Friday, 11 April 2014

Just wanted to share.......

We had a day out last Saturday. Youngest son had gone to stay with eldest at Uni - perfect excuse!

Finally made it to Gallery Pangolin in Chalford near Stroud, a gallery based on the premises of a metal foundry specialising in casting metalwork for artists (including such 'luminaries' as Damien Hirst for his work 'Verity' - sited at Ilfracombe).

Detail of plait - Verity by Damian Hirst
Detail of Hand - Verity by Damian Hirst

The most impressive discovery I made there was Terence Coventry - someone I was unaware of - but truly love his angular take on things. It reminded me of my angular rose sketches:

My take on the roses bought for my birthday.....
The real thing

After that we made our way through little lanes to Cirencester - a bustling Cotswold market town - with lots of little shops full of pattern inspiration!

Patterns I like - although I'm a little old for bright yellow footwear....maybe! :-)

Patterns I feel somewhat neutral about - they're okay and in the right circumstances I'd buy
Patterns I dislike - - the cats are cute but I don't buy cute!

As well as a wander round Brewery Arts, there was also a little 'pop-up' studio gallery next door. Through the doorway I spotted a pattern.......had to venture inside. Admiring the work it became obvious that the two - well, do we call them women, girls, ladies - people? Obviously people, but forgive me I took to them straight away which means they feel like friends and colleagues.

It's the second time that, when chatting to artists curating their own work, there has come a curious sideways glance and the question: 'Are you an artist, too?'

Cue a childish little skip of pleasure and excitement from me (my inner child is still there, 49 or not!). Perhaps I sound like I know what I'm talking about - but I think it's the joy and enthusiasm that pours out when I talk about these things. Anyway, we chatted courses and tastes and Illustrator versus Photoshop.

Meeting them made my day, so I'd like to introduce them to you now: Jan Jay & Shelly Perkins.



Monday, 7 April 2014

Defining moments

As I said  in a previous post, I'm partly doing this course because it promises to help me pin down my style. I get so bowled over with the wonders of possibility that I want to sample everything. I am some half-starved wretch, making up for years of not properly feeding myself artistically.

Last week's exercises were about loosening us up and trying different approaches. Seeing what felt good, what felt contrived. What produced a pleasing result, what didn't. For example, mark-making:

I can't believe I'm 49 and have never systematically explored my brushes like this before - it was so empowering (and sooooo chilling!).

I think I have identified three enjoyable lines of enquiry so far:
  • doodles in pen eg:

  • free, flowing paintwork

  • and digitally transformed photographs like the one I showed you in an earlier post

Guess what! I think I was doing all these before!

But rather than frustration building up, I find it reassuring that my 'self-taught' approach turns out to have been valid.

Another exercise we've 'done' (and by that I mean I've started!) is build up a collection of images of patterns we love and attempt to define what it is about them that works for us.

So far I find I tend towards a softer colour palette based on the natural world (although, my favourite colour is a zingy turquoise - work that one out!). I favour designs that have an overall fluidity and sense of movement to them. I frequently prefer abstract. I like subtlety (whether colour or detail).

I've started a Pinterest board to hold it all and aim to start another called 'Patterns I don't like', to view the contrast. Still working on it - not ready to share it yet.

Rather than pinning me down this course continues to widen me out. And I love it. I just wish there were more hours in the day.

Make sure your day is as good as mine,