Friday, 28 August 2009

Some Photographs from the Calligraphy of the Pine Trees Workshop

This is going to be my last post about the "Calligraphy of the Pine Trees Workshop" - just a few of my favourite photographs below. The bird's nest was found by Leila - a sculptor who was also from Britain but now lives by the sea in Mallorca with her boyfriend who is a boat builder. Every day we went on a trip she found something amazing - the rest of us were gathering pine needles and cones - and she found two beautiful birds nests, the bones of an animal we think was related to a pine martin and the parts of a huge stag beetle!

This was my favourite of all the places we visited - it's Menut - a tree nursery in the Tramuntana Mountains. I think a little may have got 'lost in translation' but my understanding was it was the equivalent of the UK Forestry Commission. They held a seed bank as well as growing the pines to be used for re-afforestation. What I loved about the place was the contrast between the wild nature / earth and sky outside where the small trees were growing and the clinical feel of the laboratory were the seeds were kept.

Monoprints from Miro Foundation Workshop

Above the monoprints I produced at the Miro Foundation workshop using a mix of paper cut stencils, embossing with pine needles (hard to see in photograph but all around big brown cone!) and leaves, drawing on reverse on to an inked plate and a transfer of a photograph I found several years ago in a Barcelona flea market. It's a little boy in a forest surrounded by pine cones - I like to think he too was on a trip to the Mallorcan pine forests fifty years before me.

Below are some things from my A3 sketchbook - it was refreshing to work at that size - realise I tend to always stick to A4 because it fits under my scanner!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

The Calligraphy of Pine Trees -Sketchbooks and Rubbings

In July I spent a week on the outskirts of Palma at The Fundacion Pilar i Joan Miro a Mallorca on a printmaking workshop after receiving a grant. The grant paid not only for the workshop fee but also covered the cost of my flight and hotel!

The course I chose to take part in was called "The Calligraphy of Pine Trees" led by the artist Michael Angel Blanco - you can see some of his beautiful work here. It involved several day trips in to the Mallorcan mountains and countryside then a day in the printmaking workshops which was really thrilling to be working were Miro had worked!

For me - the amazing thing about the trip and the course was it was the first time in years that I've felt I've had a chunk of time totally to myself with the opportunity to explore a project purely for the process rather than an end result (whether that's a commission or a self imposed brief!) Also going somewhere completely alone and free to be totally autonomous was an amazingly liberating feeling! I loved that I could choose to spend three hours on a Saturday afternoon drawing in a tiny doll museum and no one knowing where I was. One of my best memories was staying up to 2am drawing on the hotel room floor with the balcony door open and just the sound of cicadas and the occasional car passing by.

The interesting thing about the trip was how, perhaps more than the work I produced, the value of it was in purely the experience. If only we could all have this stepping out of "real life" to "play" for a week once in a while.

Above are some of the sketches, rubbings and sun prints I produced during the week.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

The Black Bound Hound Book

I drew this "dog parade" over several nights at bedtimes - it was a lovely way to wind down at the end of a day. I'm a bit obsessed at the moment with these moleskine concertina books - I have an empty one waiting for the next "parade" idea......

Here is a movie of "The Black Bound Hound Book" made by my animator boyfriend - our first joint project. For my birthday I've asked if he can animate one of my drawings (and maybe a bar of Lindt chilli chocolate too)!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Illustration for Minneapolis St Paul Magazine

This was for an article on Nutritional Therapy and being trained to see your plate as "half full". Below are a couple of the other roughs I also submitted.

I think on these I was really focussing on the "full plate" versus "half full plate" in the circular patterns as I'd just been to an exhibition at Tate Modern "Rodchenko and Popova" and I'd been amazed at some of Liubov Popova's textile designs. So ahead of the time and simple and geometric.

Monday, 3 August 2009


Above are some more ceramics from my winter evening class (mentioned here ). In the summer term I went to a course focussing totally on glazes - which I found fasinating even though it felt like a throw back to school chemistry! I was hoping it would help me gain a clearer idea of how to get the colour results I wanted as some of these ones hadn't turn out as I'd hoped. (the deer outline on the top one - with the pagoda - just faded away and the bottom one I was hoping for blues and browns but everything just came out brown!)
What I came to realise is there are so many variables it's hard to have control over the results until you become either very experienced in handling lots of glazes or just focus on a couple of glazes and always use the same technique. I haven't decided yet which way I'd like to go - but probably the latter!


Related Posts with Thumbnails