The photos on my previous Blog post were close-ups from a new version of The Kiss, after Klimt. Well done to those of you who guessed correctly! I really enjoy recreating Klimt patterns – he had such a wonderfully unique style.
I’m still working on the piece and have been struggling to find the right flesh tones for the man and woman. Also, today I removed and replaced quite a large section of patterning. I should have taken ‘before and after photos’ but didn’t think of it at the time – the new look is a huge improvement so I’m happier.
At the same time, I’m working on a commission – I can’t say more because it’s to be a surprise birthday present and I have no idea if the recipient follows my Blog. All will be revealed shortly!
A couple of close-ups from my current piece. Can you guess what I’m making??
Here on January 1st, I’m pondering what this new year will bring… will we finally see an end to the wretched Covid pandemic and a return to socialising and travelling freely? (Fingers and toes crossed!)
Despite the pandemic (or maybe because of it?) 2021 was actually a very positive one for me, art-wise. Having the Fabulous Beasts exhibition as an end goal gave a wonderful focus to my work, rewarded by a totally enjoyable experience and sales. As I write, I have seven new pieces to make, along with the focus of submitting one piece of work for an Open exhibition in May at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton. (The show is called Fresh and is looking for innovative work created in the past 12 months.)
I love what I do, and am grateful for the ability to be lost in creativity. It also helps me cope with the imposed social isolation required to shield my husband from Covid as he has a chronic illness without immunity.
Here at New Year, I just want to express my gratitude for the support of friends, to everyone who reads my Blog and to those who send me materials. I wish especially to thank Loren whose quest to find me materials has made an incalculable difference in these lockdown months. I cannot express how much this has meant to me.
Happy New Year Everyone!
When I finish a work, I know instantly if it ‘works’. So when a work doesn’t sell, I know there’s something about it that’s a bit ‘off’, even if I can’t pinpoint what it is. Sometimes it just lacks the ‘wow’ factor.
These pieces get stripped down and recycled – I can re-use the bases and most of the materials. It’s laborious! I hack with a knife and a wallpaper scraper to get the materials off. (It is always reassuringly difficult – my biggest fear is that the found items will one day fall off.) Then my husband sands the base to get a smooth surface again and sometimes the sides need a bit of refreshing by Alec the Framer.
I wash the materials in soapy water and pick off the glue from glue-gun. Not every small item is saved but most can be used again. It’s not a task I enjoy but I hate waste.
I’ve been doing this to prepare two bases this week (- remember the Freaky Frog which I didn’t finish?) and now they’re good to go.
Can’t wait to start my next pieces – three in my head!
I had an email today from a teacher at Bilambil Public School, New South Wales, Australia, sending me images of art works completed by her class. I was absolutely blown away by them!
The class of Year 5/6 children have made 3 works to illustrate the famous Australian biomes: The Great Barrier Reef and the Australian woodlands. This was a 10 week project to study artists who repurpose products, combined with a science focus on sustainability/waste.
The class tried to focus on placement, colour and shape with the students working in rotating teams. The canvases are 50cm x 50cm. The materials were either donated by students or things the local charity shop could not sell.
I think you will agree that the results are simply stunning:
The new Sunflowers is finished – always a joy to make. I’ve just delivered it to be framed and then it will be going to Words and Pictures Gallery, Teignmouth.
Next up is a commission of a Chameleon – lots of green – should be fun to do!
And then I have an idea for something rather quirky for an exhibition next Spring. I really enjoy this ‘ideas stage’ – I can see the work in my head but that’s absolutely no guarantee that the finished work will look exactly as I imagine!
The packaging process – if you’re lucky you may find a free cat with your artwork – Can you spot our cat (Zebedee) “helping”?!
Subtle changes to eyebrow and ear on the left – but I’m happy now!
Before and after images:
I’ve started work on a new Sunflowers, after Van Gogh. I know it’s an image I’ve recreated many times but I never tire of it. There are several reasons for making another one:
- I recently gave the wrong measurements for a frame I ordered – so had to have a base made to match, which happens to be exactly the right dimensions for Sunflowers!
- I’ve not made one for a while so have gathered lots of materials in appropriate colours.
- I love making them and, after a few commissions, am happy to be making something just because I want to!
Van Gogh painted his Sunflowers 17 times so I’m in good company!
This week, I thought I’d finished the latest commission of Frida Kahlo. However, having taken a photograph, I can now see a couple of things which need last minute ‘tweaks’. It’s fascinating that I very often notice details in a photograph that I didn’t see in the actual work. For example here, I think Frida’s R eyebrow (on the left to us) needs extending slightly and her R ear needs more definition … Back to the work room!
Fabulous Beasts will finish this Sunday. It’s been such fun to work with Janec, and an absolute privilege to exhibit in beautiful Powderham Castle. After taking down the show, the next task will be packaging and shipping those works which have sold.
Following that, my plan is to launch the ‘Wearables’ necklaces on Instagram – a scary venture for a technophobe like me! Oh yes – and to de-clutter my work room (again!)