Friday, February 24, 2006

a door handle for everyday matters

the door to my work room, drawn with marker pens 24.2.06 Posted by Picasa

Tea for Illustration Friday

How do you take yours? Posted by Picasa

morning cup of tea

What a coincidence! I drew this in my journal this morning before I found out what the Illustration Friday topic was. It's very rough, but I saw my face in two bubbles in my morning cup of tea and decided to draw it. The purple piece of paper is part of my pre-prepared journal page thing. For this journal, I've pasted a square or two of coloured or patterned origami paper on each facing page. Any drawings that I make on those pages have to incorporate the coloured squares somehow. Makes things a little more interesting. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Portrait of Paul for his birthday 23rd Feb 2006

This is Paul's portrait that I drew for his birthday today. Again it was drawn from a photo, as I wanted it to be a surprise.

After his initial shock at seeing it and his comment that I made him look like an intense mental patient, he said he thought it was a good drawing, one of those portraits that someone does of you that's so true, it's scary. I guess that's good?

Using marker pens gave it a no-going back factor to it that made drawing it a lot more risky, when I made a mark I hadn't quite intended or wished I hadn't, I just had to keep on going and somehow make it work. I kind of enjoyed that. It's the best likeness of him so far anyway, out of the three portraits I've done of him. Next, I want to try drawing him from life and see how that turns out. In the meantime, Happy Birthday Paul! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

From my journal

Just passing through...(a page of lemons) 21.2.06
drawn with marker pens Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Song part 2 for Illustration Friday

Not content with my freakish baby drawing, I decided to draw one of my favourite songwriters & singers, Nick Cave. This was drawn from the album cover of The Boatman's Call. When I listen to his music I feel darkly luminescent, electric. Not sure this drawing captures that at all, but here it is anyway. Posted by Picasa

Freaky Baby - Song Part 1 for Illustration Friday

It was hard figuring out what to draw for this week's challenge. Song conjured up so many images, song birds, bird song, songs from my childhood, songs that saw me through dark times. Anyway, I realised that I spent a lot of time listening to music in the backseats of cars on long journeys with my parents, so I decided to draw this.

It's drawn from a photo of me as a baby in the back seat of my parents' orange Fiat. Music was a big part of my childhood, we always had music on and I remember being crooned to by Bing Crosby to Elvis, Johnny Mathis to Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond to Peter, Paul & Mary. One of the first songs I learned to sing was the Neil Diamond song, Song Sung Blue, hence the blueness of this drawing. I'm not sure how I feel about this picture. It's a little freakish, but what the hell...someone might actually like it. Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 17, 2006

Everyday matters - Someone I love

The everyday matters challenge this week gives me a chance to have another try at drawing Paul. It's an improvement I think, even though he doesn't really have that moustache I gave him!

Drawn with marker pens 16.2.06 Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Friend in my living room

This is part of a drawing done for my drawing in colour course, of a figure portrait in a room. All done in fine nibbed ink pens. 15.2.06 Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Everyday matters - MOUTH

This is my mouth. It's closed. It's not often closed, except in pubs with large groups of people I don't know, who always comment, "So, you're quiet." That's because they haven't been with me first thing in the morning, ranting at the news as I try to get myself psyched up for work, where I spend many more hours keeping my mouth shut.

My mum once told me I had the perfect mouth. But she also told me not to use it to talk back to her. Posted by Picasa

Cat nap

Another version of this drawing, in charcoal, pastel and pencil 12.2.06 Posted by Picasa
Caesar sleeps on his blanket on the sofa.

Illustration Friday SIMPLE

Cat nap, pastel 12.2.06 Posted by Picasa

There isn't much in life that's simpler than a cat taking a nap.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Threaded heart monoprint

This is a print inspired by a token left by a parent to identify her child, on display at The Foundling Museum. The token itself is no more than 4 inches square, a piece of cloth sewn into cardboard, with little wires adorning it. Posted by Picasa

Drawing at The Foundling Museum

10 minute sketch from a painting in the museum 10.2.06
"Feeling the pinch of poverty" by Thomas Kennington Posted by Picasa

The Foundling Museum tells the story of the Foundling Hospital, London's first home for abandoned children and of three major figures in British History: its campaigning founder the philanthropist Thomas Coram, the artist William Hogarth and the composer George Frideric Handel. It was also Britain's first public art gallery. I spent the day there today at a printmaking workshop.

There follows photos of the drawings I made based on the museum's exhibit, and the prints that were inspired by those drawings.

