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
I am just back from a four day course with Caroline Bartlett – who was a wonderfully giving and patient tutor who spent time with each of the six students all working in different ways and with very different outcomes. Thank you Caroline! We had been asked to bring in a collection of about six small objects with which to work during the course. Here are mine:
All of these metal items have been collected from the shore around Chichester Harbour and are, from left to right, a baked bean can, an aluminium canister, a shell case from world war 1, a Fanta can, an old paint can, and an aerosol butane gas lighter fuel canister.
To warm up, we were asked to produce a series of continuous line drawings using a variety of media. I chose to overlap my drawings of just one object, the paint can, to start with.
Paint can 1
Paint can 3
Paint can – Continuous line drawing
Continuous line drawing 3
Continuous line drawing 1
The use of thin paper meant that by turning it over and working on both sides, you could see through from one side to the marks on the other.
Next, I made a template based on the paint can and made a series of cut out’s using some paintings I had already made and brought with me. Here’s one:
Finally, I thought that the row of objects together made for interesting shapes so went back to the continuous line drawing, using the reverse of a piece of paper already drawn onto:
I’ll return to this later when looking at screen printing.
I recently attended a course with Debbie Lyddon, an artist I greatly admire. She shares a love of the coast, earthy colours and textures and I just love her work. During the course, I made a couple of pockets in which I housed items that I had made and found during the course of the workshop. Some time was spent each day walking around the local area looking at, listening to and touching the environment and we recorded our findings in our sketchbooks. Those objects that were appropriate were brought back to the studio for further consideration.
The first pocket was formed in response to some burnt bonfire paper that I found on the walk. I always love charred objects and Debbie encouraged me to try burning some silk that I had. I then housed some found rusty wire inside and loved the result.
The second pocket was made from paper and I added a roll of painted paper and a piece of found metal.
One of my co-students from West Dean College kindly shared this link describing how our cameras make it so easy to feel we’ve captured what’s important in the world. But to really appreciate what’s around us, we might need to learn a weirder, less technologically-advanced skill: drawing. :
which I think follows on so well from what I spoke about last time, in that it is about REALLY LOOKING when you are out and about in everyday life. I would argue that being a photographer can also make you look but it depends what type of photographs you take. My husband is an excellent photographer but tends to see the big picture of a beautiful landscape or interior whereas I will always notice the small things.
The image above is actually a close up of a jar of coffee that had been abandoned on the beach. I dare say most people would have just seen it as rubbish, but I was immediately drawn to the colour texture and marks made by the random seepage of water into the grounds. It reminds me of the rust on the burner in the reeds above.