Tag Archives: 52 art challenges

Reflecting on 4 Colour Full Years

It is four years since I decide to push visual arts to the top of my priority list.

Major knee injury meant I had to pass on the opportunity that I’d been hankering for years, to manage the PR for Meadowhall. Facing months on crutches and unable to drive, life was taken up by the countless rehab exercises and everything normal took three times as long. With a recovery period quoted in years rather than weeks time began to feel different. I had so little time spare that I had to get to the nub of spending time how my soul needed and what emerged from valuable sessions with my wonderful life coach Heidi-Mai, was art… making… creating, colour, I felt like there was a whole lot of colour and creations inside me that needed to be let out into the world. And so my visual art journey changed up a gear and I began to prioritise this work, moving it from the ‘indulgent, blissful hobby’ to the ‘if I don’t have much time available I’m going to spend it on what feels great’. And with a feeling of naughty delight I signed up for an Art Foundation course.

What an exploration it has been, and continues to be. I’ve  always enjoyed a steep learning curve and staying on such a curve keeps me interested and motivated.

In the first four years I’ve had a solo exhibition, had work in four public exhibitions, have begun teaching fabric design techniques, have shared art skills in school, created commissioned artworks, designs, infographics, videos, animations and have made products from miniature pot plants to fabric birds.

I don’t know where the work is leading and when I’m in the creative moment I don’t think it really matters where or whether it leads. For me creating and making is calming, rejuvenating and present. It’s my antidote to the harrowing stories that the media try to intrude into my calm.

Here are my favourite pieces from the past four years. I look forward to seeing what will emerge from my work in the future.

I’m not stopping here. I’m busy preparing for my next workshop on Sunday 2nd June at Stitched Up and Fleeced, Sheffield.

I’m working on personal projects and strategic commercial communications. I’ve a plan for a book, watch this space, and have some exciting collaborations ahead.

Here are my favourite posts from the past four years:

Fabric Design Doll

Satin Cheese Plant…

Drawing With Silks – Cute Dog

Animating paper pictures

Here are anniversary stories from the years you may have missed. I’ve always worked on the proviso that my work will improve, although I’ve a good way to go to be at the level I aspire to, when I reflect I can see the progression. Practice makes better…

First Birthday and Art Exhibition

3 Years and Beyond

3 Years and Beyond

Celebrating 3 years: It’s now three years since I began focussing on art and making. After injuring my knee I decided to follow my heart and felt a need to let out the colour and creative potential that I instinctively knew was within me.

Switching to a less commercial line of work has not been easy and has taken courage and conviction, but as I continue to explore and my work evolves I’m keen to see what I’ll be creating next.

The highlights of the past three years have been two Art and Design year long course Distinctions, a solo art exhibition, and being commissioned by customers to create bespoke artworks and gifts.

Collage of my favourite 9 from the past 3 years…

 

Latest work: My latest creation is an embroidered work for a dear friend, inspired by an image. I felt real flow in this work and felt guided in creating it by some artistic wisdom that joined me while I hand and machine appliquéd and stitched.

Image of Pippin and image of the work.

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The picture that the textile portrait is based on. 
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The colourful textile portrait on repurposed cross stitch fabric that I have dyed created using appliqué including felt I have made with iridescent fabric that was formerly a curtain in my Sheffield studio, machine embroidery, free motion embroidery and hand stitching.

This work grew out of the paintings and embroideries of dogs over the past few years.

Workshop Development: Exciting news is that I’m developing a heat press workshop. This will given people the opportunities to develop a design and print it onto fabric in just 2 hours. Watch this space for news and dates. if you’re not signed up to receive Inspire  news then you can do so by typing your email address into the box above.

My favourite pieces created in fabrics dyes using the Heat Press

Work in progress: Miniature plants need a miniature place to grow so I’ve been building a greenhouse in Fab lolly sticks with a Magnum stick for decoration. I’ve also tried a more rustic ones from twigs pruned from my Japanese Acer. Need to eat a fab lolly or two more to be able to complete the roof structure. I’m considering whether to plant miniature climbing plants with the rustic greenhouse to encourage them to grown up and within it.

Greenhouse picture 1 &2 

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Ceramics: I’m exploring ceramics, its not an area I’ve studied before so I’m learning hand building techniques. More on that when the pieces have been fired.

