Sunday, 30 May 2010
And then... it stopped... and the sun came out! Tourists and locals paddled through the mud to survey the damage and begin the clear up. Diggers put the beach back to its former glory and re-opened the road. We hit the beach.. The Holiday began!
Saturday, 29 May 2010
Wednesday, 26 May 2010
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Sunday, 16 May 2010
I didn't really have time this week, but then suddenly a spare few minutes caught up with, boffed me on the head and said "slow down chickie" - relax and make some art. So I did!
Some more collage practice. A holiday home from Uruguay with delicious yellow walls set against the bluest of skies made abstract then given a bit of a colour and texture boost in photoshop to really. Funny how such a confusion of images still says 'South American'. Well, it does to me anyway.
I loved the headline - Concrete Poetry -a verse or two away from some of the monstrosities gracing our cities today. But it's true, there can be so much beauty in the unlikely.
I cut the images out of World of Interiors magazine. Gosh I love that publication. Imagine being a photographer and journalist for them, travelling the world in search of the most magical of abodes. I'm part way compiling a blog post on my dream house. I would be lying if I didn't admit to snippets of ideas making their way from these glossy pages. Country Life also makes its presence felt in my dreams.
Friday, 14 May 2010
Paint, glue, scissors, paper, tissue, crayons, paste...
Contemplation, trial, error ... FUN
Happy experimenting with my art!
A 'Friday Happy' celebrating the joy that is getting stuck into creating something, trying new things and finding new artistic pleasures.
Why weren't art lessons at school like this? Did our teachers have no imagination? Did they forget that we're supposed to enjoy ourselves too?
Why did I let art leave my life for so long?
Never mind, it's back now and welcome to stay. The missing part that makes me whole.
Thursday, 13 May 2010
Courses I’ve run previously have all been in museum, gallery, university, or community based settings, so this is the first time I have taken my art teaching on-line. It’s all very exciting because I can put forth exactly what I choose and love without having to tick any boxes!
My main inspiration stems from teaching family groups where parents want bring their kids and I noticed it’s often the parents that want to do art, but the most legitimate way is through their children as people often lack confidence or time to pursue their own interests. Also, the idea of it being on-line means that it can be accessed any time and there is no need to turn up at a set time and place each week, which suits people working and those that may need childcare to go to a college class – no childcare needed, just wait until the kids are in bed!
by Amelia Critchlow
I was fortunate enough to be brought up in a really ‘arty’ family. My father is a trained artist and now lectures, writes and teaches art, and my mother was a trained dressmaker and now patchwork and quilter. I saw nothing but creativity when growing up and was always encouraged to make, make, make. As a result I took art at GCSE and A level and although my first degree was meant to be in English and Art, it ended up being mainly academic. So when my eldest went to school I returned to Morley College in London to do a Foundation degree in Art and went on to Wimbledon School of Art to do a pure Fine Art Degree – it was both the hardest and the best thing I did! Throughout my life I have always attended evening and other art classes too. I adore learning with a passion and have had some amazing teachers. I am sharing a lot of what I have learnt on the experimental art e-course.
By Amelia Critchlow
What exhibitions or works by other artists have blown you away recently?
I particularly enjoy the work of Wangechi Mutu whose painterly collages are powerful, evocative and revealing depictions of womanhood and in particular the experiences of women of colour. I also happened to go and see Annette Messagers recent exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in London and her obsessive collection of things, the stuffed animals, the hand-stitching on fabric was amazing. There was one room filled with nothing but huge sheets of red satin that spilled out of a small gap in the wall and then covered the entire floor, there was a machine billowing out air that made it ripple and move and light up and shift over hidden objects. It was so evocative and surreal, and one day I long to do a huge installation art piece too. I enjoy contemporary art for the way it pushes boundaries and makes us question ourselves and the world around us.
I also went to the Whitechapel Art Gallery not so long ago to see Sophie Calle, another female artist who pushes herself out as far as possible and involves others in her artistic interactions. I won’t say too much here, but do go and look these artists up. As you can tell I like female artists that draw on both their own personal experiences, but also question the world around them too.
My biggest hope for this course is that it would entice those who love being creative or who are really keen to be artistic in some way but lack confidence or don’t know where to begin. It gives me so much pleasure to see adults find something unique and special for them in amongst the stresses and strains of contending with life! I know what doing art has meant to me it’s been a life saver, particular over the last few years when I have had to deal with a horrible split from my ex partner and finding out my youngest has asperger syndrome, and dealing with all this entails. Art is therapy and pleasure and a means of expression.
by KayaKutie, student on Experimental art e-course
How has it met or exceeded your expectations?
I am loving every moment of it, seeing what wonderful creations people are coming up with. What will appear next on the course group pool. Hearing people’s positive feedback and how they are getting so much from it. This means so much to me. I am still learning as I run it so I will have to give full feedback at the end of this first course!
My students have inspired me because they have risen to the challenge of being experimental and have come up with some of their own great ideas of materials to use in response to the assignments I have put out there, and people have made some of the most inspiring and interesting creations, and often I find myself wanting to go off and do the same thing too!
My plans for a future course would be to go in to one of the weeks in more depth. At the end of this course I am keen to hear what people particularly enjoyed on the course, and ask them if they could do a second course what would it be in, ie. what would the like to re-visit in more depth. It’s much better that I give people what there is a need or asking for! I’m inclined to think it may be something along the lines of a mixed media and collage course. I am really interested in interesting methods of application and image transferral. I enjoy playing with surfaces and getting surprise effects and there are some very interesting ways of getting marks, surface effects and also applying one surface to another . . . .ooooh, I can feel the excitement just thinking about it!
