20. Create an 'accumulative' piece by doing the same thing on a daily basis for a set period of time 

21. Make a large poster-sized drawing of items in your everyday environment: you can draw with your eyes shut, by not taking the pen off the paper, by using another part of your body to draw with other than hands - be imaginative in how you could do this large drawing of your every day items/environment

Document all the above tasks and keep together as your 21 tasks in 21 days project.



Saturday, 30 April 2016

The World Of...... (insert name here)

In the imaginary world of somewhere else, this is taking place. Who is her creator? And what defines her? Who are you?

I have not been here for a long time. This is because I've been on one helluva journey. It is GOOD, but it has also been tough. When rites of passage hit hard. When realisations of what hasn't been dealt with need to be dealt with hit home. And it can be private. It can be energy consuming, it can feel un-ending and it can sit with the possibility that you (I, in this case) don't know where it is going to end.

However, with Spring new things come forth. There is new birth, renewal, survival. A kind of lifting from the depths of murk that can feel so good.

I am shedding skins and realising the journey is never-ending. But I like the concept of 'mind-movies' at the moment. Remembering as often I can, that I am a creator as well as recipient. Positive focus on where one is headed whilst trying to scatter the thoughts that leap up to hinder and remind, taking us a journey into the past, or to fear. Always a tension between light and dark - the balance is to be found. I am searching.

This piece is in Sprout Affordable Art on show until Saturday 21st May (opening times 11-5pm Tuesday to Sunday). I was invited to put a piece on and this piece is from work done on Mimesis with Evy Jokhova. 

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

something to knit (simple knits for easy living) #creativetuesday

There is ground frost here, but the Sun is bright in the sky! A frosty February morning in half term.

One day I won't have half terms, just days, weeks, months rolling one into the next. My kids are getting older and I can feel a  new lease of life dawning slowly but surely. I'm still young enough (at least I feel) to do tonnes more. Dreams I held just before I started having kids (I started young), are beginning to pop their head back up again - it's quite strange.

This time of year always seems to bring a burst of creative energy and it's when I start dreaming about creating a home built, stitched, created by me in every way. So I've started a knitting project and thought I'd share it's simplicity with you + I haven't had a #creativetuesday in quite a while!

I love looking on Pinterest and getting ideas. 'Chunky Knit' seems to be happening all over the place (now that I'm looking). In my local hobbycraft store I saw this wool and thought yes! It's Rowan wool made with merino (www.knitrowan.com). I intend to knit a large set of squares to make a cosy warming bedcover for my double bed up in my attic room.

Also inspired by this book Simple Knits for Easy Living, I adapted the moss stitch squares to make a bedcover (they suggest a box for bathroom bits). So, this is what I'm working on:

- cast on 19 stitches, then start with a plain stitch (therefore you end with a plain stitch)
- moss stitch is: knit, purl, knit, purl etc
- repeat until you end the square with a plain stitch
- cast off in moss stitch too (i.e. knit one, purl one until you're cast off) at least that's what I'm doing!
- create as many squares as you desire for your project

When you have enough squares for your project, stitch together to make cushion, blanket etc of chosen size. I may still be knitting this in a year's time, but I find having a project like this is a great way to keep me occupied and have something to focus my energies.

I find myself dreaming of country lodgings too these days, hence my purchase of Country Living Modern Rustic.

Some other knitting inspiration for you:

Enjoy and do feel free to share any simply knitting projects you're working on: links, projects, ideas etc....


Thursday, 4 February 2016

10 POSITIVE things TO DO to feel better about the world & YOU!

on a walk this morning to enquire about ice skating! the Earl Ferrers pub (fabulous!)

Am I the only one that sometimes gets totally overwhelmed by horrendous news of atrocities happening across the globe? I find it gets me down if I'm not careful and feeds feelings of powerlessness and helplessness. Maybe it's made worse by individual personal (tough) circumstances. But I lay awake last night and made a promise to myself that today I would find and do some things that made me feel positive and would help me take a more redeeming view of humanity and an antidote to so much negative news! 

I thought I would share with you too. Here goes:

1. Sign up to Positive News, see here: http://www.positive.news/join/

2. Random Acts of Kindness is something I've come across before and probably posted, but here it is again for today: https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/ 

3. Do something you've longed to do that will make you feel really good about yourself, your body and the world you inhabit. I used to ice-skate as a child & have decided I'd like to take it up again. Feel good about my body, rather than wondering why I have yet another ache or pain ;) Mid life crisis? Who cares. I need some fun! :)

5. Start your own local or community garden, allotment or guerilla gardening as a way to say no to GMO farming & environmental destruction. Apparently if you're not a gardener and need somewhere good to begin, lunar gardening is a great way to start: http://www.lunarorganics.com/ 

6. Positive Affirmations. I've just received my copy of this book: I AM/YOU ARE courtesy of Watkins Books (www.watkinspublishing.com)

All about affirmations: "Affirmations are powerful words or short statements. They are one of the easiest ways to turn negative thought patterns into positive ones." See: http://www.rosemarygallagher.com/

7. Walk. Walk as meditation to clear the mind and channel good, positive thoughts and a time to think up solutions to challenges or problems - one of my favourite things to do!

8. Give a gift. Check out the Git Economy idea. You could start or join a gift economy. 

9. Be the change you wish to see in the world (the basis of starting this blog and the quotation has remained at the bottom since the start). Make, create, fund or join something that does amazing, positive things in the the world. See: https://www.globalgiving.org/

10. Stand up and be courageous enough to be the individual you are, and share/live your values daily - even if it goes against the status quo! Go do something you totally believe in :)


Saturday, 30 January 2016

Some creative inspiration for you

Yesterday, dear friends, I was walking home along the pretty, tree-lined streets of south london, when this burst of colour in front of a small English house that makes up the residential streets near me, caught my eye! Made me think of Spring, of beautiful things and being creative once more - capturing images with a phone quickly but ensuring the frame and composition is right, because that's what I love doing.

It reminded me of sleeping Winters, when hibernation is at the forefront and creativity can lie dormant too. Or maybe Winter's of the soul where are 'things' sneak in and steal the time that could be best met creatively.... and a little burst came forth of ideas and inspiration. It awoke a little spark in me.

And as a result I thought I'd share a little bit of inspiration with you from across the way:

- Tracey Emin: What Do Artists Do All Day

- I am waiting for this book to arrive:
and simultaneously fell across this site: http://www.nourishbooks.com/

- Not so long ago, I found this blog post: Will Blogs Survive? Def seems different out there these days!

- An artist to peruse: Lucinda Metcalfe