Creativity Corner Vive La Différence

Vive La Différence – Picasso

September 16, 2013

Happy monday. It’s a big week today for all london design festival exhibitors and attendees. I’m already feeling overwhelmed, but still excited! I look forward to connecting with some of you lovely bloggers and maybe meeting some new ones?

It’s Vive la Différence Monday!

My guest this month is Alison, author of Alison Sye. Alison is an artist, who scavenges the skips of London looking for abandoned treasures to resuscitate. I first came across Alison when I saw and immediately bought one of her gorgeous upcyled greeting cards and now own quite a large collection:-). Alison makes unique stitched greetings cards and art pieces, using food packaging, old books and fabrics. Each item is a one-off piece, and is individually numbered.

For new readers:

The concept: each month I will invite one blogger. They will create and showcase one image/vignette. There are 20 themes and 20 objects for my guest to choose from. They choose 1 theme and up to 3 objects. I will then create an image/vignette based on their choice. Everyone has free reign on how to create the image. It can be simple photography, a drawing, a collage, a hand-painted image, a styled table top… the choice is yours! The fun part is that you, my readers, will see 2 versions inspired by the same subject matter. There is no right or wrong. There’s just ‘different’.

Alison chose the theme: Picasso with the objects: clothes and fabrics – Here’s her take on this.

When Tina asked me to do this I was a tad apprehensive, but as it turns out I enjoyed the project immensely.

It was always in my mind to recreate one of Picasso’s paintings using unwearable old clothes, and after much deliberation I finally settled on The Meal (1953). It reminds me of feeding my two children when they were younger, and, unfortunately I do rather resemble the mother in the picture. Most of the sewing has been done by hand (my favourite), on the train to and from work, and on a trip to Paignton. I also had one afternoon of utter indulgence, when I sewed and watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s on television. I was sad when I had finished, a bit like when you finish reading a good book.

The clothes I used are: my husband’s boxer shorts (orange), my daughter’s skirt (blue), my work uniform (red), Jade’s dress (yellow), Del’s shirts (purple and green). You don’t know any of these people, of course, and the stories which come with each item of clothing are too long to tell. Last but by no means least, during the eighties, my friend Corrinne and I pranced around in very oversized shirts, hers is cream silk and I used it for the main part of this piece, mine was a black one with white spots (hair and table).

Vive la Différence - Picasso - Alison Sye

___________________________________________________________________________________

When I invited Alison to be a guest on Vive la Différence, I knew there would be stitching involved. I also knew I had someone who’s very accomplished at it. My first reaction was to just go with the flow and see where it takes me. Picasso is a big hero for me so I had to do it some justice.

I chose Woman in a Hat (1962) because I’ve always loved the portraits of his wives and daughters. I also knew that additionally to using clothes and fabrics I wanted to use mixed media to give it a slight Tina madness effect, which is very much how I see a lot of Picasso’s paintings.

I used: my stash of worn and rejected clothing, coloured staples, metallic threads as well as Madeira threads, coloured foil, black permanent marker, Stabilo Woody wax pencils which work really well on the Calico and give it that bright hue and Stabilo coloured felt tips 68.  I also enhanced some of the colours a little in Photoshop. There you have it. My woman looks more like Cleopatra but that ain’t a bad thing?! I think I might box frame this one and keep it on my desk to cheer me up over the dark winter days.

Vive la Différence - Picasso - Tina Bernstein

Thank you Alison for taking the time to inspire us with your Art. I’ve really enjoyed having you here on Colourliving. Hope to see you soon.

It’s currently bright and sunny in London. Long may it last. See some of you this week. Will see you back here on Thursday with some LDF13 coverage.

You Might Also Like

59 Comments

  • Reply Holly September 16, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    OH MY GOODNESS! Picasso would be so proud of you fine artists!! So much talent here, I have shivers about it. I’m really in awe ladies, great job!

    Xx.

    • Reply Alison Sye September 16, 2013 at 7:18 pm

      Thanks Holly

    • Reply tina September 17, 2013 at 6:44 am

      Hahahaha! Am not sure what Picasso would think of mine:-))

      Thank you Holly!! xx

      • Reply Alison Sye September 17, 2013 at 6:02 pm

        I think Picasso would love yours, Tina

  • Reply Nicola September 16, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Completely fabulous pieces of work, what an inspirational way to start my week!

