Welcome to my blog! I'm Vanessa Stone and I am a paper cutting artist living in the beautiful village of Bottesford in the Vale of Belvoir. I make hand cut collages to capture the pared down essence of England's amazing places, spaces & heritage around me. This blog will show you all sorts of things... workshops I have done, places that inspire me and things that grab my eye.....
See my work at : www.vanessastoneartist.com
I'm not really ever forced to draw - but this week away in the Peaks that we have just had was one such time as I fell down the tiny non-step at the holiday cottage we rented and really badly hurt my ankle. I ended up at the Minor Injuries Hospital at Buxton and had to spend the rest of the holiday on crutches and going for drives with ice around the very sore ankle... not good for a pair of walkers! It was pretty ropey weather too so actually, it made me stay still and just spend time looking.
Its great to do a drawing. I rarely think about developing these kind of sketchbook ones up into a paper cut as they are about something different than that kind of work. For me drawing plants you then and there in a moment. I could have taken a photo but it wouldn't convey the feelings and the feelings of the memories of these places as much as these drawings do. I can remember the instances much more clearly if I have made a drawing there. Its taken years to bat off the gremlin on my shoulder that knocks my confidence in my ability to draw and sketch like this. Being 50 helped! Age puts things into perspective and you just think what the heck and plough on. I have a little sketchbook full of these. They are intensely personal and if there was a fire - its them I would reach for before anything that had been manufactured!
Looking to Chelmorton......
In the car on the top of Snake Pass
Little drawing of the back garden at the cottage in Monyash
You will notice that there is a change of blog name to Vanessa Stone's Blog, from Scalpel in My Hand. Two reasons really... in that scalpel in my hand sounds a bit like I am a weird psycho!!! and also I am bringing my workshop blog under this umbrella too, so its easier to keep updated. Tow many things to update is too tricky with my time, as I have been really busy lately with lots of workshops, exhibiting , commissions and selling greetings cards, prints and tote bags! it's a very exciting time!
So please do keep this blog book markets and you will get to read about the things I have been up to!
At the end of April I was asked to run a drop in event for the Spring Celebration happening at Howard Park in Letchworth, an event run by Friends of Howard Park and North Herts District Council. I was there as an artist to help children and adults of all ages to make clay faces out of air drying clay, stuck onto the grand old oak that grows in the park. It was such a lovely day and really wonderful to run a workshop with such natural materials. I went foraging the previous day to look for interesting leaves and twigs and its was the best bit of workshop prep that I have had to do! Birds singing and the sound of the wind, it was pretty blissful.
One the day we kept it really simple. We laid out a tarpaulin with all the materials on and I cut fist sized pieces of clay for each person. They needed to be solidly pushed onto the tree to stick, it helped that the tree was very textured! Little children tended to be helped by their parents and grandparents - the hardest bit was fashioning a nose from the clay, though many children used stones to make the features. Some children started off tentatively, making small features. as they got used to the clay they let their hair down and pushed in all sorts of branches and stones and the clay faces got more and more flamboyant. They were magic, they really were. The whole day was a great success. Spring crowns with willow, wooden boats to sail in the paddling pool and all sorts of other games went on. A lovely local day of coming together.
What was particularly lovely was the adults that took part and got completely absorbed! I think adults don't get the chance to use clay very often and its such an elemental material. It goes back to our earliest beginnings I think, it feels of deep time. The adults that took part got the chance to PLAY, and to see that was completely magical.
Coming up on the 9th March is another papercutting workshop for adults. I am running on this coming Thursday but it booked up very quickly, so I am running an additional one. The Letchworth Settlement is a wonderful place with a distinct character of its own. It's special to just visit the building!
The evening workshop is for beginners and more advanced too....so if you have no experience, then do come along. I design projects that are very achievable so you go home with a finished piece and armed with knowledge and info sheets about where to get materials and equipment from.
The workshop is £17.00 per ticket. Workshop size is limited to 12 people. All materials are provided and I will be bringing homemade biscuits and tea and coffee on the night.