Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Chapter 2 :Design Work

It's been a very long time since I added anything to my blog: the discipline of little and often had quite left me. Hopefully I'm now out of that rut and back into the creative groove.  A trip to the Forum in Norwich this morning has helped.  "Turn the Page artists' book fair 2014" was on: such a wonderful and inspiring exhibition.  The makers only too pleased to discuss their work and allow their books to be handled.

Yet another lull, internet issues a World War 1 commemoration project, a friend's grief . . .

So again here goes . . .

Sian suggested I go with my heart when choosing a selection of images to work with and take my colour scheme from there: ice-blue, cool light grey, dark grey and warm browns.  A feeling of depth and shadow contrasting with lightness and a gleam on edges was something that also struck me about these images. There is a sense of mystery attached to spiral staircases, echoes of T.S. Eliot, though I've yet to find the exact quote I think I recall.

Image 2:1
On closer examination  I also saw deeper shades of petrol blue and copper and gilt tints.  The image below shows a colour matching exercise where I tried to find exact colour matches in magazines and then by mixing acrylics and water colours.  Water colours gave a nice translucence and a bronze metallic rub-on provided the gilt.

Image 2:2
 The papers below are worked on tissue, cartridge and brown paper with acrylic paint, including metallic, ink and crayon using a range of techniques -- spraying, sponging, wiping and rubbing.  In some cases several techniques layered on top of each other.

Image 2:3

Sian also asked me to notice how each example uses spiral in a slightly different way.  So following an internet investigation and discovering a world of (at least to me) advanced maths I'll start with the University of East Anglia spiral staircase from one of my Photo-shopped images -- this is an Archimedes spiral, a 3D spiral on a vertical plane, the spiral travelling counter clockwise.  All the rotations are the same size.

The three other spiral staircases are also examples of Archimedes spirals, and 3D on a vertical plane.  They differ, however, in respect of the size of each rotation -- some large to small, others small to large.


  1. Great to have you back with some lovely images. We have an Archimedes 'Screw' near us which uses river flow to get power, so its useful as well as beautiful!!

  2. Gorgeous colours! I know how you feel about losing the habit of regular posting. Since October we've been through the mill with illness, accident and bereavement. Trying to get back into regular habits of working, but it's hard. I'm looking forward to seeing how your beautiful work progresses.

  3. Thank you both. It's good to be back in action and tuned in to what everyone else is doing.