Tuesday, 20 October 2009

how does time fly so fast?

Wow, I'm really disappointed in myself! I never seem to be able to write more than 1 post every two months....Ahh well. Right well, I'm back at uni in my new house! I'm sharing it with 3 other people, one of whom is best friend :) he's lovely! And although we like clean and tidy, apparently the other two don't....so I seem to spend more time cleaning the house than I spend making things and doing work... Never fun! I now know how my mother feels half the time!

I'm also ill... as per usual. I think I'm one of those people who is just susceptible to anything and everything that is going around, and even those things that are not!

I realllly really wanted to buy some gorgeous boots from topshop but I just couldn't justify spending £75 on them when I have quite a few boots already. I think I'm going to keep an eye out on ebay for them or something similar thought. I think £30-40 will be my budget. I can't find them on the website to show you :(. I shall keep you updated on the shoe front though!

Speaking of boots, my boyfriend bought me these amazing Dr. Martens for my birthday. I only own one other pair of docs, some bright pink ones *squeel*. However, I got very jealous when I saw my friend wearing these. They are my latest must haves!!

Ahh I have lots and lots of uni work to do this term but I am determined to keep on top of it this time and get everything done before the deadline!! Especially as my grades this year affect my degree.

Over and out!


Tuesday, 21 July 2009

It's my Birthday tomorrow and I shall be the grand age of 20! Seems like such a big leap from the good old teenage years. I had a fancy dress themed 'party' on saturday. I'm a huge fan of the 80s so I did my best Cyndi Lauper impersonation.....

Ok well it's not letting me upload the image right now.....

I was also going to upload a few lovely pictures I have taken recently of myself and the other half. I shall have to come back at a later point!

The holiday seems to be flying! I've been off for so long and although I'm not technically back at University till October, I'm officially moving into my new house in September!! Finally got the keys to the place so I'm all excited.

Got a lot to look forward to before then though. I'm off to Somerset on Friday for a week with Alex. And then I'm going to the Sunday of Sonisphere on 2nd August, fanatastic line up! Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold and Nine Inch Nails being the highlights for me.

And then a couple of weeks later I am off to the South of France with my family for two weeks! Can't wait! This also means that I shall be uploading quite a few pictures, if it ever works that is...

Right I'm off for now but I shall be back with pictures!

Lottie

I've been Tagged!


I've been tagged by Alison over at AMIdesigns so here we go....

What is your current obsession?
Oooo anything Lolita style, lots of lace!

What is your weirdest obsession?
Picking up things which other people class as rubbish!

What are you wearing today?
Blue skinnies and a Bananaman jumper!

What's for dinner?
Whatever my mother decides to make me :)

What is your favourite book?
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
Misery by Stephen King

What's the last thing you bought?
Lots of different tights and a book on Tim Burton

What are you listening to right now?
Dream Theater - A Rite of Passage

What is your favourite ice-cream flavour?
Ben and Jerry - Cookie Dough

What do you think of the person who tagged you?
She seems like a very interesting person with a lot of creativity!

If you could have house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?
South Africa or Canada

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?
South Africa

Which language do you want to learn?
Well I wish to improve on my french and speak it fluently.

Who do you want to meet right now?
Nikki Sixx

What is your favourite colour?
Pink and Turqouise

What is your favourite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe?
My new lolita dress.

What is your favourite magazine?
Digital Photo or Metal Hammer

If you had a £100 now, what would you spend it on?
Spending Money for my holiday down to Somerset in 4 days.

What is you favourite time of the day?
Night.

Do you admire anyone's style?
People who don't care about what people think

Describe your personal style?
Very different. think every coloured hair under the sun and outfit that are extremely mismatched and you get me!

What are you going to do after this?
Watch some nice daytime TV or start a painting....

What are your favourite movies?
Oh dear....Too many. I love all the DVDs I own, and theres about 120....
Oldboy, Any Studio Ghibli, Any Tartan Asia, White Orleander, Tarzan....

