Noticias: What I’ve Been Up To…

art, drawing, Drawing in Public, Drawing in Public, Illustration, Painting, portrait, Prints, sketchbook, Sketchnotes, text and image

So I realize it’s over two months now since I left England, packed all my paints, charcoal, inks, pens, papers and a few clothes, and came to Barcelona.

IMG_20170223_131247245

My three month trip has morphed into a six month one and I am completely at home for the moment. Home is in two parts, a room with light, a view over the city, an easel, and white walls becoming a patchwork of line and colour, and a communal studio where I spend my evenings painting from life alongside the Catalan retirees of Barcelona. This is also, pretty much, my social life.

And it fits.

IMG_20170227_215711_370

Trying to find my way back into oil painting and really understand it, i’ve been taking a lot of process shots which has resulted in these little animations which I love. Sometimes my favorite part is an in-between, unfinished stage – reminding me that sometimes you have to  just stop! This one was done on a portrait i had scrapped and sanded down.

20170227_211055-ANIMATION 

Not only painting, I’ve had some great models, known and strangers and been drawing –

A LOT.

_DSC8289-7 (2)

Some of these drawings are already up on Etsy and the shop is looking more spry than ever, and, much more representative of my current work. No painting up there yet but i’ll bargain on it soon!

Drawing from movement and dance has been the best thing…. finding  where observation, memory and imagination meet, giving each its space and letting them play together…

IMG_20170312_132428_970

See my works in progress on Instagram @BlancheEllisArt 

.

Also, in MUSIC NEWS...

I’ll be playing solo as part of a showcase on April 1st at The Boarderline for Before The Gold Rush….

In my absence the EP I recorded last autumn with Maya McCourt as Various Guises has had some airtime on BBC – Radio 6 – (listen here). And, the stunning film, Purple Heather by Alfie Dale, for which we wrote some music has been finished! see the trailer here:

Purple Heather

img_20161122_210144

More to come soon.

x

Blanche

Advertisements

Looking back, and forwards….

art, drawing, Drawing in Public, Exhibition, folktale, Illustration, location drawing, location painting, Market Stall, portrait, Prints, reportage, sketchbook, text and image

So, I hear it is a new year. I thought, seeing as I’m sitting in bed with the flu, I’d use the time to reflect on a few things that happened this last year, and where I’m going next….

Jagriti Yatra

This last year that has had me drawing on windows in high rise buildings, sketching at festivals, partaking in several exhibitions and starting new series’ and collaborations…. began, what feels like a long time ago, on a train.

I was traveling the width and breadth of India with the Jagriti Yatra, a charity for young social entrepreneurs. Working with with my colleague and good friend Temujen Gunewardena we captured the two week train ride in a 15 meter long illustration….

thumb_IMG_7171_1024

and all the while I kept a personal sketchbook of our travels…

_MG_0891

Mythologies Series

In the late spring I made a call out for an author to create written illustrations for this series of over 40 drawings and their myriad cast of eccentric characters.

IMG_20160704_150922

Since then I have been working in collaboration with the Ines Ferreira a visual artist, maker of art-books and author of humorous, strange and serious, magic-realist worlds. I entrusted Inez with my Mythologies family and have loved reading the stories that have emerged. The concept, of creating a book or exhibition from this combined work, continues to develop in response to the work.

I cannot wait to read more and find the full shape of this series but I am also enjoying the slow pace. The project has a staying power,  I so often quickly abandon finished work for the next project, it a great practice to keep returning to pull more threads from the initial fibre.

Portraits At The Ashmolean

I spent a great evening in the spring at the Ashmolean museum in Oxford as ‘The Wandering Portrait Artist’, creating colourful portraits of the guests at the museum’s Andy Warhol inspired Portraits night.

