Bootcamp

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been joining in an art making challenge called the Make Art That Sells: Assignment Bootcamp 2015.

It is run by Lilla Rogers, a prominent art licensing agent in the US, in conjunction with the various courses she runs.  I took it to help me get used to making art on different themes aimed at particular product markets, and I’ve been enjoying it tremendously, even though it is pushing me out of my comfort zone.  The way it works is that Lilla gives participants a mini  task on the first Monday of the month, which usually involves sketching or painting on a particular subject. Then the second Monday of the month we are given an assignment, with 2 weeks to complete it, based on the mini but for a specific market or product.  If you would like to see some of the artwork which has been produced so far – here is a page with a  link to the galleries.

In January the theme was Edwardian brooches, and the final assignment was to design a journal cover with that theme.  I started playing with handmade stamps first because I like the rough, abstract feel.   I used some of these in the background or for texture (and they also found their way into my train ticket art!).

stamped circles and flowers

My thought immediately turned towards interpreting it in the form of stamps

 

Then I started sketching and eventually I scanned in the sketches, vectorized them, printed them out and painted them in different colour schemes.  Here are the two designs I came up with in the end, mocked up as journals.

pink frog journal

I call this my frog journal though it has a lot more than frogs on it!

 

This is the one I eventually uploaded, I quite like the ‘scary creatures’ sort of take on it though maybe a darker background would suit them better!

This is a very different style of journal; I was thinking lace and delicate tracery

This is a very different style of journal; I was thinking lace and delicate tracery

 

I like the delicate lace designs on this one but I think the colours pop more in the first.

For February the mini task  was to paint or draw scenes inspired by imagery seen on vintage plates.  This is one of mine – as you can see I’m not very good at painting people!

A rough painting of a cottage in the style of vintage crockery

A rough painting of a cottage in the style of vintage crockery

 

The following week the assignment was to paint these scenes on circular pieces of wood!    I discovered that wood slices (with bark still attached) seem to be fashionable at the moment for wedding table settings so I bought a pack of 20 and have been busy painting scenes and pictures on them!  We only have to do one so it means I have plenty to spoil along the way!

lines of wood slices painted with gesso

Here they all are, painted with black, white and some clear gesso all ready for decorating!

 

I prepared the surface and then got going!  Here are a few of them in progress – I eventually uploaded the two boat scenes to the gallery.

painting on wood slices

I went a bit wild – well, I did have 20 to practise on! Here are some of the results…

 

I really enjoyed February’s challenge – I liked the broad nature of the theme and, as you will see if you look at the gallery, people interpreted it in very different ways and styles.   It reminds me a bit of the sort of designs I used to make in fabric with my Rainy Streets series of postcards and my print gocco notebooks.

Train ticket art – yes, it’s still going!

I’m still creating art out of my box of old train tickets. I got a gelli plate for Christmas (more on that in a subsequent post) so I’ve been using it to create backgrounds on the tickets – the gesso with which I prepared them picks up the acrylic paint really well.

A mosaic of some of my train ticket art

A mosaic of some of my train ticket art

 

Here is a mosaic of some of the tickets – the exhibition at the Riverfront arts centre in Newport is approaching.  The chairman of our group emailed us to ask for images of artwork for the centre to use on their website and I’m thrilled to say that they used one of mine.  It will be on from 8th to 24th April this year. 

I experimented with various ways of joining them together for the exhibit –

  • paperclips (bent the tickets too much)
  • wire (cut into the tickets and very fiddly)
  • stringing fishing wire or cord through (fiddly and didn’t hang very well)
  • split pins through holes – I’ve got some pretty decorative ones (eg with dragonflies on the ends) and this was tempting but the tickets had to be overlapped too much.

In the end I decided to go with good old faithful stitching, just a few stitches at the bottom and top of the tickets did the trick and meant I won’t have to make holes into all the tickets.  A bit like string piecing…

view of tickets attached with stitching

This is now I’m attaching them together but hopefully with a less conspicuous colour thread!

 

detail of stitching on train ticket art

It doesn’t have to be finished off, I want it to come apart pretty quickly at the end…

Here are some more tickets, one or two mostly finished, some with just a background layer so far.  I’ll have to stop creating them soon and stitch them together – I’m giving myself all of March to do that.  I want to try and arrange them in groups of some sort, not just randomly, but time will tell how successful that is.

A recent selection of painted and printed train ticket art.

A recent selection of painted and printed train ticket art.

If you’re in the South Wales area in April, do drop into our exhibition.  I will keep you informed of progress!

A few hearts for Valentine’s day

A few ghost hearts on my printing table from printing off the edge of something

A few ghost hearts on my printing table from printing off the edge of something

 

As it’s Valentine’s Day and as I’ve been playing with a homemade printing block with hearts on it, here are a few seasonal pics.

Some little hearts on a repurposed train ticket.

Some little hearts on a repurposed train ticket.

lace and hearts on trainticketart

Lace and hearts on this train ticket art

Red rose

Red rose

And finally, here’s a red rose.  I actually got it from DH on my birthday in December and took a number of photos of the flowers for the purposes of pattern design but since I’m unlikely to get any more until my next birthday, I thought I’d put one up on my blog today! Enjoy!

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