Sunday, 7 September 2008

Dusty Portrait

This painting for my mum is now finished. Hope she likes it.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

IMT - Create Against The Clock

I Set myself the challenge of one hour to do this portrait. My mum had one of her "Dusty" books out so I just randomly picked this picture and tried to do a quick watercolour sketch.
I may go back to this later and tidy it up, add in some detail and finish it off.
Will hopefully manage to do something for the 10 minute challenge by the end of the week too.

IMT - Opposites

Well I've been having a miserable time doing a new self-portrait. (Right) Approached it in totally the wrong way - and it became a real pain. I don't really know what went wrong, I think I was trying to make it too perfect - really real rather than expressive and that just never works. Its impossible to paint a portrait that way - that's what photographs are for I suppose.

Anyway as an antidote I took inspiration from the IMT theme and made something totally opposite. As simple as possible - block colours in a pop art Julian Opie- style.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Still Loving London

I'm now working on the end of course essay from art history school. I 've just come back from another trip to London, where I studied the two key works I'll base the essay around.

"Supper at Emmaus" by Caravaggio and "Equivalent VIII" by Carl Andre.

While I was there I also visited the Tutankhamun exhibition at the O2 Arena (slightly underwhelming) and the Queen's modest out of town pad..

.. Windsor Castle (totally overwhelming).

They were having an exhibition to celebrate the 60th birthday of every one's favourite Royal , Prince Charles. I quite enjoyed it actually because it featured some of his original watercolours. I know he gets a lot of grief about how rubbish they are but I was quite impressed. I like his style - I'm especially feeling his wet-in-wet technique! :) Are the Royals an art-centric bunch at heart? I'm thinking Charles - watercolorist extraordinaire, William & Harry - former art students, and Princess Eugenie of course "The Brightest Ever Royal"!

The Queen certainly loves her art. She has the most amazing collection. I was totally overwhelmed to see the two Rembrandt portraits and a small selection of Leonardo papers. But herein is the problem.

She has Caravaggio, Rubens, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Stubbs, Monet, Dürer... plus the finest collection of Da Vinci drawings in the world (over 600!). However very little of this collection is available for public display which is outrageous considering it officially belongs to the British people .

Sort it out ma'am.

Loving London

I was in London last month on a residential art history school. We looked at artistic genres through the ages and the studies were based around trips to the British Museum, National Gallery and Tate Modern.

I had a terrific time. Life changing in fact! The little taster of student life has shown me that I should be at university for real. It would be really good for me and I'm sure I'd love it.
So I'm starting an art foundation diploma in September and will hopefully progress to a fine art degree in 2009. My aim is to move to London for uni, the most amazing and inspiring city for the arts. (After my last two trips I've got 2 pages of art ideas written down).
I've realised I need to start making the break away from here, parents, my home town, the same old things. So I'm super excited and full of creative energy at the moment. Really looking forward to starting college in a few weeks and the start of a 4 year student odyssey!

Flirting with Feminism

Inappropriate choice of words?

Well I'm becoming more interested in feminism. It all started when I read "Women on Top" by Nancy Friday, as it says on the back "Guru to a generation of feminists" (Thank you Daily Mail). I did go through a phase of being obsessed with femininity or whatever at the start of the year, there was Poetry and everything! Feeling a proper grown up, a woman. Yes its taken me 23 years to settle into it, but better late than never.

There is so much moaning goes on about being a woman and how much crap we have to put up with but I'm at the silver-lining of that angst cloud right now.

Now I get what the Guerilla Girls are saying about abundant naked ladies. But isn't that the closest we get to Heaven on Earth? Women are beautiful, fascinating, muti-faceted, perfect .. and if ever any subject demanded such artistic inspiration and investigation surely it is she. So why not more women artists (in galleries)? By the same logic, don't we have anything to say worth listening to? Are we to be aesthetically admired but not understood?

Another problem I'm having is with the violent clash between the flirtatious,
vivacious, bombshell (baby!) against the practical, astute, in-control woman. And never the twain shall meet. I realised I was getting into feminism at the same time as those great vintage pin-up posters. And felt slightly guilty about it..

I hate that whole thing that women cannot be both alluring, sexually devastating yet not be taken seriously- as artists, as writers, by men, by other women? Can feminists flirt? So I'm into exploring the psyche of the pin-up right now and am working on a few ideas.

The final word here to "The Sun" newspaper, that great British institution who have a rather unique approach to the juxtaposition problem. I can't help but think they're spoiling us actually. Not only does their page 3 girl shows us her lovely bosoms each day but also has her own caption box to comment on the political issue of the day. Nice.

Jewellery; but not mine

I've also started buying some jewellery for myself recently (I don't usually wear it). Here are some of my recent purchases.

I'm loving rockabilly, pin-up type designs.

I'm totally in love with the tattoo art designs of Kathy at Swallow Kisses on Etsy.

So I'm inspired to inject my new found interest in younger more unusual jewellery to my usual jewellery making.

So I might actualy make some new things for myself - why didn't I think of that before?!