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Sneak peek at two of my biscuit fired pieces

Commission Time: Christmas is coming and its traditionally a time for commissioned artworks for loved ones, providing a bespoke gift made for them. My deadline this year for commission requests, to be ready in time for Christmas is 31st October. Please email me and I’ll help determine all that’s needed to begin the creation of your unique artwork.

Thanks for the support in the past three years and here’s to the future. To creativity, and beyond!

Highlight creations of the past three years.

My Life In Paper

The Inspire Bear

Cheese Plant in Satin

October is #Inktober: I’m taking the #Inktober challenge again this year. My intention is to try to illustrate the prompt words simply and clearly. You can see my ink creations in my Instagram ‘stories’.

Ski Fit Illustrations 

After major knee injury my resolve ran thin after so many repetitive exercises. I needed new impetuous and accountability to push on with vigour.

As steps on my path back to skiing I created exercise boards to inspire me and illustrate the exercises that will help strengthen. I’m studying illustration at present with Bill Wright, from Central St Martins. 

Now I really have no excuse… I’ll schedule it in my calendar to try to get to it regularly. Maybe stating my intention here to do this 5 times a week will  spur me on…

Here are some posts that relate to this…

Knee Art For Healing
Knee Injury Reportage Illustrations 

From Injury to First Exhibition – Art Journey

Instagram Round Up

Here’s the latest of my colourful creations from my inspiring Instagram feed. 

Sewing my football fan zipper bag
Assembling the panels of the bag, with shoelace as piping.
Pink Lady – inspired by a sculpture seen on a visit to Durham.
Ibiza Beach Watercolour – One Year Ago
Holiday sunbed painting in the Greek Islands

Beach Watercolour Time-Lapse. I love the colours on the beach, the bright lilos, fun inflatables, pretty patterned swimwear all against the beautiful turquoise of the sea and the colours vibrant sun lit. I captured the action in the scene that played out before me.
Silk Painting – Loving the colours. Copyright Kim
Fabric dyeing fun with my favourite colours.
Remembering one year ago working on my ice-cream themed paper picture whilst watching the Grand Prix.
Shine! – first screen prints, 1 year ago. Have a great day all😊!
Nature inspired felt. Not my normal colours but love the teal hues.
Here are related posts😊

Football Fan Bag

First Time Feltmaking

Ice-Cream Picture 

Hand Painted Scarf

I made a scarf by hand painting chiffon using batik and silk painting techniques. 

I love how the wax flows, enabling lovely curly freehand lines. The design includes the sea, the sun, moon, a flowering tree and stars. 

Here’s the process in pictures as in lateral sections, drawing the design with hot wax and a tjanting. 

Helping the wax set with a cool hairdryer, then painting the fabric. 

The hot wax smell reminds me of hours spent waxing skis. 

When the design was completed and had dried I began to iron out the wax between sheets of paper…

The heat also activated the dyes and could see their “true colours shining through” – to quote Cyndi Lauper.

The scarf could be lovely on the beach or sunbed.

I set up a studio photo shoot with model Lucy wearing the scarf. 

I exhibited the scarf in my product range exhibition at The Workstation in Sheffield in June 2017.

Top tips:

  • Create a tester section to trial the techniques and products.
  • Take care with hot wax.
  • Hold at least four thickness folded cartridge paper under the tjanting when moving between the hot wax pot and the fabric. 
  • Use batik stratcher bars.
  • Square and hem the fabric before painting.
  • Cool hairdryer to help the wax set and to dry the 
  • Try using salt, after the wax has dried, to add texture and additional interest to the design. 

Here are related articles:

Exhibition June 2017

Silk Painting Art Challenge

Instagram round up featuring batik wax printing

News – New Shop 

 

Exhibition time

Delighted to be able to show my work after so many hours of intricate work and digging deep creatively. 

Proud to be exhibiting in Sheffield City Centre at The Workstation until 8pm tomorrow as part of Sheffield College’s Design and Visual Art’s end of year show. 

My Ice-cream themed products – beauty bag, shower cap, light-catcher, buttons and hairbands
My product’s displayed as they might be in a retailer

My dress and hand painted scarf
My product range catalogue
The Sheffield newspaper photographer
My project has been to design and create a range of products to inspire and uplift people. I’ll then speak to retailers about stocking my products and will offer bespoke items as unique gift ideas. 

My mascot – the Inspire by Kim bear

See the recent blog posts for related stories and my Folksy shop

Thanks for being here. 

The Inspire Bear

Ta da: I’m delighted to share the Inspire by Kim bear. Made from fabrics that I have designed using techniques including batik, tie dye, dry point printing. 

