Sunday, 27 March 2011

Cutting the tough stuff - when its not about beauty or creatures or a flight of fancy.

So. Its not all skipping through the bluebells looking at beautiful architecture or flights of imagination and indulgence. There are times when I cut the tough stuff. Try to put in black and white some of the hurt. Here are four cuts of heartache.

Pretending I am ok when at times I have really struggled.
Feeling lost.
A diagnosis of Parkinson's for my father and
A mother's death at aged five and six days.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Adults papercutting workshop - Letchworth Art Centre - March 2011

These next posts are the photos from an adult paper cutting workshop that I ran at Letchworth Art Centre on March 20th 2011.Of the students on the course only one had significant art experience, but none of them had done any paper cutting at all. Through the day I introduced them to the main techniques I use of black line and white line cut, and the students made their own cuts using those techniques. For source material some used book images for inspiration, others just an idea from their head and one came prepared with a sketch to work from. The day ran from 10 -4 pm and the students worked with cutting boards and craft knives. I didn't dare let them loose with scalpels. A scalpel is just too sharp and too fast to use. The craft knives with blades that push down are good for beginner to use. It was such a good day. To start off with them tentatively working to the end of the day when they didn't want to stop and I was tidying around them was really really fantastic.
Photo © Vanessa Stone   Paper cut © Kim Raymont

Photo © Vanessa Stone Paper cut © Kim Raymont

Photo © Vanessa Stone Paper cut © Kim Raymont

More photos from the adult workshop - 20th March 2011 - Letchworth Art Centre

Working with repeat pattern paper cuts

Simple folded cut with scissors at the beginning of the workshop

Inuit woodcut print based paper cut by Helena Chapman

Just what I like - a messy arty table!

More pics from the adult workshop day 20th March 2011 - Letchworth Art Centre

Working from source material

simple folded cutting to get the juices going

Black line cut based on an inuit original woodcut

Sam Smith's tea original paper cut
© Sam Smith

Monday, 21 March 2011

More photos from the adults papercut workshop day....

More photos from the adult paper cutting workshop day....

Photo:© Vanessa Stone Papercut © Sam Smith

Adult - beginners papercut workshop - Letchworth Art Centre

Yesterday I ran a workshop for adults, a beginners course at Letchworth Art Centre for people to have a go at the techniques I use and make their own paper cuts. Only one of the students has a fair bit of art experience, the others had dabbled with art but never made cuts or done printing before. I have taught up to year 13(sixth formers) but this was the first time to teach adults. Though I use a scalpel to make my cuts,the students of the course used craft knives which do the job but are much slower through the paper.

On the day workshop the students made white line and black line cuts, also had a go at cutting text and combined all the methods on single pieces. I initially started the workshop with a simple exercise of a folded A4 piece of paper, using scissors to make cuts and shapes to make faces and abstract shapes. Its a useful start to working with paper as paper cutting is a techniques that about cutting away and it taker while for the brain to get the gist. Bit by bit through the creative juices start flowing and through direct experience of doing the cuts, the students attempted more subtlety of shape and pattern. By 4pm they were still hard at it and didn't want to stop! It was a really lovely day and a great bunch of people to work with and meet.

Photo ©Vanessa Stone Papercut ©Kim Raymont
Photo ©Vanessa Stone Papercut ©Kim Raymont
Photo ©Vanessa Stone Papercut ©Kim Raymont

Friday, 18 March 2011

Pastel drawings - Stonehill School art club - March 2011

Some of the work in progress - an hour's workshop trying out pastel painting.
And just what I like to see - arty hands!!!

Pastel Drawings - Stonehill School - art club March 2011

Here are the pupils pastel drawings/paintings. None of the students have used the media before - apart from school chalk. These chalk pastels were my own artists quality ones and they were a bit amazed at the strength of the colour! The pigment content is much higher than school ones and it makes a big difference to the vitality of the colour.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

"Sand in my hand" poem read aloud on AudioBoo

Click HERE to hear on Audioboo

The sand in my hand

Standing with the sun on my back
I can hear the swoosh of the waves coming and going.
Their movements are as timeless as the sun rising and setting.
I know that the warm dry sand in my hand,
that slips through my fingers
is the most beautiful thing
in my world at this moment.
It's like liquid, the grains joined and intimate,
touching so close that there is no air between them.
I am so happy, but
I know in its beauty I have to let the sand fall through my fingertips.
It must fall away into the wind,
into the air,
into space.
I have no choice.
I long to hold it forever but I know I have to let it go.
And so the waves swoosh
coming and going,
coming and going,
coming and going.

©Vanessa Stone 2010.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Commission for David and Evelyn Houghton

I have just completed this commission for a couple with a beautiful old Wiltshire village cottage. Its worked out well, this time I had only a set of photos to work from and though I know the cottage a little, it always takes time to pull different bits from photos to bring the design together. I was very pleased though, especially with the apples. I wanted it to have a real feel of notalgia - a roses-round-the-door kind of look. They were both very pleased with the end result, so that great news.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Stonehill School - paper butterflies - the simplest ideas sometimes work the best...

Sometimes the simplest ideas just work the best. These little butterflies are from the hour long art club I run at Stonehill School at the moment. the group consists of about twelve children that range from very much lower ability to the gifted and talented children. I have designed activities that encompass the whole groups needs, so that the tasks can be simple and component based on one end through to more sophisticated approach for the more able students. The paper I used for the butterflies was a very thing white paper, chosen especially so they make a good flappy noise. The paper butterflies are just attached onto coffee stirrer sticks with double sided tape. I thought the boys would struggle with this as butterflies are so decorative - but they actually really enjoyed it. One boy said how proud he was of it and that made my day as its been a struggle at times to engage a few of them. It was a real little triumph for me. A real little precious triumph.

New Work (London, Norfolk, Cambridge and poetry cuts) - delivered to Byard Art for The Affordable Art Fair, London

Well, its the Monday after the Sunday before - the deadline for me to get my finished pieces to Byard Art in Cambridge ready for them to take to The Affordable Art Fair in London at Battersea Park this coming Thursday till Sunday. Byard Art are taking ten new pieces of mine - four are the largest I have done for them - all A2 cuts in 80x60cm approx frames. The larger pieces take much longer to cut but I have to admit to having such a thrill when they are all poshed up in their top hats nd tails and framed up. The cuts just look so clean lined and clear. And strangely separate from me now, like they are ready to be off and away and into the world for new eyes, new owners. Its scary too - will people like them?, will they sell? - all the usual questions artists and galleries ask themselves before a show...thats the thing with making any art - its always a leap of faith in the dark.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011