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By jane2012, Jul 12 2019 11:53AM

Hello!


'Self Portrait as Ophelia' is finally finished and mounted! Huzzah!! It's taken a while but I got there in the end! As with most pieces I produce there are elements I love but there are also mistakes that I can't unsee! Oh well, that is the lot of the creator I suppose! Overall I love it though and am pleased that the design has turned out pretty damn close to how I imagined it would. I've posted more images in my gallery than are here if you're interested!


Unfortunately due to my back issues I was unable to complete her in time for the MK Open Arts Exhibition running at Westbury Arts Centre over this weekend (13 and 14th July) so she will be given a spot in my house for now! I have instead put in another piece called Landscape No. 3. Pics of this will be posted after the event :)



By jane2012, Mar 31 2019 01:59PM

Hello lovely people,


Anyone there? This is a short one today, just checking in really. Wanted to let you know that I'm still here and working on Ophelia.


I feel a little stuck and my energy levels are low so I'm taking things easy. I don't know, the world, my little country is fucked up at the moment (when isn't it, right?) and personally I'm tired. I've learned over the years, that when I feel like this I need draw myself inward and look after myself until it passes. No biggie.


So here are a few images of Ophelia's progress over the past couple of months for your delectation :) I'm stitching her hair at the moment, which I'm having to do in short bursts because I have been afflicted with the most horrendous sciatica making long periods of sitting upright nigh on intolerable. But hey, I'm an artist and must suffer for my art! I sincerely hope this, too will pass, and fucking quickly because frankly, I would rather give birth again than deal with this much longer.


Anyway, here you go. I did make some videos of the boiling out of the wax that I'll try to upload at some point.


If you like please feel free to leave a comment and share x


Anon dear peeps...

By jane2012, Mar 2 2019 05:13PM

So as promised I am making a concerted effort to write more here about my life and art.


Since last time I've been working on a textile batik. I wanted to do something more personal, that reflects my inner life and I wanted it to be a self portrait. I found a random selfie I had taken a while ago and liked the way it looks like I'm slightly away with the fairies (which I often am to be fair!). I was lying in bed at the time and my hair is splayed over the pillow making me look a bit windswept and interesting. Perfect.


I started the batik on a Saturday morning and was on such a roll that I pretty much continued right through the day and some of the evening. I love it when the muse hits and I'm just right there in the flow. It's the most satisfying feeling!


As you can see from the photos, I sketched out my image onto the cotton and began building up the tones and shadows on the skin. At first I was really pleased with the image I created but then started to pick holes in it, as is my wont, deciding that one eye was bigger than the other making me look like I have squint, so I bleached out some of the dark outline from the offending eye, which helps a bit I think. I'm also not too happy with the colour of the top but I have decided that the image kind of reminds me Ophelia drowning so I'm going to change that by having her in a watery space. The idea being that the bluey-green of the water will cover the gold and make it look as though she's sinking below the surface.


I love batik because it changes as I'm doing it; dyes don't behave as I'd like or the wax runs into an unintended place. I've learned to relax and go with it when this happens. It's all part of the process.


Unfortunately I have work during the week so I haven't been able to do anything since last Sunday (It's Saturday now) and as the week has progressed I have done my usual thing of questioning myself and my intention and thinking about what other people will think of it. Why do I do that? Why do I care?? It's ridiculous isn't it? This diminishing of our creativity, wanting to hide it. I gave myself a talking to this morning after attending a printmaking course which fired me up again and repinned the batik, adding the blue dye to the back ground. As I type I'm waiting for it to dry so I can add the next part of the design which I will upload next week.


So anyway, here you are, this is where it's at at the moment...more to come!

