I am always honoured to be included in Seth Apter’s blog. Seth (who has recently published a collective of mixed media from around the world) is a hub of infomation of how artists tick – what they’re thinking, what materials they’re using – who is inspiring them – and so much more. Being an artist is not necessarily logical. Seth kinda gets a handle on this. He brings together current exhibitions in his home town of New York, he ‘talks’ to artists across the globe, he IS an artist – check out his blog – you’ll be hooked!
Changing the subject, I have just gotten back from seeing the movie ‘The Vow’, where Rachel McAdams plays a young wife (who is a sculptor) who is involved in a car accident where she incurs a semi serious head wound. As a result of the injury, she ‘looses’ a 5 year chunk of her memory – during which time she had left law school (her parents dream for her); breaks up her engagement to ‘the perfect’ guy; gone to art school……… become a sculptor (who has just secured a significant commission) & subsequently met, fallen in love with & married a gorgeous guy. Through various toings & froings in an attempt to prompt her memory – she ends up back in her old life, living with her parents, in law school, and with the potential of hooking back up with the ‘ex’. The thing I love about the film is that she never does regain that 5 years back – BUT her need to create is within her – & she sits in law school classes drawing studies of the human form, akin to the sculptures she was/had been making prior to the accident. She has a ‘do-over’; yet her life (without the prior experiences) heads down a very similar path – with this art inside her needing to be birthed. AND – amazingly – it’s actually a true story! A bit gooey – but worth a look.
Sadly – Misty’s Open Studio has run it’s course. It was fantastic & I feel a bit of a hole. I have just downloaded Katie Kendrick’s new book onto my iPad, encouraged by some other participants that this is a worthwhile purchase. (I have to say, whilst I LOVE my iPad – I do miss ‘leafing’ through a book & the texture of pages!). The piece above is much bigger than I usually work on – Misty encouraged us to ‘work big’ this is about 18in high x about 30in wide. It is a combination of markers, crayons, watercolour, pens, acrylic & beeswax pencils. It is loosely based on the work of Paul Klee – I love the way he uses colour & breaks up line & form……….but the evolution of the image itself & the form it took was inspired by Alan Alda’s quote:
‘ You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. ‘
I’m there. My life has had so many twists & turns – some that I have chosen – some that have been life happenings………that I don’t any longer have a ‘city of comfort’ – but I must admit though – like all of us to some degree, I come carrying my own self protective wall! So a little wilderness now and then is not entirely unwelcome! This piece of Klee’s is one of my favs – it appeals to me as a designer – a quilter – some one passionate about colour & an artist – it’s titled the highway – so it even has a tie in to this creation of mine.
I am attaching a new selection of free images for your own use & for use in your own published work, but not for sale or reproduction. Despite significant effort – I CANNOT get them to behave – so they are appearing a bit higgldy piggldy…….they work just the same though! LOL! ENJOY, and feel free to share the link to these with others, or on your blog. (cut & paste – http://wp.me/pXG69-m5 )
WOW – WHAT A MOVIE - as I posted last time I was off to see the movie Australia & it was FABULOUS. Great story, believable characters, some sad home truths (I was ashamed of the treatment to our Indigenious people depicted in the film). Like any good film – there was both tragedy & triumph – love lost & love gained. Although it's cast is flanked with famous Australian actors, I felt that the key child role of a small mixed race Aboriginal boy stole the show……. and his grandfather ('King George' an Aboriginal tribal elder – played by David Gulpilil) was my fav. I guess for anyone that hasn't ever been here – it gives some sense of the enormity of the Outback & the Top End of Australia. Our land is incredibly huge… and sometimes people don't realize just how HUGE. OF COURSE I had to come home & try to capture 'something' of what I had just seen – I came back with pages of scribbles made in the dark (hmmmm….that's what I really do in movies!) This is my 'Old Time Dreaming' – he's a bit 'sanitized' looking which really was not my intention, and DH says he is too smily – however, I felt a little limited by using watercolour as a medium and perhaps will have another go in a couple of days using acrylics……..where I can build up some layering & colours in a way I can't achieve yet (I don't even know if it is possible) with watercolours. I have a dear friend who loves tribal stuff, & I had been wondering what to do her for Christmas & this will be perfect for her.
Here are the covers for my first Skinny Book. It is for a challenge I am hosting at Paper Traders. We will be working our way through the alphabet using various different ideas & techniques for each letter of the alphabet. I adore My Fair Lady & can’t wait to explore this theme & have a special little treasure. For the front cover I have used very thick chipboard, but for the back, I used the back of an old shopping list pad. When the covers & the pages are overlayed…….the pots of flowers stand out ofver the top which looks great.
