Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Art hack

For years I have been chopping ready-mixed paint bottles in half etc to get the last of a product out of the packaging, it always amazes me when people don't do this and loose so much paint or glue to the bin.
This next hack or way of organising an art room is so obvious, I feel silly for not doing it before.
I have spent a long time bookbinding over the last few weeks and my brush has been covered in glue right up the handle as I reached into the bottle, so I decided to cut the bottle in half as I always did, but this time I popped it into a jar.
Perfection, no gluey handle, no waste, perfect sealable storage.

Julia Barton and Littoral

It is amazing when you find a connection with someone new, a shared passion. This happened this weekend at the Fruitmarket Gallery with Julia Barton of Littoral Art an artist with a passion for seaweed, who has increasingly been distracted and distraught with the amount of plastic pollution. 
So rarely was Julia finding plastic free specimens that she started drawing the plastic into her seaweed studies you can see some of these in her books above. It needs to be said that Julia was not working on a densely populated metropolitan coast but on the remote archipelago of the Shetland Isles. 
People do not realise the impact that their actions and the plastics that they use are having and paramount to Julia's practice is to educate people about the devastation that plastic is having on our environment and ultimately our lives. 
You can get follow Julia's work and get your guide to beach litter here.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Anupa Gardener

Anupa Gardener was one of the exhibitors at the Fruitmarket Book Fair last weekend. She is a MA graduate of Edinburgh College of Art's illustration department who works as a book artist and printmaker, her work in the top image is screen printed, but has a lovely soft quality that looks more like lithography.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Karlee Rawkins VI

After months of flat out work, today it is time to take stock, breathe, think, and instead of being the hare be the tortoise. I was really pleased to be reminded of Karlee's wonderful work this weekend and explore her portfolio anew. To enjoy her flamboyant marks her layering of pattern and colour, in a contained abstraction.

Karlee Rawkins: Imagined Places from Joelle Baudet on Vimeo.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Strathbungo Window Wonderland.

Above; Karen Moir

Above: images by Amy Carruthers‎

Last night in Glasgow saw a wonderful project come to life. The Strathbungo Window Wonderland, where residents of Strathbungo used their front windows as shadow galleries by creating silhouettes and projections with musicians playing and people dancing.

Above: Photo by Alan Taylor
This is a fantastic life affirming project a great celebration of life, art and community.

This Rabbit . . . The Fruitmarket Book Fair VIII

The 'This Rabbit' revealer book came at the request of my daughter in celebration of her lovely rabbit Honey, who is the most affectionate, loving creature anyone could meet. No fag butts here like in 'This pigeon', or spiders like in 'This Cat', but electrical wires. I did not believe the rumours that rabbits chewed through wires until the stranded plugs started to appear after he had been free in the house for a while. 

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Acorns: Fruitmarket Book Fair VII

In the autumn I gathered many acorns and took their portraits, I have made a book of these lovely amazing forces of life which I hope will be sprouting into new trees in the warm spring sunshine very soon.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Step this way: Fruitmarket Book Fair VI

This last two months has also led to my processing some of the bird poo pictures that I collected last year, because I see things everywhere and this Pareidolia had become obsessive, I knew I wanted to do something with what I saw. It is an odd hobby that has absolutely inspired and galvanised my creativity.

I have submitted a book to a publisher that I think (hope) will be open to the idea. Some of the images not used in that book I have made into 'Step this way'. One of the things I love about these pictures are the surface textures of roads, pavements and gutters, as in the work of the Boyle family, they suddenly make you aware of what you are standing on and show the beauty of the mundane.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

What am I up to: Fruitmarket Fair V

Preparing for this artists book fair, I thought of all the projects that I have done and would like to make into books, many of them I haven't got around to. Though some books I didn't expect to appear, 'Shoal' is one of them.
I have always beach combed, as a child, I was obsessed with collecting shells and dreamed of opening a shell museum. In the last few years, I would collect 'treasure' but I grew more and more aware of the increasing levels of 'trash', and so started gathering my treasure and balancing it with trash removal. The balance has gone now, I only collect trash and I cannot possibly collect it all, fabric and shoes that once would have rotted are now man-made fibers that do not decompose.

Plastic has replaced paper in items like ear buds and so the tiny plastic sticks litter everywhere. Wet wipes and disposable cleaning wipes abound, in a great gray mass that strangles the flora of the sea and helps to rip it from its holdfasts. I started to take this litter home by the sack full and photograph it and then working on these images in photoshop to convert them into 'fish'.
I then used these images for a self-made campaign called 'Plenty More Fish In The Sea' which I linked sometimes to Martin Dorey's #2minutebeachclean. Now I have created a hand-made book called 'Shoal' from some of the images. It is a great way to pull things together and is fun to see them in a book form.

Please if you live near the sea or ocean, join the #2minutebeachclean we have made a mess, it's time to clean it up.
Images top to bottom: Cover featuring Tampax dispenser., fishing line, and a rubber glove. Childs sock with polyester and lycra, Nylon netting sacks and finally a foam ear plug.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

What am I up to: The Fruitmarket Fair IV

My final revealer book has lovely pigeons and today I have one in the porch recovering and getting ready to be released. I have to say I am not happy about releasing it into the storm.

What am I up to: The Fruitmarket Fair III

Above is a crow revealer book being made and below is one of the crows when it is folded, and then when it is extended so you can see what it has eaten, a nice juicy worm in this happy crow.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

What am I up to: The Fruitmarket Fair II

Days start early in my studio, and as the sun rises, I have a visitor who knocks on my velux window to say he has arrived and I go out to feed the animals; currently one seagull, one rabbit, four chickens and a black cat.

I love my wild gull, he gets very demanding in the spring when he has young, but the reward is that their maiden flights are always over to our roof. The rest of the year he is an ever-present beauty and wonder, a silent companion standing patiently on the glass above my head.
I had to make revealer gulls their expandable crops make them the perfect muses.
The starfish image I did actually see, as a gull gulped two starfish down one after another and I could see the shape of them in the bird's gullet.

These images make me smile, I hope you like them too. Books, cards, and posters will be on sale at The Fruitmarket Gallery on Saturday and Sunday and they are slowly making it into my website shop as well.

What I am up to: The Fruitmarket Book Fair I

Two months ago I put in an application to be part of the Fruitmarket Gallery artists book fair, I have never been to a book fair like this before and I certainly have not participated in one, but I thought it would be an enjoyable challenge and a way of processing some of my work into an accessible format.

I have a to-do list from early in January and strangely nothing on the list has been done, as I learned how to make something that I have called revealers. 
Initially, I created bearded men, with things written into their beard hair. Then I woke up one night and thought of a cat who likes cheese (as you do). This has evolved into a whole series of cats. Revealers unfold so that you can see what is hidden in the fold. In the 'This Cat' series it reveals what 'This Cat' likes to eat. 
 I made them into card/ posters, to start with as something very affordable for the fair. It was only in the last two weeks that I worked out a method to make them into books and then decided to make prints.

'This cat' has grown into 'This Pigeon', 'This Rabbit', 'This Crow' and 'This Seagull' and I am thoroughly exhausted. I think I have done a years work in eight weeks, but I am happy, it has been really good fun. Now I am packaging them ready for the Fruitmarket Book Fair which is in Edinburgh this weekend and also trying to get them on my website by the weekend so that people elsewhere can buy them.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Iwona Chimielewska IV

Beautiful textile illustrations by Polish illustrator Iwona Chimielwska to start the week.
Lets hope it is a good week.
Iwona Chimielwska has an amazing and refreshing diversity in her work, it is wonderful that she has been able to have such a successful career with constantly innovative work.