Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Happy New Year everybody! I hope 2009 was as good to you as it was to me.

I fell in love
Discovered Paris
Passed my Foundation course with flying colours
Survived Leeds Fest
Travelled the world
Became a bridesmaid
Sold a few paintings
Got a place on the number 1 course,
and settled in to my own pad by the seaside.

Lets hope that things can only get better in 2010.

A lot has happened in the last month. I said farewell to my lovely flatmates ( and my double bed and my en-suit ) we decorated the flat kitchen in 12 metres of tinsel, made a buffet, put on some festive classics and had a Christmas party.
Here's the portrait I did for my flatmate Sean. how adorable is his nephew!

I then jumped on a train along the south coast and spent the last week of term in London, on a study visit which was fantastic! Getting off the train in Paddington I was met by a concrete jungle and thousands of city dwellers, it couldn't have been any more different to what I had got used to in Falmouth.

I explored Camden Markets with Jess and Callum, I saw so much treasure.
I enjoyed lots of banter involving Alan male a.k.a the alpha male. The alpha male is our course leader, and he has a flawless moustache and a grand Cornish accent. he is about 50 all the girls fancy him, and all the boys want to be him.

I filled a sketchbook with drawings of the people I saw in London. I caught most of them on the London Underground. It's unbelievable how unaware people are when they are on tube, I was stood only metres away yet the majority didn't realise I was drawing them.

I noticed alot of people like to take naps down there, escapism perhaps? or maybe its just because its warm. People rush to get on the trains even though another one comes in 2 minutes, and people get very angry when there's problems with the lines. On some trains people are squashed in the carriages like cattle but even then they don't make conversation or even eye contact with each other.
I visited lots of superb galleries my favourite being a little known cave of treasures hidden down a back alley 'The Museum of Everything' unfortunately i didn't get any snaps after taking note of the sign on the entrance;


The work on display in the museum ( previously an old factory building ) was created by untrained or 'outsider' artists, who were all either marginalised from society, disabled or considered psychologically fragile. There was allsorts on display, paintings, drawings, objects and texts. What was fascinating to me is that these artists never intended or expected their work to be put on public display and that it came purely from an obsessive need to manifest their sometimes troubled inner feelings. One piece in particular really caught my attention, it was a painting which must have been around 12metres long, and only a metre wide, it dangled down from the ceiling and was completely covered in the same meticulous, intricate pattern, there was a magnifying glass on the wall beside it so you could have a closer look at the intricacy of the hand painted pattern. next to it was a piece of writing about the artist Hiroyuki Doi a schizophrenic from Japan where Doi's doctor describes the painting as 'laboured evidence of delusional megalomania'.
I thought it was beautiful

I spent my final day in the big smoke wandering around on my own, passing time before my train set off back to Manchester, I went to the Tate Modern and had another go in Miroslaw Balka's box of darkness, then I must have been having withdrawal symptoms from the beach as I decided to walk down the riverside where I met 2 artists one who was collecting Thames water in a glass vase she had made, and another who was making sand sculptures he asked if he could use me as a model for his next piece and so I stood for 10 minutes whilst he constructed my face at the side of the River Thames. what a great ending to an exciting week.

My home coming wasn't quite as I imagined it to begin with, I anticipated arriving home to find my room just as I left it like in Great Expectations, unfortunately my mum is no Ms Havisham and as soon as I stepped foot out of the door she had stripped my room and has plans to redecorate. as if this wasn't bad enough swine flu also greeted me with open arms and my mum my dad and I we're all bed ridden within a few days.
However things did start to get better its great to be reunited with my friends and Christmas was ace this year, I spent a couple of days with the bride and groom and her sparkly finger and I got to see THEE dress. I got some lovely presents including subscription to Vice mag woo, and an all expenses paid trip to AMSTERDAM for New year's courtesy of Adam Logan :) i love you x

This is me being a superfan in my Beatles tee, next to the yellow submarine at John Lennon Airport, Liverpool
Amsterdam has the best graffiti in Europe.the gang

We went to a free concert in Museum Sq for the countdown, I spent New Years with Van Gogh :) it was approx -40 degrees.

This is a very small child, setting off a very large firework. Health and Safety is obviously a British concept.

This is a section from a painted collage I created for one of my Conceptual Thinking projects. We were asked to illustrate song lyrics and I chose to do a piece about Elvis Costello's - Shipbuilding.

The song is set in a region that's economically depressed. But there's a "rumour" that the local shipyard will soon have work, building ships for the Falklands war. The townspeople want to be happy that they will soon have jobs, but it is at the expense of their own boys who must go fight the war.

This is a self portrait, I've decided to use myself as the protagonist in my illustrated book project. Blood sweat and tears has gone into this project so far and I still feel like i'm at square one. I will update this once I have made some actual progress.

This is my biggest commission to date :)
It was for a man called Peter who got in touch with me after reading the article in the Oldham Chron. He wanted something a bit different to what I described in the article. Instead of painting directly from a photograph he wanted me to create a unique large scale portrait of his girlfriend Maria using a variety of photographs. He also wanted me to include an abstract background with a suggestion of a sunset and the ocean. This isn't a brilliant photograph but this is what we came up with. it took the best part of a month to complete.
Oil on canvas 50 x 70cm

This is Ahmed, acrylic on canvas 40 x 40

This is supermodel Michelle Marsh and her daughter Maddison, painted for Linda, Oil on Canvas 40 x 40
This is one of 3 pieces i'm working through at the moment for a lady who also read the Oldham Chronicle article. it is Maggie Jones more commonly known as Blanche from Coronation Street who unfortunately passed away recently, The lady i'm doing the portraits for was a good friend of the actor and wants one portrait for herself and one for Anne Kirkbride who plays Deirdre. I am also working on a large mural style painting for her husband, a massive Manchester United fan, the painting is of Alex Ferguson, Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney and I hope to get it finished this week.
I have finished my Moleskine!
We have to fill 5 sketchbooks outside of our project work throughout the year, we were told to take a sketchbook everywhere and record EVERYTHING that inspires us. 1 down 4 to go.
This page was created whilst I was under the influence of alcohol, at approx 4am, my flatmates were all watching Star wars and I didn't want to join in because quite frankly STAR WARS IS PANTS. So instead I had a much better time personifying the Kitchen utensils, please click to enlarge and meet the gang. One day when I have lots of time on my hands I will use these and more as characters in a book.
Whilst rummaging through my old drawers I found one of my first personal sketchbooks! I started it in yr9 and most of the pages exhibit unpleasant portrayals of teachers, or portraits of 50Cent, Usher and other fine gentlemen. However there are a few pages that i'm still quite fond of, like this one full of cool fonts.

Yesterday I attempted to take Adam to Windermere in the Lake District. We we're going to take a picnic and go on the rowing boats and ride bikes around the mountings. However we woke up to a blizzard and then got stranded in glorious Preston when the connecting train was cancelled. GREAT. After a tour of the towns many delights.. Starbucks and a newsagents we decided to retreat back to Manchester, Art Galleries, a scrummy meal and a tear jerking film about John Lennon saved the day. First double page spread in my NEW CHRISTMAS MOLESKINE! Thanks Soph!!!!!I love old school cinema signs.

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