Silver Crow Project

WOYWW - What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday 496

TL;DR: Short version if you just want to scroll the piccies - Cyanotype experiments at home on a cloudy day & also using my lightbox. Oh, and a bath full of beachy treasure.

Hello everyone - I'm late posting but decided to play anyway. I've been experimenting with cyanotype at home - not the best results because ever since I took delivery of the solutions it's been nothing but cloudy days!

All the tutorials I watched talked about contact printing frames - I googled them. They are really expensive. So in this first picture I have compromised with just a normal photo frame and some craft foam in the back to cushion everything then just laid it on my shed roof.
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Experiments with Cyanotype on a Cloudy Day
This next one wouldn't fit in my frame and I'm glad I took that second picture because when I washed all the chemicals off it washed the image away too! Totally white page! That's what I was left with! Couldn't believe it! 
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Experiments with Cyanotype on a Cloudy Day
Next is my set up in the living room, using my light box on it's highest setting and weighting everything down with whatever was to hand - so professional! Did work - had to leave stuff in there for a couple of hours but did work.
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Experiments with Cyanotype Using a Light Box
So at the moment I am having most success at uni - with their ginormous light box that has a suction lid to hold everything to the light. I think when the sun comes back I will have much more success at home. I love cyanotype and wanted to make sure I could do it at home - I didn't want to fall in love with a technique and then not be able to do it when I leave uni. So I shall keep experimenting.

These next ones are what I did at uni - I'm doing a project about swamp monsters/mermaids. Trying to get an underwater feel. 
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Experiments with Cyanotype
These ones are experimenting with cyanotyping over acrylic paint - I really like the effect. - Julia do you recognise the base of the first two? It's one of the calendar pages from that years ago workshop cut in half. How's that for hoarding and recycling?
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Experiments with Cyanotype and Acrylic Paint
And here is the view of my bath. I've been beach combing to find treasures my swampie might have collected. The kids have given up asking what is going on now :)
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - Beach Combed Treasures in the Bath Tub
So that's what's going on in my work areas at home this week - if you'd like to see other work spaces in action why not follow me over to Julia's where you'll find a list to nosy through - maybe even join in yourself.
Thanks for stopping by today :)

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - WOYWW 493

Late post but I remembered! I mean to play along every week and then it's Friday and I realise it's whizzed past. Today I took a picture and am determined to post it.

Hello fellow desk hoppers - here's my desk out in the workshop today. I had actually made a halfhearted attempt to tidy it a bit before the piccy but - it was a futile exercise! If you could see my house. I'm shaking my head as I type this - the desk pretty much represents it.
Whoopidodooings: Carmen Wing - WOYWW What's On My Workdesk Wednesday
I dusted off the meltpot this week - I don't think I have used it in years. I went to the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace in October (which was AMAZING!) and one of the artists, Jenny O'Leary, had loads of gorgeous tissue paper examples in her sketchbook that had involved bleach with wax resists so I just had to have a play. Don't think I did it quite right but had fun trying and my attempts have filled a few pages in my uni journal - I am going to have a go at finding images within those images later.

I am going to keep this short so I can hop around a few of the desks over at Stamping Ground. A quick question though. I know I have a few very loyal people that still keep up with my very sporadic posts (thank you, thank you, thank you) and I have a question. I have started blogging my uni work over at the other blog. The tutors said we could blog our reflections which was a godsend for me as I am awful at the writing part of my journal - I just stick in the pictures and expect them to read my mind. Apparently they can't do that. So to up my marks on that side of things I am waffling away over there but don't want them to have to sift through everything else and that's why it's separated from here.  My question is - I get people asking what I'm up to so would people like me to double post here or would you like a link to there or just post here as and when I have time? If you are interested its:  The writing is a bit (not much) more formal than I do here. My latest project is to write, illustrate and publish a book in 9 weeks. Arg.

Thanks for stopping by today :)

Authorial Narrative - Week Two Thoughts

Week two has probably been one of my most enjoyed weeks at uni so far. I have come home exhausted every day but feeling like I have done so much work and taken in so much.

The week started with two animation lessons on Monday - the first in the morning with a Tim Webb workshop that made us think about our narrative. I was really worried about this as don't really have my narrative yet but we were encouraged to work with whatever was in our heads at the time. 

We then wrote that narrative from a variety of different perspectives and this was really helpful actually in making me think a bit deeper about what I want to do. the narratives all got handed in and shuffled and handed out again so that we had someone elses and then we had to storyboard what we thought it was about. This was a really interesting way in seeing how other people interpret what you write and also how you work with other peoples work. 

