Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swing it ...

Here's what I've been doing the last two days ... We had a narrative workshop with the ever awesome Ben Newman where we had to do an illustration with lots happening all on the same page (see for example Marc Boutavant). I've been thinking about swing and dancing and all the related stuff a lot lately so the obvious theme seemed to be to do a dance floor. My initial idea had also people at the bar, the dj/band, people selling tickets, etc ... but the time constraints (1 and a half days) meant I concentrated on the dancers. Its still quite unfinished - needs a setting, and more random things happening; but for the meantime, this is what you get ..

This is dedicated, in loving memory, to Frankie Manning, greatest Ambassador of Lindy Hop, who passed away peacefully in New York on Monday morning, aged 94 and 11/12ths.

With Frankie in Herrang in 2002

Frankie Manning May 26, 1914 - April 27, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Gay Paree ....

So here we are, back at college for a the last push before summer holidays (and wedding!). Easter has been lots of wedding planning (and avoiding college work) and a well deserved break with friends in Paris. Sunshine and I have both been before, so it was less about being touristy, and more about relaxing and chilling with friends. We hardly took any photos, spent a lot of time chatting and sitting in parks and being laid back. We were fed really well (by a French-chef-in-training), visited some super flea-markets (didn't buy anything though), but most exciting thing was that we visited THREE really good exhibitions:

Alexander Calder at the Pompidou

It was
stunning - not just his mobiles, but also all this wireform work, especially the portraits, and his circus ... mmmm ... really my kind of thing ... (details here).

Also at the Pompidou was the Kandinsky retrospective:

This was even bigger than the Calder exhibition and covered his whole life ... Can't say we liked every bit of it - he seems to have done his best work when he was at the Bauhaus School. Still, it was good to see the progression, and how he got to where he got to ... and if his best work was in his 60s, there's hope for me yet!

But my favouritest exhibition of all has to be "The Jazz Century" ("Le Siecle du Jazz") at the Musee du Quai Branly:

Oh my goodness, there couldn't have been a happier bunny on the planet! We were fated to go there (I'd seen an ad in the inflight magazine, but also one of our hosts had decided they were going to take us as they thought we might like it...). It was a century of jazz, AND the visuals that accompanied it! Record covers; gig posters; short films; animations; paintings; drawings; all manner of art that was influenced by, and influenced Jazz. Lots of stuff I recognised, but lots of stuff new too me too. I was SO hugely inspired - want to do more jazzy things in my final year. I also desperately want the exhibition catalogue/book - its one of the best reference materials out there. Just waiting for an English version to come out (the French version was, well, French; and pricey considering the Euro to Pound exchange rate). I've taken lots of notes and will be looking LOTS of things up ...

Anyways, that was our Paris trip - this next week is heads down with essays, then full steam ahead till the beginning if June!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I just wanna cuddle my toys ...

Easter holidays seem to be more about work than holidays ... The last couple of weeks have been full-on wedding organising. Mum-in-law-to-be has been here talking through preparations ... I knew there was going to be a lot to do and think about, but I hadn't quite expected this much. And with college as well, have been feeling a bit overwhelmed and wanting to cuddle soft things (like fox plushies and Sunshine!) ...

On the creative front though, I finally got my wedding invites done and sent to the printers. Its been a steep learning curve about getting artwork ready for print and dealing with printers; choosing papers; etc. Am still not happy - but I had to draw the line somewhere and get on with other stuff. Also working on a childrens' book, but have decided now that I'm not going to stress myself out and try and get it in on deadline (for a competition next week). I'd rather take my time, do it well and enter next year.

Am enjoying wedding planning, but also really looking forward to next year when I can concentrate 101% on college ...

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

"With this ring I will, in July, thee wed."

So we went ahead and did it ... we made our own wedding rings ...
I made Sunshine's and he made mine ...

It started with one rather expensive piece of metal ...

We measured,

We scored,

We pierced (cut),

Till we had two smaller pieces of very expensive metal (and quite a bit of gold dust!),

Sunshine had to saw mine a bit more ( I have teeny fingers),

They were formed (shaped),

And annealed (glow, baby glow!),

And pierced a bit more,

Some flux was applied,

And some tiny pieces of solder,

And the ends soldered together ,

Then it was a long process of filing,

And more filing,

And polishing, outside,

And in,

And after a quick sonicating clean,

We had our wedding rings!

All under the expert supervision of the lovely Anna ...
Who not only supervised, but sourced the metal,
provided the studio, and most importantly,
provided moral support and tea and biscuits!

We love you Anna (who also suggested, many years ago,
that I try an art foundation course, and so directly affected where I am now)!
Thank you SOOOOOO much ...

101 more days ... One wedding list item down, and about a million more to go!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Mail Me Art

We are back from our jam-packed trip to London (to do a special project, which I will blog about in a bit once I've got all the photos sorted). But in amongst it all, we managed to drop into the "Mail Me Art" exhibition for about 10 minutes. It was nice to see my work hung up and to finally meet Darren who made it all happen.

The exhibition's on till Thursday 5pm ... and if you're in London, its REALLY worth going to ... some really wonderful and lovely work on display :)

Friday, April 03, 2009

Birthday Loot!

Mmmm.... have had some good birthday loot this year ... here is my birthday book loot:

Hmmm ... in love with Oliver Jeffers at the mo' (can you tell?). Working on a children's book project for college and he is SO inspiring ...

And then I happened to win Pikaland's March Pikapackage giveaway ... and lots of goodies came in the mail today ... Thank you Amy!

I also got a nice amount of dosh from my parents to buy some new clothes! Yippeee! Now just to find time to go shopping ... Oh yes, I'm going to prop-up the economy, I am! (this from the girl who goes shopping about two times a year ...).

Sunshine and I are off to Londinium (via Oxfordshire-ium) tomorrow for a very exciting making project - will blog when we get back ;)

AND this is on from tonight - I don't think I made it into the book, but I know he received my entry and apparently ALL the entries are going to be in the Gallery show. We're going to try and make time to go see ... pop in if you're in London ... it looks FAB!