When a muted palette is spread over huge flat surfaces of canvas, to form giant walls of series of paintings, the effect is somewhat like another world. Painter Jessica Zoob is here making and looking at the remarkable size of her art.
If you normally create in small-scale, try bigging it up. If you write a short story, try the “On the Road” style of Jack Kerouac – who apparently sellotaped huge amounts of paper together and then just began typing and kept on. A computer screen is similarly unchallenged in length – you can type a sprawling remembered saga of adventures, keeping going as long as you can. Then leave it for a day before reading it back and tweaking.
On the other hand, if you usually work big, try writing small. If you usually write a full-length film script, write just one scene. Or if you paint full-height canvases, make something very very small.
Afterwards, reflect on what you learned from the experience.
This simple exercise again begins with pasted paper base layer – in this case, patterned scrapbook paper – then builds layers of paint over it. Einat Kessler is the tutor. Like Bob Blast, it is very simple and all the materials are cheaply and easily purchasable in a craft or art store.
This collage piece works together picture and text.
It makes decisions on the process very simple – once you’ve picked the patterned paper to use as the base, you simply mix or use paints in similar colours/tones used in the base paper. Hey presto, all the colours will go together. Whether you use words or not is up to you, of course.
The demo takes 15 minutes to view, you can work alongside, so it’s a slightly longer exercise than the last one.
Alex Beattie is a needlework designer of tapestry kits – although coming from a background of illustration.
What I love most about both designing and stitching is the fact that you’re working with pure colour. There’s no mixing or preparation – it’s bright, jewel-like wools sewn straight on to the canvas. There’s also something wonderful about the simplicity of it. You take a handful of colours and a grid of (say) 150 by 150 stitches, and from that you create a whole story. In many ways it’s the limitations themselves which make the end product so elegant. Needlepoint as haiku.