Archive for August, 2009

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ATC Swap

August 31, 2009

I’m attempting to create some Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) for a forthcoming swap on the Artists Forum.  ATCs are minature artworks (2.5 x 3.5″) and can be produced in any media.  I very rarely work any smaller than A4, so this is quite a challenge.  As a bit of fun, I made a teeny, weeny collage for my first card.  I now plan to try out some very sharp coloured pencils and magnifying glass!

Footsie at Elie

Footie at Elie

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Pi Illustration

August 17, 2009

Further to my original post on the Pi story illustration project, I’ve done a little further experimentation for the first illustration for the story.  The images I’ve created aren’t yet quite as distinctive as I had envisaged, so it’s still a work in progress.  Here are two different trial versions for what would be the opening illustration.

Pi Illustration version 1 (mixed media)

Pi Illustration version 1 (mixed media)

Pi Illustration version 2 (mixed media)

Pi Illustration version 2 (mixed media)

Extract from ‘Memorising Pi to 120 places’ by Gavin Broom:

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 I don’t need to memorise the 3 part, the part to the left of the decimal point. If I did, I wouldn’t be much use at memorising the rest of it. I tell Mum this while she’s cooking dinner because I think it’s really funny.

“That’s nice, Ben,” she says.

I tell her it wasn’t about being nice but I don’t think she hears me.

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Monthly Portrait Challenge

August 15, 2009

I take part in a monthly portrait challenge on ArtForums.co.uk.  The challenge is run by the exceptional portrait artist Graham Hanks and this month he chose a photograph of himself with his son Adam for the challenge.  I created my version in colour pencil and white chinagraph on brown parcel paper.  I thought it would be a nice personal touch to use the brown paper as it was from a package that Graham had recently sent to me!

Handle with care (colour pencil & chinagraph) August 2009

Handle with care (colour pencil & chinagraph) August 2009

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Trialling The Content 2nd Issue

August 10, 2009

The second issue of Trialling the Content, a bi monthly magazine published by Alloa Writers was issued this month.  The latest Trialling the Content is available in Alloa at the Art Gallery in Gordon McFarlane’s the Jewellers in Mill Street, and The Card Shop in Shilling Hill; across Clackmannanshire through the libraries; and in Stirling through the Toast Café.

I have the priviledge of producing cover artwork for the first 6 issues.  Here is the cover for issue number two:

Trialling the content issue 2

Trialling the content issue 2

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Cath Read Pastel Workshop

August 10, 2009

During my time in Pittenweem last week, I attended an all day workshop with the pastel artist Cath Read.

Cath started the day with an interesting talk on how to find your own inspiring subject matter and how to get more from your own reference photographs and sketches.  She also provided a useful overview of the types of pastels and grounds available based upon her wealth of personal experience in working with this medium.

As a warm up for the afternoon we then produced a small individual work using some of Cath’s own photographs.  Cath then provided helpful personal feedback for each participant based on their indiviual stlye steering away from generic prescriptive advice. 

In the afternoon we headed outdoors to work from the beautiful Pittenweem coast.  Cath supported participants throughout the afternoon enabling us to get the most out of the plein air pastel experience.

All in it was a highly enjoyable day and I picked up some valuable insights to help improve my pastel work on the way.  Here are my (unfinished) sketches from the day:

 

Workshop sketch 1

Workshop sketch 1

Workshop sketch 2

Workshop sketch 2

 You can find out more about Cath and her work here:

http://www.cathread.co.uk/index.htm

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Pittenweem Arts Festival 2009

August 9, 2009

I have just returned from a fanastic week at Pittenweem in the East Neuk of Fife.   Thought I’d share my art festival top 5 (in no particular order!):

Angie Turner:

Angie presented us with a delightful selection of sculptures and paintings on the theme of the funfair.  In a stark contrast to Angie’s equally excellent exhibition last year,  the paintings were light, airy and abstract based upon the reflection of various fairground attractions on the waters at Kirkcaldy.  Angie’s restrained use of vivid flashes of reflected colour against a predominantly blue and white backdrop made for a very striking and beautiful collection.  You can see Angie with one of her stunning paintings and a video clip of her venue here:

http://north-fife.blogspot.com/2009/08/pittenweem-arts-festival-fife.html

As promised last year, Angie had produced a new edition of collectible raku carousel horses.  The horses were based upon the carnival prizes of yesteryear and are reminiscent of vintage carnival chalkware.  Without hesitation we purchased number two for our collection. 

