Welcome Back – 30 Jan 19

First up, happy new year to you all! How was yours? I had a fairly quiet yet fun Xmas break and New Year.

I managed to get away to visit my friends in a lovely little town called Bosa in Sardinia, Italy for the week of my birthday, which was really needed.

Me in Sardinia 2019
Me in Sardinia 2019

It did however mean that I didn’t manage to get much, if any rehearsing time in for my first ‘Power Point Presentation’ which took place on the 16th Jan!? I arrived back late the evening before, totally wiped out and stressed and my anxiety at full pelt. I booked a massage for the morning of the presentation in the hopes that it may chill me out a bit, not sure it did to be fair. Plus, I had some Bach Flower remedy for anxiety which i was drinking like a fish?! I arrived tired, hungry and highly anxious, and unprepared. I am NOT naturally a public speaker. I did get a reasonable mark though, considering everything.

First lesson of the year; If you are a highly anxious person (or not, actually) make sure you rehearse and prepare notes for your presentation well in advance. 

Also, over the Xmas break I was commissioned to create a portrait of a lovely little pooch. I am not at all confident about a) my drawing skills and b) working on commissions, but after a fair few hours of sketching from the photos provided, I managed to create a lovely charcoal drawing that I was actually quite pleased with. My friend who commissioned it was too.

Commission Charcoal drawing on paper 2019

So, semester two is underway, I am content with my feedback results and even after the very shoddy presentation experience, I feel quite excited about the academic year ahead and my degree show; as well as nervous, obviously (it is a part of my genetic make up I think 😉 ). I do feel that I am more confident to experiment with my ideas and see how they work. I am continuing down the Cyanotype route for my show.

My first wet on wet cyanotype experiment (Pre-washed)

I have started by experimenting with ‘wet on wet’ cyanotypes, mostly using found objects from nature, as well as some basic store room cupboard ingredients such as; turmeric, white vinegar, soap suds etc.

Preparing to put wet on wet cyanotypes out into the sun!

Wet on wet cyanotypes are created as the description would suggest, wet rather than the traditional dry cyanotype method. I basically wet the paper, apply the cyanotype chemicals, sprinkle the various ingredients such as turmeric, soap suds, vinegar etc, I then lay down my plant matter and or feathers etc, cover with cling film and then cover with the glass/perspex sheet and clip shut as usual. These are then placed out in the sun the same as you would with traditional cyanotypes.

Early wet on wet cyanotype experiment results

The work I created shown in this blog were actually done whilst I was snowed in at home, and so the temperatures were often a little below freezing, so I think this may have had some impact on the final images.

Early wet on wet cyanotype experiment results

I am continuing to experiment with the various elements to this kind of process as you will see in future blog posts.

Feather – post experiment – Beauty in itself

“Art is everywhere, and everywhere is art”.

Brandon Boyd

Making time to be in nature is an essential part of my process

What’s next?

Well, I have to start work on my art history essay, which is a huge stress on my dyslexic and anxious mind, despite my keen interest in the subject matter – Photography Begins; European Genius and the Birth of a New Aesthetic. 

I will also be continuing my research into artists that inspire me and who are working with similar themes and processes as me for my Research, Process and Practice dissertation.

Continuing my experiments into the wet on wet cyanotypes and also working with double exposing traditional cyanotypes using photographic images onto the work.

I am also thinking about how best to articulate my work as well as the logistics of exhibiting it at the degree show.

Lots to think about. Lots to do.