Abstracts and Illustrations

Another busy week in the home studio…

I have been following the TEA Sketchbook Circle exhibition and workshops closely onFacebook and Twitter; it looks like everyone had a ball and some really inspiring work was produced. Having looked at comments on the Facebook forum on the run up to the event, I think Google Maps was a bit misleading in its instructions; I’m not sure the journey would have been as convoluted and arduous as it led me to believe. Still, there’s always next year, and there will no doubt be further events to attend.

I am ready to send my February sketchbook, and receive my own book back with Louise’s first additions; I’ve seen a sneak peek on Twitter and am eagerly anticipating it’s arrival soon!

I have had a productive week in my little corner studio; I am busy with my Documented Life Project folder and am enjoying getting back to basics and doing some more illustrative work. I love to draw at the end of the day – at any time of day actually, but sadly my working hours and duties sometimes interfere with my urge to record the world around me. I’m fortunate enough to work part time, and in an environment where creativity is valued and encouraged, but in a busy Early Years setting it’s not always possible or appropriate to spend time drawing. The focus is always the children and their learning journey, and following their interests in as creative a way as possible. My drawings and art work are my oasis in the vast sea of work, dogs and the responsibility of single parenthood – and this simple outlet of self-expression helps me manage the stresses of daily life and maintain a positive outlook. As I sit and draw, I feel the day’s tensions fade away, and my brain empties and slows down.

This week I have also been cutting down old pieces of work and turning them into something new; either backgrounds for the pages in my DLP folder, or the start of an entirely new piece of work. I am currently exploring the properties and possibilities of the humble tissue paper; I love using basic supplies and turning them into something beautiful. I love the transparency of tissue paper when it is glued, and the way it bleeds onto absorbent paper when wetted down, and I have been exploring all of these possibilities this week. I have used pieces of old paintings and pasted vibrant layers onto them to create abstract collages. I love to work in this way, with no predefined idea of what I am trying to achieve, moving pieces around until I find a composition I like, and then gluing it down. Although I enjoy producing more illustrative work too, it’s sometimes easy to get bogged down in detail and tied up in the message you are trying to convey; my collage work is the antidote – simple, uncomplicated, wordless, and, probably for those reasons, strangely effective.

This week the Guardian featured a glimpse into the sketchbooks of Grayson Perry; the pages were colourful and joyous and completely inspirational. I am motivated anew to keep working in my sketchbooks and notebooks, to keep trying new things, to keep encouraging and sharing my passion for drawing and making with my daughter, and to make art together, to keep being an advocate for the arts and creativity in education, to keep joining in and to keep sharing my journey.

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12 thoughts on “Abstracts and Illustrations

  1. That’s lovely Tilly. I’m a single parent too (to Olivia) and our best times are when sharing ideas and playing with drawing in our sketchbooks. Olivia is also doing her own mini TEA Sketchbook circle with another girl, Isabel whose mother I am partnered with and I know both girls are loving being involved. Allison 🙂

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    1. Thanks Allison – I love it when children are inspired to work with and alongside us – I hope my daughter and I will always share this bond!

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  2. Very interesting, especially your comment that your abstract work clears your mind. I’ve been enjoying working on my partner’s Sketchbook Circle book this week but it seems my mind is so determinedly hard wired to figuration that all my pages look very different from most of what I see on the Facebook page. Oh well, I like them.

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    1. Thanks for your comments Harry! I think that as long as you like what you do, that’s what matters – it’s good that we’re all different 😊

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  3. Brilliant stuff Tilly. Now trying to get inspired myself. Must sort out the table a bit first but thank you for keeping me going.
    Xx

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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  4. Great to see you are being so busy and productive! I am really panicking because I have done very little to my sketchbook this month – so busy with other stuff and have found it difficult to get going properly. It has to be sent by end of this next week, so maybe maybe pressure will squeeze out my creativity! Lovely images there Tilly – keep going x

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  5. Fully agree with the benefits of playing about with no predefined purpose – it’s a joyous thing to do. I’ve also being following the TEA exhibition and workshops, enviously! By the way, I looked at the documented life website after reading one of your blog posts: think it will have to wait until I return to the UK but potentially interesting so thanks for the flag up.

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    1. Thanks for leaving your comments Elaine. There’s lots of art journaling groups on Facebook you can join – I like the opportunity to practise different skills and not confine myself to one thing!

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