When flicking through a magazine that my friend brought two years ago after my knee injury I saw a bear pattern that I just had to make in my fabrics. 

Now I’m not naturally a recipe/ pattern/ instruction follower by nature, but my keenness to make the bear helped me follow the steps in the Craft Seller article, which surprised both me and my loved ones. 

Starting to emerge
There was a little magic happened when I started making in fabrics that I have created myself. I chose contrasting fabrics ext to each other for a colourful, as you’d expect from me no doubt, cheery bear. 

I used free machine embroidery to add a colourful heart and make his nose. 

Read to be turned out
Loving the fabric colours meant that I loved the process. The making was also a great boot camp for my sewing techniques as the size of the bear made for small seam allowances which were sometimes fiddly. 

The bear is intended to delight. He carries the messages ‘Be’ and ‘Light’ as a reminder not to take things too seriously, easier said than done. His ear has the Inspire by Kim brand and he has ‘Kim’  on his foot, a little nod to the Tou Story films with Buzz Lightyear and Woody each having ‘Andy’ on their foot. 

Craft Seller magazine that inspired the make
Bashful Bare

I’m wondering about adding eyes, but I’m going to sleep on that as I’m liking him just as he is right now. 

I’m excited to see where this latest make will lead to next. Watch this space and follow my blog if you’ve enjoyed this post.
Related makes are:

Inspire by Kim dress and bag

Illustrated Children’s Book

My Life in Paper

Colourful Yarn Dress Designs

Dissolvable Fabric Experiment

I’m in Pieces – Art Jigsaw Arrived! 

I was so proud of my Ice Cream paper-cut picture that I used it for another love of mine, creating a jigsaw with it.

Even before I could talk I loved jigsaws, and in some ways when I’m creating my paper pictures they can feel like a jigsaw that I am creating the pieces of as I go.

The detail, size (A3) and colour palette of Hot Days Eating Cool Ice Cream felt ideal for a jigsaw so I ordered a master at myphotopuzzle.com. I was so surprised at how quickly the order was created and got more excited with each update email about its progress.

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Hot Days Eating Cool Ice Cream – Copyright Kim
When the parcel arrived I was delighted to hear and feel the pieces in the box and was so chuffed to see and hold the box of my very own jigsaw.

I can’t wait to spend time savouring the artwork and putting the pieces together in this similar but different way. Maybe it will be almost as much fun as making the picture was. It’s a little bit of my legacy.

To order a limited edition 200 or 500 piece jigsaw email with your preference of 200 piece jigsaw £32, or 500 piece £36 (including postage and packaging to England, Wales and Scotland) and your full name and address, details of the payment process will be sent forthwith.

Processed with Snapseed.

Coming soon…

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For all the updates Like my Facebook page.

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Posts related to this, which may be of interest next are:

Paper-cut Pictures Art Challenge

Animating Paper Cut Pictures

Products

My Story – Emerging from Injury To Create Art

And here’s my Portfolio. Thanks so much for visiting my website. If there’s someone who you think may like my work please share this post with them. Thank you.😊

Illustrated Children’s Book – The Dog Who Wanted To Fly

I have wanted to create a book since I was 7 years old.

The fluffy white Maltese Terrier Dog Sam has featured in each of my paper cut pictures, so I started to feel a story was emerging.

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Seaside Village. Copyright Kim

 

‘Sam’s Adventures’ came to mind and I decided to sign up for a Writing Children’s Books workshop with London-based publishers Nosy Crow. I ticked the box for the option for a manuscript review, and then was shocked when I received an email asking for the manuscript a good time ahead of the course. I swung into action and started to build a book from the pictures I had created.

I didn’t enjoy the process and the publisher’s MD didn’t like the outcome, as the character wasn’t prominent enough in the illustrations.

In the time between sending the manuscript and the course I had a burst of courage in my painting ability and I decided to paint the character and hoped to capture his spirit.

Here are some of the watercolour and acrylics paintings I created of Sam.

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Meet Sam – Copyright Kim
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Detail from the book – Copyright Kim
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Book design in progress – Copyright Kim

 

Sam was my brother’s dog, we had great adventures in the Alps and Provence together. I loved him very much and although it would be wonderful to have a dog of our own for the time being creating stories for Sam will have to suffice.

