A Treasure Hunt


Yesterpost I shared an exploration into the evolution of an abstract photo. If you liked that, you might like this too: My regular post on Dirty Footprints Studio  gives a bit of insight into the process of gathering these images.

Happy idea-gathering, folks 🙂

wandering mind


Cooking dinner one evening last week, waiting for the pot to boil:

The condensation forming on the lid was developing into this fabulous leopardskin effect. Too good to miss. I love the ephemeral beauty in the everyday. It’s everywhere, once you start to look.

So I took this photo and shared it on social media in the circles who see abstract art more than the crazed doings of some weirdo who takes photos of her dinner before it’s even made 😉

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And it made me think. 

How far can I chase this one idea?
Where could it go?
How far can it evolve?

So today (following the theme – waiting for dinner to cook) I tweaked the colour a bit and printed it out.

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And then I began to play: Doodles, re-photographed… leopard spots are evolving into seashells…

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more doodles, different camera angle, slight colour tweaks…

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more doodles, new camera angle, colours inverted…. I love the way the pen lines seem to sit on top of the photo, they’re in a different dimension of contrast.

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Or shape shift: add dimension with concertina folds and photographed from every which way.

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I’m sure given more time I could play with light and shadows for more drama. You get the idea, the possibilities go on… I hope this might spark some ideas for you too.

 

take 5: episode 1


Y’know how I’ve been revisiting my digital art? I’ve also been rooting through my online galleries. Some of those pieces date back almost a decade, and some still hold up well. But some were looking a bit tired, a bit shabby, or just plain meh. So I archived them away.

I’ve still got most of the images from which they were made, so over the next as-long-as-it-takes I plan to re-photoshop some of them into new works: Hybrids of old and new ideas. I love digital for many reasons – the ability to do this is a big one.

So you can guess the plan from the title, right?

I plan to Take Five images, and frankenstein re-imagine them together into a shiny new beautiful something. 

These are the first Five contenders for the project.

At the time of posting I’ve reached a crossroads in the making of the hybrid. I’ll explain later…

the other side of the ugly (18/52)


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Yesterday I was sharing about the ugly side of creativity. When it’s in that worse before it gets better zone.

The only way outa here is forward: Charge on forward through this zone.

If you can’t carry on right now, let it rest.Let it settle.

When you come back it’s going to look different:
—If it looks better – let this spur you on in hope.
—If it looks worse – take the nothing left to lose impetus to make changes:

Whatever you’re creating, from a painting to a song, a novel or a dance, a dress or a manifesto, try any variations of these things:

  • Paint over it.
  • Mix up the harmonies.
  • Cut it up and reconfigure the bits together in a new shape.
  • Record over sections of it.
  • Photograph it from obtuse angles: review it through the viewfinder, on screen, through squinting eyes, or print its negative.
  • Speed it up, slow it down, add trumpets.
  • Change two of the colours.
  • Stitch, glue, staple, splice. Rinse and repeat.
  • Play it backwards / turn it upside down / inside out.
  • Take out every other word, or every other adjective, or swap about all the words beginning with vowels.
  • Pick it up by the ears and shake it hard.

Do some radical dismantling, recreate with hope and a conscious understanding it’s only wrong at the moment; it’s maybe uncomfortable but it isn’t doomed.

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Know that you’re through the worst because if you’re moving you’re making progress: It was the ugliest thing in existence, so by logical deduction it must be getting better, right?

Right. Then keep on going. If the bigger picture is freaking you out,

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Just look at the detail…

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Find some solace there, some shhhhhsome calm

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Befriend the details. Examine them closely for inexplicable creatures.

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The only thing not to do is sit and dwell on how a different course of action somewhere in the past would have made it different. That then is gone. Focus on the now of it.

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Then see where you find yourself, recombobulate, know the process works, and carry on.

Gaping Void


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I love Hugh McLeod’s drawings, and his very succinct way with words.

This cartoon of his is a favorite of mine, those three words speak so much to me. They describe so much.

He wrote a fantastic article on creativity (I looked it up just now to link you to it, to find it’s over 10 years old. It’s stuck with me all that while!)

If you’re a creative (in any field) with a creativity block –  artistically constipated  – this is a great resource of timeless advice, and a place to go and cogitate on the nature of making.

Book of my days


I’m making a journal for the new year, which as the Solstice starts a new moon too, I began from it then. I’m enjoying the making process, and it’s another invented as it goes along adventure. And like all the rest of them, it’s a work in progress that isn’t exactly finished (the making stage) before beginning (the using stage). Kinda overlapped.

Over the years I’ve used regular diaries, journals, notebooks, sketchbooks, heaps of loose paper and the backs of envelopes to record the events, the thoughts and feelings, the minutiae, that collectively forms my days. On assessing the amount of rescued and recycled paper I’ve amassed, this time I decided to make my own book. I was surprised how easy it turned out to be. If you’ve ever considered doing this, here’s how I did mine…

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Obsolete letterheads, beheaded.


Here’s a thing about shop bought books – you wanna stick in new bits and pages, lists and the like, scrips and scraps and souvenirs and reminders. So either you gotta make space by extracting some of the pages it was bought with often leaving the binding loose and flimsy or severed and prone to accidental page-drop…. Or you live with a bulging wedge shaped book that won’t shut flat. Which is fine, in both cases, absolutely fine.

But if it’s a book of my own inventing… can I bypass that whole thing?

