My Art Studio – The First Year

I was excited and delighted to move into my art studio a year ago.   It was a blank canvas, just a white walled room in Victorian building with a desk (later replaced with a table) a white board and a chair. The southerly orientation of the window was ideal for me as I like sunlight.


I enjoyed planning and making the space how I wanted, it didn’t have to appeal to anyone else.


I added my comfy chair for reading, pondering and sometimes snoozing. A storage unit which I added lights to, in amongst my paints and brushes. I took my many artworks, drawings, paintings that had never been displayed and put them where I could see them. By airing and showing them I started to believe, a little more, that I was right to explore the artist within me and let art become a focus and indulgence of my life.


I was busy preparing for my first ice show and so was often between my studio and the rink for the first two months, my skate boots would be drying out on the floor. On fine days I would take a walk in the adjoining country park, exploring a little further each time.

Art Challenge 17 - The Art of Skating
The Art of Skating. Copyright Kim 2014

Then on January 4th 2015 I blew my knee, an acute injury that six weeks later required acute surgery. 3 months on crutches, 4 months unable to drive and a resolve testing repetitive programme of rehabilitation exercises leads me to today.
This was not the year I expected and has seen my studio visits few and far between. But as I start to feel I am making the first steps into the light at the end of the tunnel, I have walked subconsciously for the first time, able to look around at the sky and trees. IMG_2288 The injury has not been all bad, it meant that I had the space to practice art. I had to resign from the marketing work I had just been contracted to. Other than my exercises I didn’t have time or energy for anything else, but art I could create sat on the floor, bed or with my leg elevated on the settee.
So I hope that as I go into the second year of my studio that I can now enjoy the space as I intended, to explore, learn, try privately and on the good days create beautiful original art. Hey I might even do Open Studios events sometimes.

My injury made me fearful of pain, death and further injury. The good thing is that it makes fear of making a mark, making a wrong line on a paper, laughable. This puts me in an ideal mindset to freely, open heartedly explore art, practice, learn and create works I would never have thought possible for me. So I boldly go forwards knowing it won’t all be good but that there is a solace for me in my studio space, in the colours and invention of making new art.

Here are the highlights from the past year. I’m excited for the next.
Twins Pic on Easel

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Rainbow Dancer by Kim
Copyright Inspire by Kim

Thanks for visiting my blog, maybe get a cup of tea and stay a while in this colourful space. Hoping you;re inspired in some way and maybe that it brightens your day. Enjoy!

Places to go next:

Animated Paper Pictures

Visual Life Purpose

Creative Studio Setting Up

Knee Art For Healing

Knee Injury Drawings

Rainbow Dancer Commission

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Figurative Drawing – The Next Level

An intended Life Drawing session became a figurative drawing session as the model was unavailable. 

Instead the members of the group took turns to model for the artists. I sat for what felt like an endless 10 minutes, and found it incredibly hard to be still and retain focus. The experience of sitting and being looked at gave me a huge respect for Life Drawing models. 

My first drawings were A2 using charcoal for 10 minutes each, working at an easel.

  

  

  

    

 After the break I worked seated using a drawing board for poses of 15-20 minutes. These were the first male subjects I had drawn.  
   

I’m pleased with the improvement I can see since the Figurative Drawing Art Challemge. The heads and faces were a great improvement on those in my Life Drawing Art Challenge. 

I didn’t think I had it in me to draw in this way so it feels like receiving a wonderful gift that I hadn’t expected to discover. 

Thanks for vewing this post. I’m very grateful. Feel free to stay a while and enjoy some more artworks and their stories. 

Related posts:

Figurative Drawing – Art Challenge 41.

Life Drawing – Art Challenge 44 – Over 18s only.

Polyfusion – Art Challenge 45

Polyfusion is plasticising using heat and I am finding it somewhat addictive! 
Once demonstrated I got on a roll of arranging and melting using our domestic iron. Baking paper is the key to ensuring that the technique doesn’t get messy. 

