Over two weekends (5 days) in May, I will be part of the Chichester Art Trail exhibiting from our home with my husband Alan. As some of you will know, I have found that I cannot label myself in any particular way and struggled with what I should show. The final decision is to present three different types of work and canvas feedback from visitors to the Art Trail to see what they did and didn’t like. The first work to come back from the framers is the most traditional – three pieces in mixed media. I used found twine from the beach and acrylic ink to start with, and then built up a series of layers with more ink, cold wax and charcoal powder. Here are the results:
The next task is to finalise titles and then decide on pricing. The tricky bit!!
I am almost exclusively interested in landscape in my art work although my outlook is a little broader with photography. I recently came across the original images that I took whilst on a short holiday in Lanzarote in 2014 and, as I am now further along my artistic path, saw them with fresh eyes. I was particularly drawn to the shots that I took which considered the strong light and shade of that November in the Canaries where the shadows cast were so different to those that we see here in the UK. I began to instinctively want to crop them to emphasise the abstract shapes created on the walls around our villa. I played with photoshop a little, altering light and dark, shadow and contrast and saw that a single starting point could yield a vast range of images by using different crops and treatment. The next step will be to recreate what is seen here using paper and various mixed media – primarily ink, gels, charcoal and my latest find, cold wax.
There may be a lesson here to show that it is always worth re-visiting work years later and seeing it anew – you may be surprised at the potential in what you had discarded.
Here are just a few examples – I love the simplicity of form yet opportunity to play with texture that exist here – what do you think?
During my Foundation Diploma at www.westdeanorg.uk I undertook a series of courses working on both paper and fabric. Reflecting on what I had done over the two year, I realised that the work which got me most excited was that involving texture. Whilst I enjoyed printing in various forms, the flat and pristine outcomes just did not resonate with what I am all about which is texture, movement, mark making, serendipity, rough edges and a certain rawness.
Earlier this year I spent time with the lovely Jilly Morris – doing a course called “Visual language – marks, textures and surface.” I knew immediately I saw her work that she and I were on the same wavelength and so it proved! In fact, in between booking the course and undertaking it, a couple of people said, “I know who you should do a course with ….” which further endorsed my feeling.
If you like what I like, I thoroughly recommend a course with Jilly – here’s a taste of what we did – it involved sandpapers, stickers, wire brushes, sticking tape, beeswax, pastels, and WD40 to name but a few!
These are really simple starting points. Each of Jilly’s pieces comprise many layers and I look forward to further experimentation. So far, I have been playing with salt and saline solution, lemon juice, PVA glue and masking tape, liquid soap, candle wax, various polishes, sand, golden texture mediums and cold wax medium. I am restricting art media to acrylic ink and charcoal powder for the time being.
I spent a lovely day at one of my favourite places this week – West Dean College. Those of us who have completed the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design were invited back for a day to consider the topic of “Weather”. Our tutor, Frances Hatch, told us of a novel by Giles Foden (best known for the “Last King of Scotland”) called “Turbulence” You can listed to Giles speaking about the novel here and we considered how weather maps might influence our art and how, like the weather, our art practice ebbs and flows, reaching highs and troughs and shifts from time to time. We had the option to respond with our chosen media to various pieces of weather inspired music.
I chose to work in two ways during the day. I wanted to continue my exploration of adding texture to work produced on paper and so started off by using a series of unorthodox tools to work into the blank page before adding colour using a range of mixed media. I then continued to make marks with my tools and add further layers of colour to build up a more complex image.
By way of contrast, I had also brought with me an old wall tile and wanted to have another go at simple printing using acrylic ink and some newly acquired charcoal powder. I simply laid down the ink and charcoal (and in some cases PVA glue) onto the tile, put down my paper and pulled it off. I love the spontaneity of working like this and the fact that serendipity plays a large part in the outcome.
Ink and charcoal powder Ink and pva glue
The following day, I worked into some pieces a little more and then auditioned a frame, in some cases cropping the original to find a more pleasing image.
These images are all about imagined clouds as it was a bright clear sky on the day itself. I much prefer a dramatic sky to a cloudless or blue one – in both art and photography: I’ll finish with a couple of photographs taken at West Wittering and you can judge for yourselves!