Saturday, October 31, 2009

The canvas 4

Finally finished the tester piece, to my satisfaction. Happy that I'm beginning to know what I want from this work. To show the over whelming power struggle between the need to provide adequate housing for the masses over the needs of the masses to be able to afford and control their own housing and the cost of adequate housing opposed to the poverty of the many living in the slums. Kind of, in a way, otherwise its just a commentary on extreme urban growth without real provision for the low incomed, add your own words and opinions.

Anyway, pics show the finished tester and the started final piece, although I may play with another tester before I do anything else to the big one. I need to get it right. There's a lot riding on this work. Next piece I do I'm concentrating on the human form and doing NO MORE LANDSCAPE!

The canvas 3

Not happy, the paint was too thick and when it wasn't it was too thin. Sort of still getting ideas about how I want it to look. Not going to go completely down this route, and I don't like the very limited palette.

Changes will be made and the next trial started today. Going to get on now, less than 2 weeks to the deadline and a business plan to write too. Bugger!

I have been having too much fun and not doing enough work.

Enough messing about now, and on to the serious stuff. Plus I'm trying to get the altered book off the ground.

My middle name feels like it should be procrastinator. OK, work. Now. Go on, get on with it!

Probably more of the same later.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The canvas 2

Ok so I'm still not sure this approach is going to work, or if indeed I will have time to complete it before the end of the week of 11th November. However, I will be trying.

Latest layer on the tester, looking complex and fairly good, though the scan is a little fuzzy.

Painting and possibly more collage over the top. The final image will be different, quite considerably, but the layering seems to be working for me at the moment.

Short and sweet today. Stuff to do, including having a bath later and going to see Up! 3D. With added children, and a Halloween/bonfire party to go to too. Busy busy busy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Beginnings 4

This is starting to go on a bit now. Just had a phone call from the nice man at the local uni asking if I would be able to do some life modelling tomorrow, all day, 6 hours of paid work! Yay! I have to pay £5 for parking, but I come out of it with money going in the bank and potential for regular bookings. That saves me some effort and stress. Things are starting to look like they will come together.

I just need to find a part time job that will ensure I still get the WTC and CTC and I may just survive my stupid, sorry brave decision to give up a secure permanent soul destroying job!

Not really done very much work, but will now feel motivated to get on with it today. Got to go out later to do something at a friends house, bus all day tomorrow, but I usually am on a weds, and I get a substantial break so I can visit the millennium gallery and graves art gallery for some homework. Good stuff all round.

I have got some written homework to do, but I think I'll be able to get that done in a day. I have to write a business plan for setting up a small printing studio. Won't take much research or time. I'm also going to write a plan for the life drawing class I've set up. That should get me some extra credit.

Back to doing some real work now I think. I've got stuff to finish for college which will also suffice for the Winter Open at the Clocktower. Really need to get on with it to get my work out there ready for sale. AND I need to be making Xmas prezzies and stuff for sale at craft fairs. Bookmaking is a doddle and people are so impressed with it.

Right work now.

Oh and a nice cloud picture that I submitted to the Cloud Appreciation society website. Pretty huh?

Monday, October 26, 2009

We are ages away from Christmas

Right pet peeve #7.

Why do we have to suffer xmas ads before Halloween? It's no where near xmas, stop it now. It spoils it for people, and gets kids all over excited and ruins the spirit of christmas, which by the way is only in December because the invading Christians wanted to pursuade the native Pagans in Britain to worship their god. Stop ruining the major winter festival by introducing stuff into the shops too early.

As soon as we have xmas over with, the ads will all be for summer holidays.

Don't know if anyone has noticed, but all this rush to consume without limits is what has landed this country in the s**t pile it is in at the moment. Lets all chill out a bit and look at what we are doing to each other and the economy. Why do we buy stuff for xmas which no-one wants, needs or can afford, spending the rest of the year paying it off, only to do it again next year? I have been a Christmas spending refusnik for 4 years now, and only one person has been disappointed by the lack of high spending. That was their issue, by the way not mine. I make individual, personalised presents for my friends and the ones who complain it wasn't a shop bought, high cost gift aren't my real friends anyway. A good present is something given with love, affection and a real understanding of what someone likes and appreciates. The time I spend making things for my friends is the best gift I could give to anyone.