Portrait - 8

Black and White

My usual palette is fresh, bright and bold, full of citrus, sun and luminous shadows. The Ashmolean project pushed my colours to pop-art saturation… but, in the autumn, I had a brief period of black and white.

img_20161025_183622

This series was twice as unusual because I was not only working predominantly in black and white, I was working from photographs rather than from life, or from my mind. The effect was rather like collage, taking elements from my own photographs and other images and interweaving them to create cryptic narrative scenes. This series was exhibited at the Creative Connections studios in East London in November.

img_20161008_134816

Various Guises EP

November saw the launch of the Tide Take Him EP by the folk duo, Various Guises, myself and Maya McCourt. I was able to bring my art and music together in artwork for the EP and in song illustrations. I curated an exhibition at the launch and exhibited the EP artwork alongside the work of other artists on the theme.

img_20161122_210144

Etsy Shop

Having clambered onto the social media of Instagram the year before I forged even further into the world of zero’s and ones this year by opening an ETSY shop… currently it is stocked with prints and framed work and I look forward to putting more original work up.

Believe it or not – it seems to be working, I have so far sold prints in the UK, Austria, Australia and the USA !

Colourful Nudes

As December grew darker and greyer, I began a new series of delightfully colourful, naked ladies with extremely strange hair.

img_20161222_133812_128

 The Christmas Market

In December I also returned, almost by surprise, to Christmas Markets for the first time in 3 years, and had a fantastic time. It’s that lovely feeling of selling your work to someone personally, knowing where it is going to and what kind of home it may have…

img_20161209_134307695_hdr

I sold a lot of original work including two members of the Strange Familiar’s, another series that mixes text and image in a short story, or mysterious narrative, style. The rest of the Strange Familiar family may be found in exhibition in 2017

and last but by no means least…

Crisis

I had the privilege and pleasure of working with Crisis this year as a volunteer, making portraits of the guests, giving drawing classes and helping in any other (totally unrelated) way I could. There is something in a portrait, that means you have been seen, and recognised. There is also a connection that is made by sitting face to face with someone for ten minutes, completely aware of one another without having to talk, only letting conversation come of its own accord. Many guests kept the portraits, others sent them to family, to their kids or mothers. I don’t think could use ink, paint or graphite in a better way. I’m very grateful for the experience.

img_20161229_111155_107

What next?

On Friday I leave for Barcelona for a period of self-directed study. Very little is decided except that my oil paints are coming with me and I plan to wrestle the caps off the tubes where they have gummed up and become stuck from lack of use. Drawing will continue, of course… and the rest, is all adventure. The main question is if there will be space for clothes in my suitcase, when all the art materials are in there.

And, of course, the eternal question of wether the gods-that-be will allow my banjo on as hand luggage.

¡Adios!

Strange Familiars on Market Day…

art, Design, drawing, Exhibition, exhibiton, folktale, Illustration, Market Stall, press, Prints

Really looking forward to a return to market-life this Wednesday at Baxter Stores Christmas market where I’ll be selling Christmas cards, art prints, originals and framed work…. pop in to get ideas for art-gifts as the inevitable season approaches.

Find many of these things in my Etsy shop

SF mount crop 1-9.jpg

This guy might be appearing  in an exhibition soon, at 14 Bacon St, with the other Strange Familiars

If they don’t wander off the market stall on Wednesday that is!

.

.

.

.

Ongoing CALL OUT to Authors and Poets – Textual Illustration for The Image.

art, Design, drawing, metamorphosis, Painting, poetry, press, Prints, Quotes, short story, text and image

In reverse of the usual order…illustrating drawings with text… to be combined into a book, and exhibition.

I’m still looking for contributors/collaborators for this project.

There are over 40 artworks to be illustrated and I’ll be publishing them gradually here and on my social media @BlancheEllisArt as the project progresses… so keep an eye out here. I may also be putting up snippets of the writing I’ve received… with permission of the authors.

_MG_7071

Changing shape…

Even since I posted about this last week the idea has developed, mostly because of the amazing responses I’ve had already from friends, strangers, other artists, an art-book maker and poets and authors from different backgrounds, and languages. And have found many secret authors in my acquaintances.

I’m so happy to be receiving this fount of creativity!   

