Category Archives: drawing

An Arty Week

You might know that I am drawn to all things Japanese (here are some links to my posts about my trip to Japan in 2015) and have been most of my adult life. So when I saw a course at a highly respected art school entitled Abstract Painting and Wabi Sabi I just had to book a place.line, mark, charcoal, explore

You can Google ‘Wabi Sabi’ to find a definition and will get a few different results, I fear it might lose something in translation but in the context of abstract works of art this is my own best shot: the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi, briefly/loosely translated as the celebration of materials and imperfection, leaving things unfinished for the viewer to complete it in their own experience of the piece. 

I learnt by doing, that it is also about immersing oneself in the materials, the properties of the materials and about how ones body and inner senses respond to the materials.

After booking this course, I heard about an exhibition in which a blogging friend, Alastair Duncan was exhibiting his interactive weaving, which I talked about in this post.

Alastair Duncan interactive weaving

AND THEN!

ANTONY GORMLEY at the Royal Academy – I just had to go and see that!Antony Gormley

To fit all this in I stayed in an Air BnB in Horsham in West Sussex, which had free parking and was just a 10 minute walk to the train station. In just over an hour I could be in Central London.

I drove the 3 hours to  Horsham last Saturday.

Visited the Espacio Gallery on Sunday – which I will tell you about in a future post. London gallery

There I met with 2 other members of the Stitchbook Collective – Oh SO lovely to make these creative connections!!

On Monday I travelled up to the Royal Academy for the Antony Gormley exhibition, Gormley at the RAwhich was absolutely amazing of course, but not quite so impactful as his exhibition in 2007 at the Hayward Gallery which I often think of and stays with me on some deep inner level.

And then on Tuesday I started my Wabi Sabi voyage of discovery with Helen Turner in Partridge Green, just a 20 minute drive each day from my cosy self-catering pad.

Wabi Sabi

I loved every minute! I got home yesterday.

So much to tell you about. So many photos to sift through!

Every Day Art

I just saw this on my #seriescd Instagram page and it excited me so much I just had to share it with you

series of doodles Since starting the doodles in my 6″ x 6″ sketch book, to travel with ,I have become immersed in continuing with a Series using a CD as a starting point. I have to do one as I wake up and can’t settle to sleep at night without doing another.

And today I got some Posca Pens in the post!

Eeek!!!!!posca pens

they show up so well on the black card – they sort of glow!

Not cheap at £14.99 for 8 pens but so worth it.

I am on my second sketch book – they each have 40 pages in them ….

Must go – I have doodles to doodle doodle doo!

Whimsical Collage: 2

Back in November I went to a fabulous 4 day Mixed Media Collage Workshop led by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and Nathalie Kalbach. See my first blog post about it here.

It was such fun getting messy and creating colourful papers in readiness for our first 6 collages. We used pages from old books we had been supplied with – books that would otherwise have gone to landfill. The print adds a layer of texture and interest.mixed media collage workshop

And the books themselves make perfect little sketchbooks to carry around for those odd doodling momentscreating collage papers

Julie and Nathalie have a great way of introducing the theory of colour and composition in fun bite-sized exercises. Julie BalzerIn this one we were mixing tones of one colour using black and whitemixing tones, acrylic paints

no paint was wasted, we cleaned our brushes on more paperusing old maps for collage

collage paperand then experimented with stamps, building up layers of marks, pattern and colour – my memory is a of a frenzy of fun and activity as we all dashed off all these wonderfully inspiring pieces without really thinking

stamping, acrylic

In this way we gradually built up supplies and confidence, moving towards creating pieces we were pleased with.six 6 x 6 collages, mixed media

The background of this one is the newspaper I was using to protect the cloth beneath. I think at this stage it reminds me of textiles …. still more to do in those blue squares, but I’m not sure what yet……

newspaper as art paper

I wondered about adding a little knot of silk remnant

mixed media, sari silk

and maybe some stitching …… hmmm …. not there yet.

Julie’s first Blog post about the workshop  explains the format of Day One and Two.

There is a picture of me (the 8th one in) in pink Tshirt, working away, ( and a couple more later on) plus loads of pictures of fellow students and their work. This blog post alone is inspiring enough to keep me busy for weeks as I remember all I learnt and discovered.

And then we were ready to work towards some finished pieces.

Next up –  working in a series: six collages on 6″ x 6″ card

collage

Julie’s second Blog Post: Whimisical Collage in the UK Part Two shows lots of these from the group. You might be able to spot mine in amongst them.

mixed media

The best part – building the layers with stamps and oil pastel lines and scribbles

The next part is wondering if they are finished or not

mixed media collage

The 4 on the left have a story attached to them, but that is for another day ……

Joining in with Kate and her Scrap Happy January band of happy scrappers.

