Collage, Drawing

Mountain Vapour Trail

Lucy Barfoot Mountain Trail

Quick Posca drawing/collage

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Drawing

Drawing whilst listening

I have always have been a big fan of drawing whilst listening. Some of my favourite things to draw have been born out of attending my old University lectures, pen and paper in hand. Notice how I am not calling this ‘doodling’. That word, to me, is a bit lacklustre. It can be defined as:

  1. Scribble absentmindedly.
  2. Engage in idle activity; dawdle: “they could plan another attack while we’re just doodling around”.

I like to think my drawing has more of a purpose, an outpouring of something, a visual description of someone I am interested in, etc.

Sitting with pen in hand can make me listen better, and also can help me from becoming bored. It’s also one of my favourite things: productive. If I’m sat down, watching something, or someone – I feel much more at ease and able to relax if I’m keeping myself busy with something creative… of course I don’t do this all the time as there is a need to just sit and be sometimes, but I do notice myself enjoying it more if I’m creatively stimulated in some way.

This does come with a risk of becoming distracted by the drawing – paying it too much attention. Although that’s not really a problem in my eyes. I welcome that, especially as I am trying to put more value and importance on drawing.

This week I am volunteering as a Host Delegate at the International Conference on Culture Health and Wellbeing in Bristol, an Arts and Health South-West event. I am spending the beginning of this week ushering people around, telling speakers when they have one minute left of their talks, ticking people off lists, handing things out, being a friendly face, being a bit of a Bristol tour-guide and most interestingly, sitting in on lots of talks on a variety of subjects based around Health and Wellbeing, by lots of interesting speakers.

And I have been drawing.

Day 1.

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Day 2:

A workshop on ‘The Cancer Journey’ and ‘Dying Creatively’ very interesting subjects, and I picked up a really interesting titbit: how we humans have so many ways of talking about death and dying, by getting it into conversation: ‘drop dead gorgeous’, ‘dead easy’, ‘dead set’, ‘dead end’, ‘dying to meet him’. A way of making it a softer subject? So that when we have to deal with it, it’s not something wholly new. We’ve been saying the words all along.

Lots of words and sayings in todays drawings: ‘Engaged in a collective endeavour’ (I forgot the U!) ‘Feeling is healing’, a suggestion to say “can we talk about what it’ll be like when you die” to the people around you, to prepare and engage with it. Another suggestion to ‘talk about death in a funny way’ – a coping strategy, and a good way to ‘be’ about it. The ‘What Ever’ is mine – no one said that! Onward to day 3!

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Day 3: Too busy running about to draw. Boo hoo!

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Blind Drawing, Drawing

Telephone Drawings take 2

This wonderful old telephone, previously drawn, used as a prop, kicked about in the studio, hidden away on a shelf…. thought it was time to get it out and draw it again, because that’s always been a good starting point for me when I’m trying to get into the creativity zone or want to actually do some drawing (so very overlooked by me most of the time). So here’s the phone, and  the drawings which came out. One is a 5-minute blind drawing. ‘Cos I like that

 

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Drawing, Process, Thoughts

Never

One word, simple really- I HAD to make SOMETHING and I couldn’t find my motivation, my interest, my inspiration. So I imagined never having any of those three things, and realised that this is a monetary thing and it’ll all whiz back to me, and it’s ok! So I wrote the word ‘NEVER’ to remind me of this, and played around with some little page-tab things I found in a dollar shop in NZ. Taking inspiration from this quote, but exchanging ”dance” for “making shit”

We’re fools whether we dance or not so we might as well dance (Japanese proverb)

 

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Drawing, Thoughts

Three Small Pieces

Three small pieces, made from a commitment to “I will spend 20 minutes making something today”. I didn’t really enjoy it, it felt like more of a ‘have-to’ but I bloody did it! (And I don’t like them much, apart from the one which secretly says ‘Start’.)

slow down

Recycled paper, letraset, ink

squares

Recycled paper again, with ink, and some sticky sponge squares, which were peeled off post-ink

tart

More recycled paper, ink dabbed on with a tiny paintbrush, letraset on the top.

My studio is now here at home and being surrounded by my things is spurring me on.

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color, Drawing

Colouring in Hexagons

A beautiful new book, bought in the bookshop attached to the wonderful MACBA – Barcelona’s Museum of Contemporary Art. It’s a notebook with HEXAGON PAPER. That’s right, tiny little hexagons just waiting to be coloured in or for a story to be written, a word in each hexagon. It’s made by ‘Paperways’. I’m excited about the book, and I hear that my delightful friend and fellow creative Angela Chick is using hers now too. We had a little hiatus because the books are so beautiful – you know when you put off using them because they’re so nice.

The notebooks can be bought on Amazon here or here on the InkThistle website – you can see the other lovely Paperways products here too.

