I painted this design on December 8th 2017. I was live painting at an event and it was a cold day. As the event unfolded and speakers began to tell their stories – I got a sense of the difference between how powerful an individual story can be, whilst at the same time, acknowledging how small I often feel as an individual on this spinning mudball we inhabit.
In due course – I got the chance to tell my story at the event too. I spoke about art in general, it’s power to change, coping with loss, togetherness, the free art project, doing things differently, the importance of persistence and the beauty of impermanence.
This was a really enjoyable day. I got to make art in front of some lovely people, hear excellent stories, and tell one of my own too. Huge thanks to Yetunde Hofmann and her amazing team for putting on such an excellent event.
After some encouragement from good people in my network, I designed a 2018 calendar featuring some of my free art project work. Over 40 were sold, thanks to everyone who purchased a copy.
In today’s post – I received an important piece of paper, namely the receipt for a charitable donation of £176, paid to the good people of Wallington Animal Rescue, which was made possible through sales of the aforementioned calendar.
This has been a fun thing to do. Curating the art work itself, compiling a set of notes telling the story of the art, and finding a way to make the product has been an enjoyable challenge. On the last point, I learned enough to ensure that if I repeat the experience, I should be able to deliver a similarly good quality product, at a slightly lower cost. That means I can offer the calendar slightly cheaper, or alternatively, raise more for a charity next time.
Thank you to everyone who supported the calendar project, and thank you Wallington Animal Rescue for the excellent work you do.
Where to start the artistic adventures of 2018? I had an idea for a larger canvas over the 2017 Christmas period – and following some good advice from Carole – I began with a developmental sketch, seen below.
From there I scaled the idea up and went from monochrome to colour. I’m not convinced by the larger piece yet – I think I need to make the figure looser, somehow. I’ll keep playing.
The canvas is 80cm x 30cm and the paper is 25cm x 10cm. The dessert spoon is shown to help you get a sense of the difference in size between the two pieces.
The two pieces are currently untitled – and I am grateful to MJ Carty for putting the blog title idea in my head, thank you.
Update: The monochrome sketch has now sold.
This is the fourth piece of art I’ve made so far in 2018 (some of the other new pieces will appear on the blog soon). The adapted dollar bill, made using Posca paint pens and Pebeo silver acrylic paint, emerged a few weeks ago and the backdrop was made today. I’ve decided to make this the first free art drop of 2018, so if you happen to live in the Wallington/Carshalton area – keep an eye out for it this weekend. Happy New Year!
Here’s the art with the dollar bill pressed and fixed into place – looks a bit tidier now. I liked making this – I may well do a series of these.
Following my first art experiment with found objects earlier this week – I decided to leave a found object as part of the free art project. I took an Ostreidae Aurum and decorated the inner shell using some of my favourite shades of blue. The intention was to give the shell away along with one of my charity calendars, then I remembered I still had a few proof copies left. One of the proof copies has an alternative cover which didn’t make final production. It is however a great match for the shell. So I paired the two items and hid them in our local library.
I collected a few shells on a recent visit to The Thames Estuary, intending to do something vaguely artistic with them. For the past few weeks I’ve been absentmindedly picking them up, turning them over and over in my hands, and putting them back down again.
Last night I took a few brushes, some gold leaf and gilding paste, and did this.
I love how the gold leaf appears to flow over the shell contours, and how it doggedly refuses to stick to the entire surface.
This might be the first in a series of modified found objects, we’ll see.
Eighteen months ago, someone who follows the free art project suggested I make a calendar. It was a good idea, and I didn’t get round to it. Wind forward a year and the same person kindly offered up the suggestion again. This time, I paid attention, and after several hours of curating, and playing with various online layout tools, I ordered a few proofs. My intention was to use the calendar as a fund raising opportunity, and because of this – the price of the finished product was a factor.
This version looks lovely, it is really well made and gave me a lot of design flexibility, however the price per unit was over £20 – well beyond what I figured people would pay. In the end I settled for a calendar which is good quality, and even though the layout design was fiddly, I managed to select twelve artworks which captured the local area and the spirit of the free art project.
I’m selling the calendar as above, in my Etsy shop for £17 plus P&P with a donation of £4 to Wallington Animal Rescue. Each calendar is signed and accompanied by a set of art notes to give each image more context. So far we’ve raised £148 for the charity, and I have a few calendars remaining. If you want some cool art on your wall and you’d like to support an excellent small charity doing great work – feel free to place an order. Thank you.
And what will become of the proof I showed you? That is being given away as part of the free art project, so if you live locally, keep an eye out for it.