Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Daily Drawings...

My little girl had raided the ironing basket and was dancing around with my black n white striped skirt over her head. She looked like a dancing ghost!

Monday Musings... Colouring in

For a long time colouring in was always something enjoyed by children at a young age, lost during teen years and then a guilty pleasure when you have your own kids. I fall into the latter category and spent a good hour on the train colouring in with my toddler this weekend.
One thing I have noticed is how much cooler colouring in books are! They're full of beautiful patterns and some even offer the opportunity for you to add to the existing designs as well- great for a creative block me thinks. This is a far cry from giant ordinary images (ball, car, tree etc etc) in big thick black outlines.

Here's a selection of my current favourites...

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Friday, 24 October 2014

Daily Drawings...

This little guy looks snug as a bug! I used black ink on cartridge paper.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Monday Musings: Egon Schiele

Egon Schiele (1890-1918) is one of the first artists that I can remember being truly inspired by. I was in second year of high school and flicking through books in my art classroom. I came across a small book of Schiele's drawings and was completely mesmerised. The black outlines, the use of mixed media and the awkwardness of the drawings really appealed to me- he was doing all of the things we were told not to do in fine art!
The Courtauld Gallery in London will be hosting an exhibition of Schiele's nudes from October until January 2015. If you're in and around London during the next few months I would recommend checking it out.
Here are some of Schiele's works in the meantime to wet your appetite...

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Paperfolk Loves... Tracey Emin

Tracey Emin is an artist i'm very fond of. For those of you who are unfamiliar with her work she is an English artist who uses a variety of medium in work including neon signs, embroideries, screenprints and sculpture. She was part of a group of artists known as the YBAs (Young British Artists), a group that included Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas. In 1997 she became famous for a work titled Everyone I Have Ever Slept With (1963-1995) . The work was a tent, appliqued with names of anyone she had ever shared a bed with.

Despite having embroidered since I was a child it wasn't until I discovered the work of Tracey Emin that I was truly inspired to use embroidery in my artwork. Before this, I looked at embroidery as a hobby that I enjoyed doing but it was often quite traditional motifs and there wasn't a lot of contemporary artists that I knew of doing this type of work. Bearing in mind that the internet wasn't something that everyone had access to, it was much more difficult to come across truly inspiring works. Emin was in the newspaper and in everyone's face- I was hooked!

Emin's work came back into mind because of a new show that opened in the White Cube, London. The show titled, The Last Great Adventure is You, looks to be an amazing body of work and I can't wait to see it.

Here are some past works of Emin's that were a great inspiration to me as a young 19 year old art student...

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Monday Musings: Streetcar

I've always been a bit funny about watching theatre on the big screen. For me, its always felt the same as watching a concert on television (doesn't match up to the real thing). I decided to put all of my reservations aside and go to a screening of A Streetcar Named Desire at The Grosvenor Cinema in Glasgow.
I'm now gonna eat my words- it was A-mazing! The performances by all actors were fantastic. They must be so physically fit to do this type of theatre every night. The revolving set and limitations of all scenes taking place over two rooms was so engaging. I also loved the location in the Young Vic, London. There was a short film during the intermission about the ethos of the theatre and it just looks like such a creative environment to work in as a director. I'm looking forward to the next one!

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Books I've read: MaddAddam

Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam (2013) is the third book in the trilogy that began with Oryx and Crake (2013), followed by The Year of the Flood (2009). At the most basic level the novels tell the story of a dystopian world and the people that inhabit it.

What's the plot?

MaddAddam focuses on the story of Zeb and Toby, characters introduced in the second book. The world they currently live in is described as an apocalyptic wasteland where resources are scarce. They reunite with other survivors and set up camp with the Crakers in an attempt to rebuild civilisation. Initially Toby and Ren rescue a fellow survivor from the horrific game called Painball. The Painballers are described as a subhuman species who seek pleasure in through torture and rape. Many do not survive an altercation with the Painballers and those that do are severely traumatised.

The character of Zeb is introduced as a continuing love interest for Toby and is also the brother of Adam One. Throughout the novel we learn of the brothers upbringing which includes fleeing their Reverend father who is the head of the church of Petroleum.  

What did I think?

I haven't read a great deal of dystopian literature but Atwood's novel was gripping and ultimately very realistic. References to religion (through the church of Petroleum) in some respects are not very unlike the issues we have with religion today. This realism ensures the novel doesn't get to a point of being unable to follow the details of the individual communities or the overall story.
The characters have a great deal of depth and we root for their survival and relationships which, for me, turns a complex story into a page turner.

Is it worth a read?

I would definitely recommend this novel if you would like to dip your toe into this genre of literature. Each novel can be read in isolation because Atwood is very good at ensuring details of tribes are reinforced throughout the novel. However I would say that it is more beneficial to read the first two books in the trilogy to really invest in the story.

You can get a copy of the book here