Studying Art Process At Stroud College
One of my artist friends who trained on the Access Course at Stroud College was Rachel Markwick. For some time she had been painting and explored her craft further on the course. We had so much fun it was a truly bonding experience for us mature students.
But simply wanting (and trying) to progress in the art world is often not enough. For each of us it is a different process and often time has to pass, where creativity takes us to both good and bad places, and may be quite a balancing act where there are commitments other than just a desire to be creative.
From Painting To Collage with Stamps
Then a few years ago Rachel’s creativity took on a completely different look involving her inherited collection of stamps.
From Van Gogh’s sunflowers and hilly scenes of Stroud emerged the Stamp Lady of Stroud.
There is a story behind the use of stamps in Rachel’s work, but to fast forward somewhat she makes clever, endearing and detailed images from stamps from all over the world. From ships to owls, and from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to International flags there is so much detail right down to the fish in the sea and the people in the arches of the Colosseum.
Christmas Fayres and Art for Sale
When you see artists exhibiting their wares at Christmas Fayres or in the high street hoping to catch customers in the festive season spare a thought not just for the hard work and creativity that goes into their craft. Some time will have been spent agonising over pricing before an attempt at selling either original work or prints. Framing is a conundrum, customers like to buy items ready to hang but how do you choose a frame that works with the image and works for the customers taste.
Prints and Cards
With prints and cards there is plenty to frustrate the eager artist. Enduring a fickle printer is a test of patience when it starts spitting out blank paper or prints which are off centre, the wrong size or the wrong colours and then horrors of horrors sometimes it will not work at all.
Mounts for Prints
Mounting the image is an issue of its own, lining up the print and taping the print, mount and backing board together in a professional looking way before putting into a celophane bag. By the end of it all the place is littered with off cuts, cut fingers, bits of tape everywhere, torn up prints and hopefully the printer has not been despatched out of the window.
You may have guessed that I have just completed a printing session ready for a Christmas Fayre at Horseworld Rescue Centre, Bristol, UK next weekend. Leaflets, notices and business cards are ready printed too. Just need to pack a blanket, hot water bottle and a flask.
Oh and in case you were wondering the printer is still where it should be, in the studio… :)
Some years ago I made good friends with the students on my Access to Art course at Stroud College. Many have them have blossomed into proactive artists in different fields of the art world.
My friend Jilly Cobbe had the preview of her show of work at the Amberley Inn Stroud yesterday evening.
Like myself her art is inspired by animals, and this show “Encounters” depicts animals she has met or encountered in a variety of locations.
Along with meeting other artists there I also witnessed the sale of her largest painting (see above). It is great to see artists reaping the rewards of their hard work and knowing that whoever buys it will hold their purchase dear to their heart.
I did my best but the photos here do not do Jilly’s work justice due to the lighting. Artist Jilly Cobbe on the right here below…..
Interesting Facts about Reindeer
Reindeer are thought to be the only mammals that can see ultraviolet light. This helps them see things in bright snowy conditions as the ultraviolet light creates sharp contrast with objects other than snow. Their noses are also specialised and designed for increased internal surface area which allows cold dry air to moisten as they breath in.
There are very few reindeer which are truly wild, some roaming animals are escaped domestic stock, and even the reindeer on the Tundra (just below the North Pole) are owned by Saami herdsmen.
Since hearing about the imminent “horror” winter again for the Uk, this is a better perspective on the issue http://ow.ly/qUloa
Soon I shall start thinking about christmas shopping, but already my ACEOs have turned to the Christmas theme and even have a little gold paint on some of them. Here is Christmas Mouse who has happened upon the fairy at the top of the tree…..
I really do not know what a studio is. Most studios I have seen at least have room to swing a cat but even a mouse would not get far here. So sometimes the space I work in which is shaped like a toblerone is an office as it has computers and a printer in it, but also it is a studio which the best word I can find to describe a room to create art. I have a small table but if I need to work larger the art is on a board anyway so no problems there. The most important ingredient is coffee and the most important equipment is magnification especially when painting detail on ACEOs. The only other imperative thing in a small room is to be organised. You can pack quite alot into a small space, but you do have to be organised, a bit like the ACEOs I produce.
Studio for the Artist
My studio is on the attic floor of Cotswold stone cottage with walls 20 inches thick. This house has parts of it which are over 250 years old, the roof is steep to help with the dispersal of snow in winter when there was no central heating, the walls are 20 inches thick and the windows are relatively small. Our house is not big but it is more than adequate and started its life as tiny abodes with just one room up and one room down for whole families to live in. I keep fit getting coffee from the kitchen as both sets of stairs are very steep.
Not sure why I look slightly suspicious here…
Two ACEOs inspired by a Poem
The Red Cardinal
I was approached by a poet writing a children’s book using a poem she created about a bright red bird. She sent me some stanza’s of the said poem and wondered if I might be inspired to create ACEOs with her poem in mind.
The poem “Santa’s Songbird” is about a blessed Red Cardinal, a North American bird rather like the Green Finches of the UK but with feathers of a vibrant red colour.
And so here he is, in all his glory.