Try it yourself, you'll be surprised how cherished these gifts are.

And to my friends, love ya all. Mwah!

End of rant.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The canvas 1

Today, the day has been spent waiting for paint and glue to dry. This is why I prefer textiles, no waiting for stuff to dry/set/cure or generally be ready for the next stage. Straight on to the next bit once something is done.

I'm working on some test canvases for the Growth project, which is the main project for college and has a deadline of November 11th. I may manage it, but it will be cutting it very close.

So far I've tried paint first then collage on top, collage first then paint on top and now I'm going to give stitching on top a try. Working towards a slightly different approach which, I hope, will look the best.

Here are some progress pics. Let me know whet you think, but be gentle with me I'm having a rather annoying day with it all. it's not doing what I wanted it to do. The words bugger arse and poo chops come to mind!

Need to update my sketchbook for this project and then get my sewing machine out. I'm looking forward to that cos it's been a while since I played with my machine. Yummyness will abound.

I'm more in the mood for making and playing with books. Must.....remain.....focused......or ....will.....lose......way. Or I may turn into Captain Kirk! Oops, the geek popped out there, I'll just.......push her back into the the cupboard. *Slams door and locks it securely* Right she's safely out of the way for now, not sure how she keeps getting out of there unless she's got a sonic screwdriver in there with her! Oh bugger it's catching!

Annnnnnnywayyyyyyy! Back to the focused self, sketchbook, tidying and sewing! Yay! The problem I am having is that other things are always distracting me and maybe I just have to accept that this is probably the way I work, with a lot of preplanning, thinking and general navel gazing prior to actually getting down to it and doing something. Or maybe I just need to be more disciplined. I'll get back to you on that one.

Just need to get these pictures looking tidy for my blog. I'm not sure that it will work, but I can try. At last, after about 5 minutes of fiddling, got them to line up tidy like. Right, publish and back to the desk of doom.

As for the pics, they don't look much at them mo, but shortly will be rather good. Honest, I'm not sh**ting you. They have to be good, cos I'm submitting at least three of them for the Winter Open at the Clocktower, NGH, which of course everyone will be attending won't they? Please? Ta, love you all. Mwah!

THE Book 1

As an experiment, I wanted to alter a book, being much impressed with how others create things of beauty and form from old books. And as usual I took on something way bigger than a beginner should.

The theme of the book is religion. Nice, simple, non-controversial subject. Ahem. kind of did it again. It's like the corset all over again. Oops. So far I have been fiddling with bookbinding and photoshopping and trying to find tales, myths, parables and stories from all of the major religions which are basically the same story. I have 65 two page spreads to fill with stories illustrated in my own(ish) style(ish)! The good news is that many of the stories are multi-parters, so I may get away with 8 to 10 stories. Not THAT many then.

Beginning with creation then. Nice easy place to start. Except which creation story to tell? Christian, Greek myth, Aboriginal, Chinese? I'll get back to you on that. They do, however, all begin with darkness and chaos.

In the meantime, I have sorted out the cover for the book. It involved a lot of patience. And glue. And photoshop.What do you think?

Answers on a postcard marked "FAO: the complete raving lunatic woman who thinks she has talent".

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New beginnings 3

Just spent half of the morning applying for part time jobs to keep the wolf from the door. many and varied, but jobs nonetheless. I'm now trying to get on with my projects for college, but distracted by Facebook and Farmville. Keeping off Bejewelled though, which is finally a relief.

Projects underway, big canvas using paing, collage and stitch to show the growth of urban spaces, high rise buildings and the spread of slums in the remaining spaces. It's supposed to be some kind of comment on the lack of affordable space for poor and working class people in the new cities in the emerging countries of China and India. Also I like collage and stitch. Deadline looming. Feeling less than confident that I can pull it off.

