Tag Archives: life drawing

Art for the downstairs loo :)

We redecorated the smallest room recently and I have been trying to find exactly the right art piece for it.  I commissioned myself to produce a new piece of art for the loo.  After much playing and a lot of fun,  I have designed a tryptic, based on the expressive life drawing classes I’m taking with @chriswoodartist at the moment.

At the classes I go large – A1 – but these are tiny, about 5″ square, so I can mount them in a particular frame.  They look great!

Watercolour, oil pastels, wax crayon and acrylic inks. (Click for a larger version).

Week 3 – High highs and low lows

Week 3 at Uni has been a roller coaster.  Below I will detail some of the work I have been doing, but the week was notable in a couple of ways.

My head is going off in all directions, I have so much reading I want to do, a pile of books from the library, a pile of books I have bought on Amazon and no idea when I am going to get to read them!

On Wednesday, on my way into college I had a disaster when a drink I was carrying opened and spilled over all my stuff.  Everything.  It was a fruit smoothie, so the mess was incredible.   I couldn’t go to the library and all my art things for my life drawing class were coated, it was horrendous.   So I did what any self respecting woman does, I phoned my husband (who works a mile away) in tears and we met at his workplace and with the aid of a lot of kitchen roll, managed to clean everything up sufficiently for me to continue with my day.  But I was shaken up and later on I cut my knuckle badly (=blood everywhere) and just before bed sort of dislocated my finger which was so painful I found it hard to compute that the finger hadn’t fallen off!   Luckily it sorted itself out on Thursday morning.    And now I have a chest infection.

So that was the lows.   The highs are better:

On Tuesday I was asked if I could exhibit five of my zen / mindful  photographs at an exhibition this weekend in Fareham – it was a rush to frame them, but I have them ready to deliver this morning and they look great.  Very excited about that.

On Friday I heard that I had been awarded the commission I was working on last week.   I was bowled over, I had to get my husband to read the email just to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating!   I will be exhibiting 18 of my street photographs in Portsmouth Guildhall for 3 months from November.   Huge.  By far the biggest thing I have ever done.

And my daughter got a job in London yesterday!

So on balance, the highs outweigh the lows 🙂

Subversion research project

We spent some of  Tuesday discussing our research question and by chance the group I was in chose to discuss the subversion one.   It was interesting talking to graphic designers about subversion, as in their area it is far more subtle.  In fact I hadn’t considered subversion to be subtle before, I was focusing more on the outrageous end of the spectrum.   I have done a lot of reading about different artists this week (Banksy, Picasso, Jann Haworth, Martha Rosler…) in fact I cannot think of an artist who is not subversive – and from that I draw my main conclusion, all art is subversive.  It has to be.   Art should challenge people’s ideas, make them think, it should move a debate forward, it should do something.  And that is subversive.

I have also been reading about creativity and found an interesting article by Rudolf Arnheim which includes the ideas of many notable people including Freud and Jung.   I haven’t absorbed it yet, but at first skim it was very interesting and relevant.

Personal project

We started looking at our personal project this week, the one which we will exhibit in a years time.   As a group we discussed our ideas and I realised that although mine were fully formed in my head (and I believe a good idea) I was not very good at explaining them.   I need to find the words to describe what I intend to do.   We also looked at the proposal document that we need to produce by January.  At first glance it is a huge project, but once we had gone through the document and seem some (very interesting) examples, it demystified it somewhat and it seems more manageable now.    I enjoyed reading a couple of previous proposals because the subject matter was close to mine – development / psychology / neuroscience.     I revisited the works of Claude Steiner this week, as some of his theories about love are very relevant to my ideas.   I watched this video about warm fuzzies again – poor quality sound unfortunately but a great story:

Life drawing

I am really enjoying life drawing   I have started to work bigger and in charcoal, this is one of this weeks efforts.   A fair way to go but he looks human and that’s good enough for me!

2015-10-07 15.21.09

General research

In my general pottering about this week I came across these two wonderful projects – love them both!

Thomson & Craighead – visual / digital artists – a lot of inspiration here!

and finally

Interesting article about the development path of the artist photographer: An Eightfold Path Toward Self-Discovery

Phew!   A tiring week!

Week Two – busy busy busy – research and life drawing

The second week of my MA has been fun, but busy.   I have a pile of books to read and loads buzzing in my head, which has meant a couple of sleepless nights – not in a bad way, but just to buzzy to sleep, or waking up early keen to start the day!

Research Assignment

I have to make a start on my assignment this week, I have to research a question about subversion in art and then present my findings in December.   I am trying not to think about the deadlines and really must knuckle down and get some thoughts on paper.   I did go to the library and find two books about subversion in art, but since both were the size of house bricks I realised I would have to study them there.   I walk to Uni (about 2miles + each way) so it is not feasible to carry that much!

At present I have little idea of what subversion is, save the dictionary definition:

“..an attempt to transform the established social order and its structures of power, authority, and hierarchy. Subversion (Latin subvertere: overthrow) refers to a process by which the values and principles of a system in place, are contradicted or reversed.”

Proposal for exhibition

This week I have also been working on a proposal for an exciting exhibition opportunity.  It’s the first one I have done and I have no idea what they expect, but I am very happy with my ideas.    I spent Monday walking around the city, soaking up the atmosphere, using my mindful photography techniques to wait for an idea to coalesce and something did!   I have always been intrigued by shadows and reflections and decided to make street photography, along these lines, the center of my proposal.

These shadowy figures are ethereal; the viewer does not get to see who is passing the building or where they are going.   The figures in the photographs are not seen, just like the buildings they were passing.   The viewer will be given a glimpse of another world, the world of reflection and shadow, which in turn will encourage them to reflect on things they pass in their surroundings every day, but do not see: reflections in puddles and glass, shadows of fellow pedestrians.

The featured picture above is one I took on Monday and fairly typical of my work.    I am very excited by this challenge, and I will be even more excited if I win the opportunity to exhibit my work in a public place for the whole winter!

Life Drawing

The other new thing I have started this week is life drawing.  I started an evening class at a local college last Thursday but also discovered I can do it at Uni too, so this week I am doing 5 hours of classes!    I have done a bit of sketching in the past, I used to take classes when I was a teenager but I have never done life drawing.   Unexpectedly, I love it!   It is incredibly hard, firstly concentrating and secondly using my left arm so much but I am sure the muscles will develop.  The picture below is one I did yesterday, only my 2nd ever class (and first time using charcoal and working so large) so I am pleased with that – she definitely looks human and as if she could stand up anyway.

life drawing