What is your favourite fruit?
Possibly Strawberries?

What inspires you?
The world around me

What music do you like this week?
Dream Theater, Vanessa Mae

What is your dream job?
Artist/Photographer

What is stopping you?
Nothign at the moment, I'm studying Fine Art at University

Is there a project you are currently working on at the moment and if so what?
Yes, a couple of paintings.

What is your favourite animal?
I love white tigers but I also love my rats and dog.

What is your favourite tool?
Ooo glue gun! And pliers.

Do you collect anything?
Yes, a lot of things, but mainly Living Dead Dolls and anything Slipknot.

The rules:
1. Respond and rework; answer the questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own invention, add one more question of your own.
2. Tag eight other people.

I'm tagging:
Charlotte at Charlotte Hupfield Ceramics
Deborah at Fern River Jewels
Mario at Embroidered Originals
Sarah at Blooming Felt
Kyle at In The Style Of Kyle
Katian at Katian Mosaics
Lynsey at Swirly Thoughts
Cathy at The Recycled Bag Lady


Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Gosh!


I can't believe how long it is since I last blogged!! This summer has just swept me off my feet and I have had barely any time to even think about writing!

Well I think the highlight of June was most definitely Download. It was, I may add, possibly even the best weekend of the year! Last year was fanta
stic but this year's lineup really blew it away into the next galaxy.

I finally got to see Motley Crue! They were truly phenomenal, those and Def Leppard were the greatest moments of Download. Journey were also fantas
tic, Arnel Pineda surpassed my greatest expectations and really gave a new life into the band. He was perfect throughout the entire set.

Well enough chattering about Download! Just going to le
ave you with a group photo. I am the at the bottom on the right with the crazy pink hair, not the nicest pic of me ever.....

I have been making a few bits and pieces, I shall have to upload pictures later this evening. I have made my mother a small necklace holder as she has been going on and on about wanting one. It's not perfect but it definitely looks better than the key holder it started off life as!!

I also bought some cheap (£2!!!!) canvas shoes from primark which I have decorated with fabric paint. Again....Picture soon I promise!!

A painting is in progress as we speak as well. Hopefully that will be completed by the end of the week!!

Lottie x








Thursday, 30 April 2009

5 days and counting until this project is handed in

This blog, which I actually started for my PDP work is supposed to finish on Friday (Handing in time) However, I have actually enjoyed writing things down and reflecting upon things I do in life and also being able to engage upon other people's Blogs and receive support back. Which means that I shall be carrying on with it.

Right back to matters in hand. I have been really ill since about saturday - Had the flu and the addition of an ear infection which had left me tired and unable to sleep, therefore not in a fit state to work the next day. Which has meant that I am fairly behind with all my work, I do not wish to delay the project and so will probably not per-sue an extension.

My main piece is started, I will upload a quick sketch but it is basically a portrait of the upper half of a woman (Side view) which will have various parts of the skeletal frame visible. At the moment I have decided upon the jaw bone, spine and hand to be bone.

One thing I am unsure of is how to display these skeletal parts. I am hugely interested in old medical pictures and anatomical drawings with all the latin words surrounding the drawings and I am contemplating developing my painting in a similar way. So far I have done the face and hat the woman is wearing - I am using Oil paints which I am very new to, so this is a challenge for me to begin with. However it is going better than I anticipated and I have had a couple of positive remarks on it so far, now I just need to finish it!

I painted a light background last night, I had originally wanted the board cut in an oval shape - much like the old style photographs -however as I have already started painting and do not wish to ruin this, I have decided to paint the background and darken around the edges to give the illusion of an oval.

My second painting which I have started is taken from a photograph which I have found in a medical textbook. The textbook itself has amazing photographs in it - colour ones of the human body. This particular picture shows the muscles of the face and even though I should feel disgusted by it, it just fascinates me entirely.

