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?!

Jewellery; Still

Every now and again people ask me if I still make jewellery. I kind of neglect putting any on here nowadays. However I was recently asked to put together a special collection for a pink and black themed summer ball.

Here are a few pieces I made:

An Exhibition

I took part in an exhibition called "Heaven on Earth" in Huddersfield a few weeks ago.

I exhibited my paintings Grief, Dream Landscape and Crucifixion. It was a great show and I'm really pleased I took part. It was terrific to have people respond to paintings I'd made (particularly Grief!) and want to talk about them.

It was also a great opportunity for me to meet other local artists and see their works. I'd love to get more involved with my local art scene and am going to keep an eye out for more opportunities like this.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

A Brillante Award

Thank you Pattie blogging Queen, and my eternal artistic inspiration, for this new blog award.

The rules of accepting are as follows:

1) Put the logo on your blog.
2) Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4) Add links to those blogs on yours.
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

Here are my favourites:

Jessica Stride

Niki Kelce

Peggi Habets


Carol Huddleston


Radha Ramachandran

58 days Later ..

Yes I did just count.
For the purpose of this post, imagine me looking slightly guilty and embarrassed. I haven't written on here for two months - eek!

I have actually been working this week on a painting about why I haven't been blogging (!) -above- if you believe that. Its part of my master plan to take procrastination to a whole new level.
Its mainly arty reasons which have kept me very busy. I've been to London a couple of times to visit the galleries again. (I really like London, so much so I've decided to live there! But that's another story...)
So its going to take me a couple of posts to get up to date here and a while to catch up at Inspire Me Thursday.
Missed you all
L x

Thursday, 31 July 2008

Painting Music

You know how people ask if you could have written any album then which would it have been? Well for me the answer is the debut album by Kasabian.

I can so appreciate the creative innovation and expertise in this music in the same way I can in a Caravaggio painting. Absolute perfection in composition - multi-layered genius.

Although not from this album, look no further than the song "The Doberman" for a composition both majestic and ingeniously subtle.

Yes okay, I am being slightly OTT but for me this album was huge. I have never really got into music or found anything to get passionate about until now. Also with this album, I realised that I perceive so much of life in a vision of colours. Smells, taste, sounds - seeing music as layers of vivid colours and shapes.

So I set about painting the album and here it is:
Club Foot

Processed Beats

Reason Is Treason
L.S.F. (Lost Souls Forever)

Running Battle
Test Transmission
Pinch Roller
Cutt Off

Butcher Blues
Ovary Stripe

P.S. You may think this the ramblings of a synaesthetic freak but that's what blogs are for right? Besides I felt the only way to really come back from a long blog-drought was with a totally impractical and incomprehensible mammoth post.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

IMT - Bring a Child's Art to Life

This week at IMT, we are inspired by South Korean photographer Yeondoo Jung’s series Wonderland, a collection of amazing photographs in which he brilliantly brings children’s crayon drawings to life.
You can see an example above. Its so funny!
So to the attic I went and dug out loads of my old pictures and drawing books. It was really exciting finding all these mysterious dusty papers wrapped up in old carrier bags. Great to look back on these things and all the stuff I'd forgotten I did.
Now I can't recreate the pictures as photos like Jung (wish I could though) but what I did was to make Plasticine models based on some of the characters I drew.

A strange peacock

Heart lady with basket (I think this one might be about Easter?)

I love this theme - its my favourite ever and I had so much fun with it. I'm going to do a couple more things based on my old drawings and I'll post them in the next few weeks. Meanwhile here are some of the other favourites I re-discovered.

And what about this one ... very Rothko? :-)

Hope you all had as much fun with this theme as me. Can't wait to see what everyone has come up with. L x

Monday, 16 June 2008

The Tragic Tale of The Tulip

I am submitting this painting for Inspire Me Thursday: Find Art In The Everyday. The whole idea for this painting came about after something which happened a while ago.

My mum had some lovely red tulips growing in the little bit of garden we have (basically a plant tub!). They were just flowering and looking really pretty. One weekend a few young girls came along and just pulled them all out, some by the roots and others breaking off at the stems. It was really pointless and annoying. When we went down the street later, they had just left them torn up and thrown in the road.

I was pretty upset about it and the flowers looked quite tragic just laying there in the road. So for some reason I decided to take this photograph of one, which turned into the painting in my sketchbook. So I suppose something good came out of the experience and I did find art inspiration in what happened.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

IMT - Hummingbird

Hummingbird is the theme this week at Inspire Me Thursday. The picture above is a quick sketch I did.
The pink one here is from the IMT website. I'm not sure where it is from or who the artist is but I really loved it and took my inspiration from there. I made a simple sketch in white ink on black card.
Its a negative image because I've used the white to draw the darker shades and shadows.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

IMT - Orange and Purple

Another one of my scribble pictures for IMT. I finished it a few days ago but didn't know what colours to paint it. So then when I saw the "Orange and Purple" theme this week it was super synchronicity.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

IMT - Whimsy

This is my painting for "Whimsy" at Inspire Me Thursday. The first time I've painted on a proper canvas! I know it doesn't look very whimsical (!) but I'm working with the first definition - an odd or fanciful idea.
The idea for it came about while I was studying my art history text book. I was reading "The Foundation and Manifesto of Futurism" by Marinetti. Its a seriously immense and intense bit of writing.
He wrote the first part of it as a strange and nightmarish adventure, working all kinds of metaphors about the need to move forward from the Symbolist art movement and embrace modernity.
It was originally published in the French newspaper "Le Figaro" in 1909 and launched the whole Futurist movement. They embraced new technology celebrating speed, war and dynamism.
He goes on to write an 11 point "Futurist Manifesto". Its full of action and aggression, violence, revolution. Destruction of the dead art, liberation from the past. Lots of hatred, injustice, fury and defiance. I found it amazing to read and started sketching out the ideas and imagery I had for the painting there in my text book. I decided to go with it and this is the painting I made.
If you want to read more of the article you can do so here.

Friday, 23 May 2008

IMT - Crayons

The theme at IMT this week is crayons. I knew I had some somewhere and I found this box of painting crayons on a shelf. I've never used them so I thought this week would be a good excuse to give them a try. They are a bit like watercolour pencils to use.
Its another Race For Life drawing. I'm just obsessed with it at the moment - really excited!