Other project, which is the major distraction, but the least urgent is an altered book incorporating tales, myths and parables from all religions and looking at the similarities of the major stories. Creation myths, law making, punishments, lost souls, messiahs and prophets and the signs for the end of the world.

Listening to Radio 1 and quite enjoying the music that's being played. Some of it is a little off the wall.

I also have to finish going through a wedding with around 600 photos to examine, edit and make decisions on. Want to get that done by the end of today.

Phew, when did I ever find time to go to work full time? No wonder I was on the edge of a breakdown all the time! Now I am on the edge of bankrupcy, but I feel so much less stressed by that. I've seen people survive bankrupcy better than survive a complete mental and emotional collapse.

Bugger I really didn't want this blog to turn into a diary of my mental health ups and downs, but I suppose I can't really talk about my life without talking about my depression and the ups and downs of my moods.

Ok so back to more work, waiting for a message back from a friend, and will be able to get on with some more stuff once I get a response. Need a wee and some food now.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New beginnings....2

Today I set myself the task of finding a space in a community centre or other such building to start a life drawing group.

A simple task you might think. It has to be affordable, cover the costs of the space and the model and the equipment and supplies provided for people who have never done it before. In addition I would like to be able to make a small amount of money to cover my time for co-ordinating it.

Well, everywhere is full up in the evenings and afternoons was about the best I could do, except for one place, presently to remian nameless, which could offer me as much space asI wanted but at £60 per hour! Ok then.

Finally I found somewhere, the co-ordinator of the centre is enthusiastic, supportive and may even be able to find me some funding to start an early evening art gtroup for young people. Cooler than cool. Funny how some people think of community space as a space fpor community first and some think of it as a business first.So from 7th December 2009, Verdon Street Recreation Centre will have a life drawing class, 6.30 to 8.30, every monday evening. £5 per person although it is negotiable if you're skint! Welcome 1 and all.

Monday, October 19, 2009

New beginnings, old endings

So I am now jobless. Without a paid, proper job. Unemployed.

I am happier than I have been for some time, relaxed, getting (slowly) organised, starting to have ideas about how to bring enough money in to pay the mortgage and feeling I could take on the entire world, I have so many ideas.

I've decided I am having a complete week off from any thoughts of work and getting up to date with the house work, college work and life and friends. Feeling so good about the whole process of packing my job in that I really cannot imagine working for someone else ever again.

My last day was a bit of a day from hell, but the rest of the weekend was fantastic and I feel like I did the right thing and maybe should have done it a year ago, but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

My friends are being so incredibly supportive, even trusting me to do their wedding photography for them when I have very little experience. Claire and Sonia, Sharon and Ashley you have no idea what your faith means to me.

I have been getting bookings for modelling, so I have regular work lined up, though it doesn't pay a huge amount it is work and some money coming in. I am also going to try and organise a life drawing class near me to see if I can make a small but again regular income from that. What I'd really like to do is organise some kind of community arts project in the north of Sheffield to create my own arts role here and support people who need art to help them through whatever issues they are dealing with, personal, professional or familial. I know I have to energy, drive and ideas to make all of this stuff work for me, but I just need to believe the next couple of months aren't going to be disastrous.

I have a canvas prepared for my major project at college, which I will be working on tomorrow, setting the whole day aside for it. Today is reserved for odd jobs and housework. Off to a meeting tonight for ATT, which is Art Though Textiles. I have some good friends there and will be able to make connections and network more effectively without having to be at a paid full time job. Although, don't get me wrong I am looking for paid work, I just need to not be doing it full time.

I resolved not to worry about money or paying for the things i need, I'll have enough cash work to keep me ticking over and I hope that I get enough temping work to be able to pay the big bills. And you know what, if I don't so what? Things will come together like they always do. I have faith that the universe will provide what I need when I need it. The universe has never let me down yet and always shows me the right way to go, even if sometimes I'm stubborn and won't go that way.

I must now go to the loo and eat some lunch, then ring the nice young man who is giving me a fridge on freecycle. Long story, but I'll tell it on another post.