I was quite surprised to get my interpretation back - it was Katy G. who did mine and after asking if I was OK, which was really funny and sweet (my narrative, surprise, surprise was about death - a children's book on that subject still at the front of my mind) she talked me through her storyboard. It was an eye opener to see that she had interpreted my words into being about a teenager who was plugged in to their gadget and felt very alone and isolated from the world. She could almost have been describing my daughter who is never without her music. I was quite taken aback but loved what she described - the teenager all grey while the world around her was all colourful. A really helpful exercise in seeing things from different viewpoints.

In the afternoon session with Andy we did more story boards and spoke about how they are an essential tool for not only animators but illustrators too. We story boarded the Pixar short 'The Birds' and again, it makes you look more closely at the film. How shots are set up to describe location, size, perspective, narrative, emotion - even in a non-speaking film. 

On Thursday - I just knew it was going to be a good day when John started the day by talking about two of my favourite illustrators - Dave McKean and Oliver Jeffers. We watched the Oliver Jeffers short video. 
I've actually just had his new art book arrive - oh it's beautiful. Hefty - you could do some damage with it! I might do a review on it at some point.

We then analysed a couple of animations and were told this is how we should be analysing art works - so I know now that I haven't been doing it properly - not nearly in depth enough. I will try and do the future ones using the template questions from that exercise.

We then got into groups and took head shots  of each other doing different expressions or actions to build ourselves a reference library. Then came back to the studio and spent some time doing portraits using these head shots. First an exercise in charcoal and then more loosely in ink.

I Usually Hate Charcoal

I can never get it to do what I want and then I never now how to properly seal it without wrecking it. But using the jumping off point tips that John demoed, dare I say it, I'm really pleased with how this turned out. I rarely try and draw realistic but Sophie M. - who I was drawing, knew straight away that this was her. I'm going to practice some more with this - blocking in and pushing back, erasing to get the right shades and tones - really enjoyed it and am really pleased with the outcome too.
Carmen Wing: Charcoal portrait

We all put our portraits up on the wall and they looked so good together as a group. It was really good seeing everyone's work all together. This is also a milestone moment as it is the first time I haven't been embarrassed to have my work on the wall with everyone else. I don't know if that means I am getting better or just a little more confident maybe.
Carmen Wing - Uni Studio - Everyones Charcoal portraits on display
Carmen Wing - Uni Studio - Everyones Charcoal portraits on display
I really love how the image I did and the image next to it seem to be sharing a knowing look!
Carmen Wing - Uni Studio - Everyones Charcoal portraits on display

This post has got really long so I am going to do a separate one for Friday when we did the one-to-one tutorials. But just this couple of days has felt really good. It's given me a jump start on this project and my mind is all over the place with ideas at the moment - I just need to remember to document them. I keep forgetting the tutors can't see in my head!

Year 2: Unit One - Social & Cultural Contexts: Sustainability

Mega quick and ultra condensed post about unit one:

This unit we were tasked to continue on from the work we had done on our Summer Projects which had been about sustainability. The unit outcome involved us doing a presentation based on what we had learnt over the course of unit one; linking our practice with sustainability and the art movements we had been learning about in theory lessons. I hate anything that involves me speaking in front of people. I ended up getting my notes muddled up and fluffing my words but everyone was very nice about it.

We also had to make four A4 pages of a publication that would be combined with nine other peoples pages to create one book about sustainability. Then we were to print off 10 copies of our own pages so that we all had a finished publication to keep.

The project could be on anything at all as long as it was about sustainability and involved print. I didn't realise what a ginormous subject this was. I also didn't do much of my Summer Project (Yes, I bitterly regretted that!) I hadn't realised it would lead into unit one and what with the kids being off, it just didn't happen. Not an excuse I know and I keep telling myself that if I want a career out of this I cannot stop work every time the kids are on holiday.

So anyway - long story short. Huge panic about the amount of work involved. Four weeks faffing about trying to think of a theme only to go back to what I had been researching in the first year which had been environmentally friendly burials in other cultures.

(Side Note - I have decided from here on in to concentrate on death (and so, life) nature and sustainability for all future projects while at uni. This may change but for now it's what is interesting me and will save me SO much time!)

