Sunday 28 October 2007

My work: the 4 day sketchbook 1991

More from the 4 day sketchbook, 1991.

These were on a concertina section in the sketchbook. I think it pulled out to 8 pages but it's over a month since I found and photographed the book so I can't quite remember. It's already returned to the vast abyss that claims everything I'm looking for 5 minutes before I need it. "Where is it, I saw it this morning...?" Vanished into the ether like odd socks, putty rubbers and kirby grips.

These later developed into little papercut books and cards, still not feeling bold enough to show them but I think it will happen because finding them all again has got me wanting to make new ones. SO much that was hard or costly in the early '90s is easier and cheaper now, and with the magic of the internet, blogs and Etsy I no longer have to worry about the scorn of posh galleries who don't want my 'silly little books and cards'. I can go straight to the people who love these things. Of course it's all a bit pie in the sky while my energy is so low, but I beat this illness before so I'm determined to do it again and I want my work to be part of the process. Sorry to mump on, it's all a bit dominant just now so it seeps into this space, but I feel I should let it as it's a good way to track my progress.

Ok, enough health chat, back to the old drawings. I used to work up photocopies of my sketches with gouache or felt tips to try out colourways for printing but here is one done with Photoshop, muted to fit with the season and the clocks having changed...

Thursday 25 October 2007

Book binding

Sketchbooks from the '90's

Too tired to post so here is a close up of the binding on some of my handmade college sketchbooks.
They are usually very imperfect but I get enormous pleasure making sketch books and artists books, and I love imperfections.

Monday 22 October 2007

My work: papercuts 1991

Papercut in typing paper, 1991

Papercut in parchment and tracing papers, 1991

What I love about these is the way that different papers allow different levels of light to filter through. The more translucent they are the more subtle and interesting the effect of multiple layers. The one I showed yesterday was cartridge paper, it's lack of translucency means it works better for making crisper shadows and for working in 3 dimensions. Plus it can handle stitching, when I find them I'll post the cut and stitched works.

It's funny, as I post these I'm starting to see why the printed textiles department were getting annoyed with me, no colour, no fabric and no print. But hey, you can't dictate the way creativity will take you, and they were going to be used as part of a lighting installation with accompanying stitched and printed fabrics.

Must stop typing, I've got 4 people's pets today and I'm not very mobile so it's taking ages to get them all fed, walked, groomed, nursed and loved. One is my Uncle's dog, I have him a week while my parents and brother are on holiday. I thought it's work out great cause he and Lucy could exhaust each other, but yesterday Lucy developed a foot infection with a big sore, so she's not allowed to run around or get mucky. Such a shame. The cat seems to think he is Lucy and so has been very tolerant of him, a big relief.

Saturday 20 October 2007

My work: papercut + the 4 day sketchbook

Drawing from the 4 day sketchbook, 1991.
And one part of a multi layered papercut that was developed from it, showimg shadows cast from another layer...

Thursday 18 October 2007

My work: the 4 day sketchbook

Fom the 4 day sketchbook, 1991

Infleunced by cross-sections of plant stems under a microscope.

Wednesday 17 October 2007

May flowers

This was from May (here, here and here) when I had the rhododendron photo shoot. Little did we know then that the heavy rain clouds (just seen reflected in the window) would be with us until September. So glad I made the most of that day while it was dry. Weather here is pretty nice, gusty wind and cold nights, but at least it's seasonal so some sunny days.

Monday 15 October 2007

Diana Fayt - Folklore show at Candystore

You've probably all read about Diana Fayt's new work already but I just saw it and had to post...

Diana Fayt: 'First Class', Folklore 2007

Diana Fayt: 'Comparative Indicator', Folklore 2007

You probably Diana Fayt's ceramics, now see her wonderful new illustrations for her show 'Folklore' at Candystore, San Fransisco on the 8th of November. See more of these beauties on her Flickr set.

Definitely a show I wish I could see, I am totally in love with these illustrations, the lines, the colours, the pattern and, of course, the fact that she has used old envelopes so each one has different handwriting, stamps and markings that really add to the beauty.

I love these the way I love Lisa Solomon's 'A Bed Dreams A Blue Doily Dream' & blue bed prints. Remember, Lisa has her 'over the river and through the woods' show on just now* at LittleBird Gallery (until 8th November), another must see had a lived a continent closer. I hope Diana does more of this work in future, they'd make gorgeous prints, cards or even a
Poketo wallet.