Here’s what I have done so far. I seriosly need to get better at colouring within the lines. But those hexagons are very small you see. Drawing with my trusty Pilot 0.4, a very sharp pencil and my ‘Zig Kurecolor’ graphic pens which was given to me as the best Christmas present ever. More about those pens right here.

Hexagon

Hexagon 7 Hexagon 6  Hexagon 4

Hexagon 3

Hexagon

Hexagon 2   Hexagon  3

Working out which pens I can use and which I can’t. Some of them bleed too much into the paper you see. I wanted to use light and subtle colours only.

Hexagon 2

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Blind Drawing, Drawing

Don’t forget Blind Drawing

It’s great to remember Blind Drawing. I do quite a lot of this at work, but not much personally. I dragged out a roll of paper, got a selection of pens out and went for it. Here are my favourite parts. May this remind me to stop forgetting about Blind Drawing!

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Art, Collage, Drawing

Forgotten work

A new year de-clutter. I’ve been organising things on my computer better. Part of this involved wading through thousands of photographs, deleting and shifting around. Collating the images of things I’ve made into one big folder. It’s been a bit of a mission, but also enjoyable to be reminded of things I’ve created/found and forgotten about, such as these:

Collages, all together.

These beautiful keys, which belong to the caretaker at Redland Girls School.

Trying new methods of drying the ‘glue moulds’ this patch never, ever dried.

Complete glue moulds, peeled off a strong plastic surface. So brightly coloured although I never used much ink.

My father’s difficult hand writing. A bad list! More of a statement.

The first sewing drawing, during a residency at a secondary school.

A little brainstorm which sums up everything. Colour and repetition.

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Art, Drawing, Exhibitions

Yayoi Kusama – ‘Obliteration Room’ and ‘I’m Here, But Nothing’

Back in the third year of my Fine Art degree, my great tutor Amanda Couch organised a trip to galleries in London. One of the first galleries was the Victoria Miro in Mayfair and I was dazzled. Yayoi Kusama’s drawings were ignored, all I could see where her installations and get absorbed in her ‘Infinity Mirror Room’.

When I saw Kusama’s ‘The Obliteration Room‘ (above) I didn’t realise it was her work. I was reminded of ‘I’m Here, But Nothing‘ which I saw back in my Uni days (see below images) but the work is slightly different. The viewer can interact with the artwork; children only being allowed to add stickers to the walls and domestic items in the room. How I remember ‘The Obliteration Room’ was that you opened the door, slid into the room, which was pitch black apart from a UV light and thousands of equally spaced glow-in-the-dark stickers. The room made me dizzy, people were stumbling and any sense of surroundings was lost.

I’m Here, But Nothing

I’m Here, But Nothing

Narcissus Garden

Infinity Mirror Room: Love Forever

‘En masse Kusama’s work is beautiful but overwhelming, the product of a self-described obsession.’ Victoria Miro Gallery

‘The encounter with my work is extremely important at this stage. I am a factory worker and the monotomy of these tasks I make myself complete have an effect on me. The balance of control is off-kilter as I feel like I am being controlled by my objects.’ 3rd year Project Plan from uni

‘Obliterate your personality with polka dots. Become one with eternity. Become part of your environment. Take off your clothes. Forget yourself. Make love. Self-destruction is the only way to peace.’ Yayoi Kusama

Since the visit to the gallery, I have found a love for her drawings, especially the repetition of Infinity Nets.

What excited me is the idea of painting an entire room and objects completely white, as in ‘The obliteration room‘.

More images of The Obliteration room here

More images of the entire exhibition ‘Look Now, See Forever’ here

Kusama’s website

Anyway, watch out because she’s coming to the Tate Modern in February: 9th feb 2012-5th jun 2012


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Drawing, Monsters, Silly

Craig Atkinson’s Monsters

A couple of months ago, I came across Craig Atkinson, (found him on the Boooooom website)

He drew these:

Which are quite like these… Apart from the ones I have made have much less suspicious eyes. Here are my monsters, which I have been playing with for 4 years now. A fancy dress costume, a nail design, a drawing, wallpaper.

So after finding him, I got back into the monsters, and had a little go at creating something like his collective. cutting paper to size, allowing it to stand up. It’s like a little army.

Craig Atkinson’s website is here, and contains a lot of photographs of Britain, drawings and a collection of Spanish serviettes. He also lectures and directs Café Royal Books. A busy man! Find him on Twitter: @craigatkinson

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Art, Drawing

Triangles with Angela Chick

Angela Chick is beautiful person. I miss her – we met at UCA and now she’s in Brighton and I’m here in Bristol and we don’t see each other much, but we are often on each other’s minds. Last weekend, I had the delight of Angela visiting me. We made things together. The biggest thing was a triangle collaboration, here is a couple of sections of it:

I’ve found myself rather obsessed with triangles later. Here’s some of the triangles which have come out of my hands lately. I rediscovered my Mac liquid eyeliner pen, which is long run out, and I use it as a brush with a pot of ink. It gives a lovely finish and holds the ink for a really long time.

