Tuesday, 22 September 2009

The start of term

All the classes at work begin again this week as well as a new exhibition going up and the old one coming down. It is with aching back, tired eyes and cracked bones that I half heartedly write this entry. This little watercolour of a blackberry is a sample for my class tomorrow. I quite like it and may try something larger, perhaps at the weekend.

The rest are close ups of book covers and the stack of them that are waiting patiently to be sewn together. Again, these started life as class samples and have slowly evolved into something a bit special. It would appear that the obsession this late summer has been to bead everything that looks like it needs adornment. I'll let you know when I start beading my clothes.

I usually try to take nice photos of my work on white background but quite like the paint splattered look of my old desk. This was bought from a local charity shop for £10 in the tearful aftermath of my break up with Mr Ex. After rattling around in my old bedroom for a week Mother suggested turning Brother Dan's old room into an art studio. It seemed important at the time that I must start working on something straight away believing it to be a therapy of some kind. And, of course, it was. The poor table (never a looker to begin wth) is now covered in paint and wax as well having rivets gouged out of it from where I heave the sewing machine to and fro.

This weekends other activities have seen Mother making runner bean chutney. I almost said "we" made it, but all I really did was hover and prod and taste the mixture before it went into jars ready for the festive season. It kind of tastes like sweet and sour sauce at the mo. I'm told it will improve. This joins the Sloe (slow) Gin that was made the week before. The Christmas season could either prove a festival of boozy and pickled deights or we may all spend it with a tummy ache.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Beaded bracelets

I've only finished three and my back and neck are killing me from adding all of those tiny beads but I love doing these! I've spent a qiuet weekend sat with the beading needle and Enchanted on DVD. One of my favourite films and I'm not ashamed to admit it.
I've got four more to work on and the BBC versions of Sense and Sensibilty and Pride and Prejudice sat ready and waiting. Happy days.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Brother Dan

This is brother Dan. He's one of the many casualties of the recession, currently out of work, bimbling between his easel, the job centre and dozens of interviews. Here he is reading Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain, a weighty Reader's Digest tome that has been fought over even before we could read due to the lovely 70's style woodcuts and illustrations. This is one of the less esoteric books in his collection.
I'm just feeling so bad for him at the mo and there isn't much more to say than that. My small attempts at help have just yielded more heartache. Don't worry brother Dan. There is still that lovely girl and I'll show you how to make proper risotto for her.

Below is an image of the Generation Gap show on in the Mill foyer gallery at the moment, as promised.

And these lovely pieces of jewellery have been made by Catherine Baum, a very talented young lady studying down in Poole and working in the Cafe over the summer. I have just bought the turquoise earrings on the left hand side in the bottom picture. I may have to buy the ones on the right as well.

In other news this week my muse upped and flew away on Tuesday. I have not been near a piece of paper since since he left. I noticed this morning that the gloss had gone from my hair, my eyes were dull and, as is normal in people with highly complicated inner fantasy worlds like me, reality came crashing through the door in his place. For a month now he has been next to me shouting in my ear but today I can barely hear a whisper, I can just about see his misty figure in the distance as he returns to his own world. Ah well. Bye bye.
However, not to be too maudlin, I have felted some more wrist cuffs and there is nothing like pounding the hell out of the sewing machine to make me feel better.

Let's see what damage I can do to these bad boys.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Generation Gap Private View

I meant to try and take some photographs of the new Mill gallery show before the crowds arrived for the preview but didn't quite have time. I'll post some better ones this week. It is a show put together by mother and daughter Belinda Ellis and Gemma Challenger and features large abstract canvases as well as some highly detailed drawings of some quite random things such as insects, frogs, flowers and dismembered limbs. The amount of work that has gone into them is absolutely astonishing and must have taken forever.
As the new gallery bod I stick around for these previews but tend to feel like a bit of spare part loitering in the background. I'm no good at shmoozing or being remotely sociable to be honest and I think this stems from art college where I never quite fitted in and used to feel quite small surrounded by so much arch loftiness. I'm not even useful when I have my own work on the walls and tend to stand in the corner nervously clutching a glass of wine. I become quietly deranged if someone wants to buy my work and send in Tim, one of the house managers, to do all of the talking. He has offered to be my unofficial agent and this is fine until he starts asking for commission.

Anyway, this is about as close as I got to the action for most of the night, except to go around and collect glasses every so often. After hanging this work I became prompted to study my own drawing technique which is, at best, frenetic and lazy all at the same time.

Below is the same lily using a pencil in grade F. I haven't used anything less than a 4B for years. I also tackled the shelves in my bedroom thinking it would be good practice to try and render all of those CDs and bottles. I only had to stop because I used my deoderant and forgot where i'd picked it up from.

Still life is great. I try to encourage my students to do as much of it as possible but they all seem to gravitate towards landscape (as do I most of the time). I think it's because you can render skies, rivers and trees with so much atmosphere and emotion and that is the main attraction for the artist; the wish to impose private feelings on the natural landscape, it becomes the means by which the self is expressed (i'm writing this like it's the most revolutionary thought in the world when, of course, it's really quite obvious). It is very diffuclt to make an apple moody or impassioned. An apple is an apple whether you paint it angrily or carefully. And yet, i'm sat here thinking I would love to draw a landscape with that same detail, I would like to draw every tiny piece of bark texture, every ripple in the water and blade of grass.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

What do I do now?

It doesn't feel like it's been the most productive of weekends, even with the extra day off. Sunday's car boot was semi successful (no body wanted the bears though. Poor bears), though Autumn made it's sly presence felt with chilly winds and drizzle.
The painting is finished (I think) and I feel slightly downhearted. I always do when I finish a piece of work and I never know what to do next, I will no doubt spend the next week in a bit of a funk, doing very little but reading the odd book and mooching. And that's life really isn't it? You always have to keep thinking about what to do next. School's over? What now? Finished your degree? What now? Boyfriend dumped you, marriage over? What shall I do now? We all just keep going after the next thing not really sure that it's what we want.
I've just been feeling a little bit narked about the whole thing this week. We have the property ladder to keep us acquiring bigger and better houses, this is like the life ladder and I don't like it. I should think it's tied up with having to move back home, I don't really know why but it doesn't really feel like I'm living, it's all a bit safe and warm. So, what do I do now?