Monday, 27 January 2014

Instant gardening


In these dark days of January we all need a bit of colour to lift our spirits.  Last weekend I set out to transform the front of my house with a bit of instant gardening.  I didn't want primulas with their flat flowers and gaudy colours and it seemed that I was too early for narcissi and little daffodils.  Eventually I found what I was looking for: miniature cyclamen and a tray of small variegated shrubs.

Cyclamen are not my favourite house plant but outside they bring an elegance and restraint that other bedding plants don't offer.  I like the way that the petals bend back I themselves - like a piece of origami.   I wrapped the plastic pots in a make-shift hessian planter and put them on the window ledges.  Hey presto!

My picture is pen and water colour.  I'm liking the splattered look at the moment and it reflects my view of the instant garden through rain patterned windows.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Costume drama


A last minute panic phone call from a friend has meant that any other thoughts of artistic endeavour have been put aside this week.  A pantomime costume had to be made by Tuesday and the lady who had started the project had been taken ill - would I be able to finish it?  

I realised the enormity of the task when on Monday afternoon, I eventually assembled all the pieces that had been cut out and partially constructed.  Even with a pattern to follow, it was slow progress as my predecessor had made alterations and modifications.  I have to confess that whilst I'd made garments before, I'd never actually fitted a collar!

In the event, it all went fairly smoothly, the coat was assembled by 9pm and the final hand-finished details completed by 11am the next day just in the nick of time for the opening night.

Making the costume has prompted me to think about my own work and plans to extend my portfolio of Victorian inspired garments.  I'm going to start researching corsets and see where that leads me.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

New Year, new challenge


Like all New Year resolutions, we rarely stick to them for very long, so I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself for completing my 50:50 project to do 50 new things in 2013.  I enjoyed the discipline of writing a blog post each week and I'm certain that it made me more creative and spontaneous. The down-side was that many of the pieces were one-offs and didn't result in a more thorough work.

Inspired by a trip to the Musee d'Orsay last week and a chance to see up-close-and-personal the work of the great French Impressionists, I was moved to work on my technical drawing skills.  I've invested in some lovely soft drawing pencils in shades of brown which seem so much less threatening than graphite.  Here is a sketch of the wonderful station clock that presides over the Musee d'Orsay.

I'm also hoping to do some more detailed pieces over several weeks, resulting in a more considered body of work.