Tuesday, 24 November 2009

water water no where

stumbled upon...


Monday, 16 November 2009

Parsons: The New School for Design

Gary and I went to visit the Illustration department at Parsons New School of Design and met with the lectures there and browse round the facilities. We have some ideas brewing as a result! We were then invited with the students to a symposium on ‘Illustration and Motion’ with guest speakers.

LAUREN REDNISS reveals a history of blind spots.
JODY ROSEN unveils The Knowledge of London taxi drivers.
JOEL SMITH maps the mind of Saul Steinberg.
RICHARD MCGUIRE screens Fears of the Dark and more.

The approach to this theme took a sideways view. I didn’t expect to hear about London taxi drivers but found the theme which linked the speakers together was the journey from A to B and how this reveal stories / narrative to us.

I was really interested and mesmerized by the views of Lauren Redniss, who presented in a quiet and understated way. Joel Smith was a Steinberg expert and wrote my favourite book! Richard McGuire was just a genius. Look at his animation "Fears of the dark", which was so scary. It was delightful to see how his work had evolved into pictures that move. A real treat.

Slash: Paper Under the Knife

An exhibition called at the Museum of Arts & Design Slash: Paper Under the Knife shows the renewed interest in paper as a creative medium and source of artistic inspiration, examining the remarkably diverse use of paper in a range of art forms. The high skill, dedication and possibly slight madness needed to create this work was difficult to comprehend. Check it out if you like the work of Rob Ryan and the Tactile / Tangible books. I have ordered the catalogue for the Library.

Cinders Gallery

Yes I didn’t read the small print which said it opens at 1pm – sorry to all those I dragged to Brooklyn to visit this gallery at 10.30am only to find it was closed - note to self to check first! But it does look quite good though and the zines and artists books for sale look good too – see I did have the best intentions.


If you ever have the delight of going to MOMA, the main thing which bowls you over is this..... every piece of art they ever show you in a lecture as being a defining piece of modern art is in this building. Each corner that you walk around you are faced with 'the', Matisse / Miro / Picasso / Rothko / Duchamp / Van Gogh work of art. It really is overwhelming. Another interesting exhibition was called "Compass in Hand", which showed different and sometimes unconventional approaches to drawing. There was also a Bauhaus retrospective, which left no stone unturned. Again, it was the sheer joy at seeing this work in the flesh for the first time after staring at in books hundreds of times. Wow!

The Strand Bookstore

I am rarely lost for words when it comes to books! But this independent bookstore was something else. I was rooted to the spot, with my jaw open, in the art section, as this was an entire floor, of wall-to - wall books on my favourite subjects. The cherry on the cake was a rare book section (accessed by a lift!), the books here were worth a fortune and wrapped in plastic covers. You could climb up on the ladders and browse one-off artists books, limited editions and gallery catalogues. Heaven!

Society of Illustrators

Next stop, an exhibition of called "The Original Art" celebrating the fine art of Children's book Illustration at the Society of Illustrators, (the American equivalent of The A.O.I.) The work was selected by a jury of illustrators, art directors and editors. The show is in its 29th year running. It was great to see examples of original art work alongside digital prints. I had my face up against the glass frames trying to see how some of the images had been put together. Illustrating for children's books is an art in itself and the skill and craft in some of this work was beautiful. I think you could the see the difference in the market between the U.S and the U.K. Marc Boutavant's illustrations for 'All Kinds of Families' are just adorable. Lincoln Agnew's illustrations for "Harry and Horsie" were very fun and brought to mind 1950’s advertising, cereal boxes, comics, vintage toys, pop art and used a very limited palette. He said he had no trouble coming up with images of the characters as he always imagined himself in super hero costumes and he just tapped into that. The child within again!

AIGA Gallery

While only a small gallery, the AIGA National Design Center is located at 164 Fifth Avenue in New York City and housed a packed exhibition of the best in communication design from 2008—including logos, websites, animations, experiences, packaging and advertising. The work was from the AIGA Annual Design Competitions showcasing examples of outstanding design produced in 2008. It was immaculately presented and always shown in context. The viewer was able to interact with it, whether flicking through a book, opening a box or clicking a button. A personal favourite was the calendar shown above. See the collection of work selected for the show here.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

St Matthews CE Primary Part 2 & 3

After showing a Powerpoint of inventive monsters, the kids had the chance to play either "Exquisite Corpses", like the project Ian set up with Kingston last year or work on their own monster drawings, then bring them together on a huge piece of paper and think about environment - where did these monsters live? what did they eat?
The 3rd day was much harder - making things! I asked them to make either a mask of an animal or make a monster / animal out of materials such as cardboard, tape, string. Firstly this was difficult as they physically found it hard to cut or use tape - so they relied far more on us for support. Chaos!!!

Monday, 2 November 2009

Drawing at St Matthew's CE Primary School - Part 1

All of you at remember those crazy days of Year one when you had to draw a drunken bike and fierce tree. Well this week the first year are working with St Matthew's CE Primary School in Edgeley to do some drawings in a similar way. We are spending 3 afternoons with a group of approx. 30 Year 1 and Year 2 children (6- 7 years old). The idea behind it is linked to drawing emotions and working from imagination - which is hard when you are a grown up! I think it helped us to see how free and less precious children are about drawing. We were all suprised at how trusting, open and willing to spend time drawing the children were and we remembered what it felt like not to be so worried about whether a drawing was right or wrong. It was great fun!