Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Cover-to-Cover 2015 - a sketchbook exchange

42 Open Studios artists over 5 months are taking part in a sketchbook exchange project, designed to push us creatively and to stimulate new work, which will be exhibited in May 2015.

The aim is to develop how we explore themes that interest us as individuals and as artists and how we can seek contribution on our ideas from other artists.

Monday I collected my 5th sketchbook, the theme: Human Impact. I'll have to exercise caution with this one, I do have a tendency to write in my sketchbooks and with this subject matter . . . well lets just say there are a lot of statistics out there in google-land.

Book 2: Nature, Landscape Trees

For this sketchbook I took myself off to my favourite hedgerow, sat down and drew what was in front of me . . . luckily for me this is part of my ongoing practice, and will inform a new series of linocuts.
Book 3: Happiness

This sketchbook was in my possession over Christmas, which I think influenced my choice of image. I allowed the subject to indulge my love of bright, hot colours, and of course teacups!

It's funny, but initially I struggled with the concept . . . then just allowed myself to go with the flow (no preconceived ideas) and made images that are just not like my usual work . . . maybe I should challenge myself more often and work without an end-point, just see what happens?
Book 4: Nature

A sketchbook that returned me to more familiar subjects and once again I found myself outside, walking the local hedgerows and field margins for images.
Book5: Water

Water - a great reason to stride out along the sea wall at West Mersea with snow falling and to draw the strood channel
A selection of various artists sketchbooks from the exchange . . . what a great variety of work is emerging.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

A slight refractive error - here's one I made earlier

Last year I joined Stroud Artists' Books at Stroud Valley Arts, a space for artists to meet up monthly and share their ideas for books and practice. 

Each month there is a theme and the theme for February 2014 was, Lens, and for that I used the format of a maze book.

I've just retrieved the single copy I made and looking at it now, I've decided it is a good idea to put this into production for BABE 2015: Bristol Artists Book Event at the Arnolfini 

This event is in 10 weeks on Sat 11 and Sun 12 of April (crikey)!
In my trawl around the net I discovered that the letters used in an eye test are Optotypes (test symbols).

They are not, however, letters from any ordinary typographer's font, they have their own particular, simple geometry in which the thickness of the line equals the thickness of the white spaces between the lines, and the height and the width is five times the thickness of the line . . . 
The type in the title is designed to fade away . . . just as our eye sight is prone to do with age!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Making Sourdough in Northamptonshire

Where did the month go . . . when I arranged Mr B's Christmas present (a day course in making sourdough bread with Vanessa Kimbell) it seemed so far ahead, and now suddenly it's upon us!

Friday 28 January dawned sharp and clear for our drive up to Northamptonshire, and The Sourdough School. Of course, the best thing about arranging this course is that I can include myself!

I'm a somewhat erratic bread maker, with unpredictable results, mostly good, but occasionally not so good. Last Friday taught me that that is mainly down to over-proving . . . Vanessa's classes, although relaxed and informal, are clear on why certain principles need to be adhered to. However, she also shows how 'recoverable' errors are, and just how forgiving the process of making sourdough is . . . and, we get to return home with our own sourdough starter. No excuses!!

Clearing up at the end of the day. Bread proving in well dusted, cloth lined, wooden proving baskets from Bakery Bits.

Proving time estimated to allow us time to get home to cook the loaves tonight.
Getting ready to take my goodies home.
Back home, and what could be better than a good glass of red, some very tasty cheeses and an utterly delicious sourdough loaf.
Feeling just a tiny bit proud of my first sourdough . . .
Henny, tapping on the window and requesting her share!

Friday, 5 December 2014

F'4Arts Fifth Winter Show

Froxfield is a small village, with a preponderance of visual artists. Over the years four of us have come together to hold a winter exhibition, really, a very good excuse for a big party on a Saturday night!

Last weekend we held our fifth (fifth, I cannot quite believe it..) winter exhibition in the village hall, and true to form it was a great weekend with a good many visitors.

Any artist that puts on their own show will know how much work is involved, but as soon as the show is up and running most of the pre-show kerfuffle is largely forgotten. 

My phone snaps just aren't able to communicate how good it looked, but as the screens are over six foot high, the visitors eye-line wasn't cluttered with all the background visible in the photos . . .

Almost ready.                  
Last minute titivations and ready for our visitors . . .
A very Big Thank You to all our visitors, especially those who came out on a cold Saturday evening and made it such a good party.

I sold out of this print (only made in an edition of 4) so I was a happy bunny.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Cover to Cover - a sketchbook project

A group of open studio artists met up on the 3rd November for the launch of Cover to Cover 2015 and to collect our sketchbooks. Co-ordinated and organised by Isabel Carmona-Andreu Cover to Cover is a sketchbook project for West Berkshire and North Hampshire Open Studios 2015.

It's a sketchbook exchange project that is designed to help us to push our creativity - the aim is to develop how we explore themes that interest us as individuals, and as artists, and how we can seek contribution to our ideas from other artists.

We were allocated a group (maximum of 8) and met our fellow members. Each of us received a sketchbook containing our details and our chosen theme. Then we work on that theme (over the the next three weeks) before exchanging it with a pre-assigned group member for them to carry on working to our subject. Choice of media up to individual artists, but must work to the theme of the sketchbook.

I had decided upon a Hedgerow Hodge-podge. A sketchbook for a seasonal exploration of the plants found in the hedgerow and field margins on the Wiltshire/Berkshire borders, as I'd like to carry on with the ideas developing in my seasonal sketchbooks.

Early summer sketchbooks . . .

Mid summer
Sketching in the summer months is one of my favourite things, as it allows me to wander off . . . and spend quiet time looking and listening.
Late summer
I'm really interested to see how others interpret this subject matter.