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Meet Sam – Copyright Kim

On the theme of Sam the dog wanting to fly I created a range of artworks. I scanned my paintings and created a PDF file which I then uploaded to create an e-book through Kindle Direct Publishing. I’m proud to say that the book is now available online.

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Update April 2018 – A hard copy of the book is available at my Folksy Shop

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My conclusion:

The first book was about the scenes, the second book/ iteration was about the character. My challenge now is to find ways of putting the more developed character into unique environments and settings. When I achieve that I will share the outcome. Watch this space. You can do that by following the blog, just add your preferred email address in the box at the top sides of the page. I love welcoming new followers to the fold and won’t clog your inbox.

The Dog That Wanted To Fly – Sam’s Adventures on Amazon Kindle

Earlier blog posts that are related to this one are…

Paper-cut Pictures – Art Challenge

Dog Portraits – Maltese – Art Challenge

Animating Paper Pictures – Art Challenge

My Story – Art That Has Come Out Of Injury

Pop along to my Facebook Page to see more or feel free to take a look around, maybe enjoy viewing my portfolio.

In loving memory of Sam Kay

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My Life In Paper

“My latest paper masterpiece, “Hot Days Eating Cool Ice Cream”. It is pretty with details and interest, always something more to see and packed with pictorial love from corner to corner.” 

Read the full story: 

I often have an idealistic view of what an event will be like. For instance say to me garden party and instantly an image conjures of pretty bunting flapping in the wind, smiling faces, beautiful colourful tablecloths, bright blooms, pink lemonade with ice glinting in the sun, gorgeous dresses and a cloud leisurely tracking across a vivid blue sky. My idealism can often lead to the reality being a little disappointing. I had seen this  as a trait that was negative, that I was being naive and childishly silly.

But I have realised that it is this ideal world imagination that is the magic that can make my special kind of art.

My growing number of paper cut creations, finely crafted like a self-made jigsaw, come from this visual idealism.


Best seen in their original form the pictures are intricate and unique. In their creation is a calm happy place for me, one where I am in that sweet spot between consciousness and subconscious. Piece by piece, thought by thought I cut and stick to form a whole that when I step back I wonder how that came about.

When I was a youngster I would get frustrated that my art did not look like I had envisioned. That I could not recreate on paper the picture that I had in my head. But my paper artworks never start from a whole vision, it begins like a building, first the walls go in place, then I furnish the building with pretty furniture from my imagination and add personal items that belong to the imaginary owners, curated over their lives.

Ta-Da… My Latest Picture Revealed

I very recently completed what I feel is my latest masterpiece, “Hot Days Eating Cool Ice Cream”. Like the earlier smaller (A4) Beach Huts, Allotments and Ski Chalet (all in the strip above), it is pretty with details and interest, always something more to see, but this new piece is A3 and packed with pictorial love from corner to corner.

I created the Ice Cream artwork with new colour understanding after studying the relationships between colours. As a result it really pops off the page.

So here it is for your visual consumption. Have a Flake with that.

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Hot Days Eating Cool Ice Cream – Copyright Kim

Hot Days Eating Cool ice Cream is a design made entirely from pieces of paper cut into shapes to make a bright, colourful work of art. The design feature an ice cream cafe on a sunny day. The ice-cream maker also sells the delicious ice creams out and about in the sparkly ice-cream van.

Two girls are at the cafe to enjoy ice-cream and a small white dog trots by to in the hope of a little chocolate or sweet treat.

In the distance people enjoy the fun and thrill of a rollercoaster ride and a plane flies overhead to spread the work about the wonderful ice-creams.

This is my first paper cut work that prominently features people. This was a challenge, at first I painted people and cut and added those, but later recreated them in paper and am happier with the paper characters.

Here are some details from the picture… (watermarked).

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Of course Maltese Terrier Sam, as in each of the paper-cut pictures, is there – Copyright Kim

And now the fun starts on creating canvases, fabric and products which will take the picture out and about and on the move in the world.

Ice Cream Jigsaw
Hot Days Eating Cool Ice Cream – Copyright Kim

I am seeking an art agent or art business mentor/manager to assist my art out into the world. Please share my post so that it can find its way to the ideal person to help.

If you’ve enjoyed this post here are related posts to feast your eyes and imagination on. Enjoy!

Paper-Cut Pictures

Animating Paper Pictures

Paper-Cut Portrait

Paper-Cut Pictures Part Two

My Story

My YouTube Channel

My Facebook Page

All that Ice-Cream makes you feel hungry then have a few scoops and a Flake.