Trials and Tribulations…

A couple of things have become patently obvious to me on this wet August morning…..I never realised how important space was and…..I am definitely a technophobe….

Trying to build on the process driven ‘Abstracted Landscape Workshop’ run by artist Caroline Chappell that I recently attended, I set to work with inks and charcoals…only to discover that I was not achieving the same freedom, the same spontaneity in the work… Couldn’t think why until I remembered how liberating it was having two tables all to myself and lots of space to move around in at the workshop…

Working in my tiny back bedroom, I felt constrained…hence the work didn’t have the same qualities…

..what you can’t see in the above photo is the crammed bookcases, stacked boxes and a ‘walk-in, reverse out’ route to the workspace… It was so lovely during the workshop to have all that SPACE!! I feel a major tidy up, clear out session coming on…..

The other thing that is obvious is that me and technology are not soulmates…. I am trying (very…) to set up a website…and even after my patient husband has shown me what to do, left to my own devices I have now got headings where I don’t want them, photos uploaded to heaven knows where and unwanted words….It all seemed such a good idea at the time…

Having had cards printed that I was hoping to sell …

…and an ink & charcoal study that I was going to give away as part of the launch of the website..

…I will now have to wait until said husband returns from work and rectifies my many mistakes….

Feel the need for caffeine…

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Drawing Inspiration…

Artists take their inspiration from many things; their surroundings, music, emotions, words…at the moment my inspiration seems to have deserted me…hopefully just temporarily…(not sure if this is just the ‘down’ after being on a high with the successes of the Exploring Place exhibition at Blue Owl Art..)

I have taken to mindlessly splashing ink and watercolour around in the hope that something will click…

….but I have to admit that although sometimes something pleasing appears on the paper, for the most part it is just that, mindless splashing…..

I am really looking forward to attending Caroline Chappell’s Abstracted Landscape course – hopefully a fresh take on my efforts and being with other like-minded people will give me a kick-start….

On the list of equipment is a request to bring along any favourite texts or poetry to do with the landscape….Now anyone who is kind enough to read this blog will know that I love words…and whilst my artistic efforts have me crying in my coffee so to speak, researching and finding books, text, poems and words is one thing that is giving me pleasure….

I love The Peak District in Derbyshire and have based several of my works on the area…these two are based on the Dark Peak..

…and while researching I came across the Companion Stones Project…..a project created by Arts in the Peak, the Peak District National Park Authority and 18 poets and artists. The project is a contemporary response to the Guide Stoops of the Derbyshire moorland – the stoops were set up 300 yrs ago to guide travellers across the moorlands. Twelve modern stoops have been placed in the Park with inscriptions that encourage a dialogue between artist and audience, past and present… For all the details of the project click on the link above…

James Caruth is one of the poets who has contributed to this project; the following excerpt from his poem particularly resonates with me…

‘the old paths lost now

in the valley’s folds,

the fraught sky tethered to a stone.

This place is neither here nor there,

but set your hand on its gritty heart,

feel the earth’s cold pulse…’

Reading poetry is something I have grown to appreciate, but better than reading is hearing poetry being read, best of all being read by the author…and here on Soundcloud you can hear Caruth reading a selection of his work…

The project sounds really interesting; something that merits further investigation, and I wonder if this, along with the painting course, is what I need to fire up my imagination…

For now I will keep splashing around….

(above based on The Salt Cellar rock formation, Derwent Edge…)

Taking Stock….Part Two…

Back in June I wrote a post called ‘Taking Stock’; having delivered the work to Blue Owl Art for the Exploring Place exhibition, I was contemplating how to move forwards….

As well as continuing to experiment, I booked myself on some workshops….the first of which was Helen Hallows Summer Sketchbook Workshop….a thoroughly enjoyable day; the overriding ethos I took from this course, was to be kind to myself, to be patient…

…and eventually I will produce work that begs further development…

I am going on another course at the beginning of August; Caroline Chappell’s two day Abstracted Landscape workshop….

I am really hoping that the course will give me the inspiration, and the tools, to move the work forwards…..

 

(apologies for the blurry photo…)…charcoal beginnings…

I quite like the above, so will be interesting to see what I take from this workshop and how I integrate it into my work…

Taking Stock…..

All the work for the Exploring Place exhibition at Blue Owl Art is wrapped and ready to go so now feels the right time for a little reflection, taking stock of my work and deciding what to do, where to go next…I am sure the desire to keep going forwards, to keep learning, is something common to all artists and I would be interested to hear what steps other artists take to move on…..

I decided to experiment still using ink, in both neat and diluted form, but applying and making the marks with a roller or card rather than brushes….

….as these are just experiments I used any old scraps of paper and I rapidly came to the conclusion that a smooth surface was better for this type of application – on the rough paper I just ended up scraping/spoiling the surface ….

Some of these efforts were obviously better than others but it’s all trial and error….

 

I came to the conclusion that I achieved much better results if I didn’t overthink things, just went with my intuition….

As well as experimenting, I have booked myself on some workshops, the first one takes place this coming Saturday – Helen Hallows Summer Sketchbook – I will let you know how I get on. I also booked myself a two day Abstracted Landscape workshop with Caroline Chappell and a life drawing session with Jo Sheppard – hopefully these will both motivate and inspire me, as well as give me the chance to meet other artists.

I also thought I might treat myself to one or two new materials so I am off to find the art catalogues for a browse…..

Don’t forget the PV for Exploring Place is 29th June 7 – 9 pm……you are all very welcome!!