 

 

 

Letter

Notan, the letter A, paper cut art

My entry in our One-a-Week Photo Challenge. 

The Letter A

I came across the Japanese Art of Paper Cutting called Notan, which uses positive and negative space. Go to Pinterest to see the most amazing examples.

The photo was taken using the ‘Sketch’ setting on my Nikon D5200.

Step – by – step:

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A piece of A5 coloured paper and an A4 background

Notan, paper art, the letter A

notan, paper art, letter A

paper art, Notan, letter A

It needs to go on a coloured background

notan6-1

Couldn’t resist a bit of doodling, and then it needed to go on a black background. Now some of the doodling looks like cut-outs.

Notan and doodling

This is such a good activity to do with children aged 4 onwards.

The designs would make great greetings cards.

Please leave your link in the comments – Cathy and I always look forward to seeing each interpretation of the prompt – she has a corker this week!

Paper Games with the Boys

Last week there was an Inset Day at the school so the boys, Big Bro 7 and Little Bro 5 came to me. They absolutely LOVE playing drawing consequences – I expect you know the game .. but just in case you don’t I’ll describe it.

playing consequences

Tear A4 paper into half, lengthways.

Each person has a strip of paper.

Without showing the others, draw a hat at the top of the paper and then fold the paper over to hide the drawing except for a couple of lines to show where the face should go. The papers then get passed to the next person.

Everyone draws a face and folds the paper again, leaving the lines of the neck showing.

Next the body is drawn, leaving lines for the placement of the legs.

The legs are drawn leaving lines for the feet.

Five lines are put at the bottom and the paper is passed round for one letter to be added in any space at each turn. This will create the name of the character.

Then we all open the paper and laugh at what we have drawn, and try to pronounce the names. We usually have to play at least 4 rounds before they want to move on to something else.

Next we hid our names in a secret design.

In pencil, draw a central line and write your name in clear bold letters, touching the line.

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Turn the paper round and draw a mirror image of each letter, touching the original letter.

Turn the paper so that the first letter is at the bottom of the page as in the picture.

With a pen or crayon, start to pick out lines and features to make a symmetrical pattern.

Keep going and make it as intricate as you can

The boys got into the secret element of it and went for further disguise. I have smudged out their names but I hope you get the ideaSecret hidden names

The idea is that the pattern looks like a design, it is only when it is held sideways and the right way up that the name can be seen. Or you can just continue creating the design until the letters are entirely obscured.

After all the drawing we got out under that clear blue sky …. to the woods and beyond …

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but more of that tomorrow as our Photo Challenge prompt is WALK

Playful Butterfly

 

DSC_0191When I took Little Miss M and Little Bro to the park, after school yesterday, there was a Red Admiral butterfly that seemed to want to play with them. It kept fluttering back to them, around their heads, landing near to them: on posts, the grass and the climbing net – this went on for at least 10 minutes – it even landed on Little Bro’s arm at one point.

A school friend joined in and all three were first chasing, then leaping and dancing around with delight, then creeping up slowly and at one point the butterfly was on a post and all three were putting a finger on the post edging closer to the butterfly to see if it would hop on, totally focussed on that moment when time seemed to stand still.
 
Magical, utterly magical.
But – did I have my camera with me – no!
A beautiful memory to hold in my mind’s eye.
As I was writing this I remembered that over 25 years ago, when I was doing a City and Guilds Embroidery course, there was a competition
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to create a greetings card with butterflies as the theme.
(apologies for the quality of the photos, something has gone wrong with my ‘Photos’ programme and I am unable to do any editing – so far long phone calls to Apple, whilst they have tried to sort it out – with more to come)

We had to show our folder of workings as well (click on any photo to see it bigger)

and after much experimentation, this was the card I submitted into the competition, it has lost a few star sequins

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these were some of my experiments made on thick watercolour paperDSC_0189
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Well – I won!

It is the only competition I have ever won, so I’ve kept that folder dear to me and never used the cards – I’m wondering if I should send them now and let go ………..

……………   No, I can’t just yet.

Have you ever won a competition? Or danced with a butterfly in the park?

Monster

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monsters creep
deep from our psyche
hearts racing

~

Ronovan’s prompts: Creep and Race

Photo Challenge Prompt: Monster

Pictures drawn on the ferry ride back from Brownsea Island last week. All drawn by Little Miss M, aged 4, apart from the one top left, by Master R aged 7.

To join in with the Photo Challenge or the Phaiku Challenge which combines the two challenges, please leave a link in the comments.

Next week’s Photo prompt

HUNT