Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Planning, Preparation and Getting Things Done

I'm getting very excited about this course and wish I could bottle my current enthusiasm for the depths of winter when I've got a cold and not in the mood.  Instead I have bottled some berries, or rather, put them into jars.  I can't bear for any of the garden produce to go to waste so I took my girls fruit picking and we had a lovely time choosing berries to go with the blackcurrants from the garden.  I'm hoping spreading the Jumbleberry Jam on a piece of thick Warburtons will evoke memories of long, warm, joyful summer days and ward off the apathy.            

So in between looking after the kids I've been managing to tick some things off my to do list and doing some reading, including looking through all the course material.  Not much from the reading list was available from Calderdale libraries so I ordered a couple that I was particularly interested in from Amazon. I'm afraid to mention what they are because I haven't got my head around referencing and copyright rules yet (but there's a couple about sketchbooks and one about setting up a blog!).  I also bought a book about colour theory from a discount book store that was so cheap I don't mind cutting bits out or making notes on the pages. In the same shop I found some coloured papers and sketchbooks, an A3 one to do assignments on plus a non-standard one at 270 x 195mm.  This size just feels right to me. 

Have also been checking out some other blogs that I liked the look of http://www.doyoumindifiknit.typepad.com/ and http://www.needlespinsandbakingtins.com/ to get some ideas about format and presentation. Have struggled a little with getting photos in the right place and the right size so far and I almost deleted what I'd written when I tried to edit the first page but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it with practise and a little help from that book.

I've done some background reading on Van Gogh.  I found it particularly interesting how his style of painting and use of colour altered depending on his state of mind, such as the intense wave-like swirls he used when in periods of turmoil and his fascination with yellow.  Whether it was the glow of gaslight, reflected light, a starry sky or a sunflower, it seemed to represent the warmth and welcome he craved as a result of the constant rejections he faced in so many areas of his life.  I found it ironic that he wasn't mentioned in a book I have about great artists - still being rejected in the 21st century, despite his paintings being up there with the most expensive of all time!  Other colours he favoured were blues and violets which gave intensity to his yellows and he sometimes used varnish to highlight areas and make them glow.  He often used paint thickly and was so prolific he spent all his money on paint, nearly losing his teeth as there was no money left to eat.  I wondered whether this might happen to me if I carry on buying yarn? I had to go out and inspect my sunflowers then.  You can spend a very long time admiring a sunflower..................           
Sunflowers are amazing from the back and side too but everyone seems to paint them from the front.  Maybe because you just have to stare into their faces?
À la Van Gogh, I place the flower against the contrasting purple background of the parasol.  The yellow does indeed seem more intense.

This Cape Daisy flower was so perfectly formed.
These swirling clematis seed heads remind me of little furry creatures like handbag dogs or gremlins.  You imagine there's some eyes under there and you just have to stroke them.

I love the contrast of the clear cornflower blue of this anemone with the deep purple and the lime green leaves.  The blue is picked out again by the tiny forget-me-nots. 

I've been to visit my mum and dad in Liverpool with the girls for a couple of days this week and after reading what I'll be needing for printing, I shamelessly delved into Dad's shed with my list to rummage for useful things.  He cut some wood down for me so I have some hardboard squares ready for making relief blocks with string. I made a printing pad and have a couple of printing surfaces ready.  Very pleased.  While I was there I almost finished the cardigan, just one side to sew up now.

My tutor has been in touch today with some advice and a deadline for mid-November for the first assignment which seems very reasonable.  I've decided that I'll work 4 days a week while the kids are at school and plan to work for 4 hours each of those days to allow me to get at least some housework done.  Anything on top of this is a bonus.  I find I'm thinking about what I'll be doing all the time.  Even watching my youngest at the playground, I'm wondering what I could weave in there!

I've got an interesting few days planned.  Off to Texere Yarns in Bradford tomorrow, one of my favourite places, to chat to some work experience students to find out what they get up to.  On Thursday, a visit to Lotherton Hall in Leeds to look at a Native American exhibition and on Saturday back to Texere for a couple of workshops, one making braids and one weaving with sticks.  Both of these techniques should come in useful later in the course.  I'm extremely excited because they are having a yarn sale at Texere and actually giving some away.  Not wool or silk or anything, obviously, but I'm absolutely certain I can find something that will come in! Better clear out the car boot in preparation.

No comments:

Post a Comment