Sunday, 24 April 2016

From a digital sketchbook

This week, with time away in Norwich and Stamford visiting friends, I've had little time in my studio. During what time there was, ideas didn't flow or came to nothing and I felt frustrated.

I turned to thoughts in Photoshop from which I expected little and played with some recent photos of urban landscapes - digital doodles really - of high rise buildings, reflections in windows and overhead structures

The varied results are below.





And then was one onto which I added a possible stitch line to suggest vegetation removed to make way for the building - a current obsession of  mine. (The photo here on Blogger appears far more washed out than it does direct onto  my PC screen- not sure why). 


I haven't woven for a while and I'm contemplating a piece around buildings. Some interesting thoughts have glimmered while I played here. Maybe the time spent going off at a tangent and manipulating these (and other) photos was productive after all. It's often the way I find ...



Wednesday, 20 April 2016

In the Mirror Maze in Burghley Park

We had a wonderful day yesterday with a friend in Burghley Park near Stamford. There was so much to see and enjoy, both inside, and outside the house in the grounds and the formal gardens.

Here, I'm posting two photos taken in the Mirror Maze, changed to black and white and manipulated in Photoshop.



    


These are just a little taster of what's on offer ... perhaps more tomorrow when I'm home.

Thursday, 14 April 2016

This week in sketchbooks

I work a great deal in sketchbooks, trying out and developing ideas, going off at a tangent (there's lots of that), experimenting with techniques. This is a sample of my daily activity this week.

Row 1 Selection from left to right : 3D sketchbook pages with small cutouts; a 'blind' drawing of a special chair in Malmesbury Abbey; playing with a cola pen and tracing paper overlay.


Row 2 L to R: a fine charcoal stick pulled across the page with a tracing overlay; a first square cropping from a photo with tracing paper overlay;  a second square photo cropping with tracing overlay and possible stitch line in black pen.


I plan from now on to include weekly samples from my sketchbook activity from time to time. Many of these will probably also appear among my intermittent posts on my Instagram page.


Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Drawing with friends

Today saw the first afternoon of drawing out and about with friends. We plan to meet up about once a month to begin with, though I have plans for greater frequency and for the group to grow once the current members gain in confidence (more about that once everyone is happy).

This time with the weather being wet and unspring-like, we met in Malmesbury Abbey and did a series of small studies of motifs, parts of the building and other details that took our fancy. Mine, unsurprisingly, included some blind drawing, this time choosing a row of joined up chairs and also stylised drawings of spiral motifs from a Victorian stone panel which I found surprisingly hard to read - so much so that sharing is not a good idea! Clearly, practice at reading shapes is what I need ...

 


This was a humble and simple beginning but we all enjoyed the doing and the talking and have arranged to meet again in May. This time perhaps the weather will be kind to us as we've chosen to meet at a lovely local wildlife site. 

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Playing with 3 D and simple book forms

Following a workshop with Amanda Hislop (which I blogged about here), I've been experimenting with simple folded book forms and various kinds of mark making. The pages of these books were then stuck together into simple 3D forms - sketch books in three dimensions perhaps ...?

Many of the 'marks' in this particular book are in a sense third hand and have involved small parts of printouts of previous drawings and my photos adjusted in Photoshop. These were printed onto computer or tracing paper and were then cut out and stuck onto the book pages, often one on top of another - mark making of a sort, I guess.







This particular form also looks good hanging but it proved impossible to photograph satisfactorily. 

As well as generating 3D forms, some useful juxtapositions of mark resulted from these experiments which will find their way into my other work, I'm sure. 


Thursday, 7 April 2016

Stitching strips

Over the last few days I've experimented again with abstracted photos, this time cut into strips, and with thick tracing paper overlays and shapes added, with stitching, the punching of holes and with stapling once more.


Strange ...? Interesting ...? Something seen and suggested that has not been explained? I hope two out of the three at least ...


Monday, 4 April 2016

Sumi Perera

I had briefly come across the work of printer and mixed media artist Sumi Perera during one of those wanders around the internet that I find myself taking. This initial viewing really hadn't prepared me for the delicate delights and contrasts in her work when seen 'in the flesh'.

Quadrature of the Circle XII
(from here)

Just before Easter, I went to a small exhibition of Perera's work in New Brewery Arts, Cirencester, which was part of the Impress 16 festival of print running in galleries throughout Gloucestershire till mid-April. Her work was intricate, beautiful and extraordinarily varied. There were artist's books, wall hung pieces and unframed prints. Her use of stitch was subtle and understated but, when it was used, it added texture and contrast in mark to her prints.

My own photos on this occasion were sadly most disappointing. I hadn't expected to have the time to visit the exhibition and so had left my camera at home. Family commitments over Easter have prevented a return to the exhibition. Therefore, for this post, I've been reliant on the few usable photos from my iPhone and those from other sources.

I particularly enjoyed the graphic nature of quite a lot of the pieces on show and Perera's frequent use of circles, often breaking out from the edge of the main image. This was especially obvious for examples from the Quadrature of the Circle series (one of which is shown above).

One of the most beautiful and intricate pieces was a pair of long mixed media panels entitled Unbuilding Block XII, a detail of which I managed to photograph reasonably well. This photo shows the detailed cut-outs which cast lovely shadows onto the wall.

Detail from Unbuilding Block XII

My photos of the whole piece were not good enough to show and I've been unable to find the exact work on the internet. I'm therefore showing another from the same series, Unbuilding Block XX, to show the range and complexity of these pieces.

(from here)

Intricacy was also to be seen in what was perhaps my favourite work Rebuilding the Unbuilt-Y Block. I especially enjoyed the extended drawing lines into the areas of untouched white paper. They seemed to recall some of the things I've been trying to do in my own work.

(from here)

There was also much pristine, untouched space giving weight to the areas of printed image in the pages of her beautiful artist's books. I'm afraid that I'm unable to detail the following piece properly. The labelling is unreadable in my iPhone photos.

Beauty Is
(From here)

I was undoubtedly enjoying work from a master-craftsman as I wandered around this exhibition. It was truly beautiful and wonderfully executed. Googling Sumi Perera's name will reveal still more delights for those who are interested.