Printmaking workshop at The Foundling Museum

This is what I did today. Posted by Picasa Friday 10.2.06

Fourteen members of the public signed up for this workshop at The Foundling Museum in London. Interestingly, we were all women, with varying backgrounds in art. Our tutors were Zoe Image and Janet Wolchover from Richmond Prints. We spent the day drawing in the museum and then making prints using two simple techniques - monoprinting and blockprinting, from polystyrene blocks.
We printed using water based poster type paints.

Drawing of a foundling child's dress

This tiny cotton dress was in one of the exhibits, embroidered with the name Jane Bell 88 at the waist. I used this drawing as a basis for making various prints later. Posted by Picasa

Tokens left by the foundlings' mothers

When mothers left their children at The Foundling Hospital, they also left a small token with which to identify their child. This was used as proof that a mother had left her child at the hospital, rather than having abandoned or killed it. Or, if circumstances changed and families were able to come back to claim their child, the token was used as a means of identification to connect the child with its mother. Children left at the hospital all had to be under one year old so they would have no memory of their parents.

Tokens varied from coins to crosses, beaded bracelets and necklaces, and other pieces of jewellery from the simple to the more precious. There were many items that were heart shaped, and a number of tiny locks and keys. There was one item (which I have drawn) which was a piece of wire shaped like a small ring, with little circles twisted into its circumference. As the children were never told who their real parents were, they never got to see the tokens their mothers had left. Posted by Picasa

Tiny tokens monoprint

This is a monoprint inspired by a couple of the tokens on display in the museum. Here they are much enlarged in size. I like the unpredictability of making a monoprint. This was done by rolling paint onto a plastic sheet, drawing the design directly onto the paint with the end of a paint brush, and then placing a piece of cartridge paper over it. The result varies according to the amount of paint you use, the pressure with which you press it down, etc. Each print is unique, and you can only make one print at a time using this method, hence the term monoprint. Posted by Picasa

Blockprint of child's dress with dots

This is a block print based on my drawing of a child's dress. The design of the dress was drawn and then pressed into a piece of polystyrene (the block). Paint was applied to its surface and then a piece of cartridge paper pressed onto it. The design comes out back to front, which I hadn't taken into account when I drew it, and made for interesting results! Posted by Picasa

Blockprint of child's dress

A simpler blockprint, from the design of a child's dress, before I added the dots to the template. Posted by Picasa

Lock & key blockprint

As you can see, the key came out back to front. Posted by Picasa

Groovy fish monoprint

This was the happiest of accidents. I was using up the last of my paint and drew this very quickly on a plastic sheet and not very carefully pressed my paper on top. This was the result. I love the textures that came out purely by accident, and the detail in the fish's eye. This drawing is based on one of the tokens on display, a tiny mother of pearl fish. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Another dog sketch

Just remembered I did this sketch back in October, also based on a photo taken by my friend Sarah of a dog we saw in a cafe in St Ives. He was sitting under a table by a window and his head was poking out from under the tablecloth and resting on the windowsill. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Second attempt at self-portrait in ink

Second attempt at a self-portrait in ink 4.2.06 Posted by Picasa
Again for my drawing in colour course

Those of you who know me might actually recognise me in this one. In attempting this version, I went with the philosphy of "why make things difficult for yourself when you can make them easier?"
ie. I drew this from a photoshopped photo of myself, to help me work out where the lines and tones would be. Then I drew an outline in pencil and did the rest using dip pen and ink (even though a regular fine nibbed pen would have worked just as well), and black marker for the hair. I think this drawing is a lot better than the first one. So I didn't follow instructions to the letter for this assignment, but does it matter if I made a better drawing and learned something in the process?

My tutor's comments: I think that your two self-portraits using pen and ink (this one and my first attempt) are the two most interesting drawings submitted for assignment 2. It is their uncertainty that I like, they seem to me to have an intense engagement with the subject, a searching for the self in external appearances, that is perhaps most evident in self-portraiture.

First attempt at a self-portrait in ink

From life, in a mirror, using dip pen and ink only 29.1.06 Posted by Picasa
For my drawing in colour course

These were the instructions - to draw from life, using a dip pen and ink only, drawing on A2 sized paper. You can't see the whole thing but trust me, I made me look like a pregnant middle-aged baboon. Not just not pretty, which I don't mind, but also not good. Found it hard to see why anyone would choose to use a dip pen and ink to do a portrait.

My tutor's comments: I think that your two self-portraits using pen and ink were the two most interesting drawings submitted for assignment 2 (see second attempt at self-portrait for other one he refers to). It is their uncertainty that I like, they seem to me to have an intense engagement with the subject, a searching for the self in external appearances, that is perhaps most evident in self-portraiture.