WEEK 2 OF THE 365 DAY CHALLENGE
Going into week 2 of the 365 day challenge feels a little more daunting than beginning it last week. I have become aware of the ways it is impacting on my day and the insecurity I feel in not knowing each day what I am going to come up with. I feel the pressure I have put myself under to produce something each day in the time between finishing my day job and going to bed. In committing to sharing the work I feel pressure to make it look good, when it is not always in a state of looking good, and I am not always in a state of feeling like working. I feel that producing work in small windows of time in this highly focused state every day leaves little time for reflection, which is also a crucial part of the creative process.
On the other hand I feel really excited that I have managed to create work in the short bursts of time I have. My work has been more emotional and less calculated. I also see a picture beginning to emerge of the sorts of things I am drawn to at the moment. There is a definite colour palette revealing itself, quite dark and heavy – ominous even. There is also a particular kind of imagery emerging, which is quite wild and unruly and edgy. This reassures me because I have always believed that if I follow what I am drawn to then a direction will follow.
Day#8 I focused on cutting out the seagulls in photoshop from the chaotic images I had taken on Margate Beach yesterday. Individually, the birds created some beautiful shapes and I thought they would be good for future use. The way the seagulls moved was energetic and chaotic and this seems to fit in with the type of imagery I am drawn to at the moment. I put all the seagulls in separate layers in photoshop so I can use them individually, but placed a background behind them just to see what sort of imagery might work well as a background.
Day#9 I remembered photographs I had taken around Swanage looking over the cliffs to the sea crashing on the rocks. I cut out the sea and the point at which it met the rocks and then layered this image up with other images of rocks, sand and textures, in a more abstract way. I like the way the close up quite graphic image of sand of sand just blended in with the rocks, and this is something I would like to explore further. I love those moments where I do something and then see it has potential to be developed.
Day#10 I tried to superimpose the seagulls onto the view over the cliffs. I thought the images might mix well as the seagulls are aerial and might look quite dramatic diving in and out of the frame. I had to shift he composition about as the whites of the seagulls blended in too much with he surf on the waves. I introduced a feeling of more height by adding the grass at the top of the cliffs. It’s not perfect but it’s a new perspective for me and one I will work further into.
I have realised that by mid week I am desperate for some serenity and I think I am looking for very peaceful images to work on. Day#11 I just wanted something quite meditative to do so decided to cut out these stones from the backdrop of Charmouth Beach. Some things are quite quick to do in Photoshop, but this was like the equivalent of colouring a page in an adult colouring book. It took a long a long while and indeed there are probably still bits that need refining or cutting away still. I placed it on a picture of cloudy sky to give a reflective quality.
Day#12 I wanted to add more context to the image I had started yesterday and cut out the cliffs form charmouth Beach to add to the image. I loved the colour combination that was forming in the foreground and tried to carry this over into the mid ground and onto the cliffs. It’s not there yet, but I like the way it is going.
Day#13 I was so tired and have to admit that this is exhausting. I chose to cut out these fellas from a photograph I’d taken near Portsmouth- and that’s it. The image seems to fit with the mood of what I have been looking at, but I don’t know how yet.
Its Day#14, Saturday and the last two weeks since beginning this challenge have felt really full on. I have worked a lot more at the computer than I imagined I would and am finding it a bit too intense at the moment. I need to build in some space in for reflection and playing in a more childish way. So today I decided to print out lots of images from my library that fit in with the sort of imagery I have started experimenting with.
As all parents know, a half term is never the break you think it is going to be. Routines go out of the window, the kids need entertaining and you often feel like you need a holiday at the end of the holiday, but we are visiting the Lake District this half term and I am going to take the opportunity to go analogue and work with camera, paper, scissors, glue and a sketchbook, and just see where it leads. I have my lovely boys to entertain, so connecting with my artwork needs to feel like a natural extension of what we are doing. It will be great to have a change of scenery and maybe gain some new inspiration.
I came across the quote ‘You can’t make Art in the Cracks’ in an interview with Jessica Bell in a book entitled ‘Creative Block’ by Danielle Krysa. Jessica Bell was quoting an Artist friend of hers, but the phrase stayed with me, because it was exactly how I felt about making my own work. This is partly what inspired this challenge. To read more about what inspired my to set myself this challenge, please read my blog post CREATING ART IN THE CRACKS
To see more of Claire Gill’s finished prints work please click here SEASCAPE LIMITED EDITION PRINTS