Friday, 30 November 2007

Painting Abstracts

An extra blog this week to do a bit of online advertising for my friend and teacher Penny's DVD. It is a beginners guide to painting abstracts and shows both Penny and three of her students (but not me) starting out on abstract painting. It was filmed at Corfe Castle which is a beautiful spot. Details can be obtained from Penny by email at

Paper, paper and more paper

In yesterday's class we played with paper - weaving, cutting, tearing, plaiting and quilling.
I used a variety of papers, quilling paper, shredded paper, sugar paper and recycled paper. It was a lot of fun and one of the techniques Betty showed us to emboss paper.....that's the khaki mount Everest in the photo is a possibility for creating the cover of my Oak Tree Book.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Sketch Book

First of all, apologies for no blog last week.....put it down to the miserable weather we have had! Special apologies to Mo.
This week we experimented with different paint techniques such as using cling film, bubble wrap, salt and paper doilies to create wonderful patterns in paint quite easily. We also created our won initial stamp which we will use later in the course to create patterns.
Rather than show examples of the work I did at class I am posting a copy of the first page of the assessed sketch book. The subject I have chosen is the English oak and am going to illustrate the life cycle of the tree together with its uses and imagery. I have decided to do the book as a story and the illustration shows the title page. The oak leaves and acorns are cut out from pages created during class using the monoprinting method.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Taking a line for a walk

At this week's class we were looking at line.....straight lines, curved lines, lines of different thickness and lines created using different tools...pens, sticks, various plastic tools and so on. Line is something that holds a fascination for me anyway. Where would the doodle be without line. My picture this week shows a labyrinth created just "taking a line for a walk.
Betty showed us a sketch book she had created based on the work of an artist I had not come across before, Ton Schulten. ( I had a look on the internet at some of his work and it is very much to my taste. Blocks of strong colour. An interesting technique that Betty had used in her book was that of fusing plastic together which I definitely want to try as the effect was rather stunning. But that will be another day!

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Clean hands

No getting our hands dirty today. We looked at elements of design. We started with lines and curves y drawing vertical and horizontal lines and curves randomly in 12 rectangular boxes. We then identified the different angles created in these boxes.
We then went on to look for patterns in various pictures. I have show one of the examples above...three different shapes in a bed of clams. I could have carried on with this exercise for a long while. I have found since starting painting classes back in 2003 and now doing this course, that I look at the world quite differently. I see things in term of their colour, shape, texture etc., sometimes imaging how I would translate them into a painting or drawing, what colours I would use and so on. It makes waiting in queues a whole lot more bearable because I can always find some object to "study" to pass the time.
I have also progressed my sketchbook this week and have decided to have a narrative to bring the contents together. I am going to call it Tale of a Tree.
Once again coffee and cake was delicious as usual. My remark in a previous posting about Mr Kipling was not intended in a derogatory way, Betty!