2016 – a creative experiment

Did this.....
did this…..
and this.....
and this…..
and then this too
and then this too

but not all in the first week! In 2016 Geoff and I settled into our new home by the seaside, and now feel like we’ve been here forever we like it so much. Also visited lots of new places (see Instagram for my excessive photoshooting!).

I’ve tried so many new skills in the last year, that I felt as if it was a creative “bucket” list that I’d undertaken. Loved it all, accepting that I’m not going to master anything in particular, but that there are a few things I’d like to improve on in 2017. Settled down now into only pursuing a few different directions.  A less frenetic approach can be one resolution for the new year! My year of being a dilettante is now officially over.

To all, here’s hoping for a peaceful and happy new year.

Seasonal Weather

It’s been a fairly hectic month – but whose month isn’t leading up to Christmas? After all the Christmases I’ve experienced you’d think I’d know how quickly December goes – but no, as ever, I’m in a dash at the last moment. One year I prepared really early though, and on Christmas Eve could only find the ironing to do, which was a sad disappointment, and one I’m not keen to repeat. So it’s back to the turmoil. I have a list (haven’t we all?), but I cull it the closer the 25th creeps. Noone knows what they might have received if I’d only finished it in time, but there’s always a birthday to aim for…….

Yesterday was mild and sunny. Working in the greenhouse on some white hellebores I’m bringing on for Christmas Day, I was joined by a very noisy and cross bumble bee. I do hope it has somewhere better to be today – it has turned really cold this afternoon.

December hellebore and visitor
December hellebore and visitor
snowdrops, hellebores and white tailed bumble bee
snowdrops, hellebores and white tailed bumble bee

 

Oh well, it was a beautiful sunrise. I think the saying is “red sky in morning, shepherds warning”.

Sunrise South Coast 23rd December 2016
Sunrise South Coast 23rd December 2016

I have yet to master the link between website and Instagram – will be working on that – meanwhile loading photos onto Instagram seems a lot easier than the website. Look for janharbon if you want to see more.

glass and marbles

Autumn panel and Sea panel
Autumn panel and Sea panel

I suspected I’d fall in love with making fused glass – and so it is! These are my first two pieces to come out of the kiln, and even though they have “undesigned” bubbles, I’m so happy to have produced anything remotely as intended! Now working on some more – with perhaps a few more curves included this time. The possibilities are endless, although my ambition immediately exceeded my skill – a lot to learn – and some science, not my strong point. But it’s like holding colour in your hands, so tactile. Hope to make progress.

Teaching by the excellent tutor Kate O’Connell at Making Space, Havant.

Seachange 1
Seachange 1

Still painting though! – this painting in ink and gouache was inspired by a workshop at Pallant House Gallery to do with interpreting sound. It was in connection with the artwork of the month by Wihelmina Barnes Graham, although I never really understood what the connection was! I must have missed a bit somewhere….. Nevertheless I was interested to read in her biography that she was inspired by Turner’s seascapes, although there isn’t an obvious connection to her work there either I think. It must be all in the mind……

I have done several more versions, the colour becoming more adventurous as I continue. Must be the glass!

Marbled papers
Marbled papers

Also been on a day’s “marbling” – another very interesting way of “playing” with colour, really enjoyed the experience. This method above is Suminagashi (floating ink) first practised in Japan in (?)12th Century and different to the Renaissance and Ebro methods which use feathers and combs. This is all about gently blowing and allowing ink to find it’s own course. Not quite in control – and a bit unexpected. The professionals are of course in control, but I don’t think I can wait that long to learn how, so I’ll have to make do with happy (or otherwise) accidents. I’ve always believed painting should have serendipity too.

Anyway, I see  some collage work coming out of it in the near future, and no doubt I will be mightily inspired by Mark Hearld’s work currently showing at the Bankside Gallery London in “St.Judes in the City” exhibition. I’m off to see it tomorrow – Southern trains permitting of course. I’ll be reporting back…

 

Life’s still a Beach

November sunshine
November sunshine

It’s just beginning to be a bit colder and blustier- so probably not long before the beachcomb pickings will be a bit more abundant.

Beach mobile with seashells, driftwood, seaglass, sea china and wire
Beach mobile with seashells, driftwood, seaglass, sea china and wire

So I’ve used what I can for the moment, hoping for more this Winter!

Seaweed is starting to come in and be left in piles on the strandline. I’m always a bit sad for it, as it seems to dry out so quickly. I’ve been pressing some, drawing some, and using the lovely shapes it makes. So it too will be useful in the coming months (although there is some objection as it can get a bit smelly if I take too long to draw or paint it…)

Stranded
Stranded
Pressed seaweed
Pressed seaweed
seaweed silkscreen design
seaweed silkscreen design
seaweed motif ready for silkscreening
seaweed motif

 

 

Getting started…

There is a great deal to learn when you start a new website from scratch! So I shall apologise now for the shortcomings you’ll (probably) find. Give me time and I’ll get it sorted….I hope.

In the studio
In the studio

Meanwhile, to get things going, and to give me some practice in uploading and arranging things, I thought I’d put on a bit of of a demo. So here goes:

Stage 1 - pencil layout and first wash of watercolour Stage 2 Second wash and beginning detail
Stage 1.  pencil and first wash of  watercolour               Stage 2. Second wash and beginning detail
3. Adding more colour and detail plus lettering
Stage 3. Adding more colour and detail plus lettering
Stage 4. Final detail and added collage scraps
Stage 4. Final detail and added collage scraps

I later added some touches of gold here and there – but it went off to exhibition before I had a chance to photograph that. But I’ll do some more gold leafing and collage in a later blog, with some information on the process I use for that.

There, that wasn’t too bad! Famous last words………