This fitted with the predicament of using recycled letterheads: once the letterheaded part was sliced off, the resulting folded in half size makes for fairly small pages. Not so compatible with big loopy writing that makes up words who need space to play in. So here comes the multipurpose wide page/thin page idea!

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I’m thinking the thin pages will be ideal for post it notes and small folded pages to be stuck in. And they are list shaped too and I love a good list! Consequently my book is starting it in the reverse wedge shape and will, in time, plump out into a flat book shape.


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The actual binding part (this is Coptic, but there are numerous ways to string a book here). My teacher is Sea Lemon. She is very neat and precise and I am not, so please don’t judge her instruction by my results! I looked at a few how to videos and found hers the simplest to follow. Then went ahead, broke all the rules, and did my own thing loosely based on this technique. People fall into two camps: those who embrace the slapdash yet sturdy approach and those who wince at the evidently hand cobbled outcome. If you fall into the latter camp, brace yourself, or click away now.


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measured, templated, holes completely off the line. idk. Accuracy just isn’t in my DNA. And wonky works too.


The paper is neatly cut to size approximately and the stringing holes were measured. Perhaps not really accurately. The knots are good and knotty.


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Not beautiful, but workable. I’ll settle for that. Neatfreaks: please Tut now.


I guess my reasons for sharing the guts of this cobbled affair with you is to say – If you’re at all interested in converting a pile of unwanted paper into a book you can use for whatever you fancy – scrap booking, journaling, some form of record keeping or and fancy schmancy writing and drawing doings – then even if you’re a careless, cack-handed hurrier like me – it can be done! Go and give it a whizz. If it doesn’t work…? well if the paper was already destined for the recycling box then you only postponed its destiny, used up a little but of time and in all likelihood learnt some useful life lessons along the way.

 

Thought forms


This is one where I’m beginning in the middle. I’ll catch you up on the beginning next, but let’s start off here, just coz I feel like it.

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Thoughtforms are a series of relief collages I’m making from the dyed paper (way back… remember the dyed paper?) IMG_3421a

and the don’t-know-why-but-compelled-to-keep-making-them funny little colored rectangle things.

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So these loose ends are also finding each other and forming into slightly more coherent entities.

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Thoughtforms are continuing that recurring theme: trains of consciousness & patterns of thought. More on that later.

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I’ve made 6 of a series that will total 9, 3 are still in progress. These 6 are on display (and for sale – if you’re quick before they get snapped up!) at the Upstairs Gallery

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Each one is named after a fragment of text found somewhere in the piece, serendipity giving them eclectic names such as: Spacecraft, Puddings cakes etc, Fortitude and Adversity amongst others.

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The next series will include more textile elements, but the overall feel will be similar.

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Still with that one theme leads to another, one thought folds round a corner and opens out into a coiled up spring, some buttons and a rivet, stitched onto the overarching idea of something else.

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Or something. Y’know, like it does. The beauty is they can represent whatever you want them to. Or nothing at all if you .

back and forth and backth again


Like a meandering meandery thing, so much to say, so little sense of order…!

Amongst the changes I’m progressing through in recent months, I’ve re-aquired a bunch of stuff that’s been in storage for a number of years. Some of which: a veritable shedload (well, technically, half a van load) of miscellaneous textiles which are gradually cycling into new creations. From linen to clothes and curtains, some are older than I am, some scrips and scraps, but they all have fantastic futures as somethings beautiful and/or useful (in most cases, I hope, both).

the seat from where I'm typing to you!
the seat from where I’m typing to you!

Then at the same time the gods of synchronicity have sent some gloriously inspirational folks to cross my path. I can’t leave them unmentioned in this post.

I encountered Raggedy Rags earlier this year at the London Knit & Stitch Show.

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Drawn in by the delight of uniquely upcycled clothing and the wonderful mantra I’ve since adopted as my own: Dress like nobody’s judging. I wish I’d gone back for that red coat, but I did leave with a head full of fresh ideas. And I’ll catch another coat another time.

Then the colorfulicious Katwise pinged up on my web-wanderings radar. Recently her splendidly multi-coloured home has been featured in articles all over the place, you may have seen it? As an artwork it’s amazing even if it surpasses your personal technicolour tolerances.

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living the rainbow dream

But beyond this, it led me to her sumptuous knitwear regenerations.

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If you have even an inkling of a desire to learn more I can really recommend her ebooks.

Between these guys and the web-rabbit-holes I’ve explored as a result, I’m all fired up for some cosy winter sewings coming up soon. Just need Santa to bring me a serger (or eBay, gotta be a little realistic) and I’m good to go!

a quick flurry!


Hey folks, I’m back! Not that I’ve been anywhere else, I’ve been right here inside your computer, I just haven’t been getting the words and pictures out to you for a few weeks 😉

So here’s a little round up since I last posted……….

Looking back over the last few weeks I can see it’s been centred a lot around stencils and ink spraying
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I treated myself to a bunch of bargain stencils a few weeks back. They were 1/2 price, it would’ve been sheer madness not to.
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I also started making some of my own, cutting from acetate sheets, paper and card.
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The paper/card ones are getting recycled into collages as (or before) their edges n corners begin to disintegrate!
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Ooh and stapling! I seem to have about a gazillion boxes of staples… so naturally they’ve joined the art ingredients
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This is just scuffing the surface of the iceberg of things I’ve been busying at – more pics to follow soon! 😉
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shape shadows


We don’t always need fancy art materials, expensive equipment, or a vast amount of space for art….
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I made this from galvanised garden wire, fuse wire & pliers,
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light and shadows
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I love the way the forms merge with the shadows!
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