I am then aiming to combine ideas I have discovered through looking for artists who involve the human body and anatomy within their studies. Kate Street's work, in particular, excites me as she produces work wherein the subject is debatable. 
Kate Street’s botanically themed drawings play on bizarre taxonomies and classifications, creating new hybrid forms that simultaneously recall anatomical studies and mutated Victorian etchings. The Orchis series, which evoke an ancient Greek belief that orchids sprung from the spilt semen of mating animals, once again illustrates Street’s interest in notions of desire, longing, and the absurdity that often accompanies it. These considered drawings, which can be read as a beautiful Memento mori, reflect once again parallels between nature and artifice.

I wish to experiment with combining nature to my anatomical studies. However I wish to use larger parts of the body, not smaller parts which become entangled with the botanical drawings.

I believe that I have come to a good point within this project. I feel as though I have direction, which sometimes, for me, is quite hard to come by. Being such a short project, I believe, has made this achievable for me. Longer deadlines mean things become spaced out which means that often, the lack of pressure equals an inability to produce large amounts of work as I become lost in the project.



Friday, 24 April 2009

Lanchester Gallery Project


Well the last three days I have spent doing a group 'mini' project. The exhibiton has now all been put up in the Lanchester Gallery within the Graham Sutherland building. Just one group has yet to complete their pieces.

We were lucky to have been able to work with Ben Cove in order to produce the material for this exhibition. He asked us to research and make a piece of work relating to the city (Coventry) and exhibit it as a group show.

This was separate to our regular studio work and he wanted us to experiment and try something new. As we were only given 3 days for this project (one of research, one to make out piece and one to exhibit it) I did not want to create something too different or new so instead of changing media, I changed the subject of my piece. I am a people person (well I like painting people) so I thought I would try my hand at a more landscape piece. I did, however, wish to use a lot of found material I sourced on the internet. This material included old postcards, photographs and also, people's memories of their past in Coventry. These I found really interesting and wished to use them somehow. Then I found a photograph of the Cathedral just after it had been bombed so there was a lot of rubble in the picture - I thought it would be appropriate to tear up the memories and place them as the rubble at the bottom of the painting.

I am really happy with my idea but I felt that I just did not have enough time available to me in order to produce a great piece of work. It wasn't bad, it just didn't feel finished and definitely not ready to be placed in a gallery space. However, I do understand that everyone was in exactly the same position as me and so I'm going to try not to fret so much. On that note I shall upload a picture of the painting (not great quality - I was in a rush) and shall prepare for criticism :). I would just like to say that this has been a great opportunity to work with a practicing artist and being pushed to do something different has definitely helped my confidence in my work.


Thursday, 16 April 2009

New York, New York!

Well, my trip was amazing! I did all the usual site seeing. We stayed in a lovely hotel opposite Madison Square Garden so everything was walkable. We managed to walk everywhere, only resorting to getting a taxi home on one of the evenings - I blame the high heels I was wearing!

We were going to go on the boat trip over to Liberty Island but the queue was a few hours long and we just didn't want to waste that much of the day so instead we got the free Staten Island ferry and managed to get close enough to the Statue of Liberty to take a few pictures.

Times Square was simply amazing at night, to come home to Birmingham/Coventry is just, well, boring haha! I have decided that if I ever receive a large amount of money I would love to travel around America - In my dreams haha.

The Guggenheim was such an interesting building and the works of art on display there were fantastic. Unfortunately I was with my Mother who just does not understand art so she was just sat down - really! I would have loved to have been able to discuss things with a like minded person but there we go. 

This first image, a piece by Charles Caryl Coleman was the first to catch my eye in the Guggenheim. Absolutely beautiful and so intricate both from afar and up close. Something similar would be lovely as a backdrop for one of my portraiture pieces.

Abbott Henderson Thayer is another artist I discovered whilst browsing The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia. His piece which was untitled, I have unfortunately not been able to find on the internet at the moment =[.