If you would like to join in the challenge, each week a new letter & a new technique will be posted, you are welcome to join in. The size is pages 3 1/2 inches wide x 7 inches tall. Post a comment with a link to your pages so we can all see them. The challenge will run for 26 weeks with some sporadic breaks over Christmas time.
I am still not really feeling well enough to art much – my mouth is still recovering from my visit to the dentist (on 4 hourly pain killers). Looking for something a bit interesting to do that is not going to require much energy, I have begun researching & gathering images for my new Paper Traders project. It is a 3 1/2 x 7 inch skinny alphabet book, with a topic of the 1964 film My Fair Lady. My Fair Lady is one of our children’s favourite childhood films & we still watch it together occasionally on rainy afternoons if we are all together. It is full of very funny quips & one liners, which is something we all love. The film story is of the incongruious Henry Higgins (played by Rex Harrison), who attempts to ‘re-educate’ a common flower girl – Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn). He is a specialist in dialects & he plans to pass her off as aristocracy in order to win a bet with his co star Colonel Pickering – a phonetist from who specialises in Indian dialects. Not everyone doing the challenge is using a theme, some people are doing individual words & whilst the idea of that appeals to me – I still have my altered dictionary going on the side & some where in Australia – I have a book of quotes on ATC’s (a whole other story) so I thought I’d like to do something like this just for fun. The challenge is around working up techniques & backgrounds, which I will be posting on my blog, so if anyone would like to join in, you are welcome to.
ps: Just you Wait is one of Eliza’s famous lines in the song of ‘Just you Wait Henry Higgins’
‘There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You can never quite tell…… where they’ll take you.’ said Beatrix in the opening lines of the film Miss Potter, released on DVD this week. Having been unwell all week, DH has sweetly furnished me with new DVD’s to fill some of the hours between naps, but when I have not really feeling well enough to get up off the couch. Miss Potter was one of them. This perfectly describes how I feel about a new art journal. It is delicious……. it is like the start of a holiday, the beginning of a new year, fresh spring growth & home baked bread.
I have just finished making a new art journal, the pages are made from the beautiful cold pressed Fabriano Artisto watercolour paper & I have bound it with a thick linen thread. The covers are made with thick chipboard, & I have used an interesting wallpaper to cover them. (I have found that the ‘scrapbooking type’ paper I used for the last one has not really gone the distance) The end papers are a lovely textured chocolate paper I got when my gorgeous local bookbinder closed down (Norbett I MISS you!)….. I haven’t filled my ‘A Time in My Life’ journal yet, however it is quite large format (an open spread is 22"wide x 10" high) & I don’t always want to work on something quite so big. Sometimes it is daunting to fill SUCH a big page, & sometimes I just don’t have enough material or imagination to go around! There are times, however, I need PLENTY of space to spread out, it is perfect………I like having the option to work in various sized formats depending on how I feel at the time. It free’s me up creatively.
Just for a different perspective, I have decided to create this journal in portrait format. I haven’t done one like this before & I am not sure how that shape will be for layout………… but hey…… I’ll give it a go. You will notice, upon closer inspection that my stitching is a bit uneven….. I aspire to the ‘perfect coptic’ stitching, but in reality, I usually end up with an ‘organic’ Keron variety of it. Not quite even, not quite the same. Still, it is strong & stands the test of time AND world travel (the last one travelled for 12 months around the globe) You may notice the ‘ends’ of the thread hanging, I like to leave them to tie charms or ‘bits’ to once the journal is completed.
SO, a new book has been created………The pages are 8" square & AS yet, it is unnamed, (I tend to dither a bit over the titles)…….. but now to the fun part…….. I am starting with a piece about ‘a bird & a fish falling in love’ …I have some great bird stamps & papers that I have been acumulating & some gorgeous fish graphics I think would make good gel transfers….. I have had this rolling around in my head for a few weeks now because of a book I read while I was away at Hillsong called ‘A Respectable Trade’ by Phillipa Gregory. It is an historic novel set in the time of slave trading in Bristol & a white woman & an African slave fall in love. There is NO WHERE for their love to exist, in his world (IF he could ever return to it) or in hers (IF she could ever escape from it). I heard alot of info about slave trading & injustice in Ugandia & across the world in general at the conference and of course the film AMAZING GRACE, (the story of the life of abolitionist, William Wilberforce) is about to be released here in Oz, so it is all very topical for me right now. I am off to the studio……. an hope to have something to post soon.
