On our way home from Scotland recently we stopped off for lunch at Middleport Pottery near Stoke on Trent. As an aside, the cafe was recommended in an excellent book “The Extra Mile” which we picked up earlier that day at a very good and unusual service station, “Cairn Lodge”.
Having had our lunch by the canal, and had a mooch around the pottery and shops, we had a little wander and came across Harper Street. My husband and I were both drawn to investigate further:
I love rust and texture saw the street scene as a series of beautiful textural portraits:
Whilst I love the street as it is, we were glad to see that, rather than sitting empty, Harper Street is going to be redeveloped and repurposed in a way to pay homage to the industrial past and present of the area
There is no doubt that my taste is changing – I am drawn to more abstract and semi abstract work than I was when I was younger. I wonder why? I see marks and patterns that attract me in the strangest of places, even in rubbish. As you know, one of my hobbies is beach combing. I like to collect objects that are weathered and distressed by the sea – these are nearly always man made items – whilst I appreciate the beauty of stones and shells I do not feel the need to collect them.
It is unusual to find paper on the beach as it is easily broken up by the waves – not so, sadly, the plastic. These are some bits collected recently:
A crisp bag, a sandwich wrapper and other plastic. I like the way the colours and text have been eroded and altered by the action of the sea.
But, the big question of course, is how can these be used in “Art”. Well, as a start, I played around with composition, decided I needed a bit more texture and added some found duct tape. So the next stage could be to reinterpret these shapes and colours in mixed media …. a project for the New Year.
We’ve done it!! Alan and I have registered to be part of the Chichester Art Trail in 2018! We have visited exhibitions many times in the past but this will be the first time either of us have been involved so please put the dates in your diaries (the first two weekends in May – 5th/6th/7th and 12th/13th and see if you can come along!
I have decided to focus on my mixed media/collage pieces on paper and on my contemporary three dimensional work using found materials. These are the three images submitted as part of the application process:
Alan will be displaying some of his Fine Art photographs – his work can be seen on
Alan is an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society and works in monochrome taking inspiration from the local area and further afield within Great Britain.
So the game is on: first step is to have existing work mounted. I will then live with these for a while before deciding which to frame. Meantime, I want to devote my time to completing more work using my vast stock of found materials – I have many ideas to follow through … watch this space!
I have long been fascinated by decay, distress and general wear and tear in surfaces. My eyes are drawn over and over again to rock, stone, wood, paper or any material where the worn and battered winks at me and asks for further inspection. I love torn edges and scruffiness.
Taking up more and more room in the house, I have an embarrassingly large collection of found objects that reflect my preferences and I am still struggling to find a clear way forward to use these within my art. I am unable to pigeon hole myself as a “painter”, “printmaker”, “textile artist” or some other moniker – I like all manner of techniques and media. The saving grace is that there is a common need – to make use of the found and to conform to my idea of what is aesthetically pleasing as outlined above. I realise that to some/many my taste is bizarre and that anything I produce will have a limited market with the majority doubtless seeing only “rubbish.” I also need to distinguish myself from what I see as twee – sculptures and assemblages made from pieces of driftwood for example. They are just not me – not dirty enough, not raw enough, not scuffed and damaged.
Some of what I produce will be fragile (I have some beautiful charred paper from an incinerator); some will have a shorter life than “traditional” art because it will continue to erode and spoil over time. But I will persevere with my ideas that involve the found, the rusty and the burnt. I have workshops coming up in 2018 with the inspiring Debbie Lyddon whose textile work I simply love and also with Elaine Bolt who I hope will take me down a new route considering ceramics and they can help me display my found objects. I was delighted to discover her although a little sad to see that my ideas are not entirely new – ideas rarely are! – and that she is producing far lovelier work than I am sure I will manage.
I am currently thinking about my collection of found brushes (some are shown above) – I have already started to experiment with embossing and “printing” with the handles and would like to try making ceramic handles in the form of these found brushes. I have a collection of “bristles” that can be fastened to the handles and yesterday rescued a whole pile of lovely rusty, “been through the bonfire” bendy metal from which I can form ferrules to adjoin the handles to the bristles.
Here are a collection of my other “from the fire” objects which I hope to use in future work. I’d love to know if anyone else “get’s it”!!
I have a need for texture in my work and have been experimenting with different ways of adding depth and texture to my work on paper. This week I have revisited collage and started to explore a new medium – cold wax. Treading gently at first, I have added a little wax to my watercolour paper based pieces and am liking the effect. Here are some of the collage images started recently at West Dean College:
This next piece was completed in one go – acrylic ink, wax, charcoal and a little collage material from my trusty drawer of bits
And finally, this one, compiled from three pieces which I did whilst on holiday in Scotland last year. I had quickly dashed off a series of three sketches – I liked the immediacy and vibrancy of the marks but each felt incomplete. Remembering what I had been told by Cas Holmes last year, I threw caution to the wind, tore the pieces up and reassembled them – there they are before and after:
I’d love to know what you think – I won’t be offended so do shout! Thanks