Monday, 1 January 2001

Drawing. #1

This week we have had our first session of drawing at university. We were sent out into the middle of Cambridge and split into two groups. The first place we were to draw was the road byKings college namely Kings Passage. This was picturesque and interesting with lots of perspective and different fonts.......... I learned a great deal about perspective and enjoyed just indulging myself in drawing. We then swapped locations and I drew in the Market square where I had another lesson in perspective from Pam. It was a totally exhausting day which I was surprised about!

I have avidly been drawing in every spare second at home ever since in order to fulfill the first brief - the brief is predominantly located in Cambridge and so I'm heading there tomorrow with Hayley who is the other part time student on the course.

I have been so busy with my constant drawings that I haven't had time for any other badges or creations. Except. A bobble hat. For Anna.

My other love is my wonderful photo apps which create all kinds of super collage images....

Location:Gold St,Saffron Walden,United Kingdom

Further adventures of a courseless maker.........

Undeterred and feeling free I have continued having adventures and experiments..

I decided to finish my course off myself. This would mean completing the last part of module 3 which was a final considered piece. This piece was to be inspired by things we had learnt and studied in the module.

I have really enjoyed the machine embroidery and of course the dyeing techniques I have learnt on this part of the module and so decided to incorporate those two skills in the considered piece.

We have just returned from a wonderful holiday in the isles of Scilly and I was inspired, as ever by my family and one series of photographs in particular that my husband took while we were waiting for a boat.

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I used these pictures to come up with the following sequence:

I drew these pictures and then machine embroidered them onto White cotton.

Given that the original brief was colour I had fully intended to dye parts of the cotton for some colour interest. However I thought the pictures look striking in black and White so I left them. Not least as I was no longer under the confines of a brief if I didn't want!!

Following a slight glimmer of hope that we might get some help to finish our course I coloured the first one in. With machine embroidery. I was not thrilled by the results though so didn't colour any more. Then the hope was snuffed out and we were advised to finish our portfolio to apply elsewhere.

I had received such a good response from friends and family about these pictures I am going to frame them. I have opened an etsy shop called Bygone Veras which will be their first port of call.

This week has been very busy in an online network way. Ive joined ravelry and am taking part in the saffron walden knitted maze. This is also going to hopefully result in joining a knitting group..........

I have also joined the Saffron Walden arts trust and will hopefully be eventually exhibiting in the Riverslade art gallery when I have got some things framed and ready for perusal.

So, at present I am being home tutored by myself and networking where I can. I am not applying for further courses yet as I want to see how much I can develop myself.

Module 3. Assignment 4. Lost in Interpretation



"Make your own interpretations of the work of three of the artists you have looked at. Use a good quality paper of at least A4 size. Try to get a sense of how they used colour and paint and work in a similar way."

This was the next question in the module. I immediately set to work on creating a Miro style piece of work. In much the same way as he drew on " life under Franco, " and " The Spanish civil war." I chose one of my well trodden experiences. "The School Run.". This daily hazard had been especially trying that morning and so it was an extremely cathartic process to get my feelings down in Miro style symbols on paper.

I used the deep blue which he favoured, he used it to represent sky and a meditative state. I was feeling quite trance like as I herded the children into the car as I had repeated my calls of " Get Up!" " brush your teeth!" " where is/are your tie/blazer/shoes!?"so many times that morning I was not feeling zen like but the words auto pilot spring to mind. It's like herding cats in the mornings!!! This had been frustrated further when my third son had asked me for all three of the above items just as he was leaving the house and after he had spent a happy hour kicking a football in the garden, instead of trying to find them himself. This playing had been conducted Without Shoes. A re- accruing theme in our house............

The above picture is the result of the. Conversation that followed. It resulted in him finding his shoes but the tie and blazer eluded us and would have to be relied upon to appear at a later date.

I had really enjoyed painting this piece and I was enjoying my witticism with the title when I was struck by the thought that I had not answered the brief correctly. Had I painted too much like Miro, used his symbols in much the same way as he had. Used black geometric shapes with ambiguous meanings? I was really worried as I had run into problems with interpreting the last assignments wording and as a result had been told my work was lacking in some areas.