Another piece which intrigued me was The Tramway by Mary Cassatt. Having done a bit of research on her I have discovered that she was given an invitation to exhibit with
 the Impressionists by Edgar Degas - surprising being that she was an American and only one of two women in the Impressionist group. This piece is so subtle yet it speaks so much to me. The colours are quite sombre yet there seems so much warmth in the image due to the tenderness between the baby and what must presumably be the nanny. I love the simple lines and block colours. 

Further Artists I saw to research further: Kenneth Callahan, Phillip Guston, Sam Francis, Timothy Leary, William S Buroughs and Brian Gysin.

I also went to the International Centre of Photography where there we
re two amazing exhibitions; Edward Steichen: In High Fashion, The Condé Nast Years and Weird Beauty: Fashion Photography Now. Both were interesting as I was viewing them both as a Fine Artist. I am not normally interested in 'Fashion' as such but these pieces were pieces of art in my mind. Not disputing the fact that the image serves to sell clothing and accessories, each piece was uniquely imaginative and amongst the photographers was one of my favourites, Cindy Sherman. 

Excerpt about the Weird Beauty Exhibiton taken from the official website:
"This exhibition, organized by Carol Squiers and Vince Aletti, will present the most innovative fashion photography of the last few years, from photographers who draw on a range of influences, including art, sexuality, narrative, digital media, and youth culture. It will also consider the impact of graphic design on the way that fashion photography is presented. Along with original photographic prints, the exhibition will feature hundreds of tear sheets and magazine covers from both mainstream and independent publications, by a range of photographers including Steven Meisel, Cindy Sherman, Mario Sorrenti, Nick Knight, Steven Klein, Miles Aldridge, Paolo Roversi, and Sølve Sundsbø."

Absolutely stunning images, I really did not have time to take them all in properly. I definitely must research a few of the other photographers and put the research in my log book.

The Edward Steichen Collection, again an excerpt from the wesite:

"An exhibition of 175 works by Edward Steichen drawn largely from the Condé Nast archives, this is the first presentation to give serious consideration to the full range of Steichen's fashion images. Organized by the Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne, and the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, Minneapolis, in conjunction with the International Center of Photography, the exhibition will open at ICP after an extensive tour in Europe. Steichen's approach to fashion photography was formative and over the course of his career he changed public perceptions of the American woman. An architect of American Modernism and a Pictorialist, Steichen exhibited his fashion images alongside his art photographs. Steichen's crisp, detailed, high-key style revolutionized fashion photography, and his influence is felt in the field to this day—Richard Avedon, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Bruce Weber are among his stylistic successors.

Edward Steichen: In High Fashion features the finest examples of his fashion and celebrity portraiture made for Vogue and Vanity Fair. Much of the exhibition is drawn from the Steichen Archive at Condé Nast, which contains more than two thousand original vintage prints. A select group of prints from the George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester will be shown only at ICP. Some of the images in the exhibition are well-known, iconic images in various histories of photography. Never before, however, have more than a modest selection of these prints bee

n exhibited or published. The exhibition will be accompanied by a book devoted to images from Steichen's Condé Nast years. The book's authors are William A. Ewing, Carol Squiers, and Nathalie Herschdorfer, co-curators of the exhibition along with Todd Brandow, and Tobia Bezzola. The exhibition is traveling to ICP after presentations in Paris, Zurich, Madrid, and Reggio Emilia, Italy."

Again, I just did not have time to properly appreciate each individual photograph, I did however purchase a small book of his works because although they are photographs, they feel like intense paintings. There is so much atmosphere and emotion in his photographs which I wish to gain in my artwork. I leave you with my favourite photograph from the exhibition:

Friday, 20 March 2009

Fine Art Practise Consolidation

I have now been given my brief for my last project of the year - I can't believe how quickly my first year of University has gone, it really scares me.

The aim of this module is to consolidate all of my ideas and approaches that I have been developing.

I think I need to create a list of everything I aim to get done over the next couple of weeks.
- Study Proposal (for a small body of work which will be exhibited in the studios)
- To fill 2 small A6 sketchbooks and possibly an A5. One Sketchbook is for any photography linked in with the project and the other is for anatomical designs both montaged and sewn.
- To continue with my log book - more independent research is needed in there.
- My review of the Ikon Gallery.
- My essay (1500 words). I am yet to decide which question is right for me.

