Arty journeys...


Friday, 1 January 2016

Art update


Photo taken at midnight from our loft room window - a great place to view fireworks.
On my first ever blog post at the beginning of 2015 I wrote "New Year, New beginnings, new ideas, new projects. Several things are brewing  . . ."  and mentioned several of them. Here's what happened to these ideas through the year . . .

In 2014 I was already very inspired by the rust printing artwork of Alice Fox  when I noticed a post on Facebook by another artist mentioning The Erosion Bundle Project. Rusty items are wrapped in paper and fabric, tied in a bundle, and left outside for 3 months to allow the natural rusting process to stain the paper and fabric. My bundle was wrapped and hung outside on the 1st January 2015, where it stayed for 3 months in all weathers.
Unfortunately after waiting patiently for three months I was disappointed with the results. Very little had happened to the outer layers.
I thought one piece probably looked slightly more interesting when washed and screwed out.
A couple of pieces had some reasonable markings but I didn't have any ideas about how to use them.
I was delighted to be able to go on an Alice Fox rust-printing weekend workshop in October (thanks to the art group I belong to) along with four others from our group. It was wonderful to be guided by Alice who is a brilliant teacher and so inspiring to see fabulous examples of artwork she has made using her rusted fabric and paper.

Unlike my erosion bundle project, the rusting process at the workshop was accelerated by soaking the fabric or paper in different kinds of tea, coffee or red wine. What a difference - I much preferred the results from this method. I can imagine using these pieces although I haven't done anything with them yet. That's definitely something for 2016.

That has certainly been happening - as can be seen in most of my blog posts throughout the year.

I haven't decided how to display them yet but here they are.
Each one is a drawing of something I picked up from the ground each week in Coombe Wood and is a 3x3cm drawing on a 5x5cm square of watercolour paper stained with used fruity tea bags.

At the same time I decided to draw an item every day throughout the year. These were drawings of random items and are the same size as the 52 drawings above. They're set out in months, two months per page with six pages side by side for this photo. I had to perch precariously on the dining room table to get high enough to take the photo.

I didn't manage to have the mini exhibition I had imagined at the beginning of the year - I still have to work on that idea but I did have artwork on show at my friend's open house exhibition in Eastbourne in November, along with artwork by other friends from our art group. I understand that a couple of small things sold but at the moment I don't even know if it covered the exhibition fee.


I had some business cards made at last after dithering about it - just my blog address.

My Winter book and Spring book were almost finished but I ran out of transfer paper and the printer has been playing up. Other financial needs took priority so my planned series of all four seasons didn't fully materialise but I hope to complete it in 2016.

I took part in two Facebook challenges during 2015. The first was a 30 Day Photography Challenge in May. I have done this once before and I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of being given subjects for each day and having to find creative ways of taking photos of things I might not necessarily photograph normally. Afterwards I had a small photo book made thanks to a timely half price offer from "Snapfish".

I also took part in the Sketchpack Project online in August. A drawing a day for 30 days. Mine turned into a bit of a guessing game, with more drawings the following days from different angles as well as clues if others taking part in the guessing couldn't work out what it was from the small section of the item I had drawn at first. Another timely photo book offer came along just afterwards.
Taking part in the sketchpack challenge previously is what inspired me to do the 365 daily drawings in 2015. 

Fortunately, apart from the weekend workshop which was brilliant but a very big challenge physically, all of these have all been things I can dip in and out of and do as little or as much of as I can manage at any time. Some days I can do quite a bit but other days I can't manage very much at all.


Continuing the all weather all seasons Coombe Wood photography plus more use of elements from the photos in my artwork.

Finish the Winter and Spring books and make the Summer and Winter books.

Make use of the rusted fabric and paper in my artwork - plus . . . photograph, draw, explore and use my wonderful Christmas present from my sister in Newquay - a fabulous assortment rusted items.

Mini exhibition plans. It would be good to do this in 2016 rather than carry it forward another year.

I would like to keep up the drawing a day, maybe have a looser brief this time and explore print and collage etc. but I will need to make up my mind what I'm going to do about this before the end of today in order to make it work.

Thank you very much staying with me to the end of this long post.

Whatever your plans are for 2016 I hope this year will be a good one for you.


  1. Well done for keeping up the drawing - hope you decide what to do this year! I'm doing an online crafting course that starts today which I think is going to be a challenge in more ways than one - hoping I can keep up with it. Look forward to your continued Coombe Wood visits.

    1. Thank you Helen. I hope you enjoy your online crafting course.