Saturday, 18 July 2020

Painting with Scissors

Continuing my play with paint, last weekend I took part in a short online class with the London Drawing Group, using Matisse as an inspiration.

I had to paint papers before the class, and thought I'd have another go at the gelli plate. 

It's all a bit hit and miss, but there were some bits that I liked so much I cut them out and stuck them in my journal instead of using them in the class! 

And then the actual playing with scissors. 

The class was on Zoom, and on my iPad I could only see the slides, and not the teacher (although I could hear her) so I wasn't at all sure what we were supposed to be doing. 

But it doesn't matter, it was great fun, and a lovely way to spend an hour on a Saturday afternoon. Have a look and see what else they're doing - the price is very reasonable (it's a donation of a suggested amount) and short enough to achieve something without too much overthinking!

Friday, 17 July 2020

Stepping away from the thinky thinky

As I said last time, I've been so busy, and while it's all be wonderful and exciting, I'm really feeling the need to take some time out to consider my own creativity. Everything has been very outward looking, and keeping the plates spinning has meant it's all been very thinky thinky! 

I need to refill the well, tap into what makes me come alive, what I love. I want to go deeper into what I want to do and where I want to go with it all. I'm conflicted between loving the fabrics and threads, being frustrated with the fabric and threads (mostly the storage issues, to be fair), and the urge to do something more immediate - my sewing machine is fast, but paint is faster still!

There's was a bit of sketchbooking and sketching during lockdown, but now the fields are infested with men in hard hats there's been a lack of sources of inspiration around here. Even the woods aren't safe, as the dust from the the diggers floats like a cloud over everything. My husband has just written something for the little men in their diggers! Very tempting to print it out and fix it to their silly fences.

So I've enrolled on a rather wonderful art course. It's not exclusively for painters (which is good, because I'm not) but it does involved getting messy with the stuff to work through the exercises. 

This first exercise was fast and fun fun fun. Just what I need!

I cleaned my palette, with the unused blue paint, by wiping it onto sketchbook pages with a knife - and a seascape emerged!

I've combined some of my sketchbook inspirations from the fields with my most recent paint play, and this was my favourite so far - spot the bracken frond!

There has been a lot more experimenting since I took these photos, far too much to photograph and document - even on my arty instagram page (I keep this separate from my textiles instagram grid)

I'm having fun. I'm going back to the textiles soon as I have other things I want to do. Ideally I want to find a way to combine the two - paint first, interpret in fabric and stitch? Paint on fabric, then stitch? Stitch, then paint? Add fabric and stitch to paint?! 

It's all good!

PS Should I keep my painty instagram separate from my textile instagram? Should it all be one and the same? All the time I'm not sure what I'm doing with paint, I'm not sure. Thoughts?

PPS I'm doing the thinky thinky again! Oops!

Thursday, 9 July 2020

When creating is work and work is creating

My second run through of Swirls of Colour is now up and running, and everyone seems to be having a very good time! I am more than a little relieved that things are ticking along so well, and I am so overwhelmed with gratitude to my students. If someone had said a few months ago, that I would be up and running my own - successful! - online course by now, I wouldn't have believed you. 

Here's a video of some of the finished pieces from the first course - to be added to as more people finish. I'm blown away by the work that people have produced - it's so very different teaching online and not in person; I can't see what they're all up to until they show me! I'm already pondering what course to get filmed and running next, so there's going to be more stitching and thinking needed to do that over the next few months. 

 I've also spent a lot of time recently stitching some commissions, two completely different projects. The first piece was for a couple getting married, both with children already, who wanted to celebrate the coming together of two different families into one whole - but also represent their different natures and quirks. So we came up with the idea of one piece of work, split into puzzle pieces. Each colour represents each person, and features on each piece. The shapes are all different and quirky - but ultimately they can all fit together. Each piece will be framed separately. Here's one of the pieces: 

The other commission was for two cushion panels, based on a similar idea to my Swirls of Colour, but using a very neutral palette with hints of darker colours.

It's wonderful to be asked to do something, and in both cases, based on something I'd done previously, but it's also hard work trying to create something that fits with someone else's vision of what it should look like when it's finished!

So what with the course, and the commissions, I've been so busy it's felt like having a "proper" job! There's not been much of my own stitching or creating going on, that's for sure - I urgently need to find a way to make sure that time to experiment and develop my own ideas is written into my job description too. I'd love to know how other artists and creatives manage to do that. How do you find time to do the work, as well as the business of work?