    • Reply Alison Sye September 16, 2013 at 7:19 pm

      What a lovely thing to say, Nicola

    • Reply tina September 17, 2013 at 6:45 am

      Aww, thanks N. I’m really glad you got inspired. What a sweet thing to say. xx

  • Reply Alison Sye September 16, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Wow Tina, I absolutely love your piece. I will often think of it on your desk making you smile.
    Thank you so much for asking me to take part in your wonderful blog, I really enjoyed myself.

    • Reply tina September 17, 2013 at 6:49 am

      Haha. Well, there was NO way I could do any stitching justice AND I probably didn’t spent quite as long on mine as you did on yours, although it took me the best part of a day (all together).

      Thank you so much Alison for taking up the challenge and being a good sport. I’m so sorry for chopping off some of it (due to being square) so it’s extra special to read the behind the scenes on your Blog and see the finished piece in it’s full glory.

      The downside is I cannot have your image as a card, unless you would photocopy and stitch it on…hmmm, a thought?? xx

      • Reply Alison Sye September 17, 2013 at 6:04 pm

        It was MY fault you had to chop, not yours, so don’t feel bad – and it was only virtual!
        I love the stitching on yours.
        Not sure about the photocopying …. will think.

  • Reply Jocelyn Casey September 16, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    What a wonderful post! Not only are the pieces you both chose absolutely fabulous they are also so different in their own way. I love this series, it is a beautiful way to express the difference between two people. No right, no wrong, just different….perfectly said. Thank you both for a lovely reminder such as this one. Have a wonderful day! Jocelyn xx

    • Reply tina September 17, 2013 at 6:52 am

      Thank you Jocelyn:-)

      Aww, really pleased you like this series. I’m very fond of it myself. It was a way for me to allow guest blogging that made sense and would be inspirational for ME and for my readers. Always liking a win win situation:-))

      “it is a beautiful way to express the difference between two people. No right, no wrong, just different….perfectly said” Thank you. Yes, I do believe that there’s never only one (right) way of doing things. It’s the different approach that makes it all interesting and gives us an insight into each person. It’s all good, it’s all just DIFFERENT!

      You better be prepared. I’ll be knocking on your door soon:-))

      Hope you’re enjoying your break xx

      • Reply Alison Sye September 17, 2013 at 6:06 pm

        You should give it a go Jocelyn, it’s great fun.

  • Reply Judith September 17, 2013 at 12:37 am

    What a nice differences this week! I’ve never been a Picasso fan, but love both your use of color and stitching. Especially knowing that Alison’s fabric all mean something to her make it more special. I love it when people draw (or paint or stitch or whatever) a portrait, they always draw themselves, in a way. You’re such a vibrant Cleopatra, Tina 😉

    • Reply tina September 17, 2013 at 7:01 am

      WHAT??? “I’ve never been a Picasso fan” Hahaha! I would be interested to know why since Picasso was one of those artists who kept re-inventing himself… do you like Matisse? Who do you like?

      I know, all of Alison’s work is recycled, upcycled and comes with a story. I was privileged to see a piece Alison did for an exhibition held in a museum she’s working in. She used some of the staff’s uniforms. Really special.

      “I love it when people draw (or paint or stitch or whatever) a portrait, they always draw themselves, in a way.” Is this a truism?? I never knew that…. Can I be Elisabeth Taylor Cleopatra pretty please???

      Thank you Judith x

      • Reply Judith September 17, 2013 at 10:08 pm

        Oh yeah, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Henri Matisse’s work. He has been one of my favorite artists for decades now. But somehow I never got into Picasso… I don’t have a full explanation, but his aesthetics just don’t really appeal to me. Another HUGE favorite of mine is Jessica Stockholder. Google her, I think you may like her work (or hate it!).
        Of course you can be Elisabeth Taylor Cleopatra 😀 Oh and about “drawing yourself”, it’s not a fact I think, but I see it (almost) every time 🙂

        • Reply tina September 18, 2013 at 12:51 am

          Yes, I think that Matisse is probably the greatest artist that ever lived!
          I’ve had a look at the art of JS – I’m afraid it’s not my cup of tea:-) I love her colours but it doesn’t speak to me at all.
          Thank you for the introduction though:-))

          So, we have ‘Elisabeth Taylor Cleopatra’ ‘and Cleo Picasso’ – super duper ladies…
          I must look out for this portrait myth:-))
          Merci. x

    • Reply Alison Sye September 17, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Judith. Do you have any favourite artists?

