Saturday, 16 August 2014

Reason for not blogging....

Just a quick update - summer is my busiest time in the day job. I've still found time for painting and a couple of shows but the best way to hear about them is currently via

In the mean time I took a step back from analysing the make vs. paint situation and found myself back painting and drawing again. No questions, no reflections, deliberations and blogging, looking for the Definitive Answer in something that I should know is fluid and always changing. So just pottering on and seeing what happened. Some good things. Lunchtimes scribbles are on the FB page.

This weekend I'm finally looking at websites. I want something easy - no scripting for me thank you very much. Looking into weebly and wix at the moment. Then to choose, set up, and shut down the Etsy shop and probably this blog, to bring it all under one page with a plausible sounding domain name and hopefully a plausible look.

Needs to be done. I've bumbled along acquiring different sites under slightly different names for too long, and it's time to streamline things and get everything under one roof.

Sounds like a plan eh?

I'll update here when I get it sorted. It may take a while, but it's something I wanted to happen this year and it's about time.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Not often done.

I don't write. I didn't train in it so I don't know what I'm doing, and I read too much to hope ever to meet the standards I would like. But I did come across this on my desktop - the only writing I did on my MA beside essays. It was for a workshop. I have edited it slightly, finding alternative words and the odd typo. It's still not right but I'm not sure where to stop.

NB - have already been in to change this once since posting. Time for bed.

He is a ghost. He walks the streets of a seaside town where he once took a holiday with the only girl he ever loved.

He is perhaps 30 but has a face that might be ten years older or younger. He chooses a wardrobe so generic that nothing about him stands out to take purchase on the memory.

Passers-by might not register anything but another passer-by, and not for more than moment before their magpie eyes catch something else which takes their interest. If questioned afterward they probably don’t recall the man that they passed only minutes earlier.

Locals sometimes give him a nod: they recognise the face, perhaps presume he's also local, that they've seen him in the sea of faces during the summer months before. Sometimes the ghost fails to notice them back and nothing more is thought of it. Or, he seems to meet their eyes with a look which says they're wrong but no offence has been taken. The passive, unchallenging look of stranger getting on with their day.

Occasionally tourists find an unknown figure in their holiday snaps later on when they had considered there was no one but their children in the viewfinder. They flick through the images at the chemist and mutter a mild curse at their own negligence, before proceeding their lives without giving it another thought. Others are glad to find that the man they had seen on the peripheral at that split button-pressing second hadn't got into the shot after all.

In the winter he takes the edge of the estuary. Walkers see a figure on the other side of the mud flats and are reminded of what a fine day it is for a stroll. Birders in their hides call it a day when the plover and scattered redshank suddenly lift from the surface of the mud at once, flapping wings like a the pages of a thousand books turning together. They take it as a sign that it's time get home to their women who will already have dinner in the oven.

When the starlings choose to roost, the longest and most beautiful murmurations occur when the ghost stands directly under them, unseen by anyone by the birds themselves, a presence only indicated by the swells and rhythms of 100,000 birds that choose as one to remain in the air for a few minutes longer that evening. Those out to witness the display leave marvelling at their luck – such a long show tonight. They return home and greet their loved ones with renewed joy for life, and compare the faces of their wives to the beauty of the birds in the sky.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Weaving and drawing

Some things from the last few days.

Flow Theory

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihaly  (1975) - 'Flow' single minded emotion:

''completely involved in an activity for its own sake....ego falls away...time flies...every action, movement and thought flows inevitably from the last one, like playing jazz.''

Monday, 10 February 2014

First scrumble

This is from last night, taken with a very bad camera phone so sorry about that.

The idea is I'll play with more of these in a similar palette playing with shapes and textures. They can then be joined, and additional elements of thread worked in over the top, much as I would a pencil over an ink piece, to bring out details, shapes, patterns and lines. What am I actually making? I don't know. I'm exploring at the moment.

