Wednesday, 30 July 2014

FAVOURITE ARTISTS - JENNY SAVILLE

Before I show you my own work I wanted to talk a bit about the artists that inspire me, and some of their work that I love.
Jenny Saville is a British Contemporary painter who specialises in huge, larger-than-life paintings of the female figure. She is one of my favourite artists for the following reasons: she is unique, she stands for something, and her work never ceases to amaze me.
Although in the art world I realise that there are many feminist artists that are equally as talented and thought provoking as Saville is, but to me there is something that seperates her from the rest. She has this attitude, she's so calm and in interviews she seems so collected; she knows who she is and what she's about, and I love that about her. But also the fact that she tackles so many heavy and controversial topics in her work while remaining calm and collected as a person, I love that she lets her work do the talking, which is why it's so powerful.


               






















Top (left): Hybrid - 1997              (right): Bleach - 2008
Bottom (left): Plan - 1993            (right): Stare - 2005

Moving on to talking about the content of her work specifically, my favourite pieces of hers are
shown above. The fact that these paintings are described as shocking is the point behind them, Saville is not shocked by them at all and by painting these images on such a huge scale she is in away showing her acceptance of these people who are considered to be out of the 'normal'. I think what she is trying to achieve here is to make something that some people may find disgusting or repulsive (for example fat bodies, nakedness, trauma and violence victims and surgery) and represent it using a medium that is very sensual, and a medium that she finds beautiful - paint; 'I want to be a painter of modern life and modern bodies', and I believe this is what she does.
The feminist side to her work intrigues me, as I suppose this is quite subjective, as feminism means different things to different people. To me her work represents acceptance and liberation in a number of ways. Figurative painting was seem to to be quite a man's profession, with all of the greatest figurative painters throughout history being men, but I believe she is bringing this movement forward and creating one of her own. I also believe that Saville's view of the body and figure is very liberating too. She sees the body from a more structural and architectural perspective shown by her use of unusual angles that the subjects are painted from, and the contour lines and markings on their bodies; this could also explain her fascination with plastic surgery and operations.
Jenny Saville is a huge inspiration to me as an artist, and I just wanted to share that with you. I could ramble on about her all day but I won't do that to you! Instead I will leave you with a quote from her: 'Art reflects life, and our lives are full of algorithms, so a lot of people are going to want to make art that's like an algorithm. But my language is painting, and painting is the opposite of that. There's something primal about it, the need to make marks.'
Let me know if you enjoyed this post and what you think of Jenny Saville's work (be honest, I won't mind!). Thanks for reading.

Emily x

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

LETS BE FRIENDS

Friendship bracelets are a lovely way to let someone know they're important to you, and can be adapted to suit anyone's personality and style. They're also a simple way to add a pop of colour to an outfit and are a must have for the festival season. So I'm going to show you how to make one now. I'm making a 'chevron' style bracelet, but there are many other different styles of bracelets out there, so go and check them out! This one can be adapted to your style by mixing up the colours to create the pattern you want.
STEP 1: Measure out 120cm (4 times wrapped around the ruler) of each colour thread, fold them all in half and tie a knot in the end, leaving a loop.
STEP 2: Use the sticky tape to securely attach the thread to a table or something solid (I sometimes use my leg if I'm not near a table. Arrange the thread so that there are 2 groups of 6 pieces each with one of each colour of each side as shown above.
STEP 3: To start the bracelet take the outermost thread on the left and cross it over the thread next to it, making a 4 shape, then take it underneath, through the loop and pull tight.
STEP 4: Repeat step 3 with the next thread to the right, using the same thread (the pink thread on this bracelet). Repeat using this thread every time until you reach the middle. Then you need to do the same thing on the other side, working in.

STEP 5: You now have two of the same colour threads in the middle (don't worry if it's a little bit messy, it'll tidy up later), knot them together as shown above.
STEP 6: To create the next row just take the two outside threads and work in again towards the middle, then knot together. As you make more rows you will begin to see the chevron pattern.
STEP 7: Keep going with the rows until it is big enough to fit around your wrist.
STEP 8: To finish make two plaits (dividing the thread into 6 pairs) to help you tie it on, and you're done!
So I hope you have a go at this, it's simple once you get your head around it and it's a great way to make something for yourself or others. Let me know how it went if you've had a go at making one, or if you've got another pattern for me to try. Good luck!

Emily x

Friday, 18 July 2014

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS, RIGHT?

So I thought I'd explain a little more about my hometown. I live in a little town in north-west England called Maryport (and no, you've probably never heard of it before). Contrary to most people's beliefs, there are things further north than Manchester, and it's not sheep. It's very boring and isolated here at times if I'm honest, I guess you have to have a certain mind-set to enjoy small town life, which unfortunately I don't have. I'm sure if it wasn't for my friends I'd go mad. But me and my friends try our hardest to make it interesting, and most of the time we have a good laugh. In summer we spend most of our time at my favourite place in the world - by the sea. It's the perfect place for barbeques, piss-ups, and going for a swim, and I'm pretty sure I've seen some of the nicest sunsets in the world here.
Another reason to love where I live is Solfest, a summer music festival where you can see an eclectic mix of different genres of music (the diversity makes the festival I think). It's a fairly small festival, but me and my friends have been going for years now and I have learned that there is nothing better than camping out with all your friends, a load of hippies, some drinks and music, just music everywhere you go. Solfest is usually held at the end of summer, so it's like our last time together before we're all off to uni which is nice.
I know it sounds a little boring, but I also enjoy the walks around here. Be it in Maryport through the woods or along the shoreline, or in the Lake District's mountains just 40 minutes away. For all I complain about it, where I live is actually kind of beautiful, and you learn to love it after a while.
My hometown may be beautiful at times but that doesn't change the fact that small town life is definitely not for me. Sometimes I feel claustrophobic here, all my family have lived here for generations and I just want to get out. I feel like every little thing that happens gets blown out of proportion because people have nothing better to do but talk. I want to see what other things are out there for me, hence the moving 5 hours away to Northampton, and I guess this post proves how much of a lifestyle change that's going to be for me.

So there you have it, my hometown in a not-so-small nutshell (sorry for rambling on!). So what about you, do you live in a small town? And what do you think of small town life?

Emily x


Thursday, 17 July 2014

HELLO


I thought I'd better introduce myself properly in my first post. I wanted to start a blog to help keep me amused, but also to help me cope with moving away to university. I'll be moving 5 hours away from home town and this is a big change for me, so I'm hoping this blog will help it seem less daunting. I'm a little bit terrified, but also very excited to study something that fascinates me - art. I hope this blog will help me learn about the industry I'm heading into also.
What you can expect from this blog:
  • I like to sketch regularly, so expect snippets from my sketchbook.
  • Thoughts, feelings and advice on university and moving away from home.
  • Music - a peek at my favourite artists, playlists and albums.
  • Being creative - I love new projects, so this is where I'll get to show you what I've been working on recently.
  • General lifestyle posts - what I've been up to etc.

So my first blog post is done! I'm new to this, so any advice is much appreciated. Hopefully my blog will grow and improve, along with my blogging skills (with some help from you guys I hope). Thanks for reading and I'll see you again soon.

Emily x