Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Starry Portait DIY

Hello Starshine!
I spend an unhealthy amount of time on Picnik, so I probably broke it and that is why they are closing it. Seriously, I am practially married to it, and am not going to take the  divorce and separation well! They are closing the doors in April but until then all premium content is freeeeeeeee.

So...get down there and solar system portrait yourself with gay abandon! I recently caught a DIY of this on a blog, and had a go. I have added a few more examples of the steps needed to make it happen.
Here's how:

1. Take a picture of yourself against a white or very light background, in good strong light.

2. Upload the picture to Picnik.

3. Go to basic edits and adjust the exposure and contrast until you get it nice and dark, crop it too if you need to (you want just the liht background showing).

4. Change it to B&W.

5. Go to the 'seasonal' tab at the top, and pick 'Final Shuttle Launch'

6. Have a play with the settings in 'Space Textures'.

Try some other pictures. A different pose creates a different narrative:

Fun fun fun!

Do you use Picnik?
Which programs do you use to play with photos, I love to discover new ones.

Love, me x

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Arty Farty book-lust

Hey friend :)
At school I recently ordered a whole stack-a-books to inspire my classes and myself in Textiles Design. Hopefully these will help us/ them/ we to be more creative. I know they have already worked their arty-farty magic on me and I am full of ideas, my inspiration-tank est full!

we'll start here
I love traditional techniques used in a contemporary way, blackwork here...sooo labour intensive (all handstitch)!
graffiti is a passion of mine, and this Textile version is beyond yummy. Scattered words and images hand stitched.
beautiful aesthetically as well as disturbing and uncomfortable
narrative work is another passion of mine: feelings, messages, codes, links

I would whole-heartedly implore you to check out this book if you are a lover of any of the following: textiles, embroidery, subversive stitch, graffiti textiles, contemporary art, feminism, guerrilla textiles.
I originally saw this book at the Knitting and Stitching Show and didn't have the money to buy it. So glad I could at least get it at school to lust over...swoon! The artists in here are so inspirational it makes me want to cry.

If you liked this you may way to check out the author's blog, he is called Mr X Stitch.

What inspires you?
Love, me x

Monday, 27 February 2012

Art Journal - the Cambodia Pages

As promised I am sharing more pages from my completed Art journal with notes on materials used.

Hereforth are the pages created while I was in Cambodia in October 2011. I miss it every day and dream of it every night, These pages remind me of moments sat in bars and restaurants and vans drawing, wondering and getting sozzled in a beautiful and awe inspiring country. I cannot wait to go back in the summer for four whole weeks!

brusho dyes, photocopies, napkins, jam lid, black pen, magazine paper, felt pens, baggage tags
watercolour pencils, stitching, brusho dyes, cocktail brolly, phone book paper, felt pens, manuscript paper, pencil
beer label, baggage labels, napkins, felt pens, pencil, brusho dyes
felt pens, maps, airline tags, receipts, watercolour pencils, pencil, brusho dyes, biro, masking tape
watercolour pencils, black pen, manuscript paper, felt pens, leaflets
baggage labels, watercolours, felt pens, food label, black ink, crayon rubbing

I have one more set to share of this book before I tuck it away and say TTFN. My next project is an exciting on which I will share with you when I get started.

Which methods do you use in your work? Do you Art Journal?
Love. me x

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Art Journal Update

It has been ages since I showed you into my little Art Journal home. This is a book that I keep all my ideas, notes, meeting appointments, drawings etc in. It is literally and art journal in those exact terms. I make Art out of what I find myself journaling about, thoughts and feelings as well as just sorting my head out. IN fact, this is what the inside of my brain looks like. I hope you think its as pretty as I do :]

I last shared it when I started it in the summer (you might want to check this post out, or this one if you are not shown them at the end). I have now finished my journal - which I thought would terrify me but I have plans for the next one which I am very excited by, and will obviously share with y'all.