Diana Fayt: '
Do Not Bend', Folklore 2007

*Lisa, hope the opening was FUN xxx

The red van

Not up to doing photography just now so a few shots from earlier in the year may need to fill the gaps. These are from rare dry days in June. Mr P's cat has the most question mark-ish tail thogh it's in perspective here so you can't quite tell how very very long it is. You can see he doesn't have the same respect as me for my lovely Thalictrum plant... he was fully shaking his bum in it.

Sunday 14 October 2007

Saturday 13 October 2007

My work: the 4 day sketchbook

strange forms, from the 4 day sketchbook 1991
(accidentally cropped the bottom off)

Mr P has been great today enabling me to get a solid day of rest, and a few blog visits which was lovely. I think he was happy for me to stay in bed giving him free reign over my TV, 2 big football matches and 1 big rugby match. He was very content.

Even my mum was quite sweet when we went to visit my uncle together. As I shuffled like an arthritic pensioner, clasping my middle as if I didn't trust banks and had all my worldly goods stuffed in the top of huge high waisted knickers, she joked (kindly) that people around the hospital would think she was visiting me and taking me out for rehabilitation. It's nice when she's motherly, maybe what has happened with my uncle has softened her. Or simply made my health seem less like something to freak out about. Either way I hope it continues.

I got 2hrs sleep but have woken again. Luckily Mr P pulled the broadband cable through so I can read blogs from bed till sleep returns.

Thursday 11 October 2007

Pink wild plant

I don't know what this is but it looked good.

Wednesday 10 October 2007

My work: the 4 day sketchbook

Another page from The 4 Day Sketchbook, 1991

And some black and white details, I lost the fine lines on digitising. This one is a bit of a cheat, I hadn't actually finished some of the repeated parts so I filled them in. Felt good to complete it, I think I'll do that with more things in future.


Signs of Autumn. I like it when the seasons do what they are supposed to, soft autumn sunsets, colour in the leaves, though these were exceptions to what is really happening I'm hoping that October will bring some more Autumn colour as things change and the world outside the window starts to think about sleep.

I'm thinking about sleep too. Not getting enough but trying to. To answer Dana's Q in last post comments, I did hear from the Doc but have not wanted to write it down. Have ruled out other things he suspects reckons I have M.E. / (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) again. I'm not pleased, but I'm not surprised.

At least now I have some official support to try and get better instead of being regarded as lazy or bothersome which used to infuriate me as I'm the most un-lazy person - a compulsive worker who would work every minute of every day if I could (ha, and I wonder why I'm sick).

Having gone through this at college I have always been terrified of it happening again. When I stayed sick after my 1st lot of Shingles 6 (or 7?) years ago I told myself it was connected to the shingles and not M.E. When it happened again earlier this year I put it down to the shingles again and the stress of being made redundant (and trying to deal with Marley's manic hysterical co-owner).

But 6 months have passed and I'm getting worse rather than better so it's time to face reality and deal with it. Not that I haven't been dealing with the symptoms, just the psychological aspects of accepting this IS what I have so I won't be better in a few weeks. I just wish Mr P and my family weren't so anti-illness, it'd be nice to have their support rather than their weird reactions.

Once again I'm not spending much time on the computer and haven't been reading or replying to emails very regularly so if you've sent one, don't take it personally if I take a while to reply. Right, I'm off now to hook up to my TENS machine. Tried it twice yesterday and didn't much like it since neuralgia already feels like thousands of small electric shocks, but will persevere and give it a chance, I may just need to get used to it.

Monday 8 October 2007

My work: the 4 day sketchbook

Drawing from 'The 4 day sketchbook' 1991

I put this against a laptop keyboard for scale. This one was influenced by fishing nets and flowers, but not the daisies they wanted us to use, ha ha.

Today I broke my own slow walk record, it took me 3hrs to get to the shop and back with a proper 1/2 hr sit down in the middle (should take about 1/2hr normally). When my PHN* is this bad I try not to walk anywhere at all but we had no power all day so I had to get to the shop for some food that could be eaten without needing cooked as supplies had dwindled over the weekend. I'm glad it was a reasonably nice day, cold, but not too windy so Lucy didn't mind the slow pace and had a whale of a time investigating the smells in the hedgerows.

Mr P is going to get me a TENS machine tomorrow as they are selling them really cheaply in Lloyds Pharmacies. I've long wanted one for the Endometriosis but they were previously too expensive. I hear it is also good for nerve damage so I'm hoping it'll help my PHN, which can be really sore as the cold weather dictates more layers of clothing. Another friend who also has bad PHN said hers had also been flaring up viciously recently as the weather changed. I had never factored in the weather before but we've both noticed flare ups during spring and Autumn. Hence writing this here, to remind myself next year when I'm wondering why it's getting so bad, and that presumably it will settle.

