Sunday, 19 September 2010

Tracey Eastham

Yesterday I went to the Cornerhouse in Manchester and saw Tracey Eastham's work. She creates paper collages which usually feature landscapes with a twist. The romantic style images seem to represent something deeper, but as they appear so innocent you are not sure what it is. What I found really intriguing was how the images appeared to float in the frames. There is a real sense of depth even though they are just flat pieces of paper. The pieces on display were a mixture of fantasy and reality; each one telling a different story.

I enjoyed looking at all her pieces and it really inspired me to work with paper again. For the narrative Box Project I want to create an animation so I'm going to explore collage using brightly coloured papers and see where it goes!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Las Meninas, Part 5

Just remembered that I haven't actually posted anything on the last swap of the summer project! So better late than never, here it is.....

Emma used a combination of elements to make her piece and I really like how they cohesively fit together in the composition. I especially liked her use of collage - it's very true to her style. This is her piece:

For my response I decided to take elements of Emma’s work and rework it in my own style. I liked the use of thread in her work so I used different coloured cottons to sew my image of the Lady onto paper. I tried to use colours similar to the original painting and attempted to spilt the line drawing up into sections so each important shape was clearly visible.

I was really inspired by Emma’s use of collage so I decided to create my own. I’ve hardly done any collage since foundation so I thought this would be a good chance to try it again. I really like using old magazines and newspapers to find imagery as I find they have so much more character. I also love the almost tea stained colour of the paper. I recreated the table and tea service and also added a candelabra and shoes which feature in the original painting.

Finally, I added a hanging birdcage which combined Emma’s use of birds and dotted lines. I was a bit worried that the image of the Lady was too faint alongside the collage elements, but I actually quite like it. It’s almost as though she’s fading into the distance after the curse has struck. This is my outcome:

I found it really useful to use Holly and Emma’s work as inspiration; after so long it was nice to see someone else's work. I found it helpful to see how they had responded to the painting and it gave me lots of new ideas to think about.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Las Meninas, Part 4

The first piece of work I received was Holly's response. She made a concertina book and used bits of the Tennyson poem as inspiration to collage from. I thought her piece was really good, I liked how it responded clearly to the painting and poem, whilst still being 'Holly'. This is her piece:

As I didn't particularly want to mess around with her work I decided to do what Emma had done and add another page onto the book. I decided to create a woven paper background, using similar tones to Holly's work. This time I used paper which was quite thin; meaning I could easily make sure it went together as tightly as possible. As both Holly and Emma had used lines from the poem I decided to incorporate the lines "there she weaves by day and night" and "she left the web, she left the loom". Both of these refer to weaving so I thought it was quite appropriate to use alongside my background. Finally I added a line drawing of the Lady onto the weaving. Initially, I was going to draw the outline onto the weave, but it ended up being barely visible among the lattice effect. So I then decided to fill the inside of the drawing white; to make it stand out more and add a bit of definition. This is my outcome:

I found it useful to use Holly's work as inspiration; after so long it was nice to see someone else's work. I found it useful to see how another person had responded to the painting and it gave me lots of new ideas to think about.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Las Meninas, Part 3

For my piece I decided to incorporate an image of the Lady with some sort of weaving. I did this to coincide with the idea that the Lady has to weave images of King Arthur's kingdom. However, I didn't use material to weave with, instead I used paper strips. In the first year one of our briefs was to manipulate paper, and this was where I first experimented with weaving paper. But this time I did it on a larger scale and took more time making sure the paper strips were all exactly the same size. As I was using quite a thick paper, I couldn't get the strips to get close enough together; so I had to leave gaps in-between. Since then I've used thinner paper and this works much better as you can get a tighter finished look.
For the Lady I used my line drawing of her and scanned in different textures and patterned papers to decorate each segment with. I also used patterns I have stored on my computer to create a more layered look. I tried to stay quite close to the colours of the original painting; just making them a bit more textured and brighter. I was really pleased with the result of this; as it's very me, whilst still staying true to the painting.
For the final design I scanned in my weave and adjusted the hue to a more pink tone. I also graduated the darkness to make it a bit more interesting and to focus the eye on the Lady. Finally, I scanned in some little paper coils I had made. This was to add a bit of movement to the piece as well representing the balls of wool on the painting.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Jenny Bowers

I was recently having a little wander around the internet, when I stumbled across Peepshow - a group of 10 artists who have come together to share clients and collaborate. One of the artists in particular really caught my eye; an illustrator called Jenny Bowers. Colour, colour, colour!! Her work is so amazing, it's so bright and happy; I could look at it all day! The way she draws is so playful and innocent and her pattern work is also really beautiful. Looking at her client list, she's illustrated for a diverse range of companies; demonstrating how her style can be applied to a variety of concepts. I'd be really interested in contacting her to find out how she comes up with fresh ideas and what techniques she uses to create her work.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Las Meninas, Part 2

As the Lady of Shalott is quite a busy and complex painting, I started by thinking about how I could simplify it. As she is the main focal point of the piece, I decided to start with the Lady and see how that went. I wanted to get her down to her raw form and strip away all the textures and shading. So using a light box, I traced over the outlines of all the shapes I thought were important to her figure. I was really pleased with the result, as it almost looked quite Art Nouveau and I liked how it was so contrasting to all the busy elements in the painting.
I scanned this drawing into Photoshop and traced over it to get a more even and smooth line. I then began thinking back to all the beautiful colours I'd seen on my holiday in Spain. I had bought a little elephant figurine from Guadalest and I decided to use it as inspiration. I love all the blocks of colour and pattern painted onto it; it's so bright and eye-catching. I also think the black lines around the colours help to make them stand out a bit more. The idea of blocks of colour is also present in a mosaic lizard my sister bought. Using this idea, I looked at the painting and chose the main colours from the sections I had drawn.

I think the piece has turned out really well. Again, I like the simplicity of it and how it's more 'me'; with all the bright colours and black outlines. Also, if I take the black outlines away it creates a nice silhouette shape, which is interesting to experiment and work with.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010


My recent holiday to Spain has been hugely influential on my summer project. People there don't seem to be afraid of vibrant and dazzling colours; they use them everywhere! One of my favourite nights was when we went to a street festival; the costumes the performers were wearing were amazing, they were so extravagant and complex and they just kept coming. There must have been at least 50 groups of performers and all of the costumes were completely different.

We also visited a mountain village called Guadalest which, from a distance, looks quite muted. But hidden away on side streets are an array of quirky shops, all stuffed full of colourful and exciting trinkets. There also seemed to be a lot home-ware items which had been decorated in the most stunning colours and patterns. One of my favourite shops had hundreds of items covering the shop frontage. It was like a bejeweled entrance to Aladdin's cave! In the shop was an amazing cabinet; it was huge and had 9 square drawers, each of which had its own beautiful hand painted pattern.

As the Lady of Shalott is bright and visually exciting, I've taken inspiration from Spain and really centred my project around colour. I've mainly played with the image of the Lady and tried to rework the colours in different ways. I'll post some pictures in the next day or so to show you what I mean!