Getting Sticky

Well, in my pursuit of creating something arty, I have taken to sticking things.  Yes, collage.  I make an horrendous mess, with bits of paper, tissue and glue covering every surface, including myself, but I have to say I am quite pleased with the results.

The first one, ‘The New Forests’ was inspired by an item on the news that made me so angry and upset that I didn’t know what to do with the emotion.  They’d used a drone to film the extent of the camps in Bangladesh that hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugee people have been reduced to living in.  They showed the camps sprawling across an area bigger than Manchester or Glasgow.  The people, men, women and children, in those camps have little clean water, food, health care, in fact, none of the things we take for granted on an every day basis. It made me consider (not for the first time, I hasten to add) the quite appalling inequalities suffered by people around the world, and creating the collage became quite cathartic for me.  In fact, I got so much out of it (never mind the result!) when finished, I immediately started on the second, ‘Elusive Eden’.

This piece was inspired by poetry, and as with the first one, I decided to use relevant text within it – in this case excerpts from ‘I know why the cage bird sings’ by Maya Angelou, ‘Mending Wall’ by Robert Frost, and ‘The Road not Taken’ also by Frost. The result was somewhat cheerier than I imagined, and the poems have all but disappeared, but nonetheless, I quite like it, and whilst I doubt anyone looking at it would immediately grasp its representational meaning as I intended, at least it’s colourful!

The third piece, is frankly, just a flight of fancy.  Using tissue paper, which proved much trickier, and generally messier than I could ever have imagined.  Lots of fun though!

The New Forests

The New Forests

Elusive Eden 1

Elusive Eden

By the River

By the River

 

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Green sleeves…

… Green trousers, green carpet…. errr… that’s what I ended up with while I was having a bash at this painting.

I present to you my latest adventure with acrylics.  My very first landscape. Lots of green.  I know it’s a bit heavy handed, and some of the trees have gone a bit awry, but since I’m still trying to master mixing good greens, and I always shy away from attempting to paint anything with a suggestion of water in it, I’m reasonably ok with the result.  I feel as if I’m very, very, slowly improving and beginning (beginning) to enjoy the (oh god, here it comes…) Journey.

IMG_1742 (Edited)

But is it art?

Just over a year ago, my husband and I decided to join the local art group. We’d wanted to find a hobby we could enjoy together in our old age (!) and having explored various ideas including sporty stuff, choirs etc, art seemed to be the least exhausting option.

It has been great. Really wonderful. The other art group folk are a fantastic bunch and we spend a lot of time laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Which is just as well, because pretty quickly it became obvious that I do not have a natural talent when it comes to putting paint on paper. In fact, I’m pants at it.

Irritatingly, my husband has proved to be astonishingly good, and the art group has rekindled his old passion for painting. He’s churning out lovely pieces at such a rate, we’re going to have to move soon to accommodate them all.

The opposite side of the coin is me. I’m plodding away, churning out rubbish. It is just so frustrating. In my head my picture is going to be a beautiful dancer poised in a perfect landscape. On paper it’s a lumpy out of proportion excuse for a human on a muddy blur of greenish stuff. My pretty flowers aren’t. My trees are lollipops painted by a three year old. You get the gist.

It’s even more annoying since I know I can draw passably with a pencil, it’s just the bloomin’ paint not doing as it’s told. It has often made me grumpy, sometimes tearful, and occasionally violent.. towards the paper anyway, ripping pictures up in a stormy huff and flinging them in the bin with venom. This was supposed to be enjoyable…

Anyhoo… as I say it’s been a year now, of me trying but totally losing confidence and being heartily embarrassed by my efforts during the art group sessions. But yet I’m still plugging on.

Just lately, I’ve had one or two things that I’ve been vaguely happy with. Mostly when I’ve been trying the least, just sort of doodling. My watercolours are still a bit washed out, but coloured pencil work is coming on a bit better, and over the last couple of weeks I’ve ventured back into acrylics, which previously has been the medium that has made me the crossesist (yeah, I know… but it’s perfect, and should be a real word even if it’s not).

In the past I’ve tried to actually copy something. Do something realistic and beautiful, but not so long ago I realised how miserable the failures were making me, so I started just sloshing on paint and seeing where it got me. D’ya know what? I had fun! And actually, the pictures have started looking like I want them to. Maybe not brilliant, but they look like mine. Like I have some sort of my own style.

I admit, they, like my poems, are a bit dark and broody, but that’s it. That’s capturing what I’m aiming for. Sometimes I think we need to embrace our limitations. I may never be able to paint a pretty flower, or a magnificent animal. My trees may always be lollipops, but they are my lollipops.

So, I am taking a leap here. A big leap. A very big leap. I am going to share some of my pictures with you on this blog, and hopefully, hopefully, you will be able to watch me improve and grow, and maybe, in the not too distant future, I will start to gain confidence and be proud of my creations. In the meantime, here are some of my recent attempts with acrylics….

p.s. to see some of the beautiful work other members of our group produce you can visit the ‘our art’ page on the Sutton Art Group website at https://suttonartgroup.wordpress.com/our-art/