During the summer, while I didn't do a lot of my actual project I did go to a lot of exhibitions. I had also been making a bit of noise about wanting to explore textiles and after having done one of my final outcomes in year one as a fabric skull wall hanging, this only confirmed that. I went to see the Mister Finch exhibition up at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and there were also a lot of free exhibits there based around textiles and sustainability. It was amazing to see the Mister Finch work in real life - I have followed him for a few years since he was doing the faux taxidermy work. Reading about how a lot of his materials are sourced vintagely (is that a word?) or from boot fairs or charity shops/eBay has made me think about what I do myself. I think a lot of us interested in art and the crafts are natural hoarders and I really want to use all that stuff. Also I went to see the Summer Exhibition at the RA and it was mostly the mixed media or textile exhibits that I was drawn to there. And then there was the amazing MA show at my uni and it was the Interiors and Textiles work that really I loved most of all.

SO - back to unit one. I hated this unit at first. Because I didn't understand it. But it made me really think hard about my own practice. That combined with all the amazing things I saw over the summer - plus the experiments I had been doing with working on alternative structures like teabags, made me have a huge light bulb moment. So I know what I want to do and I know where I want to go now. Finally. I want to bring textiles into my mixed media and work texturally on art that people can touch and have in their homes but not be afraid to handle if that makes sense. I know I am on an illustration course but I am seeing so many ways that people are doing illustration in a 3D way - I also want to do things the old fashioned way. I know I have to learn all the Adobe crap. I do know that and I do see how it would be beneficial for me to know how to do Photoshop and InDesign and even though it goes against every fibre in my being that tells me I cannot do it and I cannot understand it. I will try my hardest. But ultimately? When I leave uni? I want to work with my hands. And I want to work as sustainably as possible. And I probably will always be interested in death.

And Finally...

When I finally realised what I wanted to do it all came together really quickly. I've also started doing a course outside of uni with the local Adult Education centre on Textiles & Mixed Media - the people on that are wonderful. I really am a total beginner when it comes to stitching and they are very patient, we definitely all have different ideas which is fun to see. 

I researched natural burials and found out there were two sites in Kent. A natural burial is where you are buried in a bio degradable casket or urn and most times a tree is planted above you. It's very interesting - sometimes the area can be coppiced to bring in extra revenue for the land while still maintaining the environment or the trees could be fruit trees etc. I had been practising eco-print with some leaves from my area and wanted to try and do it with some leaves from a burial ground to try and tie the place to the project. Give it that authenticity. 
Carmen WIng - Eco Print Process
Carmen Wing - Eco Print Process
I visited the one nearest me and it is truly lovely. Once it is full the plot will be turned into a nature reserve and so protected in the future. On the day I went there were people enjoying a picnic, someone was digging a plot, there was someone snoozing under a tree. It was a really different feel to a normal cemetery. I discretely gathered some leaves and when I got home I used those leaves to do some eco-printing on various papers.
Carmen Wing - Eco Print Leaves

Carmen Wing - Eco print leaves and flowers

Over the next few days and with much panic and use of the dreaded Photoshop this was my final page designs. All imagery is my own - from the eco-prints to a gelli print I did a while ago and the photography of teasels and cobwebs are from my local area. I used a poem by Mary Frye and faded it into the pages so that sometimes it's legible and sometimes it's not. It's a very famous poem and I like to think it ties in with the idea that a natural burial means you are not gone. You are giving life back to the environment and the cycle continues. I hope she would approve.
Carmen Wing - Book pages - Eco Print and Photoshop - Mary Frye Poem
Front Page - Two Inside Pages - Back Page
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep. 
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die. 
So to sum up. This was a very thought provoking unit - probably the one that has been instrumental in helping me see how I want my work to move forward. So although I feel like I didn't get nearly as much work done as I would like, it has been invaluable in that sense and so I am glad with my outcome. I just hope I passed the unit!

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday - WOYWW 483

Hello desk watchers. Two weeks running! Woohoo! Not much change from last week - I was away at the weekend (Mister Finch exhibit at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park - SO good!) And my back has been playing me up since I've been home so am doing mostly computer work and printing at the moment.
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Jenny Blair Stitch Sampler
The embroidery hoop is a stitch sampler from Jenny Blair Kits - I've signed up to an Adult Ed class in mixed media textiles and figured I better learn some stitches before I start. This was a great kit - I deliberately picked the Autumn leaves - my favourite time of year. The instructions were really clear and I was surprised how calming it was to just sit and sew... and of course I can do it on the sofa! It was plain sailing till I got to those french knots - somehow there are more on the back than there are on the front! How? But I am chuffed with the results and it's confirmed that I definitely want to add textiles into my illustration work. Really excited for the course to begin - just after uni starts. I can tie it in with that surely.

