The recent glimpses/teases of spring have finally brought me out of creative hibernation. After a somewhat tricky gestation period, whilst trying to pull together all of the research I have been doing over the past couple of years, I have started work on the canvases that will form my new body of work. I am still working on refining a coherent and concise artist statement, but the intricacies of this should lead on from the act of putting the draft theory into practice.
One of the triggers that sparked this transition back into the actual act of making (rather than procrastinating) is the development of a new ‘Mini Art’ range to my portfolio. This is an idea that I have had floating around for a while – an opportunity to combine my passion for both the second-hand, and drawing and painting.
Working on a much smaller scale than usual, I have started to create works on paper using mixed-media presented in up-cycled frames. Although the art works are artefacts in their own right, this concept partially harks back to my student dates (pre-digital camera) of using sketchbooks.
The smaller scale, and individual nature, of each piece allows me to feel less precious about the work that I am creating. It is already proving a great platform to experiment and rediscover my love for drawing.
The frames are all sourced either from charity shops or car boot sales – I like the idea of discovering, and then using, something that has been discarded to create something new. I set myself a price limit for each new frame purchase meaning that the structures are often partially battered (and almost always imperfect). As someone who is a general protective hoarder, the process of stripping back the frames and re-working them feels like an act of vandalism (but also adds to the exhilaration of creating the works).
The first batch of Mini Art works were created as Christmas gifts for friends:
ScabbyFish Mixed Media on Watercolour Paper in Up-cycled Frame 2012
CaptainGrace Mixed Media on Watercolour Paper in Up-cycled Frame 2012
CassieCat Mixed Media on Watercolour Paper in Up-cycled Frame 2012
ThreeBirds Mixed Media on Watercolour Paper in Up-cycled Frame 2012
More have since been completed, and I have several others in the process of being made.
The Mini Art series has already acted as a catalyst for my other studio work. It has been an aim of mine for a few years to find a ‘second-stream’ of work that I can be doing when I hit a bit of a wall with the larger, more involved canvases, that form my main practice. Hopefully, with the new season, I have finally found this…