How to make a photography exhibition

Paul Duke documented the decline of the fishing industry in the Moray Firth, with a series of life-size photos.  He tells the story of how he took those and made them into a whole exhibition.

Paul’s Black and White photos are stunning, and have been put into a book by the same title as the exhibition: “At Sea.”

This is photography as documentary of a community, which will become a record of a traditional industry, as it fades.

At the same time, it is a study in portraiture – for Paul, it was very important that the size of the finished photographs be life-size, as though the people depicted were there, in person.

And finally, it is a collaboration between the photographer, the framer and the maker of the text for appearing beside the photographs.


“That’s what a de Koonig painting sounds like: liquid, fluid, runny”

If watching paint dry sounds boring – try listening to it.  The Museum of Modern Art has developed a whole series of “How to paint like…..” famous painters whose works they have.  This video is how to paint like Willem de Koonig, presented by Corey D’Augustine.

The comment about the sound came from the mixing of the yellow paint with medium – it sounded a bit like cream does when whipped.  I don’t even paint with oils, but the mixing of the materials has me intrigued.

Still interested?  Here’s the followup video:

Creative Takeaway

Already painting with oils paints but feeling a bit stuck?

The series of “Paint Like….” invites you to go through the process of another artist, with the knowledgeable curator.  Then you can take what you like into your own process, and ignore the rest.


Portable Sketching Kit

Sketching daily is a great art discipline and finding 20 minutes to sketch is fairly do-able even in the most hectic of schedules.  Grab yourself a few basic tools (set out by tutor Nina Weiss) and you’re good to go…

  1. A box of coloured pencils
  2. a small sketchbook (her hands give an indication of its scale)
  3. 20 minutes

Nina finds it’s important to have these basic tools to hand at any moment when inspiration strikes.

Soon, this blog will feature her on a much longer drawing assignment, working from a photograph she took while travelling.


Portable Takeaway

What drawing/sketching/writing tools do you currently have?

Pool them together – you might be surprised.

Now pack them in such a way that you can have them with you, easy to get hold of, for as much of each day as possible.

“I can’t draw a straight line”

Many people say “I can’t draw a straight line” – this is a great starting point, because there are very few in nature (except the horizon).  Have you tried the freedom of collage?

Watch Rebecca Maloney collage a landscape, from a few lightly pencilled guide marks, using coloured paper from magazines.  And yes, she makes it wonderful because she is a skilled artist – but I bet this is not her first attempt.  What would yours look like?  If you can cover a whole piece of paper or canvas on board – have fun and give yourself a cheer when you complete.  You have created.

More on Collage

If you’d like to experiment more with collage, you’ll find many articles and videos on that subject on this blog.  Just type “collage” into the search box.  Enjoy!



Poetry Writing 101 Hands-on

Reader, if you are a wouldbe poetry writer, then get your hands on this book “Writing Poetry” by W N Herbert.  It’s like having a writing tutor patiently helping you – because that’s exactly what is happening – its writer is Bill Herbert, Professor of Poetry and Creative Writing at Newcastle University.

dictionary meaning of spondulicks

Please do take that book token Christmas present, or lean over your local library counter and demand that they order it, or borrow the spondulicks from a pal, to buy this instantly useful and enjoyable book.  

Whether you are a beginner, near beginner or have written a couple of hundred poems but still feel like you’re at the start of a writing apprenticeship – this book takes you through the process of developing the skills/craft and – more difficult to explain – the feel for, writing poetry.