Anyhoo - the kit was on my desk as I was gluing the edges to the inside of the hoop with the aid of those pegs above my desk. I had left it there to dry while I was away.  I'm sure there must be a better way to tidy up the back? (Yup that's a question - any hints, tips appreciated.)  But for now - I'm considering this my textiles start point.
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Jenny Blair Stitch Sampler
I am now going to link up with Julia - follow me over to see more creative desks at work.
Thanks for stopping by today :)

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 482

Hello everyone. Please excuse the late posting - I fully intend to take part in WOYWW every week and then I realise it's shot past and I've missed it. I'm determined to try and post more regularly though. I'm coming up to the second year of my degree and would like to document it for my future forgetful self so need to get into the habit of blogging again.
Carmen Wing: Messy What's On My Work Desk Wednesday - Messy Work Space Artists Studio
Carmen Wing: Messy What's On My Work Desk Wednesday - Messy Work Space Artists Studio
Little bit later...
Carmen Wing: Messy What's On My Work Desk Wednesday - Organised  Work Space Artists Studio
When I could stand the mess no longer...
Please excuse the censored bits. It's something I'm working on for a friend and she said it would be a gift for someone. That thing that looks like an Amazon parcel in the last picture is actually my first hand bound sketchbook made up from scrap gelli pages, old cannibalised sketchbook pages, bits of scrap hemp (I was going for a Dana Wakely sketchbook vibe) And the cover is indeed an Amazon cardboard sleeve stitched to the pages. It's rustic but sturdy. My summer project for uni is about sustainability in your local area and part of it is to create a research journal in a handmade sketchbook. Soooo. Voila. Not sure if they meant it to be *quite* this shabby chic but hey ho - bookmaker I ain't!

I am now off to link up with Julia - pop on over to check out more creative spaces at work.

Have a lovely week - thanks for stopping by :)

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday WOYWW 478

Hello fellow desk raiders. I come to you today with a disaster zone of a work space. I haven't actually been out there for a couple of days - to hot. This is how I left it - what a disgrace! Those pens usually live in the plastic box to the side there. The teabags are my canvas of choice at the moment - I am loving working so small... and I get through so many a day anyway, it feels good to put them to some use. Counts as recycling surely.
Whoopidooings: What's On My Workdesk Wednesday
Teeny tiny zombie illustrations - they make me happy!
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing Mixed Media Zombie Illustrations on Teabags
 I'm off to link up with Julia at WOYWW HQ. Follow me over to see more uncensored creative work spaces.

Thanks for stopping by :)

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 468

Nine years ago Julia started a little blog party called What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday. I was there in the beginning years and then life intervened and I've wobbled in and out. But I've known I'm always welcome to pop back to the friendly community that she has created. Some of the original faces are still there, some new (to me) faces - all creating, all different medium's and styles, all across the globe. Showing where they work, offering support, friendship and love every single week. 

My life has changed beyond all recognition from then - even now, some of the people I have met through Blogland have been with me along the way and I couldn't have done half of what I'm doing now without those voices pushing me on when I've felt I couldn't do all that I was hoping to. I wonder if you knew just what you were starting nine years ago Julia? 

Congratulations on the first nine years WOYWW - and here's to the next nine. 

Now to this week - a lot has happened since I last posted. My first year of uni is over. It's flown past and I'm just waiting to see if I got the marks I needed to move on to year two.

I've spent the past week napping (so tired, I've turned into a sleep machine!) and putting plans in place to carry on the momentum over the Summer - not turn into the procrastination monster that I usually am. I want to kill that beast!

My Desk Today...
Whoopidooings: What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday 468
Close up of the canvas board I am working on. Still grungy but much more pastels than I have ever used - I'm liking it so far though.
Whoopidooings: What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday 468 - Work in Progress, Mixed Media Abstract
This is what I've been up to this week. Squeezing another table into the workshop - my friend Andi is going to be using this as her workspace too. Exciting times! It's starting to feel like, dare I say it? A working studio!
Whoopidooings: What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday 468
The other side, I've set up the XCut Xpress and my sewing machine. Going to have that as my printing, etching and sewing table. Didn't really think that through did I? Messy inking and clean sewing - mind you none of my stuff is ever without fingerprints or stray paint is it?
Whoopidooings: What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday 468
Follow me over to Julia's to find the full list of people sharing where they work and play.
Thanks for stopping by today :)