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Art, Drawing, Process, Text Project, Thoughts

Text Project version 2

An idea, researching now, experimenting too.

The idea of being part of one of the Bristol arts trails next year, North, South or West, either. Showing and selling a series of repetitive works, the kind I love, the ‘serious stuff’, full of compulsion, happy accidents, flow, doing the same thing over and over and really boring myself, like a factory worker. I love the task ahead of creating a large body of work. To frame and exhibit and sell. Then I imagined the space and all this seriousness. There’s lots of beige and white.

I realise there is a bit of a schizophrenic within my artist self. One half the above and one half fun, fancy-dress, silly things to make you smirk, color and vibrancy. It would be good to see the two sides represented in an exhibition, but perhaps under another name. The things I want to make as this second half are usable, aimed at adults, for adults to play. And at the same time being things for the cool kids to have. Pop-up signs, elaborate wigs, old man masks, vegetable and weather fancy dress, fake poo’s in different colours. All of that and more.

So I’m starting with lettering, making words on sticks for people to spell out different words. I like the idea of them being 3D, but this is proving impossible to find on the internet. All I found was this one guy’s attempt: (see his blog here)

but as he says, the curved letters are near impossible, and it’s all very fiddly. More searching found me this…

A wonderful person made a font! Free and downloadable from here: at DaFont He’s got around the issue of the curves by making everything not curvy.

(This font is a set of cut-out layouts with which you can build 3D pixel style letters. They should all work. Just cut along the solid lines, fold along the dotted lines, put some glue on the shaded flaps, stick them together and there you go… If you want to use this for commercial projects, please contact me: tobias (dot) sommer (at) gmx (dot) ch )

No printer here, but I’m going to copy down the net onto cardboard and have a try myself, get that trusty old scalpel out.

Here’s what I’m trying to make, but in 2D version. I couldn’t find any thing stick-like in my studio, (and I just had the idea that using an actual stick, painted…Would be really nice) So I’ve used a dental mirror. I came across these at a strange market stall selling mostly nuts and bolts. They are extendable and have a tiny rounded mirror on them.

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Art, Drawing, Photography

What I’m working on

Intricate, time-consuming drawing. Using china markers, a grey/lilac colored pencil and some un-watered down water colour paint. I might say that this is the start of a project, I want to create a body of work to exhibit next year, possibly at one of the Bristol open studio events, or one of the Arts Trails. Every piece will be in the same vein as this one – an accumulation and a collection of hours, doing the drawings little and often, each piece will hold around ten hours of my time, spread over around a month. Little and often. Little and often.

Stone paintings: some stones left over from knocking down a massive wall. Like an attractive paper weight, and a good surface to work with. This one ain’t done, I want to fill it with lots of lines, like a precise Davenport!

Poppies: after collecting them for years and years, I’m at stage one of experimenting with my collected poppy petals (thousands) but this trial looked a bit Ikea – not quite what I’m going for, but maybe people would purchase?

Inky shower door: Better than glass because it’s got edges you see. Like my glue mould work from a couple of years back, I’m not working in ladles any more, but instead I’m using the flat surface. working with Drawing inks and clear glue (not pva!) I’m going to be adding lots to this. It takes a long long time to dry, so it’s another ongoing thing.

Tax disks, another thing I’ve collected long-term. Scavenged from scrap yards, it’s about time I got them out and made something with them. I’ll start by plonking them on my desk.

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Art, Collage, Drawing

Big in Brighton

A weekend in Brighton with Angela Chick and Yannik Eilers. We had big ideas: making miniature underwater sets for Yannik to shoot using his new underwater camera. This didn’t happen, but we thought of these ideas to go with the underwater theme:

  • putting milk in the water to make it cloudy
  • underwater treasure coral
  • an underwater butcher selling horses and man-meat
  • an underwater office
  • putting dye in the water
  • putting our faces in the water

I did make the coral though. More of that soon. We made lots of other things, Yannik scanning in lots of images from old picture books and editing in Photoshop – they were mostly rude. Angela worked on more of her embroidery hoops, and made “a couple of really shit collages that I didn’t even like.” She also made us delicious food.

I collaged, and I collaged a lot. Here’s what I made:

Men statues: “they made people feel quite uncomfortable” Made on old photographic paper – words scraped on with a pin (ouch) and head collage.

ALL these things are about to take off. Arrow found in the weekend papers, strange words: ‘sno-cats, majestic peaks, penguins and seals, fur seals and colorful markets’ found in the index page of an old encyclopedia.

I found some men with interesting expressions. (best faces found in Money and Sport sections)

“Hi, are you coming out on the piss?”

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