      • Reply Judith September 17, 2013 at 10:09 pm

        You’re welcome Alison. I just replied to Tina above, with 2 of my favorite artists 🙂

  • Reply Catherine September 17, 2013 at 6:07 am

    You are both such talented women. Alison, you’re stitching is so well done and Tina I love that you’re going to be framing yours to put next to your computer to cheer you up. Wish the good weather could last alot longer for you guys. xx

    • Reply tina September 17, 2013 at 7:08 am

      Thank you Catherine. I kind of feel less accomplished than Alison. It’s a bit like Alison is the grown up and I’m the apprentice:-)
      Isn’t Alison’s hand-stitching amazing?

      Yes, I think framing it might cheer me up AND remind me to stay open, creative and playful xx

    • Reply Alison Sye September 17, 2013 at 6:11 pm

      Thanks Catherine, as I write it is pouring down in London, but we have had such a good summer.

  • Reply parisbreakfast September 17, 2013 at 10:17 am

    In Paris it’s Fete of Gastronomie
    I wish I could stop eating and focus on design

    • Reply tina September 17, 2013 at 12:02 pm

      Enjoy the Fete of Gastronomie:-)

    • Reply Alison Sye September 17, 2013 at 6:12 pm

      Sound brilliant – wish I was there!

    • Reply Alison Sye September 17, 2013 at 6:13 pm

      Sorry, I meant ‘sounds’ brilliant.

  • Reply Trisha September 17, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Hi Tina!

    Cool prints. They remind me of some oldy woldy norman tapestry… so I love that they are so colourful. Gives them a good contrast in styles!
    x

    • Reply tina September 17, 2013 at 12:03 pm

      Hi Trisha,

      Thanks. I see you have a website. very nice:-)) x

      • Reply Trisha September 18, 2013 at 11:34 am

        Thanks Tina 🙂

    • Reply Alison Sye September 17, 2013 at 6:16 pm

      That’s strange, because I have just started on a Norman tapestry influenced piece! Would love to take a look at your website, Trisha, but for some reason I can’t. Could you send a link?

  • Reply Anya Jensen September 17, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Hey ladies – I ADORE them both, Picasso would have been so proud of you b – cool, mad and very Vive la differencé:-)
    Happy day to you both,
    Ax

    • Reply tina September 17, 2013 at 12:04 pm

      Hahaha! Wouldn’t it be great to have a crit from Picasso??
      Thank you Anya. Always a fan of this series… xx

    • Reply Alison Sye September 17, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      Thank you, Anya.

  • Reply Carole Poirot September 17, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Wow, these are absolutely fantastic. Picasso would certainly be honoured by this work and the creativity. I’m quite in awe of your idea for this series, it’s a pretty spectacular way to feature other bloggers and a very creative idea. xo

    • Reply tina September 17, 2013 at 12:06 pm

      Well, thank you so much Carole.

      It was born out of a frustration of how to have regular guest blogging, with a streak of creativity AND for me to learn something new too:-)
      A win – win situation I think!

      Merci x

    • Reply Alison Sye September 17, 2013 at 6:56 pm

      I agree Carole, Vive la Difference is a great idea. Thank you for your lovely comment.

  • Reply Hatty September 17, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    I have to comment as it’s Alison who brought me to colourliving in the first place, so I am thrilled to see you both together. Here’s to two very fabulous women and their fabulous talent! I love this 🙂

    • Reply Alison Sye September 17, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      Thanks Hatty, seems strange to talk to you through Tina. It’s like a seance (is that how you spell it?)! Anyway, I really think you should give Vive la Difference a go, you’d be great. Plus, you understand about pixels and stuff, so you would actually do your finished piece square (as requested), and not rectangular, like what I did….