First sketch
First sketch
first waxing
first waxing
skin tones
skin tones
dark tones and second waxing
dark tones and second waxing
gold top
gold top
watery background
watery background

By jane2012, Feb 21 2019 06:46PM

It's been a while, I know. I'm sorry, I really will try to do better from now on :)


I've had an inspiring day and have been thinking about how I can communicate as an artist better. I downloaded Amanda Palmer's audiobook 'The Art of Asking' this morning (a little late to the party I know!) and have had it on constantly while I go about my day. She is an amazing woman and her positivity and passion for making art and building a community through art has enthused me so much. If you haven't read or listened to this book, I urge you to!


I am an artist. This is what I say (sometimes) when people ask what I do. I usually say it after I tell them my day job, as if the artist bit is just a sideline, a hobby. When actually the truth is it is what keeps me going. If I didn't have a creative outlet I would have gone under a long time ago.


I don't consider myself to be exceptionally talented, in fact sometimes I look at what I've created and just want to set it on fire and go and drown my sorrows. I second guess what I think people want and abandon projects that initially had deep meaning for me because I step back and think 'no one is going to like this.' I rarely sell anything which makes me wonder if I'm the only one that likes my stuff. Maybe it hasn't got that mysterious 'thing' that people want. Maybe people just 'like' my stuff on social media out of pity. My inner critic has a VERY loud voice.


At the start of the book, Palmer talks about the 'imposter syndrome' , the notion that we will be found out by the adults and told to do something sensible and stop messing about, stop being so pretentious. Art isn't important. Except it is. It gives us joy and hope and laughter and tears and inspiration and escape, and a life without those is no life at all. The truth is that even if I never sell anything ever again, I would continue to create anyway. It is the very act of creating that is the thing, not the thing itself. This is what makes me an artist, a creative human.


I have been keeping a visual diary recently, usually when I'm feeling low or frustrated an image will come to me, sometimes when I see something that moves me or strikes a chord I want to capture it before it dissipates. So, I will attempt to share those images on the website too alongside my finished pieces. For now I will probably share them on this blog, but if I become more prolific then I may give them their own gallery :)


I have no idea if anyone even reads this blog, but I vow to myself and to anyone who happens to stumble across these musings that I will keep it up from now on regardless. And if you do read it and want to say hi, please do! Maybe we can connect on some level. Art doesn't happen in a vacuum, it is a shared experience. It can be a lonely business being a creator; artist, writer, musician, whatever and if nothing else art should connect us to each other. Art can be our bridge. See you in the middle!


Peace and love

J xx

Hold on
Hold on
But...I ripped my heart out for you
But...I ripped my heart out for you
There is a man who walks around town with his hands pressed to his face...
There is a man who walks around town with his hands pressed to his face...

By jane2012, Jul 22 2018 10:04AM

Hello!


It's been a while, I know! I would love to be more disciplined and post more regularly here, but life has a habit of getting in the way!


It's been a busy summer here at Chez Sharp and between preparing for and completing my charity walk in June and working full time on top of that, there hasn't been a lot of time for creativity. Now that the walk is done (more of that in a later post) I have been throwing myself into some creative projects and it's been so nice to come back to!


Alongside my more traditional textile batik work I have been experimenting with batik on wood and have to say, I've been really enjoying it! I started off by having a go on some cheap off cuts from our local Scraps Store here in MK. They take discs of wood discarded in the making of speaker boxes at Marshall's in Bletchley and sell them on to artists and makers to do with what they will. The wood is only cheap ply so the finish was not brilliant but I was pleased with the overall result and it has definitely spurred me on!


The principle is the same as for textiles; you map out your design and apply wax to the areas you don't wish to colour. It is a lot more immediate than with textile though, which is quite satisfying, and when done on a nice piece of wood, the dye can really bring out the grain. This is definitely something I will be developing, so watch this space!


I've added the images here and as you can see I've also upcycled a star light purchased from Mrs B's Emporium in Wolverton, and an old Ikea mirror I bought years ago. My next project is another purchase from Mrs B's; a small ornamental dresser. Can't wait to post the pics of that when it's finished!

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