The reason I am attempting to do a fair amount of work over the easter holidays is because I am not a very organised person and I tend to leave things till last minute and with such a short time period for a project (little over three weeks), I need all the extra time on the project that I can manage. 

I am a bit unsure in which direction I shall be going in the culmination of my work. There were three definite areas of my work. I had;
- Old anatomical drawings rearranged and then sewn.
- Old dictionary pages worked on.
- Old postcards, and new images taken by me and merged in with the photographs.

I am not sure whether to continue with all three or go down one path.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

3rd Time lucky?

I have tried to publish this blog three times now - all as unsuccessful as the other. I am attempting to copy and paste a poem but every time it makes the page go funny. Being so rubbish with blogs does not help the matter! So I shall just write it instead (and retype the rest of the blog - Oh the joys!)

A Dream Within A Dream
Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That My days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand - 
How few! Yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
Oh God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
- E.A.Poe

 I recently purchased a few books; 
- Tales of Mystery and Imagination by E.A.Poe
- Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
- Dracula by Bram Stoker.

I am afraid to admit that I had never read the whole of Dracula before now and so I bought it so that can now read it. Geek Love is a wonderfully weird and fascinating book. Full of wit and sarcasm surrounding views on human nature. It is written in a morbidly humorous nature but much darkness envelopes the story.

Talking about furthering my reading, there are also a few films which have been recommended to me;

- The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Graham (My lecturer) and myself were discussing my work and this discussion naturally led onto films and directors. I mentioned my love of the director Tim Burton and of my fascination with the film 'Freaks' and he insisted upon my watching of the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

I definately shall be watching this in the near future - sounds like it's right down my street. I think I should now describe briefly what the film 'Freaks' is about. 'Freaks' is a 1932 horror film depicting the lives of sideshow performers. It is not a modern day horror but it most certainly is surreal at the very least. Most of the cast were well known performers of the time, some of them characterising quite disturbing 'creatures'. Every time I watch the film, however, I get more and more infatuated with the story, it is nearly heart breaking. The performers, most of whom are deformed to some degree, are shown as incredibly vulnerable and honest people, whereas the 'normal' people are shown as the real freaks - the monsters that they become in the film. The film is just brilliant at capturing human nature with all of it's faults. 

 -Martyrs. A French horror film released last year, directed by Pascal Laugier. I find European and Asian horror films so much better and far more powerful than their American counterparts. I nearly cry when I hear of an American remake of one of the classics in the genre. I watched Martyrs the night I was told about it - I was very impressed with it. The directing of the film was spot on and I am looking forward to Laugier's remake of Hellraiser. I'm not going to describe the film as I do not wish to spoil the viewing for anyone, but this film is definitely going to make it into my DVD collection.


I have described how my project started off with the Surrealists, my ideas then started to move forward, still looking to the movement but changing direction slightly. I began looking into the concept of found art, Marcel Duchamp's work did not necessarily excite me but I was really interested in where I could progress with the idea. I started to move into the area of artists such as Rauschenberg and Joseph Cornell.

I have a fascination for, and love collecting, anything old or unwanted. Things that people would throw away - Old books, music scores, metal whistles, old jewellery - Well I could go on forever, but what I wanted and still want to do with the continuation of this project is to explore how these items could be re-used, re-imagined into pieces of art.






Renewing a book 3 times - a love?

May Ray is just one of those people, who to me, is just pure inspiration. Provocative, raunchy, yet exquisite photography. Undeniable talent and an eye for that which some of us might bypass just as easily as one might bypass someone in the street.

I have always been a fan but on a visit to the Ikon Gallery recently (I will possibly post my review on the gallery soon - not impressed on current exhibitions though. Minimalism - I just DON'T get it, quite simply), I had a thorough browse through the book shop, the most fascina
ting part of the gallery in my opinion. I saw a lovely little book on Man Ray, and with the discount in there at the time it was incredibly cheap. I also bought another fascinating book - Art Now. I thoroughly recommend it. Beautiful pictures and such an insight into the current art world.

