Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Drawing Tuesday at British Museum: a colourful day.

Drawing Tuesday this week was at the British Museum, based round rooms 41 etc.  I took a right turn at Sutton Hoo ( which was swarming with excited small fry with clipboards) and headed away from the darkened rooms to the brightly lit room 48 

 I'm sure my American friends are very familiar with these ceramics but  they were new to me , I loved their asymmetrical  shapes and  interesting colours.
 I started out trying to capture the  curves in pencil - lots of rubbings out and corrections  and then overlaid it with biro outlines  before moving onto a more considered drawing using watercolour pencils ( didn't quite summon up the courage to use my waterbrush!

We had sufficient members to take in guests  and have lunch in the members room , 10 of us taking over the large table upstairs . We're not used to having so much space!  When it came to sharing our sketchbooks,  the days drawing  filled the last pages of  my 'Museum sketchbook'  which appropriately enough started with the British Museum drawing class in 2016 . I must go through and tally up the places visited . 
 One of the many discussions  was about the current exhibition ' Charmed Lives'  about Ghika, Craxton and Fermor  in Greece so I had a look round on my way out.
This painting by Ghika  of Mystras made me feel particularly nostalgic - we were there last year  on our week in Gythion . I was feeling a bit sad as we should be in Greece now on a tour of ancient sites but reluctantly cancelled  as I've been having some health problems  and am on a restrictive diet. Hopefully we can go another time when things have settled down. 

Margaret C. mentioned there was a Pojagi exhibtion on in Museum Street ( we both did a class with Chunghie Lee) , just round the corner from the BM  so I called in on the Han Collection. Some lovely colourful works and I couldn't resist the catalogue and a little bag ( machined rather than hand stitched) 

My final stop before heading home was a visit to the wonderful MacCulloch and Wallis in Poland Street in Soho. I'd run out of bondaweb  and  not only was I able to buy it  from a roll rather than folded but it was carefully rolled round a solid cardboard tube and  wrapped in brown paper. I'll be visiting again when I have more time. 

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Journal Quilts and Studio Update

March (back) 

We've been spending the last few days decanting the contents of our bedroom  as the decorator starts next Monday.  We've ordered new carpet, bed and wardrobe: today we dismantled the bed - the frame is in the garage awaiting collection for disposal on Thursday along with junk accumulated over the last couple of years.  The mattress is in my studio,  where I'll be sleeping for the next couple of weeks ( reminds me of my first flat where I slept on a fold out sofa futon) . 
While I'll be spending more time in my work room  I'm not sure I'll get much stitching done, especially  as I had to pack away my sewing machines and sew-ezi tables. With that in mind, I  have a hand sewing project on the go and I finished off my journal quilts up to April, combining offcuts  saved from trimmings of quilts. It has made no impression on my basket of scraps... 

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Contemporary Collage Week 10: Text Collage: Write

Over a week now since the final Contemporary Collage class  at City Lit  and the subject  was text, word and image , looking at typographical arrangements of words; cutting, deleting and reorganising; changing meaning through cut and paste and juxtaposition   

As usual  we  were  shown a dizzying number of artists  who have used text in different ways ( some examples below) 

Bob and Roberta Smith ( at Folkestone Triennial

Grayson Perry 

' Bank' with faux artists statements 

Jeremy Deller with  mind maps  

Christopher  Wool ( large stencilled letters) 

Simon Evans ( Post Its)

Ed Ruscha 

Cerith Wyn Evans ( the chandelier flashes Morse Code messages) 

In preparation we were asked to bring in  a range of text and fonts  that we could cut up to create new images and meanings.
For the excellent paper lamination course  with Sarah Welsby at Art Van Go several years ago , I started  cutting out  headlines  in different fonts and colours ( unfinished sample above) . So I already had a stash of these to compose a quick 'poem' ( of sorts)  on  section of gessoed newspaper collage ( of which I also have a stash after Contemporary Painting Studio )!  I then did a tracing of the lettering ( below) 

More bizarrely, I also found a collection of the word 'Slough' cut from  local newspapers in 2011. In the early planning of my piece based on the 'Taplow Vase'  for Thames Valley Contemporary Textiles exhibition in Slough Museum , I had ideas about using paper lamination before using  'secret books' of cotton organza.  All  words used up now!  

 I then had fun matching headlines with photos from magazines.

Mostly though I had great fun with yet another find from the Fleur Bookshop in Faversham - in this case a 'News of the World' Almanac from 1953  stuffed full of hints on  street parties ( including graphic illustrations of how to bone a chicken)   and routes of the procession for the Coronation.  Best of all were the adverts  ( Simon copied and enlarged several pages for me) . 

My favourite ( above and at the top) combined an advert for cold remedies with an illustration from the Guardian from 2011 on 'Wiki Leaks', including redactions. Just goes to show , shouldn't throw anything out! 

At the end of the day we completed evaluation forms and learning agreements and had a quick look at  each others (hugely diverse) work. 
I don't know yet how much of  what we covered I will take forward and incorporate in my artistic practice  but overall I  had a terrific, exciting, time with a  generous charismatic teacher,   exploring possibilities, being introduced to the work of over a hundred contemporary artists and encouraged to experiment without the pressure of producing a 'great  work of art' .   A 5 star course. 

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Contemporary Collage Week 9 : Cubomania, Shape Shifting and Picture Making

  This week in Contemporary Collage  we were tracing shapes and accurately cutting out  and inserting replacements in coloured paper ( 'marquetry') and  using grids , cutting and swapping  ('cubomania')  
As usual we  had a whistlestop  tour through various artists  including John Baldessari ( above and below) 

Luc Tuymans

Ewan Gibbs  uses knitting pattern grids as marks 

Dan Hayes  creates  huge photorealistic paintings constructed of  a multitude  of intricately coloured squares ( detail above )   

 I've admired the photomontages of David Hockney  for  a long time

As usual the images  I brought to use were mainly unsuitable  for the exercises  - time to raid the magazine box for inspiration.  My homages to David Hockney included a  designer lamp ( above ) and a curvy chair ( below) 
A collection of cups and saucers provided the inspiration for the collage below - not sure about the white spaces between
Playing with  a photo of a seaside shelter at Birchington, replacing sections with brightly coloured paper provided a contrast to the 'painterly' peeling woodwork .

My favourite though was the picture of legs  from a magazine ( a BMW ad I think)   where I  traced the shoe and a line of the denim jeans  and replaced  these with orange and blue paper 

 Interesting effect when use invert filter in Photoshop  but I digress....

 When  I started experimenting  with the shapes leftover from cutting out the shoes and the tracings , Simon  introduced me to the works  of Francis Alys , particularly the shoe shine  works  which  are constructed from multiple layers of tracings ( giving the effect of animation ) with the masking tape  used to secure left in to provide  additional marks 

So in the last 5 minutes of the class I quickly assembled a collection of tracings and cutouts of the shoe in different colours, attached to the paper just with strips of masking tape. This is just 1 permutation, the beauty of this is that I can  make multiple variations . There's definately a theme developing of  using  the negative  cutouts left when cutting out shapes and using tracings . Most fun so far ( apart from desecrating 'Dinghy Sailing' ) in what has been a very enjoyable course. 
Next week 'Text' - I'm off to look  for some different fonts.  Once again my Journal Quilts from 2011 seem  appropriate  ( the 'Circle' ones include those cutouts!)