After embracing my journal for about 24 hours…..the next task was to decide where the ‘gaps’ were colour wise…. I discovered that not many people used either dark or vibrant colours, (oh, maybe Suze’s Cowslip Yellow could be thought of as bright…. except that the little girl on that page is so sweet it dilutes the strength of the colour!) So this is the first of 3 fill in pages……..It’s called Mystery Woman………The picture is an original acrylic by my art pal Cynthia in ATC size. From the minute she posted it I HAD to have it & I wanted to give it a more prominent place than one of my ATC folders. The red reminds me of the lead female character in Chocolat played by Juliette Binoche……she was a woman that threatened everyone with her mystique – that & that she always wore red! The page has several allagories…..the silohette figures depict the fact that the outside (what we see of people) does not always show what is on the inside….often people are filled with dreams & wishes that never, in all of life’s seriousness ever get a chance to come out & play……….the framed pictures at the top are signifying that our life can sometimes ‘box’ us in……the tule over her face is her shield from the world to protect her dreams…..and the music at the bottom is an amonition……..to sing your song, dream your dreams, make your wishes….you are one of a kind!
so here’s 4 more of the ‘Notes on a Scandal’ inspired ATC’s………….the last one is a bit dodgy, so I will probably do another one to make up my series of 9.
Well, if you are a regular reader of my blog, it will seem like I am at the movies with the girls all the time. I wish….. LOL!!!! In reality, it is a rare thing, that I was back at the movies last night (for the second time in a just over a week) with my special friend Lynne. We saw Notes on a Scandal, which I have just been aching to see…… but it just is not my DH’s cup of tea, so I had to wait for some more sophisticated company that would appreciate something deep & meaningful!!
The storyline was a bit dodgy (a teacher having an affair with a young student); & it was certainly a bit creepy at times but Judi Dench (AS ALWAYS) was sensational. I love her, what can I say???? She is always so convincing in any role she plays. Her role in this film is one of what we know in our family as a ‘battle axe’ (A battle axe is a strong & bossy woman; who gets what she wants because she is strong & bossy!) A teacher at a run down public secondary school in London, she lives a rather solitary & isolated life with her cat – Portia (I LOVE that name ….. I am not sure about for a cat though!) Her world is irrevocably altered when she meets the school’s new art teacher, Sheba (who thinks up these names?????) Hart (Cate Blanchett), who seems to be a kindred spirit (Anne of Green Gables language…….interpretation for non-Anne speaking people – a soul mate who you can be honest with). Quite early in the film, she discovers that Sheba is having an affair with one of her young students, which she is understandably horrified at. Instead of exposing it, but she uses the knowledge of the affair to extricate an otherwise unlikely friendship which she is hoping becomes intimate. As Barbara threatens to expose Sheba’s terrible secret to both her husband (Bill Nighy) and the world, she becomes more & more demanding & manipulative in an attempt to force Sheba into a homosexual relationship. Barbara’s own skeletons start tumbling out of the closet, one by one, exposing the deceptions undermining each of their lives. Rating out of 10???? Probably about an 8…………..mostly because of the acting……..the storyline was CREEPY.
As with most times I watch a thought provoking movie………. I make art……. (isn’t that what everyone does??? LOL!!!) I have called this series ‘Urban Myths & Secrets’ provoked by the secrecy that each of the characters had in their lives each trying to maintain an ‘acceptable’ facade to the outside world – things people think are true, but upon closer inspection they aren’t necessarily. They are made from scraps & cut outs from advertising material from a recent design show we attended. The wire in the glass represents the bars we create for our lives when we carry secrets, the frames are filled with Papier Dimensional Magic. The writing is purposely faded, scratched out & hard to read because they are long held beliefs or secrets………I have the remaining 5 on my studio table drying, I will post them tomorrow……..but for now……….off to bed!!!!
well, tonight’s art is a bit of a mixed bag………I got these great ‘zetti’ style stamps from Joyce at Paper Forest (goodness knows why I keep buying them………….I always IMAGINE I’ll use them, but always HATE what I make with them!)…….eager to have yet another go at this style, I have created this ATC on a red background, over stamped several times. The quote in this one & the middle one are more from ‘Becoming Jane’. The middle one, is one of those compositions you add to & add to, & are never quite 100% happy with………..I think it’s the colour, I often don’t do well when a composition evolves in the cool palette. It’s ok……..but doesn’t even qualify in the ‘Mona’ stakes! The last one is the 4th card for Liz………….another object of my affection…….words! If you have been reading my blog for very long you will realize I love to prattle a bit…….well alot really……….words are important, words bear fruit………words last for ever