when art and op shop collide

I know I said I hadn’t been to the op shop for ages.  And I hadn’t.  But being the  person that I sometimes am, just writing that down made me determined to prove the statement wrong.  And so I have in fact been to the op shop 3 times in the past week.

But I HAD to go …

1.  I needed new pants (trousers and jeans and the like – it seems winter may well be approaching now after all).

2.  I need images for collage.  And for copyright reasons I need to use magazines and publications that are over 25 years old.

I already had a whole lot of old knitting pattern books (quite possibly the funniest pictures of people posing ever taken).  To this I have now added a book of great landscapes of the world, some National Geographics, some cookbooks and then I found a copy of an old House and Garden Kitchen, Bathroom and Laundry special release.

I could happily spend many days of my life looking through these mags at op shops and thinking about how I could use them … but I am going to hold back now until I get to Anglesea op shop.  They have loads of old holiday house magazines and they are usually only 20 cents a pop. There’s bound to be some rippers …

In the interim, here are some of my collage ideas …

How insane is this photo of the chick with the steaming thingy?  I can just imagine her  steaming this waterfall.  Or, perhaps if I reversed her she could be blasting the clouds into this peaceful rural scene …

And then there are the photos below … it would be fun to swap the bone carving for a person.  Here are 2 options.  The girl in the hard hat already looks like the hat is squished down on her and might look nicely squeezed, fitted between the finger and thumb … but I do like the attitude of the girl in blue and I like the idea of her balancing a little precariously … And I like the lines in this one.

And what about this?  Kids playing in the city could look good.

I think collage and I might be friends – it certainly appeals to my sense of humour (although careful cutting has never been my strong suit – I blame my left handedness – so we’ll have to see).

acrylic … look we’re painting op shop stuff after all

So I think I found one of the painting loves of my life in our very first acrylic painting exercise in CREATE … still life.

I love a domestic painting.  And especially one that is focussed on a collection.  And then one focussed on a collection that comes from the op shop is of course my idea of heaven.

We had a crack at acrylic painting (and at the same time practised mixing paint using just red, yellow, blue and white) by looking at the works of Georgio Morandi.

He painted the same collection of jugs and vases over and over and over.  See the same jug in all the paintings below?

 The colours really are just my cup of tea.

Anyways … I did 3 acrylic paintings along these lines.  Not quite the same of course, but ‘inspired by’. 

I think my main challenge was to try and make things 3D … which as you can see Morandi did in a much flatter way … but that’s okay, perhaps the first step is to go extreme before you can pare back?

And actually, writing this post makes me want to go and give it another go!  Another 20 years of this and I’ll have it down pat … I think I could do it! Still life + me = friends.

bony bits and pieces

It sounds so exciting to draw a camel 🐫 skull don’t you think?

I did, I was super excited.  And then I tried to, and – really and truly – it was an unmitigated disaster.  I’d like to show you how bad it was, but I was so mortified that I stepped back and looked at my drawing critically, and chucked it straight in the bin.

Anyway, skulls and bones were the subject of our studio classes this week, and with brown paper to draw on I attempted this rams head first, using white pencil with a bit of watercolour over the top.

I think I did quite a good job with the 3D-ness.  

Then the camel … let’s not talk about it.

So … next I went for something simpler, some real human ribs.  Unfortunately in my picture they look a bit like the scraps leftover from a BBQ, with some splashes of BBQ sauce (from where I accidentally flicked the brown ink around) … which actually when I think about it – which I do when I look at the picture – all makes me feel a bit queasy.

Moving on to more real human parts – a spine.  I didn’t draw in the occy strap that was connecting the pieces together (it was red, and a whimsical/practical addition). I started by drawing with brown ink, and it all looked a little bit shit until I added in the watercolour.  Then I was happy.

And finally, my sheep skull.  

I was admiring all the people doing fabulous grey lead shading to make the skulls look amazing.  So I had a crack, but halfway through I realised that detailed shading and I were never going to be besties!  I found it soooo boring.

Still, I didn’t want to be defeated twice (hello again 🐫) so I had another go, painting in brown ink on brown paper, and then using watercolour … to transform my skull into an abstract landscape.  

And it turned out ace … if I do say so myself! See how I turned the teeth in to a fence?  Good idea huh?!

Another great drawing/painting 24 hours.