In Review – JUNE

12 Posts


No idea of the amount of rainy days this past month has seen…

Another month gone by so quickly again!  It seems that time drags by when I’m in Uni, the holidays can’t come quick enough but now I’m on holiday it seems that the months are passing too quickly!

My favourite posts of the month are (in order of most recent to oldest…)

1) Circles Project – Week 3 (  I liked the photos that I had taken for this post and that I have not centered totally on the circles within the frame.  There is something a lot more subtle about the photos and I may start to play around more with showing the “circles” in situ rather than zooming in on them and making the image totally about the item.

2) Nature (  This is my favourite image I have taken so far, and it happened quite by chance.  I love the detail on the bee and the colours of the image.  I’d love to take more photos like this! 😀

3) Interrupted – Uni Summer Project Wk 1 and Wk 2(, ) I’m glad I have finally started to get this project off the ground and am now playing round with ideas that I have had and seeing how they come out.  There will be more of these to come!

4) Weekend Project – The Garden! (  I was pleased to start doing weekend projects and starting to play around with my cameras and film again, and I’m really pleased with the results of my first weekend project!  I originally spoke of these “Weekend Projects” being day projects as it only takes a day to shoot images but decided to make them into weekend projects as I needed to get the images printed and scanned in to the computer to upload and that can take a few days!

5) Cards… (  As I said in the post, I haven’t done any card or scrap booking for so long and it was nice to start-up making things again!  And for such a good cause too!  I had forgotten how relaxing I find card making and am aiming to make more to sell!

Things to work on in July…

1) The amount of posts I make!  I was aiming for a post a day but after having some image upload issues that have continued I was slightly put off as I got so frustrated!  I am going to try to post more this month and catch up with everything!

2) Uni Projects.  It is all well and good having ideas but it would be a good idea for me to put them into practice and make more images instead of thinking about them!  I have a tendency to over think something and then not do anything about it so in future I shall start doing as I think and maybe I shall get further along than I am! I have a few ideas that would be good to write down and start working on, especially one for the Interrupted project that I am working on!

3) Circles Project.  As above really!  I have a few ideas that I want to work on, including one that moves away from photography and into printing but that is going to be kept for another post!

4) Weekend Projects.  I have loved doing the first weekend project and am going to be working on another one this weekend so hopefully there will be more images to share soon!  My only problem is deciding which camera to use next!  I’d love to use my medium format cameras (my Holga TLR and Kodak Box Brownie TLR) but have not got around to purchasing colour film yet.  Or finding out if I can get it processed in Asda.

5) Working on my Bucket List (  I am not sure how many things I have done on my Bucket List so far but I’m sure an update is a good idea!

In Review – MAY

I can’t believe May has come and gone!  It doesn’t feel like that long ago that I finished uni for the summer! (Not that we have had much of a summer yet, 1 week of hot sunny weather and the rest has been wet and miserable…)

Anyway, as this is a review of May I shall be sharing my favourite posts with you along with my favourite ideas that have cropped up along the way!

So, this month my favourite posts were (in most recent – earliest)

1) Heat. (  I really like this post as it was a spur of the moment blog that I wasn’t going to do.  I was originally going to blog about something else but had taken these photos in the garden and they captured (to me anyway) how hot it was.  The photos I took were calm and peaceful, which the day was, it was one of those days where you could smell the warmth in the air and there wasn’t a cloud to be seen, let alone a breeze to be felt.

2) Circles Project Week 2. ( I liked the first weeks photos but am more pleased with how the second weeks photos turned out.  I feel that I have pushed myself and challenged myself to be more creative with the photos I have taken, used different view points and become more investigative with my pictures.

3) Summer Bucket List. (  As I am not in uni now for quite a while and (seem to) have time on my hands I thought it would be nice to compile a bucket list of things I would like to do during the holidays apart from just concentrate on uni work and photos.  Some of the items on my list I have tried and have had fun with, some I have ideas for and some I have yet to start or do, which is ok as I do have a lot of time to be able to do these things in!  At some point there will be a post about what I have done on the list and photos too!!!