Just thought I'd pop a couple of my latest experiments to see what you think. A mixture of monoprints and bleach and ink drawings.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ideas, ideas

Been trying to get my head around what I want to do with my latest college project, while at the same time trying to stay calm about being very skint for a couple of months until I start getting regular work from agencies.

I'm not in a panic, but I am thinking if I just accept that I will be having a week off and I will be skint and behind with my bills for a couple of months, i may just stop worrying about things. Why worry about things you can't change?

So the ideas I've been coming up with - oh hang on a minute, I smell of dog! It's very distracting, sorry.

Ideas, oh yes, so what i have is part collage, part textile, my favourite kind of thing. Fairly large, on heavy cotton fabric or canvas depending on what I have in my fabric cupboard and collage on using old map pages, news papers, brown paper and some fabric, painted over layered and stitched into.

In addition to that, my altered book is to have a cover that is a collage. That, however is as much as I'm letting on at the moment, because I'm going to start working on that tonight. I will probably start getting my main project started tomorrow evening, but won't be doing much more than that until Sunday, when I'll be recovering from photographing a wedding. I may not have time to work at this rate, but at least I'm starting to develop a fairly good photo portfolio.

So trying to fit everything in for college, photography of the paying kind, looking at developing things into textiles to submit for the winter open at the clocktower, and trying to find enough paying work to at least marginally stay ahead of the bills, my life is really rather full. Not time for TV, when of course the TV is now getting quite good. Flash Forward, Lie to Me, Stargate Universe and an endless round of CSI and Law and Order, I need more hours in the day or a lottery win to keep up. Something my have to go and it might have to be TV. I gave it up before, I'm sure I could do it again. I have computer, radio and I can read, just about. I'll ponder the question.
By the way, thanks Debbie for the cooker. The electric one will be put onto freecycle shortly, and I'm now looking for a small chest freezer and a standard sized fridge, cos there's no room in my kitchen for an eye level grill gas cooker and a full size fridge freezer! I have my fingers crossed that the housing situation will be resolved by the end of the week. The photo is Debbie and her lovely young man Mick, lovely gorgeous people, who are the best laugh.

I had a really busy day today, said goodbye to my boss of 6 years, managed not to cry, booked the restaurant for my leaving do and as usual did not homework. Will be doing some shortly, cos I want to make a start on the experimental work for the paiture/collage/project, whatever you want to call it. On that note I think I need to stop blogging and get some work done.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Bad good, good day.

So I am trying to be positive about my new future, the one where I don't have to work crappy shifts at a dead end job in a local hospital. Trouble is I am panicking about whether I can make enough money in other ways, through agency work, setting up a new life drawing class, getting jobs as a life model, selling my art and craft work. Oh and winning the lottery would reeeaaaally help matters at the moment.

Bugger I'm so worried about money.

So the better part of the day happened when I popped over to Nottingham to see my cousin, Michelle. Got big hugs and feel much better for having someone to talk to. Feeling lonely and afraid of the future, but I'm still sure i did the right thing packing my job in.

Today's picture, by the way is something I knocked off over the weekend looking at the work of Juan Gris, trying out a new way of overlaying image on image on collage to try and get something interesting. I kinda like the effect, but let me know what you all think of it. Ha! you all, only 2 people read my blog! I suppose 2 can count as all! Oh well more will be joining you soon when I start to get famous! Sorry I'll just have a short maniacal laugh - mwhahahahahahahahah - and back to normal.

Listening to iplayer at the mo, listening to how music gets picked for TV and movies, not really giving much info, it seems to be quite random really, it is entirely dependent upon who is listening to your music at the time. Like everything, it's being in the right place at the right time. Something I'm trying to do with my work, and becoming jobless. Hmmmmm. Pondering on the wisdom of my decision again.

I'm sorry I'll keep doing this until I start to pull some regular work and most important of all money. Bear with me normal(!?) service will be resumed shortly.

Going to play crappy games on facebook now.

Night all.