My time is so hard pressed at the moment, I wouldn't have time to repeat this again, nor did I especially want to as I was still unsure if it was along the right idea or not. I emailed my tutor and she suggested some other points to look out for. She didn't really comment either way as to whether I had got the right idea or not either but did say that if there was time at the end of the assignment I could repeat this exercise.

By the time I received her email I was already underway with my "landscape" Miro style.

This, I was very pleased with, like Miro I am encouraging ambiguity and welcoming discussion and interpretation as to whether the object in the sky is a bird or an aeroplane. I hope that this answers the brief also. I would be interested to know what people think of the first picture in relation to the assignment. I am finding the assignments hard to interpret at times, they often require extra explanation and guidance. I would appreciate them to be more explanatory and at times less repetitive.

Anyway. On to the next interpretation.

The next artist whose style I decided to use was Rothko. My husband is a big fan of his work and we have several prints of his house at home. I have always said I could put colours together like that and so I initially did a Rothko inspired piece for the love of putting the colours together, trying out his technique of thinning out the paint and to try and capture the essence of his style.

The background is actually much more yellow than it appears in the picture but I was pleased with the result. So was Matt which was high praise indeed!

I went for a walk with my sister, our daughters and the dog. I was lamenting about having lost my creativity due to the complications of interpretation. Then. All of a sudden.

The sky went black and it looked as if we were to be caught in a storm. But underneath was a strip of fluffy White cloud with a bright blue area in the middle. Together with the darkness of distant trees, the bright yellow of buttercups and the vivid green of the grass it was as if we had walked into a Rothko painting. I whipped out my camera and captured the moment confident that this would be a success on all levels.

I was feeling more confident and decided to enjoy myself again by painting in the style of Matisse who has to be one of my favourite artists ever.

I love all his colourful paintings and the simplicity of his subjects but I was really struck by this portrait that I found and decided to push my abilities and try something I have never done before. ( well not for about 20 years!!!) A portrait.

I was pleased with it for a first attempt and certainly enjoyed the process. I will definitely be trying this style again and the general portraiture drawing appeals immensely. The Picture Is not as colourful as some of his works and I certainly admire that style and use of colour but for me here I have captured the visual brushstrokes and the use of colours not strictly of the subject. The background is as it was, a door, I suppose I could have made it orange or pink or added a window view!

I have really enjoyed these interpretations and shall certainly be carrying them, and others forward into my learning and creative process.

Reconstruction - assignment 1

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This can of Lemonade was cut in half with scissors and then rejoined with wire and cotton.

This lemonade can was cut into strips and then reconstructed into the words Can Can. I like things that use a play on words and phrases and lateral thinking.......

This is the reconstruction of the Persil washing powder box. The box was sewn back together using a sewing machine. I really like the feeling of the cardboard and cotton together. I also enjoy it visually.

This composition was inspired by a run down wall with graffitti or fly posters on. I like the different textures and colours that run along the "wall"

The logo is still very unrecognisable and I find this sort of thing very interesting visually. I am also curious how some logos are so striking that they hardly need representing at all and yet you still know what they are advertising. These days Mcdonalds and Coca Cola are very effective at this - previously cigarette companies such as Benson and Hedges and Marlboro were very well known for this form of advertising ( not least due to the restrictions placed on them, but it did make them more interesting!!)

I enjoy incorporating things in my work that make you remember things from the past. I enjoy nostalgia, but subtly, a button or piece of fabric with a pattern is usually enough to transport me back to a bygone era. These things are often not obvious to other people, I am sure they have their triggers too, but I find I am seeking these pieces of comfort every day.

This is a piece from a John Lewis bag which I cut into strips and then crocheted back together. I think if I spent longer on this and used a thinner bag the effect would be quite striking. I am going tom try knitting a stripped bag too.

These are a jumble of melted and resculpted crisp and sweet packets. They were cooked in the oven and then moulded together.