- Vanessa Stone
- I am a cut paper artist and I live in Arlesey, Bedfordshire. I'm originally from a small village outside Salisbury - Winterslow - in Wiltshire. I use a scalpel (and scissors too) to cut into single sheets of paper that I then layer from behind to create bold and striking images of buildings and places, expressing my love of the English landscape and the natural world about me.
Thursday, 24 December 2009
A very happy Christmas to everyone out there in cyberspace and all my friends and supporters who are completely fantastic. 2009 has been a brilliant year of new friends and contacts and exciting projects and commissions and I am looking forward to a new year packed with more! Have a great time and all the very best for 2010!
Wednesday, 23 December 2009
Forty children, two artists and a composer - Me, James Mayhew and Rebecca Leek - black paper, scissors, a strong light and shadows made - all mixed up with carols, music and a beautifully poetic story "Mr. Winter Vanishing" by French illustrator and writer Quitterie de Castelbajac. This was a Rhapsode event of making a play in a day to celebrate the winter Solstice.
We started the day off with simple tools - scissors and paper along with some beautiful specially written songs by Rebecca and let the day organically, creatively grow and form to result in a performance at the end of the day!
It was a truly magical experience. I have always wanted to use paper cutting to use shadows. Its a natural development of them. As soon as you hold them in your hands and see the delicacy of them and the way the light plays behind and through them - it makes them even more transitory. Their actual being seems transitory - easily broken, fragile and yet tangible. That why I think they are so beautiful when they are expressing love and thought and longings.
This experience in part was out of my confort zone. I am oddly schizophrenic... I love being with people and out in the world - but truthfully I am never happier that when I am completely alone and working in silence so I can hear the rumble of the traffic and the sound of the wind in the trees. I love the solitude. And its very meditative what I do. The cutting can be repetitive and soothing too. I like knowing what I am doing and seeing the cut appear before me.
I havent ever really been part of any performances. I did school plays of course... but was always one of the chorus, or hidden away somehere. I was horse mad - so riding was my thing.That too of course is off on your own or with a group, but essentially you are just in your own head.
So Solstice was many things I am not used to, even though a big part of my personality is stepping off the metaphorical cliff. You have to as an artist - people can tell if you are a phoney or if something isnt genuine. I really loved the whole experience. We were all in it together - developing our ideas, seeing what worked and what didnt. And all the individual parts grew to a beautiful whole. There was a great sense of community and togetherness and knowing that the children involved would really remember the day!
I wont ever forget it, and it makes me want to do lots more...
Thursday, 3 December 2009
And here is my paper cut. Its a great name -Westoning. I keep thinking it should be a cowboy town with horses tied up at the whiskey saloon and the stagecoach a-coming at 2 o'clock. Knee deep mud by the side of the road, leacther waistcoated men ready to tip their stetsons at the women walking by. Yep... you have guessed it - I was a child of the sixties and loved Calamity Jane, Bonanza, Alias Smith and Jones.........in fact I even have a secret cowgirl name. I wonder if I shall reveal it on here?
Here is the link to the digital online version of the Winter edition of Discover Bedfordshire where you can see my illustration of Westoning Church in Bedfordshire. It was a sweet place! It was a bit rainy when we went and so we sat in the car for a bit and munched our way through a packet of Eccles cakes! The church isnt yellow of course - though I like to think of it as my banana church. The cut is a a bit more of a Naples yellow though really. At Westoning there is a lovely clock tower too. Its really unusual with its copper top and really stands out above the houses. I do love getting these chances of just exploring Bedfordshire..in the little villages I never know what I will find.
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
This is one of the new pieces for Cambridge. I just smiled and smiled when I was making it. So many of my Cambridge cuts have stuck relatively within realistic colours, but with this latest work I wanted be more bold and more joyful. In my personal life things have been a bit bumpy for the last year or so... like many people's I expect, and I wanted feel the power of colour again. There is something so releasing about using bold colours it makes you literally want to sing... burst the kitchen windows open and sing to the sky.
Funnily enough though the red was the last colour to place in. I put lots of different colour underneath what was already cut, and nothing seemed to fit as well as the red. The punts are so iconic that red is just the colour they need to be somehow.
There are seven new pieces like this one on show at the Christmas Cracker exhibition at Byard. All the details and address info are on the right of my blog.