Thursday, 30 April 2020

My Arty Lockdown

With the world in various stages of lockdown all my plans have had to be shelved. My leaky studio roof will have to be patched rather than re-built, the restoration project on our house can go no further as we can neither buy materials or dispose of them and as non-essential travel has been stopped galleries, exhibitions, art shops and inspirational places to visit is also off.
I have managed to continue with some small still life ideas and some printmaking on to fabric but this has been slightly limited by space and availability of materials. So for this months work I have produced a number of development pieces which I will hopefully be able to take forward to exhibitions and launch in my Etsy shop.

Book Blocks ready to be covered

Hand printed cotton 
I recovered these blocks from my studio that I made before we moved and managed to successfully cover my first book with my handprinted fabrics made into bookcloth.
Thrilled with my little handmade book (see my Instagram post!) I have been experimenting with printing onto different fabrics with different printing inks and different colours. As ever I have looked to nature to inspire me, noting colours and forms in the landscape to drive my designs.

My cotton prints have been most successful as other fabrics have not held the ink as well and while textile inks have been worth trying it has been the old faithful Caligo inks that have come out on top. These will now be sewn into coin pouches, wool baskets and zipper pouches as well as used on handmade journals. It will be great to get sewing again and develop some of my ideas.

Printing press assembled and oiled

Christmas tag designs

As well as textiles I have been makimg some progress on developing some Christmas stock for my Etsy shop. With my printing press finally unwrapped after a year of sitting in bubble wrap I am feeling a little further on in getting myself set up but in all honesty the studio still doesn't function and I am stuck in the house with limited resources. With so many people currently out of work the only way forward is to patch the roof and hope that with the temporary fix I can start making work again.

Still life set up
I have been continuing my work on Still Life's. This time I have taken on a slightly larger composition to work on a variety of shapes and textures. Having a properly lit set up has been a major benefit, and learning to organise my palette has also helped with accuracy. Learning to be patient has been a major factor as I have to let each layer dry, so to compensate my time restrictions I am now looking at setting up a series of small compositions that can be rotated with out too much disruption. I am hoping that this will increase my production ready for future exhibitions.

Underpainting going down
Starting to develop layers and depth