4) My Cameras. ( This post where I spoke about my cameras made me realise that I do own an awful amount of cameras, some I have not used for ages (maybe even years) and it got me thinking about them and how much I loved taking photos with them, all for different reasons.  It has made me think about starting to use them again and think about projects I could do using them!

5) A Model Family. ( I’m not sure I can even begin to explain how happy I am with this project and the way it turned out in the end, especially as at one point I felt that I was battling with it and on the verge of giving up.  This project is not just a grade to me, it is blood, sweat and tears and a reminder to myself not to give up and keep going even when you feel like it is not going to work.  Just a little more effort and energy and belief in the idea can make it work!  And I’m so glad I didn’t give up on this one! 😀

So, that’s my favourite posts but I have some ides also that I would like to  follow on with in this month.

1) Day Projects  (  After I had this idea and had blogged about it I thought about what I could photo in a day and have now made a list.  I am hoping to be able to take photos on a saturday each week and then get them developed on sunday with a view to posting in the week.  I decided that I was going to use film for these projects as I want to get back into using film and really like the effects you can obtain with film.  I like the idea of doing short projects that can be done in a day as it means that the projects can be based purely on photography and are quick and less time-consuming!

2) Illustrating a Story. (  I like this idea which was a project we had in uni back in January.  It can be as simple or as technical as you like and could be quite interesting.  im not sure if I will choose a story to illustrate at the moment but I would like to keep it in mind for the future.

Things to work on in June.

1) Uni Summer Project.  As I now have 2 completely new ideas I need to research them and decide whether to do them both (as both are viable options at the moment) or whether I should just do one.  This decision can only be made once research is underway and I can see where I can go with my ideas and the volume of work each idea produces, and then where these ideas take me in terms of photographs and the quality of the ideas behind them.

2) Circles Project.  I seem to have lost momentum for this project slightly.  I’m not sure why, but over the next few weeks I am going to be editing some of the photos I have taken and really start playing with the ideas I have.  One of the ideas for this project is to create something and I’m keen to get started with it and see what happens!

3) Day Projects.  I am determined to start this project and use all of the cameras I have, if not to produce good work but to re-familiarise myself with film and the cameras themselves.  I will be aiming to do one project each weekend, with shooting on a saturday and developing on a sunday!

Approaching a New Project

Heres how I start a project…

1) Get the brief and read it through fully.  Make sure that you understand what is being asked of you… (whoever ‘they’ are..lecturer, client, friend etc…)

2) Think about it for a bit and start writing down initial ideas, these could be in note form, as pictures, a bubble diagram/bubble chart/spider diagram/mind map (it has so many different names! See here…

3) Research the topic, for example, on my last project about the family I looked at sociology and the family, family definitions, society and family, family and friends, my own definition of family etc.  Cover every idea and term there is surrounding your given topic and read up about it.

4) Gather images linked to your topic, you may never use these but it is useful if you want to expand on the images or use them as an illustration in your presentations about your work and ideas.

5) Look at all the things you have found out during the research process and work through any ideas that you have generated throught this process (hopefully you will have written down any ideas along the way.) Think about which one suits what you want to do, which direction you want to take the project in and think about how to further yourself, this could be through further research/reaing etc.

6) Create your work.  Once it is created think about how you could continue with it or how you could improve your work and if you have time continue with the work or make adjustments.  Sometimes this will lead to more work or re-starting but dont be disheartened, the end product will be worth it.

7) Think about display.  I tend to think about display as I go along but rarely seem to display the work as I thought I would have at the beginning of the project.  My work “Model Family” was initially going to be displayed on a plinth that was going to rest on a desk but ended up being on boards that would be on a wall.

8) Once you have created whatever work it is that you set out to do, evaluate it and the process you went through.  There are always improvements to be made along the way and ways of doing things differently to suit you.