     
To try this at home, note I cannot accept any liability for anything that may happen as a result of trying Polyfusion for yourself, you’ll need baking paper and a plastic bag. Fold the baking paper and pop a small piece of a plastic bag between the folded baking paper (ensuring none is poking out, then iron with a medium heat and watch as the plastic melts. Experiment by adding what takes your fancy. 

    
I started with plastic bags and added pictures, then flowers, then I tried weaving the pkastic bags before Polyfusing. 

   

I then wondered how I could you this technique to get across a message that is important to me. So I worked on a clean oceans, fish theme and gradually introduced my artworks along with the plastics. 

         

  
I found that bubbie wrap worked nicely for my underwater pictures, but that cling film worked less well. 
This art method works well within my current theme of upcycling, making use of existing materials to create new things.

 
I’ll be developing this more but wanted to share the story so far to give you the opportunity to try creating in this way.
Thanks for viewing, related posts/ challenges are:

Paper-Cut Pictures

Marble Run Challenge

Upcycled Lamp

Under The Sea

Life Drawing – Art Challenge 44

Had a great afternoon as my first experience of life drawing.
We had four ten minute period to draw the female model in four different poses. We were encouraged to try a range of media, I had two thicknesses of charcoal, my pit pen and a pencil ready.
After my figurative drawing practice which formed part of the figurative drawing art challenge I decided to choose the charcoal, as I had been pleased with the former results.
I felt that the drawing for each pose improved as I practiced and learned and looked and drew. I was moved by the purity of the experience, like it was getting back to natural and the natural human form. I felt a warmth of gratitude at the opportunity and at the courage of the model to make her body available for our art experience and education.

  

  

    

   

When we took a short break I felt near exhausted from the energy I had out into to the shorter and the longer duration pieces of work. The last before the break was to use colour and oil pastels were recommended. I chose red, yellow. Orange, green and blue pastels as I didn’t know what I would need. I set to with the colours, shading with the complementary colours and the longer sitting time of the seated pose gave a lot of opportunity for detail and working into the picture.
The first half of the session I had been working at an easel on A1 paper, after so long standing my knee needed a rest so I took the seated option for the second part of the session.
As I had a very different drawing position I chose charcoal again for the next drawing and with more time worked into the detail. I don’t feel that the torso is the correct proportion but I’m pleased for a first time attempt. We were then advised to use a medium that we hadn’t previously used so I chose watercolour and large, thin and fine brushes. Again I chose the colours and darkened with complimentary colours to capture the model’s laid down pose.

      
I’m delighted with the progress that I made in the session, with what I learned and the fact that although it was nervous beforehand I relaxed into it. Was able to not overthink the task and knew I was enjoying it when I almost sang out loud. Will definitely be life drawing again as I really enjoyed it and contrary to my prior perception did reasonably well. I need to work on promotion and facial details but overall the results were positive.
Many thanks for taking the time to take a look at this post. If you liked this then you may enjoy these related posts.
Figurative Drawing

Knee Injury Drawings

Upcycled Lumiere From A World Globe – Art Challenge 43

I was excited to get stuck into the challenge of creating a lamp from found items.

The challenge was part of a larger workstream of upcycling, which followed the Marble Run creation that was Art Challenge 40.

Marble Run Challenge – Click to see our fun Marble Run
A number of items that were merely dust collecting in our home or languishing on top of the cupboard came to mind as items that needed a new purpose and new life.

In our home we have some cherished items of furniture that we have inherited or chosen instead of buying new items, as we struggle to see the rationale in buying something that is newly made when there are older, better quality items in existence, that have a story and deserve to be cherished and lived with.

I collected the items which were a children’s globe, a wooden interlocking kangaroo puzzle and a counterbalance wine bottle holder that we never trusted enough to use. I drew the components for the lamp as a way of understanding their form better and drew sketches of different options of how the components may be put together.

Testing the translucence of the globe before drilling the places visited holes.
Testing the translucence of the globe before drilling the places visited holes.
I had a limited amount of time in which to create the working lamp so I began building the lamp, firstly with the upright made from the wooden puzzle which I gave a structure to using wire ring binding. I used the ring binding wire to secure and hold the flex.

