Tuesday, 23 March 2010

inchie row houses

A little while ago I mentioned a swap that I was involved in on PDA. This was to swap ten inchie row houses for ten of the same. my little creations were blogged here. I have recently received my trade, and here they are:-

Don't they make a superb display. Sorry about the flash effect in the centre. A wonderful collection of miniature works of art. The piece on the LHS by Lynda actually opens out like a tryptich. Hopefully I will find a better way of displaying them than in an old cardboard chocolate box , even if it is the right size. Thanks to everybody for the trade and especially Kim Newberg who runs the PDA site and hosted the swap.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Solihull Art Book Fair

I blogged about this a little while ago but today I was a little disappointed with it. there were only a few stalls and although some of the books were well printed, I did not see the hand-made books that I had hoped to see. It was really about the content rather more than the books themselves which is not at all what I had hoped to see.

There was one part of the exhibition ( running in parallel, I think) which did catch my attention. This was all about something called The Story Exchange. The point of this was that you could take your pick of a number of second-hand books on display for FREE. All that was required was a "story"; long or short, any subject. I wrote a brief description of my art background and how I was going to use the book I had selected to create collages via scanned copies of the images. I also mentioned the Flickr collage group. The book was, Harmworth's History of the world, Volume IV - India Ceylon and Central Asia. Having been published in 1914 it would be in the public domain. I will be scanning and posting images on my Flickr photostream, I will let you know when they are available.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

pastel painting exercises - limited palette

Well despite all my good intentions, it has been eleven days since my last post. I have been doing a series of limited palette pastel paintings, exercises from a book I recently aquired. I have enjoyed doing them and feel that the resulting paintings are good enough to be exhibited in my art group's next exhibition. This will be in October, so I am looking well ahead. Here are a couple of the paintings, as usual larger siuze images can be seen on my Flickr photostream.

yellow sunrise

red seascape at sunset

They are in what I would term my style of "painting". Very impressionistic and tend to lack any real details. Lots of texture which helps to offset this.

I was listening to a program on the BBC this morning about "The Scream" by E. Munch, the discussion told how he was very impressed by Van Gogh and often quoted from him. "A painting should not have to be an actual representation of a real life image, but should show what the artist was feeling". I have paraphrased the quote, a lot has happened today and I am not sure what the exact words were but it is exactly how I feel when painting. After all, what is the camera for?

One other piece I would like to show here is a present I created for my MIL ( Dublin born and bred and now 98 years old) - St Patrick's Day was yesterday after all:

St Patricks day (present for MIL)

The base is a 4 X 6 inch stretched canvas. I have painted around the edge with a metallic, copper acrylic before layering with a base card. The images are from a collage sheet by Kim Newberg and I have finished it off by using ribbons, faux gems and a silk rose. I think she liked it.

Ok that's it for now. Lots to do before retiring tonight and an early start tomorrow..........

Sunday, 7 March 2010

new collages from a hopeless romantic (?)

I have been fairly quiet on the art front this week, On Tuesday, my art group night I led a critique evening. This is something that all the group seems to enjoy and we do it at least once a year. Of course most of the work has been seen at various stages of completion but seeing the artworks in their frames and properly mounted ( where required) makes it look so much more..... respectable and like a "proper" piece of art. I usually take the group thru the rudiments of art criticism and then ( because it is so much more relevant) thru the elements and principles of composition. This generally takes about 30 mins and then we all act like experts and start to critique the work presented before us one by one. I am thinking of putting the workshop notes on a tutorial, but have not yet decided where that will be posted, so watch this space if you think a primer in composition may be up your street.

On Thursday the family went along to a new folk club, which has started in a pub nearby (in Shirley at the Red Lion). This has inspired me t get out my guitar and to start re-learning some of the folk sogs that I have forgotten over the past 50 years or so. I may well be performing on a regular basis in the future if all goes well. Of course I shouldn't have to say that they allow anybody who can string two chords together to get up on stage and do a couple of numbers.

Anyway.... collage. Over the weekend I have completed a few pieces using some collage sheets that I have found on the Flickr collage group pool. A wonderful resource for anybody into collage.
here are four photos. the first two are postcard sized, with lacy bits increasing the footprint of the pieces.

I call this one "Bow to the Lady", you can see what I mean by increasing the footprint. Lots of ribbony things bought from theCounty Book shop - very cheap. The image of the grand lady is from Stampington and Co, sign up for their free newsletter and get free images regularly. The background is from Stars*Go*Blue and the bow was off one of my wife's christmas presents. The wrappings are fair game, as far as I am concerned!


If you can't guess this one was called, " The Wearing of the Green". This one and in fact the first were both snapped up for trades very, very quickly. The background was from AlphabetSoupStudios and the main image from Kellykautz. The metal filagree charm was from a set of card embellishments. I have been called a hopeless romantic because of the atc's/art that I have been creating recently, I just find I am attracted to nice images.

The last two for now are atc format:


I called this "scaredy-cat" , with an alternative and longer title that goes something like.... " I told you that you wouldn't want to know what was in my food". Background again from Stars*Go*Blue and the images from Paper Scraps; the text pieces are from crowabout challenge sheets. This and the next piece are sealed with an acrylic glaze, something I have not done before. It does give a finsh to the piece that I like and shall probably be using this all the time in future.


My title, " Wishing on a Star" ( even if it is a flower). One of my own pre-made backgrounds and another image from PaperScraps; again the text piece is from a crowabout collage sheet.

Well off to learn a few folk songs now. Think of me as I try to recover hard pads of skin on my left hand fingertips. It can be murder playing a guitar if you do not do it regularly.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Yeah!!! An artist book fair at Solihull

I have just found out that our local library will be holding an ARTIST BOOK FAIR and exhibition this spring.The exhibition will run from 8th March until 8th May and the artists' book fair will be on 20th March. I am excitedly looking forward to being able to attend the fair and take in the exhibition several time. I have been playing ( or toying) with the idea of altered books and creating artist's journals for some time but time always seems short. i hope that this event will spur me to do something in this gendre.

I did get to do one altered book which you may have seen on this blog or on my Flickr photostream. It was a childs board book which I collaged using "scraps" left over from other collage work, which I collect rather than throw away. I have to admit as it was my first one I undersetimated how much thicker the book would be. I removed lots of pages but it still doesn't close properly. Enjoyed collaging using all the scraps tho, no need to spend lots of "unproductive" time looking for just the right image. I fully intend to do more.

There will be a number of workshops run during the exhibition but unfortunately I will not be available on the days when they are scheduled. Still, no doubt I will pick up lots of info talking to the exhibitors at the book fair. I plan an extended visit that day.

Having checked out sites by artists running some mini-workshops I am hopeful that I will be able to learn some new techniques and come away with lots of fresh ideas. EG :-

I had one of Jatinder's Secret Library folding books with the flyer and made it up immediately, I was so intrigued; really clever and interesting can't wait to see more. And there is a folding catalogue on Aimee's blog which I downloaded and made up.
Oh yes and there is a wonderful altered art site which I came across whilst reading these. It has no direct connection to the book fair but it is well worth a look; it features several artists' work and is so inspirational. Will undoubtedly mention this again after the exhibition starts.