Sunday, 29 September 2013

Inspired by ...

.. a new journal, and a challenge!

I've been struggling a bit with my journal recently.  Mainly because working in a larger format I'm trying to create my own main images for the pages as I have few stamps big enough, and I also want to stretch myself and practise my drawing skills.  Sometimes, though, it's good to get back in your comfort zone.

So I decided to respond to Stampotique's 2014 design team call (my stamps are organised by theme EXCEPT for my Stampotique ones, I keep them altogether as I love them so much and they co-ordinate with each other so well) and got out one of my favourite stamps - Mushroom Group

Earlier this week I sewed some bunting for school and enjoyed it so much I decided I wanted to do something 'textiley' with my Stampotique stamps.  After stamping on some white felt, just with a black versamark as it's just a guide, I used a needle felting tool to add some wool before outlining the mushrooms on the sewing machine

I trimmed them, added some stamping and some distress ink to a tag then sewed on the mushrooms.

I googled 'mushroom quotes' and discovered this one,
"I am a mushroom on whom the dew of heaven drops now and then"
John Ford
so put my tag in the typewriter and added it.

Then I used some diamond glaze to add drops of 'dew' to the tag, to the top of the largest mushroom and to adhere the tiny beads.

Not ready to stop I reached for a small journal and found one I bought a long while ago that looks like a paperback book (possibly purchased from Waterstones)

Inside I used more distress ink and added some stamping and stenciling...

I LoVe this size of this journal, and it contains great paper so I'll definitely be using it some more :)

Oh happy days :)

Stampotique's design call finishes tomorrow so there's still time to apply.  I thought I'd apply as Stampotique images are my 'go to' stamps and I love how I can use them for collage, in textile work, on my journal pages, on tags...  They make me happy!!!  Stampotique ask you to describe your style - hmm, not sure what mine is - 'eclectic' springs to mind!!  I love the challenge of being on a design team - it keeps you producing work on a regular basis, encourages you to visit many blogs (as you leave comments re challenges), and brings new friends .... so fingers crossed!!  It's been a while now since I was on the Play Date Cafe design team.  I've been a guest artist for the Artistic Stamper and been published in Art Journaling, Somerset Studio and Stampers Sampler.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

a creative education course

I am a primary special needs teacher and after a break from teaching I've been given the role of art subject leader in the school I now teach in.  In the past I've always done Maths or IT so it's been a real treat to be responsible for art!

It is a bit of steep learning curve though!  Although I do arty things as a hobby I'm not that familiar with the art curriculum.  So I jumped at the chance to go on an art course (they are few and far between!) last week.  We started with some warm up exercises.  My drawing of the lady opposite me, using ink in a pipette, has a distinct Quentin Blake look I feel!!

Another warm up exercise involved looking at a collection of objects for a few seconds before they were covered back up with a cloth and we had to draw what we could remember.  I enjoy exercises like this, where something is stopping you making a perfect drawing (in this case 1-an unusual drawing implement  and 2-not being able to see the objects) - it's very free-ing.

Then we had a go at monoprinting...

...creating giant 'brushes' and making marks with them.  I splatted mine down onto the page and chuckled to see the ampersand-like images produced.  It wasn't intentional but I really like ampersands!...

...funny lollipop stick people...

...and drawing parts of the body then mounting them all together in a 'portrait panel.  All this took place within a giant shed in a warehouse-type building.

Above is a 'backstage' view from the offices of ASCreatives who were running the course.  All the sheds have small creative companies in them.  We were working in the large shed to the very far right of this picture.  The warehouse is owned by a charity called Baltic Creative and there is a fabulous cafe right at the front of the building.

This is all situated just in front of the anglican cathedral in Liverpool, which we had a go at drawing in the afternoon, using Sharpie pens on acetate and leaning on a clear board.

I love the result and might use it in my journals!  We spent time doing some exploded drawings in the afternoon and finished by drawing with materials.  This is our interpretation of the Liverpool dockside!  I particularly love the rain coming down from the dark cloud, and the gorillas standing in as the liverbirds!

Oh, and we used more artistic licence with the River Mersey, it ain't that blue ;)

We were a group of teachers from special, primary and secondary schools, yet all learnt something we could take back to school, and went home laughing and rejuvenated :)  


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