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I then fitted the upright into the bottle holder base, put a groove for the flex in the top of the puzzle and underneath the base wood. Once I added the brass fixing for the lamp housing I could then start to secure the globe.

I drilled holes on the globe in the places I have visited to give an extra point of interest and to vary the intensity of the light given.

It was tricky to support and affix the globe in a way that enabled the bulb to be changeable. I gave consideration to a number of possible support means,  including wire, an additional strut or a plaster hand to support it. I also thought of Velcro as this would grip the globe and still be separable. I’m pleased  to say that the Velcro worked and held fine.

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The theme of the piece is about travel enlightening, and the wonders our world holds, so I added bends of wire like a crazy network of journeys. Finally  I added three small paper aeroplanes made from an old map.

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To reference to flight I added feathers left in our garden when birds had been prey to a local fox or cat. The feathers worked well to soften the design and give a more feminine touch, they could be suggestive of angels above our world.

Ta Da - the final creation.
Ta Da – the final creation.
Delighted with the final outcome it was very much as I planned and is as attractive and effective as I hoped.
I learned that I ought to have tried things together without fixing them first and have given more consideration to fixings before I began but I enjoyed the challenge and now look forward to feeling pride when I use the light.

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Thank you! Thanks for reading this post I hope this has sparked a little inspiration, if so I would love to hear about that in the comments below. If you would like to see more please have a look at my other challenges and to be notified when my next challenge is completed you can ‘Follow” my blog.

These are posts which relate to this challenge:

Marble Run Challenge – Art Challenge 40

Design a Guitar – Art Challenge 12

Figurative Drawing – Art Challenge 41

Visual Life Purpose – Art Challenge 42

This challenge began some months ago as I refined my goal to inspire and uplift people.

There is so much darkness in the world that I like to counter that with light, bright colours and heartwarming artworks. It’s a very personal challenge and i have been and am still undecided as to whether to share this post, so read now as it may disappear.

Here’s how the concept developed. It was very much about brightly coloured energy powering out from  a central point, reaching others. 

Kaleidoscope created from a beautiful sari that II bought in India

           I took this photo and worked with it to add colour, light and my art, using my favourite app PixelmatorHere it is, to remind me of the intention of my work.

My completed visual life purpose for the present time – Copyright Kim

Other artwork that has had an influence in this process are:

Mixed Media Art – Art Challenge 30

Soul Art – Art From The Heart

Digital Collage

Figurative Drawing – Art Challenge 41

The challenge was to study figurative works by artists, recreate them and then take the style of one onto my own subject matter.

I’ve always liked the feeling in Klimt”s The Kiss. I like colours and patterns too
Michelangelo’s Study for The Battle of Casciana – I like the strength and power demonstrated by the form.
Egon Schiele – Self-portrait. I love the strong lines and boldness of this style
Wire portrait , note self be sure to note down the artist!
My quick oil pastel interpretation of Klimt’s The Kiss
My wire portrait. I didn’t have time to do the hair but might do that at another time as I like to capture the flowing lines of hair.
I”m most pleased with my charcoal representation of Egon Shiele’s self-portrait. working in the same medium helped and working big, this piece is A1.
This was my first experience of a graphite stick, the shading was challenging and my figure has a more female look around the head.
The next task was to draw people around me in the style of one of the artists, so drew in Egon Schiele’s style with varied success. size A1. The pink was on the light box when I took the image.

I’m pleased with my drawings, I threw myself into the challenge as I didn’t feel that being tentative would serve my purpose. Going forwards I would take the fugues bigger in order to be able to use the Schiele style more effectively.

This art challenge empowered me to create my next underwater figure mixed media pieces.

Under The Sea – Inspired by happy hours swimming with the fish in the Red Sea, Egypt

This was a bold step forward in terms of character and figure drawing and representation.

i’d Like To Be, Under The Sea. Pleased with is figurative mixed media fantasy work.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, it is very much appreciated, I hope you enjoy whichever posts you read.

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Challenges related to this story that you might like see next:

Knee Injury Diary Drawings – Art Challenge 20

Characters Creation and Portraits – Art Challenge 35

Smiling Characters