Saturday, 22 October 2016

Calendar on Folksy

DSC_0452 A project for some time, I've been working on a Calendar of Days for 2017, that I believe can be enjoyed as a colouring project or with no colouring at all! It celebrates the launch of my new shop on folksy, which I hope to fill gradually with all sorts of illustrated goodies. Watch this space, take a visit, and please spread the word! Thanks very much. July

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Conker Fun

IMAG0314 IMAG0313 Conkers! I've been looking forward to conker collecting season all year! What I forgot was that last time we collected things in the park, we brought them home to paint, so that was the assumption this time too. So we took out our collection of milk bottle tops, glued the conkers into them, added cocktail sticks and leaves for sails, and made a kind of 'boat'. All so simple! Of course, there was the unexpected too - I was introduced to the idea of painting Feets' sleeves (we decided it was the 'river' for the boats), which we had cut off for the occasion, and inevitably, Feets finished up with painting her entire exposed body...

Monday, 3 October 2016

Paper Cutting and Toilet Roll Tubes

I picked up a book of contemporary Paper Cutting at the library, casually displayed to entice me into a quick loan.  It's beautiful, inspiring, unearthly, and huge in the variety of styles of this simple artform represented by different artists.
Perhaps the most resonant for me was Yuken Teruya, as he reminded me of my eternal love of toilet roll tubes (they remain heaped up on various shelves around the house and bathroom, as I can't quite bring myself to throw them away.  A man after my own heart, he creates nature inspired sculptures, trees in particular, from throw away materials, particularly paper.  This is Corner Forest, the toilet roll tube masterpiece that caught my attention.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Charlie's Rocket

20160902_084206 Feets' relentlessly favourite books are Charlie and Lola, a series originally by Lauren Child, corrupted for TV and back into books. On impulse, I bribed Feets home from the playground by suggesting we make Charlie's rocket from 'Whoops but it wasn't me'. As we discussed what to make it with I realised that of course, Feets has no idea what junk modelling is, and is yet to see the potential in a toilet roll tube until she's shown it. So, 'together' we built a rocket, very quickly (I reccommend it - surprisingly lacking in problems!) and with remarkably little mess. Feets decorated it with foil, coloured tape and bubble wrap, while simultaneously making a 'superstructure' from an egg box. DSC_0321 What I hadn't realised was the automatic assumption that the rocket would be used to tell and re-tell the story. No sooner had we finished than I was demanded to make Lola, Charlie and Ellie the elephant, and these cardboard puppets were used by Mr Liam and Feets for play for the rest of the evening. DSC_0330

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