Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Last lesson...well maybe.

Our last online lesson with Jane Davies was to construct our own lesson, then follow it through.  We were given TWO weeks to do this, so that there could be discussion with Jane about the parameters we were setting ourselves in the first week.  We then had a week to do our 10 pieces.

Above is one of my final pieces....It could do with a little tweaking here and there but, basically, I'm happy with it.

I chose to take a photo of my own, a still life, and progress it through many stages to abstraction.  Jane thought it might be a little difficult, but I was sure I wanted to do it. 
I began with one of my own photos, cropped, from a dinner party. (I have plenty of those).

Then I simplified it so that I had a better idea of shapes, textures, and colours that I wanted to use.

Keep in mind that these are EXERCISES, and done fairly quickly, though some have many layers of line, veiling, etc.

I've not included all the pieces I did...just a few.

It was a wonderful lesson in setting your own goals, and in following through on a series.  So much so, that Jane has kept the class open for a couple of weeks so that anyone else who feels inclined to have a go it this, can. 

I guess that validated my decisions for my own lesson.

For anyone with some internet and blogging skills, Jane's classes are SO worthwhile.  She really pushes you to find your own voice, and hands you the tools to use to do so.  She is thorough and constructive in her criticism. 

It is an absolute bonus to see how all your classmates progress, and how they all deal differently with the same lesson.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


Well, my ten week commitment of 100 pieces is almost at an end. If I thought the previous 8 lessons were a stretch, number 9 has been a real struggle.  Using lots of layering, and varying techniques, we were to come up with a monochromatic piece with 20% of 'something else'.  This might seem to be a simple instruction... but I found it quite difficult.

I tried to keep each of the quadrants different too.  This has lots of they mostly do.

This one has fewer layers than the others. The black and white, with gestural brushstroke is definitely more 'me'.  The background is torn text painted over with a greenish white.

It was fortuitous that I had this collage piece hiding among my painted papers.  Lots of modelling paste gives great texture.

A very 'me' piece... tea-bag, stained muslin, and keyboard bits on a multi-layered background.

It is interesting that, by now, I am finding I can use my own 'voice' in these exercises. For a while I was trying to mimic Jane.

Next week will no doubt be the 'lesson to end all lessons' more ways than one.

I can highly recommend this online workshop, or indeed any of Jane's.  She is a dedicated and serious tutor.

For more info visit Jane Davies.  You'll find it worth your while, if only to see her wonderful work.