I've opted for 'patchworking' many scrumbles together rather than working from one bit continuously, because I'd like to play with different compositions before committing. At least on this occasion.

I've been thinking about my drawings and how they might inspire and inform the crochet. And how it could happen the other way round too - a sort of dialogue between disciplines.  I'm keen to work in ink again for several reasons but mostly to re-familiarise myself with that mental state in which improvisation sits, because that's also happening here, but in a slower, meditative way.

And then there's all the 3-D possibilities.

I recently went to a workshop about making ( and off the back of that, I am going to another in a couple of weeks about weaving with Shane Waltener ( which is very exciting. It is one of those happy coincidences that it's happening at the same time as all of this. AND HE MAKES BASKETS!

It's been so long since I was buzzing with these kind of thoughts, I've missed it a lot. The sun has been out for TWO DAYS in a row here (discounting showers and short hail storms). I can see blue skies out of the window and last night there was so little wind we were able to light the fire without smoke rushing back down the chimney. I hear Cornwall is in for another battering from tomorrow. So I'll close here and make the most of it.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

What does it all mean?

Things are quiet here, but not really for the normal reasons of procrastination. That said, it's kind of funny I'm writing this to avoid some chores.

I moved into a new studio space just before Christmas. I also did a run of craft fairs which went really well. I sold artwork, prints...and crochet and woodburning work. Hmm.

I haven't unpacked the new studio - I think I'm ready to now, but the reasons behind the delay only seem to be becoming clear at the moment. I've been wondering - what's the deal with this crochet? Is it just a means of avoiding what I 'should' be doing? How will it ever link to my art practice - could it? Do I want it to?

The truth is, and it took a while to admit, that I'm currently getting a level of satisfaction out of making than is greater than when I am drawing. Hard to admit, when we have moved hundreds of miles, spent thousands of pounds and left family and friends for me to pursue a course in DRAWING only to find I am CROCHETING obsessively a year and a half on.

Making things directly from patterns is all well and good, but what then? It's lovely but it feels a bit flat, like there should be something more.

Two things have happened this weekend:

1) I've started thinking about sculptural crochet and textiles, working with different and natural materials. Rushes, grasses and basket making. Gardenboy is especially excited that we might go on a basket making workshop together. I found myself stroking plants in the garden, testing out the strength of the fibres. Gardenboy showed me a link that shows you how to make your own yarn from nettles. OOOOOOH. I'm not sure what's happening here but I'm enjoying the ideas.

2) Freeform crochet and scrumbling - which I knew about but hadn't engaged with it properly - perhaps I needed some time:

'Freeform crochet is like painting – the hook is a brush and the yarn a paint.
The result can be abstract or realistic.
Freeform is original design, not a reproduction of another person's pattern,
– it goes beyond the realm of patterns and restrictions that usually apply toward our art.
The outcome is a piece of art like no other, not only functional, but beautiful as well.
Freeform includes 2-D and 3-D art, clothing and useful items.'

Which reminds me of this - one of the sketches I've done which still somehow hits the creative nail on the head for me: 

So I'm going to stop worrying about all this and just see where it goes. And now, for some hoovering.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Back in the saddle

If you're on my FB page (Beth Hutchison Art & Illustration) this won't be anything new but this here blog is being a bit neglected lately.

I'm signed up to 4 or 5 art/craft stalls from the end of November. Mostly for a kick up the rear. Selling cards and prints, yes, and also some crochet and woodburning. I have been distracted by these financially unviable hobbies recently but transferring my burning kit to the studio has had the desired effect - this weekend something woke up in my head and I've started thinking about bigger projects again, what I loosely deem as 'real' work.

So plan to pick up my bird song project again. Also started drawing these worms below which could make nice monoprints. They are segmented worms that can be found in our UK seashores. Also quite taken with anemones and similar weird and wonderfuls. I have borrowed the Collins Guide to Coastal Wildlife from the library.

A couple of other projects are starting to form themselves in my thoughts but for now some pictures as I'm getting off to the studio today.

Happy Monday....