Sunday, 28 July 2013

Therapeutic blogging result...

After blogging and writing down my frustrations, I sat down and re-read my you do!

...the sun was shining, chores - (to a certain extent) were done for the day and I had time to reflect and relax....and a rummage around.... and time on my own....and "Southbay by the lighthouse" was finally completed. 
perfect fit for a beach find!
 It's main piece was from when I recently went on a school trip to the beach, Southbay. As soon as we arrived we were wandering along the beach...the kids all chattering away and adults trying to stop the kids from eating their food as soon as they arrived! and there right in front of me was this beautiful piece of rusted metal...It did cause alot of laughter and amusement from the kids when I showed them my treasure and how it fitted perfectly in my bag..."why do you want a piece of old metal?" I was asked...."I told you she was a bit crazy!" said another student, but they all gathered round and had a guess as to where it might have come from..."a fishing boat", "the harbour", "the pirate ship that goes out with tourists around the mom says its falling apart!"...
A lighthouse view
The kids had time to play, learn about
lifeguard skills and  go out in the sea.
boundaries were set for safety!
We literally drew a boundary line in the sand just so they knew how far they could wander - hence the partly caged in section, they were then able to play freely and securely...

Our location was just  next to the lifeboat station facing the lighthouse....the ramps to the sea were worn smooth, old and dark and a great place to get shelter from the sandy wind!  there was lifeguard lessons, hot steamy cups of weak tea for the staff in styrofoam cups and sand sandwiches for lunch!...much fun was had and we even found a few small pieces of sea glass too....time flew by and it was soon home time...and so that is the story of ...

 "Southbay by the lighthouse"

 A therapeutic blogging result!...'til next time....bye

P.S: the quote in the bottle is...
"life isn't about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself" by George Bernard Shaw

Creative direction?....good question!

I've got a bit of time before Staithes festival to review my working practice at the moment and maybe hone in on one direction....

As much as I love the effects I get from laser cut pebble marks, I feel that I have to rely too much on other people to get the initial designs cut. (they are always very patient and work is filed in their system under titles such as April pebbles, more pebbles, more bloomin' pebbles etc!)...ok, I'd like a laser cutter and a printer....& lots of other things too!....but, the question is how do I carry on making my art and the designs work when I have to worry about costs and impeding on other peoples time before I can even start to mess around and experiment, I feel like I'm working in reverse!

One thing that I was drawn to with the laser cutter was the delicate, intricate nature I could retain from the marks I have taken from the pebbles. I can't get the effects by hand, I've tried and they look rubbish. I also liked the way, by using thicker material I generate shadows and by introducing pins I can layer and get a greater degree of body, greater depth....

So why am I struggling to establish a satisfying creative direction?....I honestly don't know....I make excuses and flounder around. I really want to settle into a style of art that I am recognised for maybe?....or that I'm comfortable with?....but why? it necessary and if so to who? what is it I actually want....what?... thats it I don't know what I want anymore!....I have a fab studio, supportive family and time, so why oh why is "It" not happening!?...

I look at artists like Jaume Plensa and Cornelia Parker, their work deals with and involves a variety of elements such as the everyday and shadows and I love it but they're often huge! I need to think small scale and realistic. Times are hard not just for the struggling artist but also for the public who I want to appeal too.

Cornelia Parker’s Neither From Nor Toward

"Cornelia Parker’s Neither From Nor Toward.  The brick pieces are from a row of houses that fell off the Cliffs of Dover and were found by the artist on a remote shoreline. Precision seems to contradict the irregular weathered bricks now shaped not by human hand, but by long-term exposure to crashing waves.
One step back from the piece, and you can see that the precision of the work’s construction has a hidden purpose. That being to recreate the shape of a house, assumingly, one that fell from the Cliffs of Dover all those years ago.  It is impossible however to determine if Cornelia Parker intended the silhouette of the house which the brick pieces unite to form to be seen in mid-fall, or mid-reconstruction"
Joseph Cornell
On a smaller scale I admire  Joseph Cornell's work....the clever and enticing way he draws the audience in often conjouring up ideas that they are souvenirs of an imaginary voyage, cleverly placed fragments that hint and suggest.... I remember reading somewhere that he was ..."a virtuoso of fragments, a maestro of absences" (possibly from Joseph Cornell edited by Kynaston McShine) I was also told at uni that "boxes had been done to death!" but the appeal is still there to do an entire exhibition of boxes...

I take myself back to University and hear my lecturers banging on about and "snearing" the word craft like its a swear word and find myself suddenly drenched in cold sweat! I've got nothing against craft, my work harks to strong traditions, memories and I happily use craft in my work....but .....thats it theres a but!....does that mean I'm no longer a fine artist per se?....I'm feeling very frustrated and also a bit of a failure too. Writers get blocks as do artists I know, I could draw on past experiences to help lift me out of this "moment" but as yet, nothing is forthcoming!

Like Cornell and Parker and no doubt many other artists my "findings" are an important part of my art and using them, no matter what medium, my work gradually and spontaneously unfolds. Maybe I have too many ideas I want to try, as a mixed media artist  I'm always experimenting with new materials, so....possibly I need to stop looking for something new and use and accept what I have and master one thing at a time? or maybe just relax and enjoy whatever I feel the urge to make...

work in progress!

...As John Ruskin said "Fine art is that in which the hand, the head and the heart of man go together", the summer is the perfect time to get out and seek inspiration, recharge and maybe re-think...however, any help, tips, advice etc would be very much appreciated. In the big wide world of life, artists often work in isolation, maybe I'm missing social contact with fellow artists and need to get out more!

Thanks for reading my ramblings and heres hoping to posting a more positive and uplifting blog in the near future....bye for now

Monday, 22 July 2013


It's been over a month since my last blog....and I haven't really done a great deal creatively....well nothing monumental to show!...
 The preview evening went well at Zillah Bell Gallery and it was lovely to see red spots appearing on pieces of art...non on mine tho!....ah well you never know. It's been curated really well and it all looked great. I met some really lovely people who I'd heard of but never met...and we had a lovely meal at The Fleece too!....

 I've been pottering around in my studio since then not really focused on anything,  enjoying the weather and musing over ideas....beach combing and looking at books and magazines...and making paper, its great that the paper dries out so quickly in this heat!
 I've been out at various local beaches and coves looking for anything that takes my eye...and as always file them away in jars - I like to be able to see my finds! These are from Reighton Sands which lies between Scarborough and Bridlington its a lovely long beach and quite secluded...
...we casually walked to the beach where as some tried alternative transportation methods!

 I also had the chance of making some of my own glass beads last week, It was really good and Gaysiemay was a fab teacher and very patient!...the workshop took place in a retro 70's converted caravan but with all the mod cons needed. I used to stock her beads and jewellery in my gallery and  was just curious as to how they were made...I had the idea of trying to make them look like pebble marks...I was just pleased I managed to make a selection and that they looked like beads...I take my hat off to people who make beads...multi-tasking and the heat!

 you can book workshops with Gay and I know she also runs workshops through Tuffnells...and various locations in North Yorkshire.
A selection of my beads!
anyway...its cooler today ....the impending news of a new royal baby is everywhere and I'm off to try some painting... I have a month off work before I start my new job so might experiment a bit with new or different techniques....I think!

back again soonish....happy summer time