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03 April 2018

More Alien Hunting

Following on from last post.  This section of the Wanderlust course has been about people/portraits.  Totally alien to me as mentioned. I missed out the lesson on drawing a realistic face, I know its more about observing etc but not for me.

So watched the last lesson in the series and its a SELF PORTRAIT - not really super realistic and involved using some out of the ordinary colour.  I was hesitant, there will be an alien by the end of this one, for sure.

I don't do photos, its a very long standing almost phobia.  To say it makes me feel sick, hot, heart racing, tearful to have my photo taken is an understatement.  I usually get past this by being the one who volunteers to take the photos.  I'm trying to get better about it

I was supposed to take a pic, with eyes closed, turn the photo to black and white to show tones and then paint it.
Now even without the blotchy face from a cold, and the extra large suitcases under the eyes still looked like something from a horror film.

However, I have blue eyes, so decided needed a bit of contrast, so kept eyes open.  Also decided that as there were unusual colours in the painting exercise, using the computer and a paint programme with various effects wouldn't be too far a step away.

So my plan, get on with it, fast.  Take photo, alter it, share it, phew.  Big step but quick like ripping off a sticking plaster, walk towards the thing which scares you.  So here it is, not the painting/drawing exercise as required, but a lesson in grasping the fear, getting on with it and doing.


A n d..... I suspect this is the first ever selfie ever shared.  Not likely to be a habit either.

25 March 2018

Looking for the Alien

What a mixture has happened since last writing.   Most of it is general ups and downs of an artistic life, so not very exciting, but better in one hit.
I was due to attend another Mixed Media course.... but it was cancelled because of low turn out.
But whoops I took my refunded class fee and spent it on art goodies.

Good news I won a set of stencils by 'liking' on Facebook. I need to have a play with those, bit of monoprinting I think.

I've gotten behind with the Wanderlust course.  Its not that I've been too busy, quite the contrary, but rather I've been fighting the lessons.  Couple of them are not me, and so I was going to do something 'inspired by'.  No pressure, of course I could... but even that was proving unsettling.
So eventually I decided, what are you learning by avoiding, or doing an alternative?  Why not also learn from actually embracing the thing you find tough?  So soon back on track doing the lessons as asked, or nearly so.

bit of a spooky muzak.....
Saw some images on Facebook, of people who 'can't draw' turning out exquisite images.  Found myself yearning for the same.
The truth is I spent two years in drawing lessons, I can do enough for something to be recognisable

what I still can't do is the recognisable quick sketch. (remember it took 2 years of weekly lesson to get to this!) 

My mind sees things like a detailed photograph, pencil in hand, its like a fly with inky boots walked over the paper.

Drawing also gives me a raging headache, I concentrate so hard, its not a pleasure.  So once again thinking, but I'm an 'abstract artist' is it any wonder realistic work is a struggle.  I am the person who did the 'drawing a day' project which was popular years ago, which soon evaporated into paint splodges and textures.
This is my comfort zone.

Still on catch up, imagine my horror to watch my next Wanderlust lesson and find it involves drawing people.  Yikes.  Last time I constructed anything other than stick people was 20 years ago.  So the lesson reminded me of the 'formula' for drawing faces, a bit more reading and I had a go.

Shocked, I did this, and it doesn't look like an alien.  Now don't ask me to make a face which looks like a known person, but I've stunned myself.  No wonder its being kept and stuck in my sketchbook.  Got to keep the evidence I did it, at least once!

Back to my comfort zone I've signed up for an art project based across the pond, couple of definites as to the what and including, but otherwise free to do as I wish.

I'm going to go back to this kind of thing, but with a layered look.  Our EG Branch is making Travelling Books.  I'm not doing the 'travelling' bit, but am using the book to do my own thing.  Sorted my design inspiration, now to play.
I call these 'pretties' because they have no thinking, no design to them, just play and do.
However, I should make myself feel they have more value by describing them as "intuitive art".
There's a thought to mull over.....

19 February 2018

Essex Round Up

Gosh, I thought it was just Pinterest which snatched time, but looks like bloggyland has evaporated weeks as well!

I've been doing a lot of playing research on the likes of Pinterest.  Beginning of the year I wrote myself a list of arty things I'd like to explore this year, some of them are commitments to organisations/events, but still I've been trying to work out how to do what is needed, with what I want.
I couldn't settle, and I suspect its because the end solution wasn't the right one.

However, I've now got a good idea of directions to take, things which match my initial ideas, which ways to take them forward, and finally feel comfortable.  There's been lots of yes...oh... no.  As lots of this involves looking, reading, exploring, there isn't anything tangible to show for all this effort.
I haven't quite been lollygagging..... (hint towards my decisions)

Bandit - blogs need cat pictures

I've not been unproductive - keeping up with Wanderlust 2018. Some of the lessons have hit, right when a similar topic/technique is in my mind.  Other things are being sidestepped into a nod towards the weekly project, rather than slavishly following.

This technique appeared, but as I've already made, its not something I feel need to immediately explore.



I had a surprising afternoon, where in quick succession there was an email, ting, barely read it, when ting, a text appear, and then ting Messenger sent me something.  All of them art related, all of them unrelated, but requesting a 'can you'.  That's how it is, completely quiet, or everything hits at the same time, or ends up with deadlines for same month.  All of these 'tings' have been resolved or are in process.

So that's a little resume from the bottom of Essex, all that remains is to have another cat picture.  As they say blogs get more hits for furry friends, than legitimate content.


Spike - think he's broken!


20 January 2018

A Little January Colour

Its another dull grey January day here, so let's have some colour.

I have joined in (again) with Wanderlust 2018  for January the theme is Pathways - the first lesson is a personal pathway, road, journey.  I decided I would log the types of home I've lived in, only 7 homes, but 4 different types - this is a more unusual one.


Yes, for a year I lived in a blue caravan

At our last Embroiderers' Guild meeting, we had a guest tutor, Kirsten Yeates, who gave us all a practical afternoon in silk painting. This is what I made, I choose simple shapes.


I added the lines when I got home, with watercolour pencil
because that's the set of pencils to hand!

Having promised myself not to keep buying books, given book case collapse in middle of night, I have been good and made use of the library.  However, reading the blog of Karen Ruane, sigh, and seeing my friend Sue's posts about it, my fingers twitched and I hit the  'buy' button.


Its not a book about lots of different stitches, and if you know embroidery likely you will know all of the ones mentioned.  However, it is about construction of the stitch, and that is what appealed to me, especially as I have made my own grids etc

My promise not to buy more books isn't really working, given I have 2 more on order.  They are not creative books though, so won't go in 'my' bookcases, so don't really count, do they?
Oh.... I might just tell you about the Sketchbook I ordered too, another time!



05 January 2018

2018 Already!!

Happy New Year

Here we are already good way through first week in January.
Last year was quite full on, lots achieved and done, but not always to my personal satisfaction.  Record keeping of all sorts has gone amiss, inc in blogland.
I won't say its a Resolution to write more, but let's just say the intent to do is there.

2017 saw
The Material Girls with FOUR Exhibitions
John Harle at second venue
Essex Environment shown at two venues
and a very successful Exhibition Goodnight Children Everywhere

held a very successful Exhibition
then there was the National Day of Stitch
which was packed out all day
and I received a Certificate for being a Member for
25 years.

On a personal level
Once again had work in Rochford Art Trail

September, October and November
saw attendance at Workshops
Art Van Go
Seth Apter
Dali Graham




Phew, a lot there,
2018 may be a quieter year as lots of organisations seem
to be taking a break.
I do have plans and commitments to things, and await notifications of
any new opportunities.