Back to Man Ray. I love his nudes. I painted an image of myself inspired by his work. This is 
the photograph:




































(I shall photograph my work as soon as I find that it is finished)

However, when we had our group crit, I felt like it was unduly criticised by members of my group - they seemed over the top offended by what I would hardly class as a nude, the majority of the photograph is burnt out leaving a small section of myself visible - mainly my face. Hardly cause for what I would describe as an overly heated debate. Paranoia, perhaps, but I did not see either the justification for the comments which, to me, were those of; Why are you painting a self portrait, are you really that happy with yourself, do you find it difficult to paint yourself, do you think that you painted yourself in a rather idealistic way. 

Again and again I found myself repeating the sentence, I painted an image, it happened to be myself, however, I saw it as an image and not a self portrait.

Frustration!

But then again, what use is a blog if you cannot extract your inner anger!

These images were what I originally started with for this project. I had recently had a lecture on surrealism - fascinating, I would need an entire blog for that. But this was the basis to my new project. I borrowed a lovely book from the library on surrealism called surrealism - desire unbound. Truly fascinating reading, in fact, I have renewed it 3 times now - I just cannot bear to put it back. Time to buy myself a copy? 

The image which started off this route in my work was a piece by Jaques-Andre Boiffard. (Image to come soon). Very similar to Man Ray, but perhaps a bit softer?

Must dash now - time for my lecture and to find out my latest project, must remember to purchase sketchbooks whilst I am there.

Philosophising about the whys and wherefores.

I have been trying (unsuccessfully I may add) for months, to keep up a diary of sorts for my Personal Development Program(me?) part of my first year University Course. I have everything written down in my diary but I have no space in there to expand - and so I think that online blogging would be much simpler. However, as with much of my life, I get distracted my everything and anything, therefore by the time I remember about my blog again, I have forgotten was website I started on. 

And so - My third blog begins, and hopefully shall remain slightly more successful. I shall be entering entries dated from before this and so I'm not sure whether to keep this page in or not - we shall see.


I started off the academic year on a Fine Art and Illustration course. From the beginning I realised that I belonged much more in the Fine Art side. Illustration was alarmingly more hectic (I am a procrastinator of the best sorts) and took up so much of my time, that by the end of term I unfortunately realised that I had done far too little Fine Art work. 

Then the next term began. 

I dropped Illustration a couple of weeks into term. I knew it was the right thing to do, but I still decided to spend a bit more time thinking about it.

With Illustration dropped, I had much more time to spend on developing my ideas, researching artists and attempting the project.

(Unfortunately I am attempting to sum up two terms worth of work in this one blog so it is about to become increasingly longer and more boring, I pray to be forgiven).

I am bad - extremely bad, at time management and this term pretty much flew. I had just a few weeks left and I decided to try and attempt to change my outlook, I am pessimistic at the best of times. I drew up a tick list of sorts and attempted to tick everything off. 

Then along came Sunday and I realised that although I had come further than I expected - I still had so many ideas I wished to per sue. Unfortunately, not even staying up all night would allow me but I at least began the development of some pieces. (photos shall come at a later stage, perhaps I shall take some later on today when I go into University).

On monday I handed in my 2nd Terms work. I know I still have not managed enough bulk to my work, but I do think that my practical work was far more successful. I feel that towards the end of the Term I have begun to develop a better approach to my work and therefore am eagerly anticipating my newest project which I am given today.

This new eagerness has lead me to begin this (hopefully) slightly more successful blog.

Also on a sidenote, I have used an A3 sketchbook for my last projects and I have now decided that A4 or possibly smaller (maybe 2?) would be far more beneficial to my work ethic - And far less scary to fill!


[p.s - thanks Ali, your facebook message reminded me of my need for a blog - and gave me a decent webpage to host it on]