Saturday, 17 March 2018

Contemporary Collage week 8 :'Collision and Juxtapose'

In this session we were asked to bring vintage postcards in and to be prolific, doing just one thing to it eg cut, paint , collage  as in the bizzarre combination  before  of  the Lake District. 

I'd  bought  6 postcards of Ramsgate and Margate from 1908 to 1935 on Faversham market and  mainly worked into copies of the fronts and backs

We had a quick look at artists  who'd used postcards including Ruth Claxton 

Some of my output.... ( I made some 'postcards' from  images in magazines as well as using copies and originals).
With these I 'chopped and swapped 'the front and back of a postcard( above) 
and  2 different images of the same vintage (below) 

 I  enjoyed working with the backs , with their spidery writing  mainly about the weather ( some things don't change...)

 Drawing on the  fronts , even if they were just copies was harder,    a bit like desecrating a book.

We packed up early, leaving our postcards on the wall  and then played a curatorial  exercise, each  choosing  2 cards to display together, some really interesting juxtapositions occurring.

 2 pieces of mine were chosen by different people ( on right  hand side  above), they look very different in these contexts than when combined with my own work.
These above  were my choice - attracted by shared colours but very different marks

 I missed taking photos of them all as I had to leave on time  but we could have played for hours there were so many possibilities.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Drawing Tuesday at Natural History Museum

It's 's been a while since I've been on a 'Drawing Tuesday' visit but this week  at the Natural History Museum I was on a mission to gather material for ' Painting the Novel'  course  with Ashley Hanson   in a couple of weeks time at Creek Creative. The novel I've chosen is ' Remarkable Creatures'  by Tracy Chevalier, a fictionalised account of the friendship between  Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpott.   

I'm still exploring ideas  about how I might interpret the book  ( it wouldn't be the first time ' fossil cliffs' have inspired me)   but it was an amazing experience to draw the actual specimens  of  ' sea monsters ' that Mary collected 

Contemporary Collage Week 7 : 'Pop Collage' ( and transfer techniques)

I missed last weeks class on 'Assemblage'  as I was in Rydal but  had sort of incorporated elements of that in my box constructions of the  week before. This week we were told to bring in an  A3 photograph  to cut up and recompose as a suitable under painting  and a song lyric or title. I spent Sunday afternoon on my return looking for suitable images and choosing  a song ( ' The Tide is High ( and I'm holding on' ) by Debbie Harry, one of the 80's soundtrack I pedal to on the excercise bike) ! I toyed with ' Startrekking' ....  In the end I needn't have bothered , what was needed was  any collage suitable for taking further using drawing, paint and transfer techniques . I had my ' Scrap' book with me  so Simon  photocopied pages from this up to A3 size 

 I took tracings of the outlines of this 'Greek God'  collection  then did another tracing of the shapes 
The First technique I tried was using carbon paper under the tracing and then applying inks to the resulting drawing 
Mixed results with monoprinting : we inked up acetate sheets and placed paper and  then tracing or photocopy on top and drew through the layers. Too many variable of paper ( wet , damp or dry) , pressure , how much ink on the acetate , these ( above, below and top ) are the least worst. 

I had better success  with the tracings of faces then monoprint.( carbon paper also worked well for this)  

While I was waiting for my  scrap book and photocopies, I put together a quick   A3 collage of circles and curves to use 
 I used this as a basis for colour monoprinting: placing image under acetate sheet, colouring areas with coloured printing ink and transferring acetate to dampened piece of paper. 
I've had much better results using monoprinting before  both  as a drawing medium and using acrylic/ seletescine inks  on fabric . However I like the idea of using a collage as a starting point for painting  and might explore using different colour  carbon papers 

Meanwhile collage materials are taking over my studio! As a newbie to this technique, how do people store and organise all their bits? 

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Snowy Retreat at Rydal Hall

Last week I was in the Lake District at Rydal Hall on  my annual retreat  with North West CQ group  ( the 5th time  there).   As I left Faversham on the Monday there were already icy flurries of snow  which caught up with us on Tuesday. On  Wednesday there was more snow and on Thursday a bitter wind which  blew the snow around ( we didn't go out that day ).  I travelled back with Judy to Crewe on Friday for the preview of Cwilt Cymru's 'Traces' exhibition  and  stayed another night to travel back on Sunday as I wouldn't have got home given the train cancellations and disruptions.  We have had snow before at Rydal but not on this scale!

These photos were mainly  taken on Tuesday - waking up to see the view  from my bedroom (top) , while it was sunny I went out  ( wrapped very warmly!)  straight after breakfast to explore my usual haunts

No   drawings from the 'Grot' this time , too cold to take my gloves off! 

Back in the cosy ' Old Kitchen' studio I made thumbnail sketches  from the photos and had a frustrating day on Wednesday trying to convert  these into fabric sketches .  My excuse, despite knowing it would be snowy, I brought coloured rather than black and white scraps with me! 

On Tuesday afternoon I was persuaded by Pauline and Millie to  go on  a sketching expedition to  Rydal Water ( we had  such a lovely hilarious time last year) . We set off in the sun but as we walked up the track it started to snow heavily ( and we were questioning our sanity!) . But it eased off as we arrived and the sun came out

Not the best paintings I've ever done ( the paint took forever to dry ) but they captured the experience

I found a bench to perch on, legs dangling, Millie found a rock and Pauline  sat on a tussock of turf.
We were definately ready for our coffee and traybakes on  our return

On Wednesday after my frustrating morning, I was ready for a trip to Heaton Cooper in Grasmere( photos above)  in the afternoon .They now have  as super cafe as well as tempting art supplies.  
 In the 'after tea' slot  in a session led by Leah we put together books with reverse accordian piano hinges from sheets of paper we'd had a messy mark making session on the day before.

 On Thursday it was bitter and very slippy underfoot so I only ventured out for soup at lunchtime at the cafe and to  take back some of the  bits of wood etc that I'd collected to draw. Even then  my boots sank as  couldn't tell the difference between the path and the leaf litter. Others were more intrepid as the went up to  see the frozen waterfall.

 I  spent  most of the day collaging' impossible walks' , combining photos from a  copy of Pouchers 'Lakeland Fells' I'd bought from Fleur Bookshop in Faversham ( more in another post) and  excavating layers in a section of old quilt ( a very English 'Boro' )  
There were 13 of us this year and as ever the time went very quickly. I seem to do less and less while I'm there but just enjoy the surroundings and the company.