Wednesday 29 February 2012

review of the Finishing Touch

I do the same things again and again (it's like my innermost soul is a teletubbie), so here's another post about going to the Hatworks, this time for the Finishing Touch: Trends of Trimming Unpicked, on until 11 May 2012.

I suppose I thought the show would be just my cup of tea (I loved the window display, full of cut out butterflies) and so at first I was disappointed that it just wasn't. Don't get the impression that any of it is bad, but I just didn't find the work on display inspiring when I thought (based on previous exhibits) that it would be giving me fresh ideas for making stuff.

Then at the end of the room I saw a piece that made the visit completely worthwhile: William Chambers' Crystal Cocktail Explosion. I have a lot of drinking straws in my boxes of stuff, but I never would have thought they could be used to make something so classy. Actually, I'm not sure I could make something that classy, but it looks fun anyway. It has reminded me of an installation I saw on TV, years ago (10 years?), from somewhere in Ireland I think. The artist used bent plastic spoons stuck in a lawn to make pretty flowers, startling because they were made from such a cheap material.

Monday 27 February 2012

Slowed down

This isn’t much different than last week: Scanned Image  0108

I slowed myself down, because I had the idea to use a purple watercolour marker to do a row of dots around the anubises (or is it anubi?), but I couldn’t find my marker set. It’s not a special marker set or anything; in fact, I’ve had it so long that the dark blue is used up and the yellow has odd splodges, but the purple is still alright and that’s what I had set my mind to use. Anyway, I couldn’t find the markers, but I wanted those dots, so I spent time looking for the markers, checking and re-checking my bag, piles of paper, my desk, etc., and generally not working on the journal.

Then I suddenly realised that I had put the markers on the shelf beside the bed, where I must have seen them at least twice a day. Why did it take a week to find them? Anyway, the dots are added and so I was ready to start writing on the pages this morning, but on the bus I realised I didn’t have a black pen with me. I was determined not to repeat the waiting-for-the-right-pen behaviour, so I did try using the coloured pencils in my bag, but it just wasn’t right. I took a black pen from the office and used that on the way home.

Sunday 19 February 2012

Sunday 12 February 2012

Not much difference

There's not much different to the last scan, but I'm satisfied with these pages now: Scanned Image  0105

And so, it's time to move on. I'm having a hard time with this next set of pages because I really dislike the background colour. Words like "vile" or "disgusting" are a bit too harsh, but it's just not inspiring me. So though I've been trying to find pictures to add, I've mainly just been thinking about how much I don't like the colour, and so after half a week, the pages are basically the same as the initial scan: Scanned Image  0106

But now, in one of those coincidences that make me think Caatje fated to be my art journal guru, when I was doing my weekly catch up with the blogs, I read her description of using sponge and watercolours to quickly put in a background. I especially like the checkerboard variation. It seems perfect for brightening up these pages, and I'm hoping that will get me into the fun bit of cut and paste that comes next.

Monday 6 February 2012

Excuses, excuses

Late last week I had good intentions to get things done on the weekend. So what follows is a bit of an analysis of why that didn't quite happen. It has nothing to do with the snow.

My not getting things done started Friday night. Last month, I checked out Tokyo Babylon 1 from the Stockport library, and really enjoyed it. Neither Stockport or Manchester libraries had Tokyo Babylon 2, but the library on Platt Lane had a copy of number 4. Platt Lane isn't too far out of my way when I go to the Embroiderers' Guild meetings, so I had planned to stop off at the library before Saturday's meeting. I considered reserving the book, but just didn't get around to it. But when I checked to get the reference number on Friday night, the book had been reserved by SOMEONE ELSE! Probably the same someone who had reserved all the other issues of Tokyo Babylon the Manchester library has. I'm such a fool.

So on Saturday, rather than leaping out of bed to get to the library, I grumped under the duvet until P cajoled me out of bed by reminding me that I would enjoy the guild meeting. He was absolutely right. I missed the morning activity, but sat around chatting with other members and found out loads about how to transfer photocopies onto fabric using acrylic house paint. It looks really nice, in a soft, "distressed" way, and I am glad that I got the chance to see how to do it, but, though I was really enthused by it on Saturday, I just don't have the energy to try it right now. So it has become yet another item on my "do later" list.

While at the guild meeting, I decided to be less passive and go to the Deansgate library and get the second part of Tokyo Babylon on an inter library loan. I had a bit of sticker shock when the librarian told me it costs £3 for aninter library loan these days. Not that £3 is that much, but used copies of the book are listed at under £1. Now, my "do later" list has buying the full set of Tokyo Babylon, maybe I'll get both the English and Japanese.

We went out on Saturday night, not to laugh at cars struggling in the snow, but to see the Chinese New Year Extravaganza at the Plaza. My favourite bit was the roller skating act. But going to the show took up most of the evening, so once again, I didn't get stuff done.

Sunday morning, we did put some new furniture together, which definitely counts as getting stuff done, then we finally went out for a meal to celebrate my birthday. However, my afternoon activity was taking a two hour nap on the sofa bed, and I didn't wake up refreshed and full of energy. I did read more of the adorable Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec, which was nice, but didn't tick anything off my to-do list.

I suppose all of this is to explain why I'm still working on the same pages in the art journal. It's nearly there, just a few more words to add: Scanned Image  0104

I have also discovered that it is possible to trace a picture on the bus, not while it is moving, but a few lines at every stop.