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 464

Hello everyone and welcome to what was my work space last night - my lap. Please excuse the jammies.
Whoopidooings:What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Tracing for Rotascope Animation
I was (and still am) tracing jackdaw images for one of the animations I'm working on for uni. This is for a technique called rotascoping - remember that Aha video - Take On Me - where she disappears into the comic? That's rotascope. I believe that the Aha video was the first time the technique was ever used in a music video too.
For 10 seconds of animation I have over 140 pages (my printer died so I may have to loop somewhere along the way) and each page has two images to trace. So far I'm 50 pages and 100 images down - I swear it looks like I'm tracing the same jackdaw image over and over again - lets hope she moves when I animate her. I'm going to layer her over the top of some Silver Crow images I have done in the past.
And finally - for those of you that asked last week... Thank you for being so supportive of these little animations. This is the boxes that I animated with a fellow mature student. We decided it had a definite Magic Roundabout vibe - betraying our ages. The idea was to give character and personality to inanimate boxes. So my friend moved the front while I did the back and the baby box. I am super proud of the wiggle!

Thank you for stopping by today - I'm popping over to Julia's at Stamping Ground to link up. Follow me over for more creative workspaces to have a rummage through :)

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 463

Good Morning from Sunny Kent. (Hopefully sunny, I'm pre-writing this post on Tuesday. Think Positive. Spring is here. Spring is here.)

This is a little cheat as this is actually my work space from Monday but it's where I will also be today. Not at home - no, I have brought you along to my university in Canterbury. This is the animation room. I had just been given a quick demo on how to use Dragon Frame - an animation software. I had missed the proper workshops as I work odd hours due to having to leave early sometimes to pick my kiddos up from school. Flaming nuisance, but hey - the school seems to take a dim view of my just leaving them there. (Jokes, jokes... Kind of.)

So at this point I'd been left to my own devices to just play and get a feel for it. The images are just cut from an art magazine and it's stop motion fun.
Whoopidooings Blog: Learning stop motion animation with Dragon Frame
Whoopidooings Blog: Learning stop motion animation with Dragon Frame

A couple of the animations are below, hopefully they will play. They're very basic but as a complete technophobe when it comes to all the arty digital programs, I'm chuffed to bits and...  *whisper* may actually like Dragon Frame and stop motion. Ssshhh. I have whinged my socks off about Animation taking me away from Illustration. So it's a bit annoying that I like this bit - maybe because it's so hands on and not all done on a computer... even though I'm using a computer... does that make sense?

So today, Tuesday, I am working on a concept for a longer 10 second animation and tomorrow, (today now) back in the animation room to hopefully put it together.

We have six 10 second animations to do using various techniques... Which has been freaking me out a bit but I am marginally less freaked out now that I have done this. I also did a 3D workshop on Monday afternoon where we animated cardboard boxes moving around, the idea being to give inanimate objects a personality and character. It was such a good workshop, really helpful. My workshop buddy and I went all Magic Roundabout. Showing both our ages.

I hope you all have a good week ahead. Pop over to Julia at Stamping Ground to see more more creative work spaces taking part in WOYWW. 

Thanks for stopping by :)

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 462

Hello everyone. Not a very creative desk to show you this week. I'm back at the dinner table - trying to bring my uni sketchbook up to date with all my animation research. I love the research, do loads - not so much the writing it all down. That's what trips my marks up so far - apparently the tutors can't see inside my head. Who knew?

In the background you might be able to see my tin of Neocolour II crayons and tiny sketchbook - that's from last night. Much more fun! Doodling around with the 100 Day Project - if you are on the computer you might be able to see what I was up to in my instagram bar - over there. >>>> If not and you are interested, I'm thinking of doing weekly blog posts... if I remember. Are any of you doing the 100 Day Project? Let me know and I'll come find you and see what you are up to.
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday WOYWW
The Bear says hello :)
For everyone last week that said they would like to see the outcome of Little Miss's first lino print - this is it. She was so pleased with it,  I told her she should be - it came out so well. (I may have been a teeny bit miffed too - my first one was nowhere near that good!) She's already given one to her Dad to hang in his shop and framed the Kraft one for her sisters 21st birthday. Which she signed, dated and told her she can sell for millions when she's a famous printer. The modesty is strong in this one.
Whoopidooings Blog: Lino printing using the XCut XPress as printing press
First print - Ghost print - Kraft cardstock
She then found my stash of lino tiles and proceeded to experiment with them too. I didn't think she was ever coming out of there - am so pleased to have finally found something that's caught her interest... that isn't a gadget! She said she is definitely a printer.
Whoopidooings Blog: Lino printing using the XCut XPress as printing press

I'm off to link up with Julia at Stamping Ground - follow me over to find more creative work spaces to explore.

