Sunday, 27 January 2013

In other, very exciting news...

I received the following email last night, which made me whoop with delight :)

Dear Hayley,

Thanks for sending in your project for SBP 2013! We just wanted to let you know that your project has now been cataloged into the Brooklyn Art Library! It can be found on the shelves with a call number of 201.19-1.
If you've already chosen to get your project digitized, you'll receive another email once it's been scanned into the Digital Library.
Please stay tuned for more details about the project.

The Art House Crew

Art House Co-op

How cool is that? It got there, and someone has finally opened it and done the 'bip' thing on the barcode. Daft how such little things can make a girl happy really isn't it?

I have paid for it to be digitised (because really, no-one is ever going to know to ask to see it if you don't...) and I am looking forward to seeing if their 'professional book digitiser' (I'm sure they probably spell it with a Z. But I can't bring myself to. Sorry) does any better than me with my trusty flat bed scanner at home!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Every Day Matters Challenges

I did all of (well, most of!) the Every Day Matters Challenges a few years ago, but having seen both Emma and Jenna working their way through the list, I figured that starting from scratch wouldn't do me any harm at all, and would be an easy way for me to get back into the habit of daily drawing again.

So, without further ado, here is the first.

EDM #1 - Draw a shoe

A Croc.

Of course, now I'm looking at it on a computer screen, I can see LOADS wrong with it. Bah. Oh well. As I said, it's been a while, and I'll get better the more I do it (I hope!)

I have a love hate relationship with my crocs. Love because they're so easy to wear, they stay on without needing to be tied/strapped up, don't make me fall over just by being on my feet (happens with flats a LOT more than you'd think with me!) and because they appear to be indestructible. They don't care if they get muddy when I am gardening, or covered in paint when I am painting - and more importantly, nor do I. After all, how can you get precious about a pair of crocs? And yet I do. Get precious that is. In a way. I would hate if someone told me that I could never wear them again. I might even cry. Even though I hate them too. I remember the first time I laid eyes on a pair, announcing that they were the ugliest shoes ever. (and they were. This particular pair belonged to my very good friend Miffa (aka Emma), and were the most lurid, bright lime green you can imagine!) When I eventually got my own pair last spring - a good 6/7 years after seeing the green monstrosities (I was bored of having to put my wellies on to potter in the garden when it was dry and sunny. Because it was for a while last year believe it or not!), I swore I would never wear them out. And yet I bought another pair on holiday in Italy later in the year when my trusty converse had turned my feet into 2 ginormous blisters that just Would. Not. Heal. And they not only didn't aggravate the blisters, they allowed them to start healing at last. And ofc, I swore I would only wear *those* in the house as well. But I've sat here today drawing this one, and it just dawned on me that I've also worn them to pottery, and to the co-op down the road, and and and... I've probably even worn them to Waitrose *shockhorror*.
But I'm not ashamed. I wear them out in public. What of it?  I love my crocs.
Even if they are fugly ;)

I'm (im)patiently waiting for a delivery of canvasses to arrive from at the moment, which will get me back painting again, although I won't be able to blog about what I'm doing until after two certain people decide to make an appearance, and have been given their very first piece of original art. Because their soon-to-be-mums might see it, and that'd ruin the surprise! So I'll try to keep you going with drawings for a bit instead ;)

Monday, 14 January 2013

Sketchbook Project 2013 - thoughts and musings

 Now that you've seen all of the pages of my 2013 sketchbook project book, what do you think? Feel free to leave comments - good or bad - in the little box.

I really enjoyed the process of following the very loose brief, and I liked that I could do as many, or as few, pages as I wanted. I would definitely take part again, except that they appear to have changed the format for the 2014 project, and I am not currently particularly taken by any of the topics either :-/

It remains to be seen how my book will go down either with the organisers (I still fear that oils are banned somewhere in some rule document that I haven't seen... *wibble*), or the viewing public of America, or the world once it has been digitised, but that's not really why I did it. I took part, simply because I thought it would be a good way of me getting back into painting after such a long time away from it. It's worked brilliantly for that - it's got me back into the swing of it, proved to me that my brand spanking new studio (of which, more later ;)) works, and reignited my love of oils. I am eternally grateful for all of those things. I have rediscovered my love of painting, and the joy that it brings to me. Will someone *please* smack me upside the head if I forget again?

I've also learnt how to bind books (sort of lol)

What was YOUR favourite page?

Sketchbook Project 2013 - the finished article

The Finished Article :D
"Creatures", by me

Sketchbook Project 2013 - did I say that was the last set?! I lied!

Oil on paper, approx 7x5 inches
Team GB
Oil on paper, approx 7x5 inches
Oil on paper, approx 7x5 inches

Good job I thought to count them up to check really!

Sketchbook Project 2013 - Last set, honest!

Where is Chas?!
Oil on paper, approx 7x5 inches

Oil on paper, approx 7x5 inches

One Giant Leap for Canine Kind
Oil on paper, approx 7x5 inches

Sketchbook Project 2013 - Breakfast is ready!

