Last night, whilst experimenting with the new CIS on my printer, I discovered the joys of overhead projector transparency film. You can add text by putting these transparent pages in between other fixed pages in altered books. If a book is being constructed from scratch, there are far better methods, but when your support is too thick to go through the printer, they're a great work-around; adding another layer to the image.
One problem, is that you have to be very careful when attaching them, as wet fingers immediately imprint onto the film. There's a coating that the print adheres to, which is not stable and easily picks up residue from fingers or from the other pages. I had to make sure the petal hearts were coated with acrylic wax and thoroughly dry before sticking the transparency in.
I've had a wonderful few days pottering around and playing. I found some lovely pears and took a bunch of photographs, then fooled around in photoshop.
I cropped and played with the curves and messed around with filters.
I made them grainy and put painting effects on.
Some I washed out, and some I made into pastels on canvas.
Some I made into watercolours.
I made some painted papers for collage. What fun; painting and scrunching and rubbing!
I did a few more pages of my altered book project. I haven't added any text yet, but my new continuous ink system has arrived and was simplicity to install. No more expensive prints for me!
I drew a bird to eat the cherries.
And I even found time to do a bit of knitting! This is a short cropped cardigan I started and abandoned in the winter. I fell in love with the pattern, and found the wool had been discontinued (Rowan's Kidsilk Night) but trawled the internet and found a shop that still had some in stock.
It has a wonderful beaded border that will give it a heavy draped feel.
Toby has been away for a few days, so it's been long dog-walks and total immersion in my room. I didn't have a room of my own for a long time, then we converted the loft. I felt too remote up there, and I can be away with the fairies enough as it is. I feel better working on the ground floor with something solid beneath my feet. So now the front room downstairs is mine and full of all my gadgets and books and sewing and art. I had to make a new rule recently that I was to be considered 'out of the house' (and unavailable) when I'm in there as I was getting too many interruptions and it was halting the flow. Now it works perfectly!
Toby and I went to the Clifton Arts Club opening last night for the exhibition. I took a photo of the Shoreline Triptych in situ. I was aghast to find that it had been hung in portrait instead of landscape. Well you live and learn that work submitted should be clearly marked 'right way up'. One cannot assume that the format is blindingly obvious. It was on a partition of it's own, away from the other pieces, which was probably a wise curatorial choice as it is so different from other work in the exhibition.
I started the day by getting an email from Anne from the Clifton Arts Club congratulating me on being selected for the current annual exhibition and my Shoreline piece is going to be in a prime position! Then I had a google chat with my daughter, and whilst I was doing this I started to doodle some cherries.
Seven Discourses on Art
I doodled it in my Seven Discourses on Art book and thought nothing of it. I've had a picture of cherries I've seen somewhere recently, and it had been in my head. This isn't the picture I saw. The picture I saw was of really bright cherries in high contrast that looked so lush they could almost jump off the page and into my mouth.
Cherry Plum Fishes
Then I went for a walk with Rhiannon and Donnie and Dandy Doggins around the quieter natural side of Cosmeston Lake. Lo and behold, there were tiny cherries and plums seemingly everywhere; fallen from the trees and tasting like little sweets.
Whilst we were collecting the fallen fruit and staining our fingers and pockets red, we saw the smallest frog I've ever seen. I jumped onto my hand and Rhiannon took a picture with her phone. Hope it comes out.
I've been playing with photomerge in photoshop and I put together a sample of photos I took of Watchet beach, when we were last there visiting our friend Judith. I love the soft grey-blues of the sky on an overcast day and the reds that are predominant in the rocks and pebbles on this part of the Somerset coast.
I spent the last week at Ty Cariad. Our lovely cottage set high on the side of the Ystwyth Valley in Pontrhydygroes in mid Wales. Last week I had a strange and dramatic pain that, despite tests and x-rays in UHW, remained unidentified. After sleeping for 20 hours, and feeling shaken but better, I drove to the cottage to convalesce.
Here it is so peaceful and you can howl at the moon, or float around the forest. Walking alongside the River Ystwyth at the Grogwynion with Dandy doggins, the pain slipped away.
I found the time to make some art and work on one of my books. I did some ink drawings; random doodling really, and played around with carageehan and marbling inks on paper.
Nothing very finished or polished, but a host of papers to cut up for collage later. I also did some work on an altered book I'm working on, called the Seven Discourses on Art.
I found this old and tiny book in a second-hand shop in Rhayader recently. Written by Sir Joshua Reynolds, it's all very pompous and authoritarian on the subject of how art should be, and he'd probably turn in his grave if he knew to which end I'd appropriated his words.
There is an ad on the back cover entitled CORPULENCE. Advising all persons suffering from this burdensome and dangerous state of the body to write at once for a treatise on the subject, by Mr. C.B.Harness. Apparently it contained advice on how to cure obesity in a rational and effective manner that did not involve resorting to drastic medicines, poisonous preparations or starvation. Toby and I googled Mr. Harness treatise and found that he was a quack (surprise surprise) who's success was the result of bombarding the publishers with an effective advertising campaign; one of the first of it's kind.
One applied to the Medical Battery Co. for the treatise, and I'm guessing it advocated the use of one of those strange devices that links you to an elecrical current that 'exercises' your muscles without you having to move from the sofa. I believe they are still to be found in the back of some dubious publications for those who wish to tone their bodies by making no effort at all.
Julie Shackson is an artist and designer, working across various mediums and living in Wales