Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Was that 2008?

I had intended to post throughout Christmas in a not to be defeated kind of way but I took a reality check and like everyone else sank under the event.

Moving along with the 'a sense of place' project, I am investigating layering images. Photographs of my sketches and paintings, images worked on computer software combined with digital images of local landscape. Trying to keep the project title in mind, with so much imagery on hand has been an exercise in self-restraint; one which I have frequently lost!

More than anything this has been a good way to look at old work with a critical eye and move it into other dimensions. Turn it upside down, find useful ways to use it with new images.

Now, what to do with it next...

Friday, 19 December 2008

The Collaborative Project

Met up with my collaborative 'other half' for coffee and a chat. It was a good start, we are both friendly and outgoing, full of ideas and opinions and we ended the meeting by going to look at a gallery space with a view to making an exhibition of ourselves next summer.

The idea of the 'A Sense of Place' project is that we each produce one piece of work. Show it to the other person at the end of January and then make a further piece of work moving on from these initial pieces. Four pieces in total.

We each discussed our working practice and decided to work in camera until the end of January and then reveal a piece of work and discuss where we go from there. Kate has more of a printmaking background than me. It is always interesting to see how a central theme is translated by individual ideas and disciplines. This should not be too difficult to progress with just two pieces of work each.

The view from my bedroom window is my starting point. I wake and lie looking out of the window. It is an ever-changing scene. Not only in terms of the external and seasonal but my internal life - days of worry, sadness, anger, thoughts of family, work, happiness, excitement of the day ahead, hopes and dreams and all those random thoughts that pass through our heads. This place sets the scene for the day.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Oh! The frustrations of the average blogger

It's been a bad day. I decided to remove the test video - it was too awful to survive(family opinion proved very powerful), until I can make something a little less tense. RSS Feeds - well they just didn't want to feed or link or whatever it is they do and every other 'good' idea turned into a nightmare. Links that opened on my computer wouldn't open anywhere else.

That's it - I'm abdicating...some you win, some you lose.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Start sketching for project

Busy this week with Christmas stuff, making adjustments here and there to the website and a major studio tidy up. Always a great idea when things sink to the bottom without trace. All of which has taken much longer than expected - as these things always do. I am currently doing quite a bit of driving up and down the motorway and everything is getting a tad crowded and of course I am not the slightest bit irritable.

I have been working on some sketches for 'A sense of place' project - simple line drawings, one here and two on the website. They are a response to the view from my bedroom window framed in the squared panes of glass.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

A web and blog- free zone

After the traumas of the last couple of days, the tears and tantrums of setting up the web I am retiring from the public stage for the weekend and declaring an internet-free zone.

Reality check here. I need to spend the weekend thinking about the two projects in the pipeline. Sketch some ideas out and think about how I can get down to serious work next week.

Thursday, 11 December 2008


I have the bones of a website up and running today. The blogsite has given me the impetus to create a few basic pages and the links appear to be in place and functioning. I tried adding a gallery to the website but the images were poor and have removed it until I can solve this niggle. I'm a little tense but you can't see me and you can see the website, so that's ok. Let's pretend that I look calm and lovely and that swear words never passed my lips. It should be linked in the 'Of Interest' bit but otherwise

It has been a quiet week for both painting and printmaking due to travel and other commitments but it has been a useful time to get to grips with the technological side of promotion and also to have time to consider how to move forward with some of the print ideas that are currently in the pipeline.

My work over the last couple of years has been primarily landscape. I did not realise how much until I started to document images for the blog. It started with the Borders series, which started with a Meadow series and has recently moved into the darker side of landscape with work leaning towards the wild side.

I anticipate an experimental few days with print and will report back with anything interesting.

And I am hotly investigating the pros and cons of webcameras to make demonstration videos for this site or the website - not sure which yet. Any advice would be I can continue talking to myself.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

A sense of place and Stuff

And so here we are in December. Amongst other things there is a new project afoot entitled 'A sense of place'. This is a collaborative project with other artists. Interestingly, my artist's book for the Manchester Book Fair had the same title and thus a useful place to start...I mentioned in the last November post that I was excited by the little sculptural box encasing text or other items and this was a natural progression from the concertina book box. I am interested in using the printmaking medium in combination with other fine art areas and think this project will be a great way to experiment with some of these initial ideas.

During the college year, my main project for consideration is tentatively entitled 'Stuff'. The things we accumulate and what my stuff means to me. The downside of consumerism has recently (in case you hadn't noticed) turned into a highly political global phenomenon and that was not my focus when I wrote the course brief- politicians of all hues cause a gnashing of teeth and I wanted anyway to approach this subjectively. As this has become a hot potato I have had thoughts about changing the brief but it is already written and logged and so I will have to continue down this road and see what happens.

Print work since October; and the start of the course, has really been experimental and I expect that by January I will have refined some of these outcomes into more clearly defined work and be looking toward some ideas for finished pieces. That is Plan A anyway.