Art makes the world go round!
By Barbara Rae, Student on Experimental art e-course
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Sunday, 9 May 2010
A little doodle over some background I made for Sunday Sketches. Lately art for me has become an addiction; but often I'm too busy or tired. Sophia's little prompt is perfect for those moments as it calls for not a full blown work of art, but just a wee sketch... So here is mine :)
Saturday, 8 May 2010
Friday, 7 May 2010
Would I like to go to London, meet one of my favourite authors and spend an evening in the company of bloggers? Hmm, not too difficult a decision to be made there then... Was I seriously ever likely to turn down such an opportunity? So, Wednesday saw me on a speeding train to my favourite City full of anticipation.
Lisa Jewell writes wonderful books - sort of chick lit but with more depth, a stronger sense of reality with characters that seem recognisable, that friends-of-friends feeling. I've grown up with her books and, in her latest book more than ever have found that I'm relating to her characters.
Ten years ago Lisa wrote her first novel - Ralph's party - in which Ralph, an artist struggling to capture his Muse, finds her in flatmate Jem. Naturally, numerous obstacles were to be climbed before they made it into each other's arms but make it they did and all seemed destined to live happily ever after. When I read this 10 years ago, I was right in the middle of what I thought would be my happy ending too - on the cusp of marriage. Mine didn't turn out as planned - would Ralph and Jem's?
Well, ten years later and in the sequel Ralph and Jem have done some growing. Two children increased the size of their family and a gaping chasm of failed communication, resentment, frustration and total lack of understanding pushes them apart. The book begins shortly after the birth of their second child. Ralph, not coping well with all that life throws at him decides he needs a holiday and heads off to Santa Monica to visit an old friend leaving Jem well and truly holding the baby...
I found this hard to read... Echos of my own past with a husband feeling the need to get away on holiday on his own leaving his exhausted wife at home with the baby came flooding all too painfully back. Here was a writer who it seemed had been inside my head and come face to face with my communication issues, my resentment and contempt. I wasn't expecting this. This isn't 20-something or even 30-something chick lit escapism. This is real life.
Ten years had done another thing to all of us. We weren't on the cusp of being 30 any more either! Jem and I, it seemed have both gone through the same freaking out over approaching the big 40. By now I was beginning to believe that Lisa Jewell had been reading my mind or was she just perhaps picking up on the issues of our time? Was I not alone after all?
This was a good, strong read. Clever, insightful and a little bit gritty also spring to mind. I wonder what a fresh-faced 25 year old would make of it? For a fresh-faced (but with a few wrinkles) 40 year old it was shockingly close to life. But, it also made me feel a bit better. Remember I said that Lisa's characters always felt familiar - like friends you just hadn't met yet. Well, this week I shared a good old chat with Jem and Ralph and we all learnt that you come out of the other side of experiences like these much stronger!
If you've never read Lisa's books, go check them out - great stuff!
As it's Friday, this is definitely my happy post for the week. I had such a wonderful time at this event in the company of some like-minded souls. In fact, there is so much more to say, but I must start my day... Part 2 coming up later.
Lisa & Lisa
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
Once upon a time a group of Inspirational creatives held a challenge for they were sorely troubled in their Queendom by a terrifying dragon. This beast was intent on destroying everything in its path. The only thing that could appease it was to gaze upon beautiful pieces of art and listen to fine stories.
The weary inhabitants fed the dragon daily with their creative output but it became too much for them as its appetite for art grew and grew. Its lair was filled with paintings, fabrics, sculpture and woodcarvings and its scales adorned with sparkling jewellery. How could they keep up with demand let alone stop this creature? They held conference and called upon the wise ones of the land. At last they found the answer they sought. Why, they would turn to the citizens of Bloglandia itself.
Can you help us Citizens? Can you create a piece befitting a fairy tale? Will you save us from the dragon?
Is this finally a plot, or have I simply lost mine?
Well, probably neither. It is simply a creative challenge I am hosting this week over at Inspiration Avenue on the theme of Fairy Tales. Do pay us a visit and take away some creative inspiration. That dragon really is very hungry!
Monday, 3 May 2010
Once upon a time, I found a new arty challenge site but kept missing the deadlines for entry. Until now...
Mind Wide Open is one of those 'do something with this picture' challenges and as I gazed at the lady in question my imagination began to go on a ramble. As every artist creates their piece, each will form their own story around Emily (for I do believe that must be her name). Some will have her dreaming romantic notions of dashing Dukes proposing on horseback. Others may find her wrapped in an apron, arms folded in a Liverpool back street waiting for her drunken husband to return from the dockside pubs (my Mum loves a pinny-saga!). Maybe she herself is a frustrated artist; bound by society's conventions and forced into a role her soul was never made for?
And so, my piece took shape with the fragments of the stories as background and two of the faces of Emily. As I played with the paper of her dress, I saw butterfly wings in the fabric so was drawn to add some more of the creatures - helping her stories take flight.
Emily's story in pictures evolved before me as the whispered words of her past mixed with the hues of her moods and seasons. She was a delightful companion. Can't wait to 'read' her other histories.
Sunday, 2 May 2010
Saturday, 1 May 2010
I so wanted something dainty and delicious to wrap up in a pretty serviette for you to take away and savour later but my mind is not exactly in party mood this week.
Step 2. Open up the picture you want to use.