Sunday 28 May : Bank Holiday weekend
I cycled to Waterlow Park to sit under the trees, enjoy the cool air and the birds and visit the kitchen garden. I did a few paintings and had my picnic sitting under a huge tree, then visited the kitchen garden to take pictures of the plants.
Subs has gone to his rehearsal in Harlow – out in the country, I’m now at home with Pip asking yet again for more food – he’s diabetic and craves constantly. It’s very sad. I sat out in the sun for a while determined to get a bit of a tan this year
I really enjoyed my day at Inkycuttlefish studio learning woodcut and its history. Great studio and nice music too! Lots of cups of coffee or tea. Mine is a tree I saw on the way along Blackhorse Lane, E17. It’s so easy to get to on the overground railway from my home.
Printmaking is easy when you don’t have a concept or you don’t have to worry about your drawing – you can just play with shapes and colour combinations which is basically what I do. I need to find another way of creating images and a way of connecting with a more personal approach.
There was some amazing work in the studio by various people and I realise that I have to look again at what I am doing with my prints and images – I need to start on something a bit more serious and researched than what I usually do.
Time to get on both with my prints and my bookbinding.
I am learning piano again and also looking into some theory about early tunings and Equal Temperament. I have downloaded some lessons from Paul Abrahams jazz piano website and plan to do as much practice as I can to learn more – it really does take discripline. This week I’m looking at 12 bar blues using seventh chords or shells of 7th chords and improvising over the top with the F sharp 7th scale at least I think that’s what it is!. Also reading Big Bangs by Howard Gooddall who goes into early music theory. Very interesting book
Subs and I went to a meet up on Friday evening at Ceramic Circle in Archway and painted/decorated two plates, a mug and an egg cup. It was a wonderful evening, there were about 20 of us, all painting ceramic items. The evening happens once a month I believe and you can go along and paint ceramic items or do some handbuilding.
Subs chose a retro design which he painted with colour and then stamped onto the plate and filled in with slip colours. I chose a plate too and decorated it with torn newspaper and slip colours; the mug I hand painted too and also the egg cup.
I may go again to do some hand building but it’s not cheap. They are now being fired and have been glazed.
Subs and I went for a walk around Kings Cross, London – so many people sitting on the grass, in the restaurants, playing in the fountains – it’s one of my favourite places in London. It used to was originally built in the Victorian era; there is a canal which is still there and goes from Limehouse through Camden to Birmingham.
Now there is a university, new office blocks, restaurants and cafes, the uni is the old Granary Building which has been refurbished.
The original gas holders have been rebuilt, they date from 1842 some of them. They stood empty for a hundred years. Now people live in them.
Today I played around with acetate and collage for my simple mug – part of my project on everyday objects. Inspired by a recent radio programme about Rene Magritte who used everyday objects in his surreal paintings.
See through mug
Storm in a mug
My topic for these few weeks is everyday objects, since it’s too cold to go outside at the moment. I did some monprinting today of a mug, which I have drawn in pen and ink and charcoal so far.
Trying to do one drawing a day to get back into practice. These are pen and ink which is my favourite medium. Working with objects I find around me – everyday objects, before I venture outside once it gets warmer here in London.
I have just signed up to do a one year online printmaking course here in the UK at Magenta Printmaking.
Although I have a degree in the subject area and many years experience of teaching! I need to get back into a work schedule and I hope this course will help me to do that.
I just found a collograph print I did years ago on my art foundation course at The Cass:
Collograph made from leaves on bamboo paper
I went to my local glass merchant today after swimming, and bought some different sizes of bevelled glass to do monoprints on. I am also researching printmaking, Angie Lewin is one of my favourite printers working with nature, the way she stylises flowers and leaves.
The Ashmolean Museum is showing an exhibition of words from Degas to Picasso coming soon and on till May, so I will go when the weather gets warmer.
Picasso at the Ashmolean Museum
I made a collage bag this afternoon, it took ages but at least my sewing machine worked, even if it did squeak! The plastic has to be pushed through the sewing machine otherwise the needle won’t move, but other than that it’s fairly easy, except for the bottom corners.
Here is the link to instructions for making the collage bag
Subs bought me a bookbinding press/nipper press for Christmas, so I made a new book just to get in practice again before my course starts again next week at the City Lit. I used four hole sewing without tapes and a curved needle, glued the spine and added bookcloth to the spine and corners
I made the paste papers myself, which I nearly threw away when I made them, but they look okay here, repeated patterns can sometimes work well even if the design is a bit raw!
The top cover was made with pasted papers : using glue and acrylic paint with stamping tools. Book cloth has been added to the spine and corners.
The bottom cover was made using a perspex sheet A3 size rolled up with inks and then paper shapes laid on and printed using a Japanese baren. You can score onto the back of the printing paper too and also relay down the once printed paper shapes in other areas on the printing plate – these types of covers are my favourite.
We visited the Switch House gallery extension to the Tate Modern, it was freezing cold today and especially cold walking across the Millenium Bridge. The building adds nothing to the current power station site of the Tate Modern, it’s entrance makes no sense in relation to the Tate building, it’s even more confusing once you get inside… enough said.
We were freezing after walking across that cold river bridge and had a hot drink in the new cafe and went to see one of the exhibitions. The Building appears huge, a behemoth from the outside but inside is another story.
The Rebecca Horn exhibition was wonderful I must say, and a joy. However there wasn’t much else, considering this is a new art gallery in London – a rare thing nowadays. As someone said on twitter, the money would have been better spent going to the cash strapped regions.
The Switch House, photo by Jim Stephenson, UK
Tate Modern: Rebecca Horn
Rebecca Horn, Switch House Gallery, Tate
Subs and I went to St Martins in the Fields in the Strand again this year for a lovely carols concert, a real start to Christmas, we sat up in the gallery and looked down on the choir and all the families and children as we sang our carols…
This is a prototype of a bookwork using monoprinted leaves collected this autumn in north London by myself at Highbury Fields, our garden and by Subs in the gardens of north London where he works
The paper is Indian handmade paper, the inks are printmaking inks, water based and the cover has a bookcloth spine with handmade paper leaves attached to Indian Lokha paper which is very fragile and kept tearing. It is in a concertina format. I will rethink this and try another type of format later on.