*PHN - Postherpetic Neuralgia

Sunday 7 October 2007

My work: papercut + the 4 day sketchbook

Drawing from 'The 4 day sketchbook' 1991

Papercut from 'The Growth of Plants' 1991/'92

The 4 day sketchbook was something I did over a long weekend in '91 from which a variety of things developed later over the next year, including my work on 'The Growth of Plants'. I've taken some photo's of the sketchbook, I'd quite like to show the whole thing, if only to remind myself what I can achieve when I go with the flow, but the photo's are a bit crappy, I really must get a 2nd hand scanner.

My work - papercuts 1991/'92

More of my papercuts and shadows from 'The Growth of Plants'...

I don't think my Printed Textile tutors were very pleased with my interpretation of their instruction to develop florals. I definitely should have been in Constructed Textiles where they let you work with paper and be more sculptural. Printed Textiles wanted daisy prints as they were to become the next big thing, which was true, but I didn't want to print daisies, I wanted to print one off pieces and make lighting, and these were a part of my exploration for that.

I think this is what I was working on when I made the decision to leave the department. The initial papercuts were for print stencils but I like the cuts and the effects when lit that I started doing new ones that would be pieces in their own right. I've always been bad that way, going off on a tangent instead of sticking with the assigned project. I bet a lot of you know exactly what I'm talking about, it's often the unplanned work that sparks the most genuine creative urges.

There is a definite hint of my environmental interests creeping into my work, I was reading a lot of science books about plant growth, life cycles and the impact of humans. I never imagined I'd actually be a gardener one day. In fact, I never imagined I wouldn't be a textile/lighting designer one day. But there is time for that yet.

Saturday 6 October 2007

My work - papercuts 1991

Susan, since you love shadows I thought you might like my papercut shadows from 1991. They were part of my 'The Growth of Plants' work, that being the title of the book they were cut from and plant microscopy influencing the drawings and subsequent papercuts. I've always loved the shadows more than the cuts themselves...

Friday 5 October 2007

Autumn berry bounty

I forgot these were in my pocket all week, some went dark, some shrivelled, some were too gross to show.

Thursday 4 October 2007

Theo Jansen - kinetic sculpture

Theo Jansen: Kinetic Sculpture
photo uploaded to Flickr by VotreX

It's a long time since something gave me such major goosebumps of inspiration and creative excitement as the amazing kinetic sculpture of Theo Jansen that I saw on You Tube recently. He combines so many things I love, kinetic sculpture, beaches, eco design, wind. And they have that beautiful structural quality that I've always loved in old wooden piers. Visual heaven.

Theo Jansen: Kinetic Sculpture
photo uploaded to Flickr by Iskandr

I saw
this short video first and was amazed. I also recommend this one, it's longer
(10mins) and describes some of the technical aspects like how they know when they reach water and so turn around and head the other way.

Theo Jansen: Animaris Percipierre
photo uploaded to Flickr by MarionRose

They are so beautiful to look at even when still, but to have made them move as well...
it's complex yet simple at the same time, he's a creative genius. Absolutely stunning. Visit Strandbeest to see more including more video clips, buy the DVD or, from 8th October, buy his new book which will include the DVD. The site also has several video clips.

Another good place to visit is the Strandbeestmovie weblog, full length film due next summer, I will have to be patient waiting for that. Courtesy of that site here is a photo of Theo himself...

Theo Jansen at work, via Stranbeestmovie
visit to see more photo's of work in progress
including this peaceful video clip, Ypenburg graveyard

Tuesday 2 October 2007

Yew berry spiral

Miss P. My dodgy right hand still can't make things with pens, scissors or paper, so instead here is some bright red berry art just for 'Yew', hope you had a great day, love...Cally xxx

The sun is so low already that the piece was in the shade but I held a few berries in my hand so you could see how they glow whenthe sunlight shines through them. Warning, yew berries are poisonous, do not eat (though I believe Yew trees are being used in cancer treatment).

2form - pebble rug

I love this...

2Form: Pebble Rug 100% wool rug by 2Form

Monday 1 October 2007

Me in the sun

Today was really sunny!

My walking has slowed to a crawl but Lucy didn't seem to mind as the hot sun was cooking her black coat and she was happy wandering slowly sniffing the grass where foxes and rabbits had been. I've had to take a day off hospital visits to try and recuperate some energy so fingers crossed my mum takes the right roads (she has no sense of direction and tries to go the wrong way down the motorway every time).

Thea Tolsma - rubber jewellery

Thea Tolsma: 'Acanthus' neckpiece, rubber

This and more plant inspired rubber neckpieces by Thea Tolsma found at Galerie Eawal Kunstenaars

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