Creativity Corner Sketchbook Explorations

art project: sir john soane’s museum

February 1, 2012

I am back with an art project today. I had very encouraging comments, thank you, so here is another dose.

This time we went to the eclectic and fabulous sir john soane’s museum. For those of you that haven’t been, i urge you to visit. I was going to attempt to describe it’s charm and curious location but will leave you to explore for yourselves. Actually, next time i need creative, descriptive and inventive writing i must enlist annie over at insideology who is the expert and puts me to shame. Check out her amazing series: london landmarks.

We were allowed to roam freely in the museum and choose any object or environment we desired. It’s quite dark so taking good photographs wasn’t that easy. Here is a selection of my journey:

An open brief like this often makes it harder to know where to start. I often start with elements from the photographs to explore patterns and shapes.

I then took out some magazines and created some coloured collages:

Now i was trying to put in some imagery so looked at different painters for inspiration.

I liked some aspects of what i did but felt stuck. When that happens I go back to basics and explore more patterns and shapes. This time with my sennelier oil pastels.

Unstuck, i knew i wanted to create a layered piece. I thought of theatre stage sets and used some of my imagery from previous sketches.

Now that i was getting closer to the layered image i wanted to create i had to think about colour. For this project we were set a very strict colour reference. We were sent a photocopy of an artists print. Jon Crane is a screen printer. He uses very finely cut stencils and up to 36 colours for one print.

Jon is a member of the greenwich print makers and will exhibit as part of the gpm at the affordable arts fair in battersea in october 2012. Here is Jon’s print and the colour chart I mixed up from it.

Wish that screen print was mine!! Inspired by the colours and jon’s print, i soldiered on.

Well i hope you have enjoyed some of this and for some real art, on friday i am off to the david hockney retrospective with john allen and jon crane.

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  • Reply Theresa February 1, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Wow, you made that?! It’s really cool and you tell a lot of work went into it. Thank you for sharing your process from start to finish. Is it hanging in your home somewhere?
    I’ve heard about this David Hockney retrospective at the Tate. You Londoners are truly lucky. Hope you’ll be able to share your visit with us. Enjoy!

    • Reply tina February 1, 2012 at 11:05 pm

      Thanks Theresa. I don’t really have any of my art up. Seems odd to do so somehow. Also have very little wall space.

      Yes, we are incredibly lucky. There are tons of brilliant exhibitions on at the moment so trying to keep on top of it.

  • Reply Lauren February 1, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Wow! Wow! Wow! That was amazing! I loved following the progression from stark black and white as you gradually added layers of color first and then texture. I love it! Please do more! Can’t wait to hear about the Hockney.

    • Reply tina February 1, 2012 at 11:40 pm

      Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are too kind. Still weird posting it!

      Yes, mega excited about Hockney.

      When I was 15 and went to boarding school I started going to the art department. My very first piece was a reproduction of Hockney’s swimming pool. I took some graph paper and a hole punch. I got loads of used postcards, punched the lot and stuck it on the graph paper. It came out brilliantly. Unfortunately I never took a photograph of it and it got chucked out when the family home was renovated. Already recycling then, eh?

  • Reply Erin February 2, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I’m so in awe that you made that! It’s beautiful! I wouldn’t even know where to start. The layers and detail are just incredible. AND I’ve been to Sir John Soane’s museum. You’re right, it really is a treasure trove, so off the beaten path but SUCH a rewarding visit. On one trip to London, spring break 2005, I went with my friend who was an Art History major and we hit so many museums that week. Sir John Soane’s was one of them, and it was incredible. Not like the Tate isn’t, but it’s just got it’s own quirky charm about. I kind of wanted to move in and live there.

    • Reply tina February 2, 2012 at 5:28 pm

      I am home! It was cold on the Vespa today. Nothing I ate cut the mustard. So, now made myself a bowl of porridge with almond milk, coconut water, cinnamon, chocolate nibs and a splash of agave syrup and I am in heaven! Phew, now I got that off my chest I can continue:

      I am sooooo impressed you’ve been to the SJS museum. It’s so off the beaten track. Am so glad you went with your Art History friend. That’s cool. Most tourist would hit the big ones as London has such incredible museums and galleries. It’s definitely a treasure trove. We were lucky because John (teacher) organised a special trip for us so we had a little talk and free reign of the place (it’s rather challenged in dimensions). Can imaging you moving in (you read Dracula).

      I think he was such a fascinating character to have collected all this stuff.

      I sometimes get overwhelmed with living in such a great city. There is so much to see and visit and not enough time to do it all.

      Thanks for your nice comments:)

      Btw, feel sick now after porridge…. ate with too much enthusiasm!

  • Reply annie February 2, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    wow thanks for the shout out Tina, that’s very sweet of you indeed and I’m very flattered. I did just have to google what prosaic meant and it didn’t sound too much of a compliment as it appears to mean dull!
    I have been past SJS so many times but it’s always shut so I still haven’t been in. I really want to go to Dennis Severs’ house too and I must admit I get those two a bit muddled up.
    Fascinating project and so much work you put it! really amazing. I like the collages the best, they remind me a bit of Marc Jacob’s website, the ‘shop’ that that he has, it’s really cool.
    Thanks for sharing x

    • Reply tina February 2, 2012 at 9:40 pm

      Oopss, of course meant ‘poetic’ not sure where I got prosaic from. Also didn’t know it meant dull. Apologies.

      Yes, also want to re-visit Dennis Servers’ house. London has so many interesting places. It’s finding the time that’s the challenge. I am committed to go to the Leonardo Da Vinci on Saturday before it closes on Sunday. If it’s not scheduled in my diary it won’t happen.

      Thank you for your kind comments re: Marc Jacobs website. Will now have a look:)

  • Reply Holly February 2, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Wowy! Love the final product. I love these posts too! It’s so unique that you give us an insight into your process – very generous actually 🙂 Your post also makes confirms to me that I want / need to visit London again properly one day … Xx.

    • Reply tina February 3, 2012 at 12:08 am

      Thanks Holly. It’s difficult to explain a six months process. There obviously are many different steps involved and many more pieces.

      I am really trying to condense it and yet make sure you guys can still hopefully follow some of the progress so that it makes sense. Also aware of length of post… don’t want to bore you all:)

  • Reply Chi @ Carousel February 8, 2012 at 10:56 am

    These are absolute labours of love, Tina! As always, I adore your use of layers, colour and texture. So brilliantly done! 😀

    I truly enjoy seeing what you sift out of everything that you see and the resulting original works of art.

    I know exactly how you feel about having your work up. My husband has always encouraged me to do so (and I’d love to someday) but you’re right – it would take a lot of getting used to on my part! 🙂

    • Reply tina February 8, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      Thanks, Chi. Always very encouraging to hear! To be honest, I’m still not comfortable with it all. I just try and follow the ‘fake it to make it’ motto, which has often proven to be a life saver:)

      I think it’s lovely that your husband is so encouraging of you and your work. Maybe one day you’ll take the leap! I certainly hope so.

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