Remember, whatever way and however you create work, this is mine and works for me.  Some times I do change things about and start taking photos or creating something without doing any background work first, just to give myself a better understanding of what I want to do and where to go with my projects.  Hope this can help you!


Art Essentials

So far I have only shared other people’s art and some of my own creations but today I have been thinking about art essentials, basically a list of all the things I can’t do without and seem to carry around with me most of the time to and from uni.  This was prompted by me arriving in uni and getting down to work only to realise I had left my double-sided tape and my masking tape at home (quite possibly the two major things I can’t do without) and then having to wait hours for the S.U shop to open so I could purchase more.  So here it is, my list of art essentials that is neither complete or comprehensive.

PAPER – Plain white or off white, good quality and good thickness.  A4, A3, A2, A1 or bigger are best.  Move away from the smaller stuff unless sketching for research.

PENS/PENCILS – A selection of lead pencils of different grades is good, from HB to the heavier grade ones (B, 2B, 3B etc), Black fine line pen (Hi-Techpoint are good… V5 series, 0.5mm), coloured pencils, felt pens (I use brush markers but general felt pens are also useful), charcoal sticks (the pencils, I find, aren’t so good as the charcoal snaps inside leaving you sharpening constantly and getting nowhere), Oil and chalk pastels are also useful, and permanent markers, I swear by Sharpie Markers.

PAINT – There are loads to choose from, pick whatever suits you.  Choose from acrylic (I use this), watercolour, poster paint, powder paint, oils, household, spray paint, inks, you could even use food, dyes etc, the list is pretty limitless.

BRUSHES – Whatever you are happy using – normal paint brushes, specialist brushes, household, toothbrushes, dustpan brushes.  Experiment, Improvise and have Fun working out what is best for you.

STICKY STUFF – Glue, PVA is multi purpose and you can use it to stick pretty much anything, sellotape, masking tape, double-sided tape, glue dots, glue gun and sticks, plastic glue (eg Bison Plastic Adhesive) and electrical tape.

CUTTING STUFF – scissors, big ones (kitchen scissors), medium ones (fine ones like hairdressing ones), delicate ones (like sewing ones), guillotine or something for straight edge cutting (I use a ruler with a built-in roller cutting blade), a scalpel for the little bits.

OTHER STUFF – metal ruler, compass (the circle drawing one!), sticky notes (I use these when I have ideas that I want to look into but don’t want to commit to my sketch book permanently just incase I don’t use those ideas later on), notepad, A1 mountboard (to mount completed work onto), good camera (mine has proved invaluable.  Use it for photographing things for research, for photographing your work etc…), A1 portfolio (for keeping your work safe and for ease of transportation), A3 or over sized wooden board (loads of uses, cutting board, drawing board, surface protector…), white sheet (to give a clean background when photographing work etc), a tool box to keep your kit safe in, a pencil-case to transport bits of your kit easily, pencil sharpener (trust me on this, buy a more expensive one, it will last longer), cutting mat, memory card to transport work and photos  from place to place easily), plasters (keep them in your kit, in your bag, in your room, in your pocket, trust me, you do not want to spoil work by bleeding on it from cuts caused by paper, scissor nicks, blades…)

A sense of fun, experimentation, imagination, improvisation and humour are also good additions.

As is a partner who doesn’t mind too much mess, noise, silence and chatter about nothing else but art.  One who doesn’t mind when you do something a bit odd in the name of art (see previous blog where I hung my bag contents from the washing line.) One who doesn’t mind helping when you can’t do something yourself (mine helped me create a harmonograph recently!), and who doesn’t mind you using their tools, or household items (in ways that they are not supposed to be used.  I have been known to create “art” from cutlery!)

The main thing to remember with art is to have fun!

As I said at the beginning, this list is not complete by any means as I have created it in the space of less than an hour and is not meant as a complete list of things an artist should rush out and buy.  These are things that I merely can not do without on a daily basis and are my basics.  I do use other things in my art but have not included these here.  Perhaps I shall create a new list at some point to encompass these items?