Friday, 23 September 2016

Georgia O'Keeffe at the Tate

I joined some friends for the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibition at Tate Modern.  It's interesting to see a life retrospective an artist that you don't know a lot about, while having clear fixed images of their work in your mind, because invariably you are surprised to discover a whole host of work, themes and styles that you hadn't expected, as well as the opportunity to see how someone grows and changes.

In many ways I tended to find that she drew from her immediate surroundings far more than I'd expected, and in the same way that I can imagine doing if I lived in the heart of nature.  So I was most drawn to her landscapes, and to the way she simply responded by trying to capture the light, and towards the end of the exhibition, by the blend of realism and abstraction that found it's way into her work - I often find myself drawn to the abstraction that nature provides, rather than the pure abstraction from an artist's mind.

These are a few of my sketchbook notes ...
I always think of the colours when I think of Georgia O'Keeffe, but actually the composition is stunning - this one especially (Nature's Forms - Gaspe, 1932), and the lines, and the rolling hills.  All like what I've been drawing / thinking about lately.
She's interested in the same things as me - in capturing the light and contrast and colour, and the way mountains, dunes and desert can look so abstract, you don't need to do more to it (Black Place No IV). I get cross when things are just abstract and called 'abstraction', but I love it when things are abstract and the title shows you where it came from.  Like her plane series (Sky Above Clouds IV).  Again, with the Pelvis Bones, I feel like she did something I would do!

Monday, 19 September 2016

Hub Cap Art

Hub Cap ArtI think it's my love of patterns, but I can't help it - despite my tendency towards 'natural beauty', I find myself fascinated with the seemingly infinite variety of designs in the hub caps on cars. I've had it in mind for a long time to 'collect' the patterns, and have finally gathered a few together in recent weeks. Next steps ... well, I have all sorts of thoughts for how I can use my collection!

Monday, 12 September 2016

Sensory Play or Temporary Art?!

DSC_0318 DSC_0325I finally gave in and sacrificed my precious, colour-organised button collection to the great cause of toddler creativity. It turned into a joyful, many-levelled exploration, including sorting (I can't yet persuade her to sort according to colour, or really to make careful lines or pictures with them); filling a circle with them, and pouring them over her feet to leave foot prints. I do relish the improving concentration and motor skills of my two year old! DSC_0328

Monday, 5 September 2016

Wax Resist

FloralI've tended to use oil pastels when looking for a 'resist' for watercolour art - I've always felt the boldness and density of the colours are more effective than wax crayon. But a very quick, spontaneous session with Feets (our first moment together, when we each made our own art!) when we were on holiday showed me that actually, wax crayon works much better. Crayon works consistently, while I find oil pastel a bit erratic - some colours 'resist' better than others.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Nature Painting

IMAG0212 IMAG0222There have been moments when I've watched summer slipping away too fast, and with it the opportunity to make the most of our back yard space, where we're free from the anxieties of covering a rented house in paint stains. So finally, finally, Feets and I invited some friends over. In the morning we went to the park and collected seed pods, leaves, conkers, stones, feathers and the rest (okay, I collected most of these). Then we set up the garden for a painting frenzy and set to work with our collection. IMAG0226 IMAG0229 Feets still prefers to paint herself above all other things but nevertheless, they all managed to cover some leaves and most of the floor in paint, and tried painting with feathers, rolling painted conkers around, and printing with leaves. We planted our painted sticks in the garden, and a few days later, Feets threaded the leaves onto wire for us to hang from a tree.

Painted paradise!

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Gift from Gramzle

IMAG0055 Gramzle (my dear Mum) spotted Feets' love for buttons, clasps, zips, and basically anything designed to keep her out.

So she made her a lovely set of pockets, each one closed by a different kind of clasp and each one hiding a different secret treasure.

We love it!  Thanks Gramzle!

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Anniversary Tablecloth

IMAG0094Our forth wedding anniversary. We seem to have been following a traditional American materials theme, and so this year was silk. I discovered the silk scraps in my collection led to rather an enticing colour scheme! We'd actually agreed an amnesty (lets have a year off gifts, we're too busy), and then both back-tracked on it. So this had to be made in two hours max. An anniversary tablecloth of silk scraps.