_MG_7056

Words lead words… 

It’s even leading me to write myself, in an attempt to track what I am looking for. Other people draw out my words with their own wonderful phrases and I feel the pitch, the roll and magnetism of the word collaboration, a force all of it’s own… changing the shape of my intension as it unfolds. Perhaps a preface…

“Word-turns apt in riddle and rhythm to trip and roll the mind causing backtrack, retrace, and circled in so turning, the sentence sense embraced. The way a picture leads the eye, not forward to finality but, with concentric in-conclusions, as a dance that makes sense-of-a-step does so by leading you both too-and-fro and leaving you, not locked, but poised by punctuation.”

_MG_7061

Drink Me –

The Story-World…

The initial idea was that each piece of text be another ‘moment’ from the images story-world, a suggestion or clue that opens up the narrative to further interpretation rather than attempting to complete, or explain the picture itself. Instead of finished stories I’m looking for writing that echoes or extends the sense of mystery and magical-realism, and may do so without obvious reference to the image itself. It could be specific, detailed, atmospheric or impressionistic. All and any ideas appreciated!

As the project opens up I think the writing could be in anthropological, an impossible recipe, a critique of a non-existant novel (think J. L. Borges), a short letter, a completely brazen critique of a character, or of the picture itself .

Ideas abound

Please share any ideas here or by email at blancheellis@gmail.com

See more of the images on Instagram and in the previous post and call out

Thank you for stopping by!

b

New Etsy Shop Open @BlancheEllisArt !

art, Design, drawing, Illustration, natural observation, Painting, press, Prints, Sales

Finally…

after years of techno-phobia, I have got around to opening my Etsy shop with prints and original artwork from the last few years, as well as freshly created work that I will soon be adding. Although I prefer face-to-face sales, not everyone is that close by so it’s nice to open up shop to a wider range of people…

_MG_7226

All the frames in the shop are hand-made by me to suit the artwork.

Something that I take great joy in getting just-right.

Listings will be going up over the coming weeks so keep an eye out for new work. 

_MG_7330

Find the shop at BlancheEllisArt

Lots of work from my Instagram account will be going up

so if you see anything you like there… let me know.

Thanks for stopping by !

Blanche

INDIA: Travels and Drawings

art, Drawing in Public, exhibiton, Illustration, location drawing, location painting, Painting, reportage, Sketchnotes

The Jagriti Yatra.

 Jagriti = Awareness
Yatra = Journey

jagritiyatrabanner copy

This charity runs a yearly train journey around India. It is inspired by the journey Gandhi took after returning from South Africa 100 years ago. It takes over 400 young Indian social entrepreneurs to meet role models and experience the diversity of their own country from the biggest cities to its most rural outposts. They examine the strengths, weaknesses and challenges their country faces, and explore and discuss avenues for positive social change through entrepreneurship. Working in partnership with Temujen Gunawardena I lived on the train will the Yatri’s and created a 10 metre long illustration capturing the content and experience of the journey. We plan to exhibit the piece in London in 2016 before returning it to the Jagriti Yatra team in Mumbai.

IMG_5663.jpg

Working on the JY train…..

More images will follow but below is one detail of the 10 metre long drawing that Tem and I made to document the journey, life on the train and the sights we saw, the experiences we shared and the talks and ideas discussed along the way.

_MG_1010.jpg

During the travels I naturally kept my own sketchbook journal. The first book I have bound from scratch and the orange cover of which is now scratched, scuffed, stained and filthy, the binding knocked out of all shape. And it is full of colour on the inside too. Here are some experiences from the book…….. It is so long I may have to put it up in instalments.

India Sketchbook: Episode 1:

The book begins:

Blanche-India-Sketchbook---FAST---0.2- 20% .gif

A book I newly bound.

Now a worn and frayed old friend.

_MG_0863

A portrait of myself by the lost and found artist Sharath Koona.

The start of a new journey.

