My photo for me, art and photography.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

September in Review

First of 2 commissions I'm working on for my neighbour

Commission 1 by ~Tashlentine on deviantART

I'm still not a fan of drawing stuff and infinitely prefer painting, but at least I've proven to myself I can do it and my commissioner is happy with what I've done.

The bad news is that my computer broke and I've had to reinstall vista. Along with that breaking my Adobe Mastersuite has vanished taking dreamweaver and photoshop with it, so bye bye any hope of redoing my website and editing photos until my friend has time to come down and re-install it for me. I could actually cry. The only plus side from this (other than my computer isn't a complete write-off) is that the few photos and files I had on here weren't obliterated and have been saved, because one thing I am good at is backing up my files onto my external hard drive... mainly because my C:\ gets very full very fast and I just take all my files off and dump them on the external drive to free up space

Gallery exhibition closes on the 3rd of October, not on the 26th of September as previously stated (although I hadn't been told about this) - No idea if my work has sold - haven't heard any news from the gallery yet. My folks are getting a new car tomorrow so I'll try to persuade them to give it a spin past the gallery so I can check up on what's going on. Mum and Dad popped in last week and one of my paintings wasn't even up on the wall because 'there wasn't enough space'. Apparently. So not sure what's going on there. *Frown*. We shall see.

Joining a local art group which meets in Bourne Hall in Epsom, so shortly I shall be a member of the Epsom & Ewell art Group. Went to a meeting today to check it out to see if it's something I'd want to join - I expected it to be a bunch of people sitting around doodling and being hands on, which it wasn't - it seems more geared towards kind of open lecture type things by other artists which also suits me just fine.

Today, artist Toby Ward was the speaker.

Here is a little bit about him - info gleaned from his website (if you click his name in here it'll take you there)

He has worked as artist in residence at St.Martin-in-the-Fields, the Mercers’ Company and the Athenaeum and travelled as a recording artist with HRH The Prince of Wales...
...In 1995 he spent a month working with the United Nations Peacekeeping force in central Bosnia making a record in drawings of the life and work of the soldiers...
...Also during the 1990s he made a series of drawings in two volumes for the National Trust recording the conservation of Chastleton House in the Cotswolds. This led to a commission to make drawings and watercolours of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden before and during its redevelopment in the late 1990’s. The Ritz Hotel commissioned a series of paintings of all aspects of life at the hotel from the kitchens to the gymnasium which now decorate the lifts in the hotel...Among a number of significant commissions have been portraits of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Lord Rothermere and Sir Sidney Kentridge.

Really nice guy! He brought in a massive (to me) canvas and started work on it, describing his process and fielding questions from the rest of us.

There were a few people asking things like 'what kind of blue is that?' but be me being me, and probably a pain in the arse lol was asking loads of questions about what did he think of art school, did he think it was important to go to one or is it more of a social thing and did he think that it could be limiting because you get taught to paint - and to paint like other people - rather than kind of finding your own way through it... I noticed that when most people asked him something he'd just carry on painting with his back to us, but when I asked him something he'd turn around to face me.. possibly because my question demanded an answer that went slightly deeper than 'ultramarine blue' and he needed to think about it, or because he hadn't been asked that before and was mildly surprised, or because I was about the only person in the room with pigments in my hair - I seemed to be the youngest in the room by at least 35 years.

It's not a bad thing - it's good that older people group together and are still interested in learning stuff, but I found this at uni as well - things like this are mainly attended by retirees. Younger people are really missing out on learning stuff because of the 'o.a.p' stigma attached to social clubs.

To be honest I don't understand why the label is there in the first place.

Had a chat with him afterwards and he gave me a brief explanation of underpainting I've never done it before and the 'blank' canvas he brought in was bright green, which he started painting on so I was like WTF??! why is it green? What does that do? Really nice guy - no attitude, no ego (which is surprising, considering how well he's done for himself) no question was too stupid or too personal - ie his thoughts on Tracy Emin, or what his routine is like (both my questions ;)

the Tracy Emin/modern conceptual art question sparked a bit of an outcry from the others - not an outcry against me, or the question, but a mutual disgust for 'that sort of thing' from the other members who until then had remained reasonably quiet and let the main 4 chatty people (including me) think of all the questions. Heh I love sparking group discussions! I absolutely rocked at doing that at Uni.. maybe it's because I can be a little opinionated... in that I have an opinion on pretty much everything and am not afraid to share it, even if it's about a view that isn't particularly popular! I remember somehow getting a good discussion going about Virginia Woolfe (the one about the wallpaper) and James Joyce's 'Ulysses' (vile man) - my presentation was supposed to be 20 mins long in a 2 hour seminar... I did a little too well at the getting people motivated in the 'group discussion' side of things and my 20 min slot got extended to the full 2 hours of the seminar! haha! Got a cracking mark for it too which I was chuffed with. Got 76 for that. If you even got 50 from that Professor you should count yourself lucky

Anyway. I might be exhibiting there with them this month (as in the month we entered into approx half an hour ago) - I dunno yet, because I'm new and I'll only be half a member because membership rolls around in April so I'm only paying for half of a year as we're already half way through... the treasurer was a bit unclear about the whole thing but next week we'll be learning how to make our own pastels (which I'll never use) so I'll hopefully find out more then.
The exhibitions are good - they do a few a year - one I've just missed and was held at the Denbies wine estate which i've been to a few times and it's a lovely venue - and they also get wall space at Bourne Hall ..
Which did look like this:

But now, (sadly) looks like this:

It's kind of like the millennium dome on the outside, but smaller, and on 3 levels. half the ground floor is a library and the other half is divided up into a shop selling... something.. I dunno - postcards or something - I never looked really, and some smallish rooms (which is where we were). There's a mezannine up the stairs which hosts a cafe and a museum - local history i think... what there is of it anyway. Downstairs is a big hall where people do line dancing as such.

I've never been involved in anything to do with the community before - always regarded 'community' to be kind of WI bake-sales and flower arranging and church bric-a-brac sales for old people. This is still kind of 'old person' stuff, but... I dunno... maybe i'll be able to bring some young blood and enthusiasm with me and spice things up a bit ;)

My series of London photos is also finally complete (for now) and has been uploaded to a gallery on deviantart

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