Oil on paper, approx 7x5 inches

Rise and Shine
Oil on paper, approx 7x5 inches

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Sketchbook Project 2013 - There's no rush to get to the end, surely?

Snails Pace
Oil on paper, approx 7x5 inches

Coming to get you... very slowly
Oil on paper, approx 7x5 inches

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Sketchbook Project 2013 - Monkeys!

Oil on paper, approx 7x5 inches

Monkey Sketch
Oil on paper, approx 7x5 inches

Friday, 11 January 2013

Bookbinding - A first for me!

So, it occurred to me last night (a little late maybe, but hey ho!) that if I want to bind and send my sketchbook project book before the deadline - and I do, obviously!, I need to work out HOW to bind it :-/

I knew I wanted it coptic bound, and had made the front and back covers in such a way that only coptic binding would work. But I'd never done any coptic binding before, so this morning, I set about googling tutorials, and making up a 'practice' book. It was a LOT easier than I thought it was going to be, and once I'd got going, I did 90% of it without referring to the tutorial at all. This is the result....

Okay, so it is somewhat rough and ready (mostly because I used scraps and leftovers to make it from!), and I did have to change threads part way through as I'd underestimated how far it would go, but I am rather pleased with it, and so it appears is Morph.

I shall keep it, and use it as my next sketchbook, once the current one is full I think :)

I now feel much more confident about binding my sketchbook project book! But that is a job for tomorrow...

Sketchbook Project 2013 - yet MORE pages...

What came first again?
Oil on paper, approx 7x5 inches

The Purple Dinosaur
Oil on paper, approx 7x5 inches

Off with her head!
Oil on paper, approx 7x5 inches

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Sketchbook Project 2013 - More Pages!

  A few more pages for you :)

Sam's Dinosaur
Oil on paper, approx 7x5 inches
Oil on paper, approx 7x5 inches

Are you my mummy?
Oil on paper, approx 7x5 inches

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Sketchbook Project 2013 - Spacedog on the moon...

Moon One
Oil on paper, approx 7x5 inches
Moon Two
Oil on paper, approx 7x5 inches

Sketchbook Project 2013 - pages!

I am not entirely sure as yet what order these images will go into my sketchbook in - they weren't done to tell a story, or anything that obvious, although one or two of them are one of a pair, so obviously they'll be put so that they work together.  For now though, here is a small, and random, selection of pages for your viewing pleasure :)

Oil on paper, approx 7x5 inches
A Close Match
Oil on paper, approx 7x5 inches
A Night At The Museum
Oil on paper, approx 7x5 inhes
Sea Creature
Oil on paper, approx 7x5 inches

Monday, 7 January 2013

Sketchbook Project 2013

As mentioned in my last post, I have been working on something for the Sketchbook Project 2013. The basic premis being that they send you a sketchbook, which you can then do whatever you want to, including rebinding it, provided you send it back to them with the same 7x5 inch dimensions, and it is no wider than 1 inch, and it has their barcode sticker on the back, in roughly the same place as it was on the one you were sent. You have to chose between a  number of categories, this years were: Travelogue, Memoir, Narrative, Atlas, Almanac, Chronicle, Sketchbook, Chapbook, Documentation, Photolog, Undecided, Dwellings, Strangers, Participate, Diagrams, Warnings, Lists, Creatures, Dinosaurs, and Upstairs. Then, you fill it full of your ideas/drawings/paintings/collages/whatever, and send it back to them in Brooklyn, before the cut off date (this time it must be postmarked before 15th January 2013). They then digitise it (if you've paid the extra for that), and add it to their digital archive. Then...  (and this is the exciting part!) your sketchbook, and all of the others registered for this project, go on tour around America (annoyingly, I missed the 2012 tour, which came to London *sobs*), before finally being added to their permanent collection in the Brooklyn Art Library. Anyone who wants to can go in and view my book :D

I chose Creatures. And because I am mental, I decided not only to ditch their (rather poor quality, I have to say) sketchbook, and make my own from scratch, but also to paint the whole lot in oils. Yes. I am THAT crazy. A book full of oil paintings. 'They'll all stick together' I hear you cry. Well, yes, they would. If I weren't binding wax paper in between each page. (or at least, since I haven't bound it yet, that is the plan lol. If even that doesn't work, I shall cry. Lots.)

I finally finished painting my 'creatures' yesterday. I did a little dance, as I wasn't 100% sure I would get to the end before the 'post by' date, let alone be able to varnish each side of each page, and then bind it all too! But I did. Hurrah for me. I started the varnishing today, and shall post the various pages over the next few days. I wouldn't want to give you them all at once now would I? Where is the fun in THAT?

Front Cover. Yes I know the title is off centre... what of it? (this was a feck-up by my poorly pre-Christmas self that I only noticed yesterday. It will be remedied somehow... just as long as it doesn't require a complete repaint :-/)
7x5-ish inches, Oil on Canvas Paper, glued to board

Once I'd chosen the theme of my book, I asked my friends and family to share with me the (non-living) 'creatures' who share their lives and homes. The contents of my sketchbook are testament to their variety - I only wish I'd been able to paint them all!

I shall post some more pages for your viewing pleasure tomorrow :-)