Friday, 24 November 2017

Going Digital - Virtual Reality Drawings


Nearly 30 years ago, I envisaged artwork in Virtual Reality. I wanted to make paintings in virtual spaces, add sound to those digital marks and immerse myself in the creative process. I can happily say that it is now available as a process. I love it! Will eventually be matching sounds to images, using my percussion instruments and my my Korg Monotron... very excited!





Watch this space for further work.




Thursday, 13 July 2017

End of the academic year...

... and that means I can devote a little time to my more traditional art practices in contrast to my research. I think that there is going to be a crossover point as I venture further into Virtual Reality - see earlier blog posts here and do visit my more academic research blog The Sexual Futurologist if you would like to know more... I have got Tiltbrush software for Virtual Reality and will start producing digital practice work during this summer.

But, in the meantime, I still really enjoy the visceral quality of lino cutting and printing - its something so simple and satisfying... my whole lino print studio is in a small carrier bag in the kitchen - I usually work on the lino in the living room - I just clear a  kitchen worktop and print away... rolling the ink over the finished cut, placing the paper over the inked lino, and burnishing each print by hand with the back of a metal spoon.

My most recent print, 'Hare on the hill' is a specific work I have made dedicated to the animal, as it has many sacred mythologies and traditions surrounding it. We see the hare in the foreground, having come from the surrounding hills. In the distance we can see a lightning tree. What has happened between the Hare and the tree is for you to decipher...


If you would like one of the prints please do message me for further information, or visit my Facebook page.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

It has been a year...

...since my last post - to the day in fact.

So much has been going on with my academic work - BUT I have been very active when it comes to discovering something a bit new (ish)...

When I was an art student in London back in the early '90s, I was lucky enough to study for one term with print maker Norman Ackroyd. I did some formal acid etchings at the time, and had really forgotten about printmaking all together as some of the processes were a little arduous. Here in Portsmouth we do have a thriving arts community and I was inspired by the lino cuts of Chris Wood  and of my old school friend from  Warminster (who now works in Salisbury) Simon Howden. So I decided to have a go at some simple lino cut work myself. It was very liberating and brought out some graphic approaches to image making that I had long forgotten. The process is addictive and I can set up everything for printing in my kitchen! Below is a selection of work - some themed around the winter holiday, as they made nice keepsakes for family and friends. They are all in black and white  - some with a little hand panted colour on them.


I then tried to be more adventurous....


... and started making these....


Which turned into these!!


It was last weekend that I tried to create a larger work - the process was very rewarding...







This simple composition of oak tree with black bird, thrush and blue tit was fun to do and although fairly stylised, it was a great way to discover how to make a larger piece. I have been looking at other lino cut works by other artists and really want to expand on this further - so.. watch this space! 

The works are for sale if you would like one please get in touch below.


Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Oil painting, one day drawing workshops.. and I know.. it's been a while but....

..... things have been quite hectic as usual. December and January were busy - and I can see the Spring Break from my Uni teaching coming up - so I can spend a bit more time with painting and drawing...  Over the last few weeks, I have been doing  a little work out of Colin Merrin's Studio. I have started to use oil paint - something that I tried to do when I was about 8 years old - my mum showed me how to make a start... So I have begun to work with (the lovely) Ed who has been sitting for me as usual. It was great to have the space to do some energetic drawing, and then working on a more formal portrait using oils.. (and not having to worry about the smell of the paint affecting the budgie at home... yes I have a cute little budgie called Todd)

 

 


So I started to work with oils - it was a very releasing experience. It was very exciting and I was able to really 'draw' with paint - and have the space to do it properly. the following series of pictures show the sequence of  learning how oil paints build up the structure of the image.... 

 

I know he looks a bit grumpy - but I wanted to see how to work up the image over time. I quite like the the early oil sketches - as they have an eerie quality to them - but they have no substance to them.  I found it quite difficult to get out of the habit of thinking that the paint would dry any minute - like acrylics - so I had to reconsider my painting technique and was able to slow down my approach to working which has been quite an eye-opener for me.  In the meantime, I have been looking at some of my old favourite painters. Luckily (the lovely) Ed has a degree in Art History - so he knows just which books to read...  I keep a selection of  the books open at different pictures on the floor by my bed - so they are the first things I see in the morning, and the last things I see before going to sleep. At the moment they are books of Manet, Kitaj, Maggi Hambling and Velasquez. This all makes a considerable contrast to all my other academic work involving different aspects of digital culture and cyberspace. 

With the Spring Break well on its way - I have booked some time off from university work and will be running three one day Saturday drawing workshops held in Southsea, Portsmouth UK. The dates and workshops are the following:

Saturday April 2nd: Figurative studies for portraiture. 10.00 – 16.00
Saturday April 9th: Art for the Individual. 10.00 -16.00
Saturday April 16th: Self Portraiture in the age of the ‘selfie’. 10.00 – 16.00

Bring your own favourite drawing materials and a packed lunch. On road parking. Easels and drawing boards supplied. Complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits!!

Please do contact me if you would like more information on location/prices and would like to attend one or more of the workshops. All skills from beginner to advanced welcome. These are small friendly sessions and spaces are limited - so please book early. 

I have also been working on some other paintings which I will write about next time...