'If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it… The goal should be an interesting life."

Dorothy Rowe

Tuesday 22 February 2011

Mind the gap …

between two semesters, that is. Although it is hard to believe, the first semester of my degree course has finished. This means that for the first time for nearly 18 months, I’ve got nothing to do, until after the university exam board meets next week. Then, assuming I haven’t been thrown out for insubordination or [perhaps more likely] being useless, we start a new theme – ‘past, present and future’.

I can’t settle on anything to do in the mean time. I start one thing – dryads, books, bit of purple embroidery – drop it, and start another – knitting, playing with computer programs. Today I was all set to make a basket, until Wensleydale declared it was a day for going to Hobbycraft. [A man who likes to go to Hobbycraft!!! Or maybe it’s the coffee and cake at Haskins afterwards…]

Of course, it is half term, and the place was full of half term offers – so in addition to some boring things for me [PVA, black dye to restore some faded T shirts] – I ended up with several rather more interesting arty things for Babybel.

Part of my not settling to anything was due to a crisis of confidence – I’m half way through but I’m not convinced I’m any further on than I was when I started this degree. Yes, I’ve learnt stuff – but am I actually doing anything constructive with it?

Why can’t I decide on an approach or a style changing my mind all the time? [Did you see the programme about the sculptor David Nash last week? I want to attack wood with a chain saw! I want to set fire to things!]

I know I need to draw more, so why can’t I make myself do it?

But after a conversation with the ever-supportive Wensleydale, I came to the conclusion that all this fiddling around with computer programs is sort-of-drawing, and that, as I feel more willing to do that than pick up a pencil – I should stick with it. And do more with the graphics pad which Cheese Major and his partner so kindly gave me for Christmas.


So here are my first efforts – with a little help from Sumopaint. Don’t laugh.

Snowy trees





- circles [OK, I didn’t draw the circles free hand, just the lines and dots!]






- and the ravening bugblatter beast of Traal.

I’ve been reading about automatic drawing, so that’s what this is – although the sources I’ve read are a bit vague about how you actually do it.


I liked the circles best, so I played around with them in PostworkShop.


As you can see, some of the filters change the original image beyond all recognition.

Cheating? Maybe, but I do like some of the results.

Now i need to decide what to do with all these ‘drawings’.

1 comment:

Karen Eade said...

Have a read of this
Don't be put off by the "young artist" - it is partly ironic.
I found it very helpful.
I also follow Melody every day altho she is primarily a quilter. She has such a positive, take-no-crap, 'don't let anyone put you off' attitude.