Raku horse by Angie Turner 2009

Gallopers Liberation fairings by Angie Turner 2009

Anita E Hutchison:

If like me, you enjoy combing the beach and refer to the stones, shells and miscellany you find as ‘ beach treasures’, you will love Anita’s work.  This years exhibition was based upon a journal Anita kept of her travels along the Scottish coast and the objects she found along the way.  Anita is primarily a textile artist and created an array of beautiful coastal textures incorporating found objects, stitched and fabric texts.

Textile art by Anita E Hutchison 2009

Textile art by Anita E Hutchison 2009

Worth particular mention was a 20 metre fabric text recounting a tale of a rather dramatic disturbance at a neighbouring  property on one of Anita’s overnight stays.

Anita’s collection also included beautifully constructed, sculptural felt works of barnacles and some striking photographs of these pieces placed in their natural settings.

Robert Cairns DA:

Although Robert exhibition was on a smaller scale than previous years, the quality and draughtmanship in his work remains constant.

This year Robert exhibited a lively collection of drawings produced in favourite locations in Scotland, France and Italy.  All of Robert’s work is produced on site, giving it a freshness and real sense of presence.  Robert has a very distinctive style and his works convey strong rhythym and movement as your eye follows the contours of his work.

You can see more of Robert’s fantastic work here:

http://www.iankenny.com/cairns/index.html

Karen Edward (Funky Scottish):

Karen is the owner of a lovely little gallery in Pittenweem where she sells her hand painted ceramic range including personalised commision works.  An a previous occassion I commisioned Karen to produce a bengal cat plate as a birthday gift for my sister.  Needless to say my sister was absolutely delighted with it.  Yet as  fantastic as Karen’s ceramic pieces are, I had not realised the extent of Karen’s skill until I saw her stunning paintings this year.  These works have pseudo-naive/folk art style influence and could easily be mistaken for treasured enamel antiques despite being worked entirely in modern materials.  I resisted for a whole five minuted before buying this gorgeous mirror.  

Mirror by Karen Edwards 2009

Mirror by Karen Edward 2009

Also at Funky Scottish, I was delighted to see a further exhibition of Pittenweem Puffins by textile artist Linzi Knox.  This is a collection of original handfelted images framed in driftwood collected from the shores of the Firth of Forth.  Fortunately I already own one of these so didn’t have to dig back into my purse at this point.

Gina Wright:

After a wander around Gina’s venue I felt as if I had attended a pastels masterclass.  The vibrance of colour in Gina’s work is exquisite and she captures the light and shade of her subjects beautifully.  It can be difficult in pastel to retain freshness and avoid overworking but Gina appears to manage this with ease.  You can see the talent of Gina for yourself here:

http://www.ginawright.co.uk/

I left Gina’s exhibition happy with my purchase of 5 reproduction printed cards including a very charming depiction of a little girl walking along the path beside the harbour wall situated right outside Gina’s venue.

As I strolled a little further I was taken by a cute little toy on the harbour wall and stopped to take a picture.  As I was putting my camera away, I was approached by a friendly chap who enquired if I had just taken a picture of ‘Lamby’.  I confessed to the crime and he introduced me to the owner of lamby – his lovely little girl.  A few seconds later his wife popped out the door to say hello and she happened to notice the cards I had in my hand.  It turns out that Lamby is the treasured companion of ‘The Golden Haired Girl’ on my Gina Wright card – how lovely! 

 
Lamby on the harbour wall

Lamby on the harbour wall

 

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Tree Challenge Results

August 9, 2009

The works produced by all those taking part in the tree challenge can now be viewed on Vivien’s blog. 

http://vivienb.blogspot.com/2009/08/paint-or-sketch-trees-from-life.html

It really has been a popular and successful challenge with some fantastic works being created.  Really inspirational –  thanks Vivien!