Thanks for stopping by today :)

Silver Crow Project - The Watercolour

Hope you don't mind more images from last summers pre-uni Uni Summer project.  (That's a mouthful!) I am planning to continue the project when I have more time this summer so thought it was a good idea to try and post all the images so far and have them all in one place - see how I progress and have hopefully improved.

In case you don't know or are a new reader - Silver Crow is actually a silver jackdaw that flies around my local area. I've followed her around like a fan girl since my daughter first spotted her as a young baby bird pecking about when we were house hunting... back in 2011 I believe. I am obsessed with her and she is definitely considered one of my inspirations, my muse.  I believe in signs and totally convinced everyone we needed to rent this house off the back of seeing her. 

This one was mainly watercolour but with some gouache, acrylic paint, biro and Neo-colour II crayons thrown in as well. I used a gorgeous picture from Paint My Photo by Alex Lee Johnson as initial reference and then had her start transforming into Silver Crow.
Whoopidooings Blog: Carmen Wing - Watercolour mixed media fantasy portrait - The Silver Crow Project - Progress images
I will be coming back to this one to try again, experiment some more - I haven't played with watercolours since this as the tutors have had us mainly on print, collage and Photoshop. There just hasn't been the time to do any in 'my' time. I really miss paint and am hoping we get more into it in the second year - though having said that have loved all the new print techniques I've tried too. 
Whoopidooings Blog: Carmen Wing - Watercolour mixed media fantasy portrait - The Silver Crow Project
Thanks for stopping by today :)

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 461

Hello again. I'm a little bit late and technically it's Thursday but here we go for WOYWW. Today Little Miss wanted to play with the XCut Xpress. I cut her a piece of pizza base foam to fit and told her to use a pencil to carve an image into it, which she did and then we went out to the garage (what I call my workshop when I remember not to call it the garage) and she rollered out some acrylic paint and set to...
Whoopidooings: What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Mini mono printing - XCut XPress
She was a bit disappointed with her print not coming out to clear but liked the process, she also took a mono print off of the left over paint. I've said that tomorrow we can dig out the gelli plate for a play. 
Whoopidooings: What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Mini mono printing - XCut XPress
In the meantime we found some lino, she drew out her design again and, after my initial little safety pep talk (solely from personal self injury experience) she set to carving her very first lino tile all by herself. We are going to put it through the XCut Xpress again tomorrow. She's very excited.
Whoopidooings: What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Mini lino printing
 Chocolate, music and print. Yep, she's definitely mine!

So that's my work space today - been taken over by a little apprentice. I'm now going to pop over to Julia at Stamping Ground to link up - follow me over. There will be many more creative work spaces to have a little peep and rifle through.

To everyone who was so lovely last week and asking to see my direct animation when it's done. I definitely will show it. They are all due for hand in on the 9th of May and I'm assuming (hoping) they will tell us how to view them before then. 

Thank you for stopping by today :)

Intro to Illustration & Animation - Unit 1 - Part 2 (Or Vincent the Skull)

For part 2 of the You Are Here brief we had to give a half PekaKucha style presentation on a proposal for an A1 final publication. No - I had no idea what a PekaKucha was either but the thought of doing a presentation sent shivers down my spine. I hate talking in front of people. A PekaKucha is a presentation done in 20 slides at 20 seconds each. (20x20) It keeps the presentation condensed and more interesting for the viewer. So ours was 10 slides long.

I decided to continue on with the theme I had been working on before of researching environmentally friendly ways to say goodbye to our dead.  I also wanted to move into textiles as I have wanted to experiment in that for a long time. My tutor snuck me into the textiles department, apparently they are very territorial - I didn't even know it was there - it's in a little hidden away secret area. I had a snoop and I was able to quiz the tutor in there, coming out with lots of ideas. We've had talks about how books or publications needn't necessarily be in the form of a physical book and to think outside the box. We had seen an exhibition that was described as a book or publication but the huge 'pages' were hung in such a way that you could walk through with them either side or on the walls - more an installation.

