I’m sure I’m not the only one who sees landscape all around them – but concealed within objects rather than the obvious views around us. My eyes are just drawn to these beautiful miniatures.
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As I live near the coast, these are often captured on boats, but also on buildings, traffic bollards, windows, washed up beach strandings and elsewhere – why not get your eye in while you are walking around – you’ll see so much more!
Just a quick post as this photograph has been so popular on a Facebook Group I belong to: Beachcombing (British Coastline). I am always looking for interesting finds as I walk along the shore and a couple of frosty morning ago, I spotted this shell and saw a lovely landscape. One of the great things about becoming an artist (whether a photographer, a textile artist, a painter, a ceramicist … it does not matter what) is that you gain “an eye” – you see so much more in everyday items. These days where Mindfulness is big news, I think that simply taking in what is around you is a good way into “being in the moment.”
One day last year I found an intriguing piece of rubber on the beach at Seatown, Dorset. I can’t be sure what it started out as but it had obviously been patched numerous times and the sea had distressed the surface beautifully.
My initial thought was to keep it intact as I loved it so much, but, on reflection I felt that there was so much going, it would be better to view it in bite sized chunks. So I tore it into five pieces. This was a brave decision because, unlike with art that you have made, you will never be able to replicate a found object – once you’ve alterered it, it stays altered!
Next, I considered how I could add to the surface without distracting from the wonderful texture that the sea had created. I chose some found pieces of paper and a little more rubber from another find and added them with stitch. The original piece of found rubber was quite contorted and I considered laying the pieces under a heavy weight to flatten them before mounting – I have rejected that option because I think the twists and turns add interest to the piece but I will see what my framer has to say about it!
It is always a case of being careful to add just the right amount of stitch – too little or too much makes a deal of difference. The aspect is also important and I will play with some variations in due course.
Here they are before I visit him:
Once they are framed, I will update you with how they look!
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!