Sunday 30 June 2013

Life Drawing 27.6.13

30 minutes, water-soluble graphite

The last of this block of sessions and it was a nice relaxed session. We had a new (for us) model which was great and we had some really good poses from him. It was also good because I didn't have to do the timings which left me free to focus on my drawing.

3 minutes, pen

5 minutes, pen

I was quite prolific this week although I couldn't seem to get anything other than my tried and tested pen and continuous line to work! I did do a big water-soluble graphite drawing as well which turned out quite well. It is spread across three sheets and I'm quite pleased with the composition of it, which was semi accidental.

Hands and feet, pen

Drawing without looking at the page, pen

Continuous line, pen

2 minutes, pen
New Dates!

Sunday 23 June 2013

Creative Wellbeing: Tote Bags

Getting stuck in!

On Saturday I ran a session on making and decorating Tote Bags as part of the excellent Creative Wellbeing Project at Carlisle's YMCA Shaddongate Resource Centre.

Ready for the group

Funky fruit

Preparing embellishments

It was a really nice session with a lovely group of people who all made beautiful bags. Most of the materials were either from charity shops or my own wardrobe so it was great to see them being given a new life. Everyone came up with different ideas and designs and created something unique and personal.

Rubbings from print blocks

With fabric paint additions

For a colourful creation

Bright and cheerful

Sewing and pressing

A cheery boat

A cute owl

Owl detail

No Borders Installation

No Borders Installation at Carlisle Library (seen from beneath)

Wow, I've had such a busy week! As part of Impecunious I've been working on some giant puppets which went down to Chester this weekend, I've been back to James Rennie to finish off the rag-rug piece, I've been doing my 'normal' jobs and I've run a tote bag making workshop. I've also been working with the other artists who were running the other No Borders workshops to install the finished works in Carlisle Library.

View from 1st Floor

This involved figuring out how we were going to display all the individual pieces of work together (which required a lot of coffee and cake) as well as preparing all the individual pieces to be hung and making sure they'd been treated with fire retardant. For me, this involved wiring and then sewing spokes across the top of each of the fabric tubes so that they could be attached to the chains we were using so they would hang nicely. The other workshops had produced small houses, hot air balloons and various umbrella worlds.

Wiring and sewing spokes to support the tubes

Wiring and sewing spokes to support the tubes

We then had a limited amount of time actually in the library to attach all the work to a hanging grid (which hasn't been used in 25 years since the library was built) so we had to really work hard and help each other out. Despite the time pressures it was good to work with the other artists and I think we're all really pleased with the finished installation. At the start of a project like this it is difficult to know how, or even if, it will all work out so when everything comes together and all the hard work pays off there is a great sense of achievement and satisfaction.



The most exciting part will be when the participants, who made the actual work, get to see it all installed in a very public place. The work can be seen from outside the library as you approach it through the shopping centre as well as from both floors of the library.



This has been a really exciting project to work on, everyone involved has put so much into it and hopefully even more people will get something out of it and be inspired.

Saturday 15 June 2013

Life Drawing 13.6.13

Overlapping studies

Another quiet session but again I enjoyed my drawing time. It is good to have time to sit and have nothing to do but draw as it can be hard to make time for drawing otherwise.

Pen, continuous line

Pen, continuous line


Pen, not looking at the paper

The focus this evening was mainly on hands and experimenting with drawing without looking at the paper. I really like this series of hand drawings done in this way, even over the course of just five minutes my drawings improved.

Water-soluble pencils

I also played around with water-soluble graphite again, this time adding some water-soluble coloured pencils in too. I like the composition of this drawing even though in most other ways it is far from satisfactory.

Pen, continuous line

New dates

Applique and Embroidery Workshops

Selecting motifs

Thursday was the last of my No Borders workshops at Carlisle Library. It was a really nice chilled session and it was great to be able to see the work come together. There are just a few more bits and pieces to finish off and then it can be installed with the work from the other workshops! In the workshops I've been running I have encouraged people to experiment with different fabrics and stitches to create 2D pieces that I have then (with their permission) sewn into cylinders which will hang from the library ceiling. This way, all their work is visible from all sides and because of the movement of air in the building the pieces will gently spin and catch the light.

Work made so far

One of the finished pieces

Set u and ready to stitch

I had all the work done so far taped up in the work-space and it was great to hear people's thoughts on the work so far. I'm very pleased with how the work has come together, and having seen the work from other groups I think the whole ensemble will look fantastic.



I also covered the last of the fabric collage workshops as the artist who has been running them couldn't make this session. The workshops were aimed at older adults and I really enjoyed working with the ladies who came along. I've not got much experience working with this group of people but I thoroughly enjoyed it, they were all really friendly and we had a happy afternoon stitching and chatting away!

Tuesday 11 June 2013

George Howard Envelope Workshops

Fantastic Collaged envelopes

I've had a great day today working at William Howard School in Brampton running a workshop for Year 6 students making personalised envelopes. The workshops were put on by Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery to run with their exhibition about George Howard, the 9th Earl of Carlisle. George Howard, who was a great patron of the arts as well as a talented artist, used to send letters to his children and when he did he often decorated the envelopes, thinking of imaginative ways to incorporate the stamp into the design.

One of my samples

A selection of the imaginative designs the students came up with

I was really inspired by his personalised envelopes and decided to base my workshop around this idea so I asked the students to embellish an envelope to make it more personal and interesting. They all had really great ideas and I was very impressed with how well they all worked.

Lots of paper collage

We worked mainly with collage, using all sorts of papers, ribbons, buttons and lots of used stamps!

Thinking about how to include the stamp

Combining collage and drawing

We also did visual letters about a journey as George Howard was a great traveler and kept lots of travel journals, documenting the places he'd been and the things he had seen.

One of the journey letters

The work is going to be shown in Tullie House at the same time as the George Howard exhibition. Several other artists were also running workshops and the work from these will also be shown which should make a really interesting exhibition.

Lots of collage

I'm running the workshop again at the end of the month for a different group of students and I can't wait to see what ideas they come up with!

Lots of stamps!