Making Vincent

We were to stay within the A1 parameters which includes any add ons. In other words... maths! Ugh!
I decided I wanted to use natural fabrics and thought hessian was a good representation of earth. Starting off with a piece of hessian... which I very technically measured by laying on top of an A1 piece of card and cutting around it...
Whoopidoo Blog: Carmen Wing -  Making of Vincent the skull - Textile Hanging
Using cling film I covered a resin skull I'd bought especially for this project, it's apparently life sized, and then laid the hessian on top. The cling film was just to protect it for the next bit. I mixed up a concoction of PVA and water and liberally slathered the mixture all over it. Much massaging, folding and whispering of loving words ensued. (And some crazy "He's ALIVE!" manic laughter) Very therapeutic, strangely. Admire with awe the peg/knife/string chaos that arose from trying to stop it pinging everywhere...
Whoopidoo Blog: Carmen Wing - Making of Vincent the skull - Textile Hanging
Vincent then languished in my airing cupboard for around 24 hours to dry out fully. (I'd just watched Loving Vincent - hence the name. Brilliant film. I cried.) At this point he has been removed from the skull and the hessian is rigid, there is nothing behind him...
Whoopidoo Blog: Carmen Wing -  Making of Vincent the skull - Textile Hanging
After carefully cutting around the shape of Vincent, I had to work out how much hessian the skull had used. Then cut a piece of natural muslin which fit within the measurements. This wasn't quick. Maths and I still don't get on. The design on the muslin is mono-printed hand drawn plant and leaf patterns - I was going for a really organic feel and wanted all the fabric to be natural. Hence the twig and string to hang it. I stole the twig from Mr Bear's little twig forest in the garden. Sssh, don't tell him. Whenever we go out for a walk he comes home with a new stick to 'plant'. 

To finish off Vincent was attached with a few stitches to hold him to the hanging...
Whoopidoo Blog: Carmen Wing - Vincent the skull - Textile Hanging
I was really pleased with this one - I wanted to convey a natural feeling of earth and nature and death and how skulls crop up again and again in all the research I've done. 

I have been researching death (obviously) but the way we treat our dead, reclaiming cemeteries, how other cultures deal with their dead, environmental and space saving ways we could look at doing it in the future - how culture, religion, history affects it etc. Whether we are dealing with just a vessel or something more... I find it all fascinating and definitely something I want to come back to in the future.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Intro to Illustration & Animation - Unit 1 - Part 1 (Or Skulls, Skulls, Skulls)

I am nearly finished my first year as an art student and I have been so bad at documenting it. But I want to so that I don't forget it - it's been crazy! So here is a quick recap of my first unit; Introduction to Illustration and Animation. I've probably already forgotten bits - so bear with...

You Are Here
The  brief descriptions are very open to interpretation which is good because we can go off in any direction but at the same time can be quite daunting too. Our first brief was called You are Here and the end outcome for the first part was to take the form of seven A5 postcards which would have to be posted and go through the postal system to arrive back at the uni before the deadline. Whatever abuse they suffer on their journey would be part of their final effect.

I literally stumbled cross my theme idea while having lunch in Canterbury with Devvie. We were sat in a benched area that used to be the grounds of a church and on the floor, being used as a paving stone was one of the original gravestones with a beautiful skull etched into it.
Whoopidooings blog: Skull carving on a gravestone in Canterbury
I've seen this happen in quite a few public parks and old cemeteries where the graves have been reclaimed as public land. I often wonder where the bodies have gone, are they still there? Is it right to have this happen? Surely these people originally paid for those graves no matter how long ago. Is it right morally to either move them or build parks on top of them. Lots of questions. So that's where my research started. It then kind of wandered off into global overcrowding, people living longer, how to solve the lack of space and how to bury our dead or find other ways to 'dispose' of them but in the most respectful way possible. I started looking into environmentally ways to deal with our dead - even cremation is surprisingly bad for the environment with all the emissions etc. It was really eye opening. 

I looked into different cultures - a stand out one being Tibetan Sky Burials - don't google image it unless you have a strong tummy. Basically, you become vulture poop and are put back into the earth that way. Both honouring the earth and because the ground there is so hard it's also practical. It is a fascinating process. I then found an Italian company who are burying people in egg shaped pods with a tree of the deceased persons choosing being planted on top - so you are literally feeding a tree. 

I could have researched forever. During the unit we were taking workshops in lino printing, screen printing, mono printing, risograph printing, solvent printing... photoshop... For the record - I hate photoshop and photoshop hates me. However, combining all these techniques, these are the postcards that came out of that project. 
whoopidooings blog: Carmen Wing: Mixed Media postcards themed around death, skulls, environmentally friendly burials etc
whoopidooings blog: Carmen Wing: Mixed Media postcards themed around death, skulls, environmentally friendly burials etc
whoopidooings blog: Carmen Wing: Mixed Media postcards themed around death, skulls, environmentally friendly burials etc
So - it's fair to say that by this point my brain was in shock at actually being used. I was surprised in the turn my research took but I wanted to continue with that research because I'd felt I'd barely scratched the surface.

