Postcards from Yorkshire-a month of miniature artworks
03/09/17Well it’s been a little while since I updated my blog. As some of you may know, this month I have been working on a project called ‘Postcards from Yorkshire- a month of miniature artworks’, which saw me creating a postcard sized artwork every day (mostly in my evenings after work) and then uploading these to Facebook and Instagram. You can also see these works in my gallery here.
Today saw the last artwork uploaded and now these will be put together and showcased and for sale (as one-offs) on my stall at the C-ART Fair at the Rheged Centre, Penrith, Cumbria next weekend (9th and 10th September 2017).
I was inspired to do this project during my recent holiday to The North York Moors, where I went to an exhibition of postcard sized artworks by anonymous artists called ‘Art to Go’ at the ‘Inspired by…Gallery’ in The Moors National Park Centre in Danby.
I’ve really enjoyed doing this project. I wanted to set myself a challenge to engage with a practical daily art practice if only for an hour a day, which is roughly how long I spent on each one each day (except for one or two that took nearly four hours). I also wanted to experiment with different techniques and trial watercolour products I haven’t used before such as the Wallace Seymour Vintage Watercolour range that is handmade in Yorkshire, some of which uses minerals found in the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District. There’s something really exciting about painting the landscape, with the landscape (or as close to it as you reasonably can whilst still producing a quality art product).
My theme was ‘Within the Landscape’ and I wanted to focus on the places and flora and fauna that can be found within the breadth of the Yorkshire Landscape. I’ve also included more obscure or lesser known areas of the Yorkshire Landscape, rather than selecting the typical Yorkshire Landscape vistas and subjects the viewer may be used to seeing. I’ve worked en plein air (outdoors) and I’ve worked from photographs that I have taken and collected over the years of some of my favourite haunts in Yorkshire.
As part of the project I invited some walkers, that I took out on a walk up Whernside in the Yorkshire Dales, to get involved with creating their own postcard on the walk, in pencil. It was great that some enjoyed just to watch and some got involved interpreting the landscape in their own way.
So, what makes a great miniature artwork? In my opinion, the work doesn’t necessarily need to be overloaded with intricate detail and sometimes the viewer’s imagination can ‘finish’ the work themselves. However, what I try to do is make sure that the work looks just as good and has the same impact, up close, as well as far away.
I also wanted to inspire others to engage with a daily art practice which I know that my students would find difficult with their various commitments. However, I think it is important for any artist to do something creative every day. It also does not necessarily mean producing an art piece or sketchbook page every day. It could be a trip to a gallery or exhibition, it could be reading the latest news and reviews, researching, writing down ideas that may come to you whilst out shopping. So, the underlying message of this project is that I believe it is important for aspiring and seasoned artists alike to engage with a daily creative practice in whatever creative form that might be.
Tips for an art project/daily practice:
1. Set yourself a time when you will create the work/develop the project and try to stick to it (if you need this structured approach to get you motivated).
2. Decide whether you need a plan or would like to approach it spontaneously.
3. Decide how long your project will be, a month, a year etc.
4. Choose a theme or project that will sustain your interest for the period of time specified.
5. Will you share it with others? Will you involve others?
6. What is the ultimate goal? Developing new technique? Experimenting? An exhibition? To relax at the end of the day?
Thank you for reading,