    • Reply tina September 17, 2013 at 8:40 pm

      Hello Hatty. Welcome to Colourliving:-)

      Thank you so much for your very kind comment. Am blushing now!!

      • Reply Alison Sye September 17, 2013 at 8:47 pm

        Tina, if you haven’t already, take a look at Hatty’s blog. I love it.

        • Reply tina September 18, 2013 at 12:41 am

          I did and it’s very nice. Thank you!

  • Reply Igor September 17, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    You got me there:-)) and I was thinking what’s VLD in Vancouver?? Lol. Great post as usual – and even more now I’m missing some LDF fun with you!! Oh and Picasso is amazing – love the Picasso museum in Paris!

    • Reply Alison Sye September 17, 2013 at 8:01 pm

      Yes, me too Igor, and the one in Barcelona.

    • Reply tina September 17, 2013 at 8:43 pm

      You world jet setter. Just didn’t want you to miss out on a VLD post.. of course, should have thought about the Vancouver connection:-)
      Yes, missing you at LDF:-((

      Picasso museum in Paris is amazing. Also in Antibes, and in Spain:-) Just love him:-))

  • Reply Doris September 17, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Another great VLD. I loved them both – I am both flawed and grateful at the talent you bring onto your blog Tina. Thank you Alison & Tina for creating a most wonderfully enjoyable read. Picasso was an amazing artist. xD

    • Reply tina September 17, 2013 at 8:45 pm

      Thank you Doris:-) Awww, blushing again!
      You are most welcome and yes, Picasso was an amazing artist! x

  • Reply Alison Sye September 17, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    He sure was, Doris. Thank you for your kind comments.

  • Reply Chi @ 106 September 17, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Wow! LOVE your take on Picasso, ladies. Bravo!

    @Alison: “I was sad when I had finished, a bit like when you finish reading a good book.”
    Proof that the creative process is more about the journey than the end result. That said, what a result! 😀

    @Tina: “I also knew that additionally to using clothes and fabrics I wanted to use mixed media to give it a slight Tina madness effect, which is very much how I see a lot of Picasso’s paintings.”
    You know I adore your innate “madness”, Tina and the vibrancy you bring to everything you do. We should all embrace our wild side – life would be so dull otherwise. Cleo Picasso would fit right in amidst your fab decor, methinks! 😀 x

    • Reply Alison Sye September 17, 2013 at 9:25 pm

      I agree with Chi, Tina – your vibrancy is infectious. Thanks for you comment Chi.

    • Reply tina September 18, 2013 at 12:46 am

      Haha! Thank you, dearest lady:-)

      Can you believe the amount of work Alison put in and then I had to chop off the kids to make it square!! Arrgghh!!
      Ha. My ‘innate madness’… well, thank you. I must remember this when the days get shorter and it’s miserable out there.. to bring my vibrance to everything I do..
      I rather like this – thank you!!

      Cleo Picasso – now there’s a cool name. I love it when my readers come up with great stuff I can never think about, like, for example Gerard naming the Creative process the CP EXxpress. – this is another gem!

      Thank you Chi xx

  • Reply caroline @trend-daily September 17, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Love both your interpretations! Brilliant-congratulations both! x

    • Reply Alison Sye September 17, 2013 at 9:59 pm

      Thank you Caroline

    • Reply tina September 18, 2013 at 12:46 am

      Thank you so much lovely x

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey September 25, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    I’m not a Picasso fan at all but I am a fan of both of your interpretations. Fantastic stuff! xx

    • Reply Alison Sye September 25, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      Thanks Gerard, hope you are well.

    • Reply tina September 27, 2013 at 1:32 pm

      Ha. How did I know??
      Thank you for looking beyond it….. we both had fun xx

  • Reply On The Wall: Tina Bernstein from Colour Living | Armoire, Pegs and Casserole February 27, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    […] piece of collage/drawing I did for one of my Vive la Différence challenges on the blog. The theme was Picasso. It’s there to remind me how much I like and miss […]

  • Reply 1. Picasso’s Meal | Alison Sye January 30, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    […] who writes the visual feast of a blog Colourliving, recently asked me to take part in one of her regular features, Vive La Difference. The guest (me) […]

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.