I was pleased with a couple of these postcards because being a complete novice at photoshop - all the textures you see overlaid were images taken by me where I'm starting to compile a texture library so they are bits of rotting door from a playground, lino prints, distorted photography the spots on the red one are actually my car speakers. My favourite is the bottom one where I've integrated the original photo of the gravestone with a seaweed covered wall in Folkestone and a piece of wooden door. I thought it summed up my project for me. The tutors favourite seems to have been the orange one with the stripes. Which combines my first attempt at 3 colour lino print reduction with chine-collé and overlaid other prints I'd done.

The second part of the project was to produce an A1 piece either in a new theme or the same one but still under the brief of You Are Here. I'll blog that later as I've rambled on a bit.

I've missed blogging and reading all the blogs that I follow. I hope I'm becoming better organised and can catch up with you all soon. I've decided this and Instagram are the social media's I want to keep. Done with trying (and failing) to do them all.

Thanks for stopping by today - what are you doing or making right now? Let me know so I can come see.

What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 460

Welcome to my quite uninspiring work space today - my dinner table. And a big hello. I haven't played along with WOYWW for a long time.

We are coming up to the end of the first year at uni and we are on Animation Fundamentals. They want six 10 second animations and a 30 second one, all done in different techniques. I am so bad at animation and all the computer stuff but I'm hoping I might do OK at the traditional 2D and stop motion. Anyway. Today I am working on my 10 second direct animation which involves scratching directly onto film. My tool of choice is that big arse nail on my laptop.
Whoopidooings: What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday WOYWW Direct Animation in process and George Ezra
All that film equals 10 seconds. It's going to take frigging ages... but hopefully will look cool. Don't look to closely at the next image - the film I was given? Open heart surgery. Really. I'm not complaining - it just made me laugh.  When asked my theme for some of these animations I said "oh you know, nature, folklore, fantasy - stuff like that..." The tutor said to me "Be honest. Skulls?" Yep. Yep. Skulls. So that's what I'm scratching in. Though they look like little spiders at the moment. Spidery skulls? Both work equally well with open heart surgery methinks.
Whoopidooings Blog: Scratching a drawn-on direct animation for the first time. Skulls.
I'm listening to George Ezra's new album on the laptop while I work because my eldest baby surprised me with tickets to go see him next Tuesday. Excited much? Teeny, tiny HUUUUUUGE amount.

I'm going to link up with Julia at the What's on Your Workdesk? Wednesday headquarters - see you there.

Thanks for stopping by today :)

Silver Crow Project - The Collage

Well, Hello Again

I come bearing arty stuffs! No, I have not just been sat on my tush scrolling through Instagram, eating chocolate and watching NCIS back to back. That's only some of the time.

Way back in the summer I had to get eight pieces done as a summer project before starting at uni. I settled on the theme of Silver Crow. I tried to go all graffiti/street art at first - don't get excited - that didn't work, I just got high spray painting my workshop shelves a Barbie-esque pink and green. Seriously. #procrastination-win I'm going to revisit street art at a later point. When I've recovered from the horror.

So I started with something I struggle with equally as much... *insert doom laden voice here*  ...COLLAGE. Don't get me wrong, I do like collage. When other people do it. Me, not so much. I can't keep the page clean, I get gluey prints all over the place, stick stuff down then realise I should have stuck something else first - ack it's just a shambles. Let's face it. I'm Grunge with a capital G. So lets embrace that. Lets chuck some paint at this collage before we even start. Take away that "I'm going to screw this up with my grubby hands" fear.

I used some of my grey spray paints and a rather gorgeous 'Rose Fluorescent' paint from Pebeo. That's better. 
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - The Silver Crow Project - A grungy collage process
I went for a jackdaw in flight as my first image - whenever I see Silver Crow she is more often than not in flight or just taking off. The text I've used is from a dictionary sourced from a Plundered Pages pack I bought. It actually has mention of a White Crow in it. Had to get that in there.

This is how the final collage looks. It's hard to get a good photo of  - she's outlined in silver pen, not white. So her wings sparkle and shine. I'm not totally sure she's finished but I moved on to the next one as time was short. I am going to check over them all at some point with fresh eyes. See if anything leaps out at me.
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - The Silver Crow Project - A grungy collage
Whoopidooings: Carmen Wing - The Silver Crow Project - A grungy collage

For a collage fearing newb - I'm actually really pleased. Lesson learnt - Embrace the Grunge Monster. Work with, not against. It's not going anywhere - I've finally realised it's part of my style! I know - a lot of you could have told me that years ago. 

I'll be back soon with Silver Crow number 2! 
Thanks for stopping by today :)