From fire screen to fantasy citadel

I’ve unpinned this now but it might not be the end. It’s gone to sit on the studio wall while I let it stew and maybe give it some competition. The new piece will be bigger – four A3 sheets pasted to an A1 sheet instead of two on an A2. That’ll show it. As you can see, there’s some bleaching by the camera (an iPhone 8+) in the close ups when they’re on black so the bottom picture gives a better idea of the whole. The bricks are troubling though – too distractingly flat and prosaic – so they … Continue reading From fire screen to fantasy citadel

Iterations in the life of a piece of art

The brief is to produce a still life or interior of at least A3 size and demonstrating a number of capability criteria. I won’t go into those because, here at least, they’re not very interesting. More so might be the process, from spotting the target to getting to grips with the piece itself. It starts with a photo. I’ve had this fire screen for years but, unlike a lot of familiar household items, I still see it because it shines and burnishes itself in almost any light. There were sketches to get a feel for composition – did I want … Continue reading Iterations in the life of a piece of art

What’s happening on the art front?

This is sketchbook work towards a larger degree piece. I’ve been looking at Gustav Klimt and his mosaic style paintings (and discovering I’d never get that gold leaf look because he used actual gold leaf!). This is a fire screen in my house. It has candle holders fixed in rows to the back so the design is intended to flicker gentle light through to the observer, rather than to act as guard against a roaring fire. They’re both made on a layer of white gesso applied to black sugar paper; one with inks, the other watercolour pencils. Each has been … Continue reading What’s happening on the art front?

Work in progress or am I done here?

This is a piece of course work. An exercise concerning materials, although I’m not completely sure whether that refers to materials in view or in use. I’ve covered both bases – wood, fabric, glass in the frame; oil crayons, charcoal, inks, and a variety of implements to scrape and scratch at the layers for texture, a bit like sgraffito. The base is cartridge paper prepared with a layer of gesso which I’ve textured to reflect the materials in view, and the colours come from layering the various media, blending, scratching, and generally shoving the media about. So, am I done? … Continue reading Work in progress or am I done here?

How tall do you have to be to be an artist?

I’m asking because I’m currently up to the ears in A1 boards, flip charts, sketch paper, and a completely unwieldy portfolio. Art in 2018 seems to be considerably more physical than it was back in the day and I’m seriously compromised by dodgy shoulders, short arms, and inadequate legs. Not that I’m minute, I’m not. I’m of ‘average height for women’ – or I was but looking around I have a feeling that statistic may be out of date. Also, I’ve most likely reached the point where actual shrinkage is a thing. Vehicles have always been problematic with their layout … Continue reading How tall do you have to be to be an artist?

New drawing kit and a slight trauma

Yesterday, Amazon coughed up a roll of fineliners, a box of charcoal sticks, and three calligraphy pens and I decided to road test them. The fineliners are indeed fine, starting at 0.05 and graduating up to 0.8 but mysteriously excluding 0.7. There are two uncategorised brushes which seem the same size. I’ve not usually paid much attention to how implements work before so focusing on their handling, cornering, and tread (as it were) revealed some interesting observations. the tiniest finiest caused me to hold the pen quite firmly and make delicate, well-contained strokes. No exuberance there, it was like drawing … Continue reading New drawing kit and a slight trauma

The Good Student*

*With no apologies at all to Paul McVeigh whose book, The Good Son, is the best tale about growing up in Northern Ireland during The Troubles you’ll ever read, Man Booker Prize winners notwithstanding. On Audible, it’s even better because the man himself is reading it. So, what does it take to be a Good Student? It’s a question I’m asking myself again at the start of another course, and I’m asking it in the context of striving for that in the past and also observing student trainees of my own doing the same during their clinical placements. The related … Continue reading The Good Student*