Saturday, 24 January 2015

No One's Forcing You To Read This

This blog was originally started as a tool for my Chartership to CILIP although, as it name suggest, it was always intended to be a repository for my numerous interests and creations. It's covered my art, other people's art, a variety of professional and work related pieces, holidays and, over the last two years, a piecemeal account of my separation and migration to the south coast. It has, in the main, been entirely self indulgent. If you don't like that tough. No one's forcing you to read it. Also I wouldn't recommend you continue with this particular post.

What it hasn't touched so much is my running and the important role it has taken on in my life.  More than the obvious benefits of improved fitness and incredible body confidence running has become  a way of putting my day behind me. Of getting, for want of a more original phrase, headspace. It has also however become a coping mechanism, and now, unable to train due to an achilles injury, I am somewhat bereft. Forty minutes on the cross trainer just isn't the same as an early morning run in the sunshine and as such, ten days into a currently unknown period of running abstinence, I am turning to other means to keep my head and hands occupied.

I should make it clear for the sake of my mum (who I'm fairly sure is the only person who reads this) that I very content. Happier possibly than I have been for a while. Although I miss home and the culture of Bath I am finding my feet in Southampton and growing to love the New Forest and the odd bit of beauty Southampton itself throws at me. In fact finding that beauty, on Weston beach at dusk or during a quiet morning on Southampton Common, continues to surprise me in a way that Bath never did.

However with running no longer an option I've had more energy and opportunity to play and create. To think about ideas and generally build on themes in a way I haven't done in a while. In some ways the art is just like the running. I have neither a target or a particular outcome in mind. I don't measure myself or pay close attention to pace or ability or technique. Both are a means to an end, influenced by my immediate surroundings and are in the main a solitary occupation.  A way of relaxing, of being me. So while I'll miss the running at least it means I'll be doing more of the stuff below.

Lino Cuts and Stencils. (Paper, leather, maps)
Stencil and Rubber Stamp over Transfer Print
Rubber Stamps over Transfer Print
Rubber Stamps over Transfer Print

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Printing Flowers

This post follows on from the previous one rather quicker than I expected.  Due to a combination of asthma problems and a very painful Achilles heel I've been spending a lot less time running and a lot more time mooching round the flat trying to entertain myself. And with exercise off the board that normally means something creative. 

Rather than buying anything new I've just used what I had in the flat. So that's some erasers I'd bought a while ago and some remainments  from previous projects including a leather skirt and a printed Laura Ashley off cut. The inks are permanent ones I've had for a while and which print well onto a variety materials, including fabric and paper. All in all I'm rather pleased with the results although I think some refinement is needed to my leaves. 

Not all the stamps are new or developed from my flower drawings. The dandelion seeds are there simply because I love the stamp and wanted to use it again. The ants are an old stamp I made back when I was first experimenting with rubber stamps in 2013. The leaf used with them is a new one originally intended to match the composite flowers.  The geometric shapes of this stamp seemed to match the ants better than the curves of the flowers and I was then able to pair up another recycled stamp (curved leaf) with the composite flowers created by grouping repeats of the stylised petals. 

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Flowers for Printing

So I've been ill. So ill I had to take a couple of days off work which is pretty much unheard of for me as I'm one of those annoying people who will drag themselves in regardless. And to be honest, after 2 and a half days of me wandering around the place like a zombie, coughing and having hot and cold flushes, I'm fairly sure the rest of the team were glad to see the back of me and I was certainly glad to spend some quality time with my duvet.

Normally given a couple of days in bed I'd have got on with the work that has been progressing slowly for a while, namely the ongoing work with micro fiche. However I've felt so rotten I didn't really trust myself with scissors, let alone a scalpel, so I had to find something else to keep myself busy. Preferably something that didn't involve a lot of energy.

I've been playing with the idea of printing again for a while. Either with the rubbers I've previously used or doing some proper lino cuts. So I thought I'd get some sketches done and see how stylized I could make them. I should say this doesn't come naturally to me. It's years since I did any proper drawing, even longer since I painted and the transformation of images into something that can be used for printing isn't something I find easy. However I've enjoyed keeping my fingers busy with these, even if some are better than others. I suppose watch this space to see whether I get any further with the actual printing bit.