_MG_0873

The opening ceremony for the Jagriti Yatra – Gauri Sharma Tripathi teaches us all how to do the Jagriti Yatra dance that we will perform almost every one of the next 15 days, often multiple times! I see an explosion of colour and fabrics. Over the travels, glancing out of train windows, I see the people of India pass as we whirl 8000km around the country from Mumbai to the South, to the East, North and then back down to Mumbai. I capture the impressions and moments of the people, I would say passers by, but being on the train, I was the passer by. They are waiting on platforms, heaving luggage and walking alongside the track.

In the city, Mumbai, on arrival one of my first thoughts, rushing through the city in a taxi, seeing the shops, the cards, bikes, buildings and millions of wares for sale:

Everything is leaning… there are no ‘right’ angles here.

_MG_0875

My traveling companion and partner in line and colour – Tem – experiencing jet-lag in the restaurant we ate our first dinner in. Oh delicious dosa with coconut yum. You are the best.

_MG_0876.jpg

The Yatra begins. It involves talking, listening, learning, dancing, good food, exploration and glances out of train windows at fleeting figures on train platforms… This old lady’s dress was a magnetic magenta shade above the yellow dust and blue shadow.

More to come in…

Sketchbook-Journey-Part-II

India travels 2015-16.

.

More artwork from this and other projects on Instagram and Twitter @blancheellisart

.

Next sketchbook is under construction.

.

Exhibition this Saturday in Canning Town

architecture, art, drawing, Exhibition, location drawing, location painting, Painting

This Project 21 exhibition on Saturday 30th November is part of the Night Light Canning Town event.

Project 21

Project 21 – Collaboration between 21 different artists and disciplines at the caravanserai space in Canning Town.

My part in the exhibition will be based on large-scale drawings inspired the local architecture, urban environment and population. For me this is quite a new way of working. I am used to making small fast drawings. Research has been done in this way, by cycling around and drawing the local area, and the work itself will be started the day before and completed on the day of the exhibition. In scale and rapid completion of an entire composition this is experimental for me but I think this approach will lend itself to the work.

The idea:

Title: Structure, Shift, Lift and Lay.
Medium: Ink, Acrylic & Paper
Size: The inside of big box. Three walls and a ceiling roughly 8 ft square.

:

Structure, Shift, Lift and Lay  is a landscape piece drawn from the developing urban area of Canning Town. The piece allows the viewer to stand back and get an overview of the area’s many layers, structures and environments existing side by side; the residential, the docks, industry, modern monoliths, old buildings, fast trains and roads, the hovering cable cars and the river.  The changes taking place are vast and structural and in their wake is the cultural shift of the area with all its social and commercial potential for both creation and destruction.  These changes can be seen in both negative and positive ways by different people; residents, investors, contractors, and local businesses. This piece offers for contemplation a compacted glimpse of the vast structural systems within which, and through which, all these people relate.

 

Return to the market Sundays from November

art, Camden Market, Design, drawing, Illustration, Market Stall, Painting

Hello All,

I’m back on the market!! I’ll be down there every Sunday  (and some Fridays) until Christmas – and probably more days – look here, or call/email me to find out when i’ll next be down:

 – blancheellis@gmail.com –

I will be selling prints like last year – with a whole years worth of new material including the ‘Musicians, Writers & Philosophers’ project and a peak into a new series I’m beginning – ‘Whimsy’ yes, whimsy – until I find a better name for my playful little figures.

I will also be selling framed work and prints in frames that I have handmade for each individual work.  – small selection of prints below!

look forward to seeing some friendly faces down the market!

Autumn Spring Series

art, botanical, Design, drawing, Illustration, location painting, metamorphosis, natural observation, Painting

I have always loved conkers, they look and feel like the most delicious things in the world, they all fall in such a short time and tarnish to a dull sheen so quickly.

This year I’ve tried to catch them in their most glorious moments as they burst from their shells and start to become like wizened little old faces which populate my room until the next ‘fall’.

Again this series echoes my fascination with metamorphosis. I chose the title Autumn Spring because there is something of the freshness of spring in the brief flowering of this autumn fruit, joining the two opposing seasons reminds me how the years roll round, and round… and round.

Autumn Spring - '13 - Full Series

Autumn Spring – ’13 – Full Series