Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Sketchbook fun

Only, I didn't call it a sketchbook because that word scares me so it's a workbook. :-)  I took some supplies with me to St Ives (well, quite a lot actually) with the intention of playing and we hadn't been in the flat long before I set my stall out,

I started off a bit tentatively as I haven't played about much with mixed media for ages but eventually I got going and really enjoyed myself.

This first rather ragged effort was sparked by the bath mat and as you can see I made a mistake at first and had to adjust to give a double line break between the large bubbles.  I can see this transferring to fabric fairly readily.
This is collage with scraped paint and stamped circles.

I had fun with this little indian block stamp and added some watercolour and  the lyrics of a very old song that came to me (Burl Ives sang it I think.  Oops! No, it appears it was Frankie Howerd)

On a theme of fishes I came across some dried beech leaves that I'd forgotten about and, as they reminded me of fish shapes that's what they became, along with some foil sweet wrappers.

I had seen a painting in the Sloop Inn in St Ives by Doris Lindemann, a local teacher I had had a workshop with several years ago and thought I'd have a go at something similar.  This started out with an orange base colour and then I worked very quickly over the top to get the energy of wave movements and tried to scratch through to reveal the colour underneath.  I wasn't altogether successful as my acrylic paints dried very quickly. After this I had a hankering all the holiday to work in oils.

I've forgotten exactly what I did here but it involved rubbing a metallic wax crayon over a molding mat, painting over, adding graphite and glueing on some of the beads that Carolyn gave me.  I stitched the page to the next page adding beads as I went and added some collage on the right.

This was a Sharpie doodle in front of the telly.

I was quite pleased with my little sketch of St Ives out of the window and I love my doodle on the right.  Much better than the first one I did that I'm too ashamed to show you.

This is an exercise I've done before and concerns edges and hard and soft marks.  It works quite well turned so that the layers run horizontally like a landscape too.

Not wonderfully successful but these two above were fun.

This page was really fun to do.  I wrote instructions on small pieces of paper and then put them in bowls and picked out one piece at a time and did whatever it said on the paper.  I did structure it slightly by grouping the papers so that I chose base instructions first (collage, paint, stamp, resist, print), then colour and finally embellishment.   Of course, I assumed paint or collage would come out first but, oh no, resist! was the first instruction.  That made an interesting start.  Then stamp, so the feet went on in 'blue' which was the colour I picked randomly.  'Paint' resulted in picking a choice 'complementary' from the papers and then collage followed.  Other instructions picked out were 'draw' and the implement picked out was a Sharpie.  Finally 'Spray' came out of the embellishments bowl.  I really enjoyed this way of working and I will definitely do it again.

This is my next favourite page.  I worked from an exercise in Jae Maries book, Contrasting Elements, and it is collages made up of paper napkins, monoprints on various surfaces from Sally Maccabe's workshop last year, hand made Indian papers, paper lamination, wrapping paper, fabric, scrim and some meshy stuff that I've forgotten the name of.

This is my favourite page.  I have long fancied doing a fun portrait in fabric and I had a whale of a time putting this page together.  The background is some fancy tissue paper I bought at Paperchase in London.  The face is some paper lamination that I did some time ago.  The doilly hair and yarn eyebrows came from Carolyn's gift as did the 'necklace' and the mouth and body are batiks.  I think I really must have a go at this in fabric, maybe as a Journal Quilt.


liniecat said...

Well its not like youve been busy and productive lol great to see the progression, thanks for showing that, great stuff!

liniecat said...

Well its not like youve NOT been busy and productive......sorry!!!

ju-north said...

This is why you need holidays (and St Ives!) lol Great work and such a variety!

sandra wyman said...

Wow, Julie - really fascinating stuff: has inspired me to have a go!

Heather said...

I'm surprised you had time for a holiday! Your workbook is worthy of the title sketchbook Julie and all the pages are fascinating. My two particular favourites are the first collage and the footprints page. I haven't got Jae Maries book but maybe I should take a look at it and follow her advice too. Great stuff.

Annette J said...

I'm amazed at how productive you were on holiday!!!! I love the fishy ones (and Frankie Howard's song that I'd forgotten about). I am taking a very modest art kit with me just a journal, small paint box and some pitt pens. Hope I do as well as you but somehow I doubt it. Looking forward to July.

Dosfishes at Sparkle Days Studios said...

What great playful fun and some exciting creativity here. xox Corrine

Gina said...

What fun... I love your "contrasting elements" page

Clare Wassermann said...

ooo lovely fun. I have been collaging Cornwall tonight! results tomorrow!!

Emma said...

Goodness, just how long were you away?! These sketches are lovely & it certainly is a sketchbook ;)

Linda said... much exciting stuff to look at Julie!! I need to go back and have another look :-)
I really like the beech leaf fish and the blue painting under it is brilliant!
Glad to see you had such a good holiday...

Becky Vigor said...

What a fabulous body of work! What was the timescale? As always I love the range and mix of media, especially those fishes. And what a great idea to stick instructions ina jar and pick them out at random, I really need to have a go at that! Thanks for being so inspiring :)