Thursday, January 28, 2016

Art on the Inside of a mail art envelope

Part of most days is devoted to mail art.  People ask me what mail art is and I tell them it's art that travels through the post.  For me it is that other kind of art that makes me laugh and work obsessively, often purposelessly, although sometimes conceptually.  It is a different space for me and an essential one.  These two envelopes are going out today and I am dying to make some more in this 'style' later.  

I usually work in styles, or series in mail art.  These I'm calling 'unsealed envelopes' and the envelopes are made from life drawings I no longer need, and they have bespoke two sided fused plastic collages inside.  I have made the labels in a similar to the way I make my business cards with 'trash' fused plastic and clear labels. Obviously I have obscured the addresses with a bit of washi tape to keep people anonymous.

Below are the actual contents of the two envelopes in all their sides.

painting and drawing beads and textiles

Oil on paper 7 x 7"

Not long ago I prepared some heavy paper by gessoing it a few times on the front and back.  some time later I put some leftover turquoise green oil paint onto it.  Today I retrieved that and cut an 7 x 7" piece to see what would happen if I painted instead of drew today in my current series. The colours and materials of my set up were not harmonious in the way they have been to date. What I mean is, there were was a wider range of colour and value.  Infact half of what I chose to work from was black. and if Ihave one object that confounds me, it is that little yellow ginger jar.  It has a way of distorting.  When I started I thought I'd just do some quick oil sketches but I got interested in the paint surface.

Below is another of the bead series in pastel. I admired my neighbour's pashmina and she lent it to me to inspire and complement the beads.  In addition there is a bit of my son's african trousers and a silk skirt I found in cahrity shop.

pastel on paper 6 X 6"

Monday, January 25, 2016

Monday Drawings

A Selection of 2016 Monday drawings
Erin, pastel on paper 6 x 6
Since the New Year I haven't missed a Monday morning.  I get to the venue early, to help hang the plastic  in front of the window, to roll out the rug and to get a space on the side of the room where you can see the model.  If you are on the other side the model is backlit. Sue organises the sessions and we usually have some fast poses 1-2 minutes or 15 mins of a moving model and some longer poses, 10 - 30 minutes.

We have a range of models (in terms of age, hair colour, height, size, flexibility, agility). Many of the models have been coming for as long as I have been going (more than 15 years). Erin has been modeling for us for a year or two.  She can hold a pose in standing but doesn't 'fold' well.

Like Erin, Marilyn is athletic with long legs. Marilyn never moves and is always enthusiastic to push herself to hold poses until her feet turn blue.

Marilyn, pastel on paper, 6 x 6

Esme, pastel on paper 6 x 6

Esme has modelled for us twice.  Like the other two, she is brilliant to draw. She makes strong poses. Each model has her own character (we have a few men too) and for me, the trick is to stay loose enough to capture it and to avoid getting bogged down by the local colour and the setting.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Peace, Energy and the Turquoise Muse

Turquoise Muse - Pastel on paper 6 x 6

Now that I have made a few pattern studies using my new muse: the fabric beads, I notice that arranging the fabric to create drama and interest is like building a nest.  I'm thinking colour, light and energy.  It's quite a restful phase in working. When I draw I find it is chaotic at first and then I find a peace in the image as things start to coalesce. I think keeping the drama and energy and suggesting peace is what I like about this new series.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Resolution number one: paint more

Oriental Bouquet in January 30 x 30 oil on canvas
I sanded down a painting that was tight and unresolved from last spring and tried to apply what I'd learned from a small pastel drawing .  The drawing was done from life and much of the set up remained. I painted quite thickly at the start of last week and it was only dry enough to return to today. In the interim my ideas had moved on, the flowers had changed and I had begun a necklace series. 

In the same way that local colour can be a barrier to making the most interesting drawing, the objects in front of you can be too. Sometimes invention is the only solution.

initial 6 x 6 pastel drawing: Freesias and Kimono

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Textile studies

Often I buy things for the pattern and colour.  I don't have expensive tastes, most of my shopping takes place in charity shops and car boot sales.  I know I will use them in a drawing at the least, so I gather stuff. 

My mother, Janice M Moss,  makes fabric beads with delicious patterns in luscious colours and I wear them most days.  People stop me and comment on their beauty. 

I often mention that the I find it tough to navigate between figurative and abstract and when I was thinking about what I wanted to do this year, one of the ideas I had was to draw and paint figuratively about textiles in a way that would create abstract designs.  I thought the necklaces might be a good place to start. 

The cloth under the necklaces this time is a vintage bathrobe and a Mexican shirt that has a tiny headhole that makes it impossible to wear.   The drawing really is this dark but what you can't see in the scan is that the ground was made with metallic pigment that shimmers, so the circles, which shimmer in real life shimmer in the drawing a bit too.

I loved making this drawing so will revist beads.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Begin again with what you know

It's my first day back to the rhythm of what I do. So I began with what I know very, very well. This is where I stand to prepare food and it is the place where outside and inside merges, where if I am lucky I see the owl fly, the moon rise, the night fall.  I got bogged down by local colour a bit… why do I do that? But I'm satisfied by the rhythm and that was what I wanted to find today.