Here are some of my favorite pages, I'll be sharing more later in the week. With each one I'll try and remember materials used in case this is helpful or interesting to you:

papers, watercolour, felt pens, pencil, printed papers, brown ink, biro, sellotape
old lists, felt pens, various papers and receipts, envelope, oil pastels, craft foam print using acrylic paint
black ink, tin foil, papers, craft foam print using acrylic paint, papers, receipts, sewing machine, felt pens with water, biro
black pen
felt pens, watercolour, maps, black pen, biro, watercolour pencils, brusho dyes, bleach
pencil, black pen, felt pens, maps, stickers, watercolour, white chalk
handout from a meeting (on caring for your back at work), biro, stamp, letter stamps, inside envelope, white acrylic, fabric
stamps, letter stamps, paper, receipts, craft foam stamp, watercolour, acrylic paint, sellotape, washi tape, lace, inside envelope, tipex pen, felt pens, pencil
pencil, black pen, felt pen, envelope, masking tape

You can see from those lists that I use a LOT of materials and processes or sometimes I keep it simple. I am learning a lot about how processes and materials work together though Art Journaling. I love making those choices and seeing how things work, its important to be brave and try things out...remember these are the highlights, there are some crud awful pages in there too :)
Sometimes I hate hate hate it, then I leave it to come back and can see a way to make a page work again. I learn about me through this work and that is why you see very personal messages in there, these are intentions at the time - quiet whisperings to myself (or loud shouts, like the one above).

How do you learn about you?
Love, me x

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Twin Sails at Sunset

On some flukish whim I managed to get down to the Twin Sails Bridge in Poole before it is opened to traffic (with my Mum and Olivia), which is not exactly a feat as it is right there for everyone to see, but to see it without cars is to appreciate it's beauty.
The fluke of it is that it was a most beautiful sunset tonight and the sky was amazingly clear. The bridge looked utterly beautiful in its spanky-newness, set against a crescent moon...wowzers. I was blown  a w a y.

Sometimes I am appalled at the amount of money councils spend on crap buildings and shopping centres or failed town planning, but this is a thing worth it's millions in my opinion; majestic, artistic, fitting (my town has a strong nautical heritage and hosts the UK RNLI headquarters), and did I say beautiful? Yep, pretty sexy as bridges go...reminds me of Roxy Music, Miami Vice and LA all rolled together, haha.

 As I stood marvelling at it I was struck by its sculptural qualities (we already have a Caro on the quay), the shapes and lines and lights all looked like they could be part of an immense Donald Judd installation.

I might be a bit biased and proud that something so cool is in my hometown :) But I am seriously impressed. I am quite the architecture geek anyway, so this just adds another thing I can photograph the heck out of! Yay!.
As we were leaving I said 'oh yay I can come down here tomorrow and take pictures of reflections - there are some cool buildings', to which my daughter mouthed to her nana 'help me'...oh well, I guess I'll be trotting down there on my own to geek out eh?

I did manage to squeeze in a few reflections - one of my photography obsessions.

Have you got any groovy landmarks in your town?
Love, me x

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Travel Art Journal (junior edition)

Hello, you look good today :)

Its time to share Olivia's Travel Art Journal from our trip to London last week. She really was absorbed by it and I always love watching her get creative.

A little rant...
I believe creativity to be one of the most (actually THE most) important skill to develop and nurture, and utterly essential to our future on this planet. I do not think Arts subjects get enough priority in schools, and alarmingly I think schools often crush the natural creativity in ALL of us; it's not entirely their fault as they are driven by the need to teach skills to fit in with exam board requirements.
I chose to take on a new kind of Art GCSE a couple of years ago: OCR Art and Design (Textiles Design) and it has seriously changed my practice and enhanced creativity back into what I teach, it is a very free and open course allowing a lot of independence of thought and action. I love teaching it and the students on the whole, love the freedom. However I also have experience in other areas where creativity is quite literally stamped on. Where the emphasis is on 'perfection' rather that 'trial and error'. Perfection is sought in endless line drawing, when it should be mixed up with other drawing skills that create less tension and frustration.
I would love to see Art subjects being studied daily as well as physical education, why on earth is Science held above these life-skills? We should not be pushing our youngsters toward academia, but rather towards a more human friendly balance that encapsulates a holistic view. Arts allow for expression and connection to the body and soul - if that isn't a priority then we are going to get into a bit of a mess in the future, or rather...we are leaving a mess for them to sort out!

---Rant Over---
Thank you for listening. I saw a really inspirational lecture via this blog the other day and it echoes everything I fundamentally believe. I have tagged it on at the end, it's long but worth it!

Prety pictures time.

Some of her pages aren't quite finished but I love the work anyway. That she has made choices to tear, cut, rip or layer...these are all imporant choices to make to determine what works, what looks good.

Did you have a good experience of Art at school, or did you leave with the feeling that you 'weren't good enough?'
Love, me x
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