watercolours

Tidbits No. 25

iPhoneography: blue flowers

iPhoneography: blue flowers

Would you like to learn to take better photos with your iPhone or SLR? Take a look at the Photography Assignment Generator App, a great tool for learning more about the rules of composition, creative shooting techniques, photographing people, landscape and nature. This app can also help you keep your creative momentum flowing with scavenger hunt assignments that give you ideas of things to find with your camera. There are separate versions for SLR shooters (iPhone and iPad) and iPhoneographers and there's even a free demo version, so you can try before you buy. 

It always seems to be a good time to peel off a few layers of one's digital lifestyle, they tend to add up so fast, don't they? This summer camp made me smile with its promise:

 

to create an atmosphere for personal freedom, creative thinking, liberation from technology, and a space from the working world where we can all once again be… human. Friendships at camp are based on real-life connections, and the most important status we’ll update is our happiness
— Digital Detox

PicsPlay Pro is a flexible photo editor with pro-level features, beautiful filters and clever tools. A Swiss Army knife of mobile photography, PicsPlay Pro is chock full of features. My personal favourites are the FX filters Hollywood 1 and Hollywood 2 - they are subtle and absolutely beautiful! 

Lately I've been experimenting with watercolour painting on my iPad. Creating a series of designs for fabrics, wallpaper and gift wrap. In the process, I discovered that Tayasui Sketches is a lovely and intuitive app for sketching, painting and drawing. I love the expressive watercolour brush, the washes and edge bleed. You can follow my project on my personal portfolio site Kate England. 

 

The Art of Spontaneity

iPhone photo: Box of pastel crayons

iPhone photo: Box of pastel crayons

When your art is your work or when you're posting your creations online, the spontaneity is easily lost. You want your clients and buyers to be happy and you want to give your blog visitors a valuable experience. Your art becomes an achievement.

Part of you goes about your day thinking "this would make a good blog post" or "now I know how to solve that detail in the commission I'm working on". Sometimes you feel you're producing art and regardless of what mood you're in, the job is due tomorrow. Even though you love your job, it's partly become an obligation.

When you put your creative life on display or make a living as an artist, it's easy to loose sight of creating without intention, just for the sheer joy of it.

A blog or an online portfolio or posting on Instagram or Flickr can be a creative outlet in itself and a great way to stay motivated and hold yourself accountable for your creative projects. A way to document your creative journey and to connect with others.

On the other hand, posting takes a lot of time and puts you on a schedule. You can begin blogging for the comments on your blog, and maybe you start looking for validation from your readers, rather than from within yourself. In a time when we seem more busy documenting our lives than living our lives, it takes deliberation to find a peaceful space that hasn't got anything to do with other people or how they perceive us. To create a space that has nothing to do even with our own expectations.

A creativity lab. So can you plan to be spontaneous? Write your own permission slip? Can you make room for experiments, happy accidents and non-judgemental creativity? Find time and space to change your mindset?

This autumn I've reserved Friday afternoons for spontaneous explorations and I promised myself that I wouldn't display any of the art from these sessions here on my blog. It's been a process that's about loosening up, improvising, letting go of expectations, being associative, having fun and allowing art to unfold intuitively. I've been working quickly with natural media. Each Friday a new theme and different mediums. The emphasis is on getting into flow rather than stepping back and judging.

I've spent time getting messy with acrylics, oils, dry pastels, clay, oil pastels, watercolours, textiles, charcoal and gouache. Working on different types of canvases such as cardboard, different kinds of paper, wood panel and canvas. I'll admit that after the first two sessions I felt disappointed with the "result", even though the whole point was to let go of expectations, but after that it's been much easier to let go, have fun and step into the freedom of playful creating.

Brushes and water

Brushes and water

Mixing paint

Mixing paint

The Full Harvest Moon

Transient

The Full Harvest Moon. Layers of transformation, expanding creative expressions, painting, photography, writing, type... The past, the present. And finding a focus for the future.

I was standing in the museum of a castle ruin, reading fascinating (no I’m not being sarcastic) and informative text on those typical museum boards, when suddenly the graffiti on the wall behind the board caught my attention. Or rather came forward to me, like a wave of text, like light, layers and layers of graffiti carved onto the stone wall. And I started to photograph the graffiti, going from room to room, floor to floor, captivated by it, following its light, and forgetting everything else... The earliest date I found was 1609, and the most recent was 2009. It was like a living memorial to all those people. I imagined each person writing their name on the wall, carving glorious moments of stolen kisses, or writing a “here I am, I exist” in the middle of an everyday experience... I wondered if people ever recalled, later on, the moment when they crafted that graffiti...

When I returned from my journey to Öland, my best friend wanted to see my photos from my trip, but I mostly have loads of photos of this graffiti from the castle... One of the images, the one below, was the starting point for this collage, and was meant to be the focal point, and yet it didn’t make it in! Somehow it just got to be too much.

iPhone photography: Centuries of layered graffiti on the wall of a castle ruin.

iPhone photography: Centuries of layered graffiti on the wall of a castle ruin.

© 2014 Marmalade Moon