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.

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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.

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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.

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

A LOT.

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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…

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See my works in progress on Instagram @BlancheEllisArt 

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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

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More to come soon.

x

Blanche

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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.

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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!   

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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.”

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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!

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

art, Design, drawing, Exhibition, exhibiton, folktale, Illustration, metamorphosis, Painting, portrait, press, Prints, short story

‘Cubs’ Another from the series – Mythologies.

CALL OUT: I have plans for a book and am looking for a writer.

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This series has over 40 pieces and most of them emerge as if from some old myth, folk tale or strange internal narrative. This is why I call them ‘Mythologies’.

But… the tales they tell have never been written. 

In the reverse to the usual relationship of text and image I am looking to collaborate with someone (or several people) to write text to accompany each picture, to illustrate the images, if you will.  The idea is to combine these into a book. This writing, be it a paragraph of prose or a few lines of poetry, will sit opposite the artwork on each page and make a pair to be ‘read’ together. 

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The Story-World…

The idea is 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. 

I’m very excited to see what emerges from the birth of this project…..

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If you are interested….

I’d love to see any snatches of writing inspired by this as starting points and inspiration for the project which is just beginning and is a brand new idea, so do share this with anyone who might be interested, and email blancheellis@gmail.com for more images if you’d like to try writing something, or to discuss ideas for the project.

More images from the work can be seen on my Instagram @BlancheEllisArt

I also plan to have an exhibition of these artworks with the text in the future.

Thanks for stopping by!

Blanche

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…

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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. 

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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

Jagriti Yatra Artwork In Full

art, drawing, Drawing in Public, Exhibition, Illustration, location drawing, location painting, Painting, Quotes, reportage, sketchbook, Sketchnotes

At last I have managed to turn the 15 meter concertina sketchbook that recorded the last Jagriti Yatra journey around India into a digital format!

Jagriti Yatra detail blancheeellis.com 3

“Jagriti Yatra is an ambitious train journey of discovery and transformation that takes hundreds of India’s highly motivated youth, especially those who are from small towns and villages of India on a 15 day, 8000 km national odyssey to meet the role models – social and business entrepreneurs – of the country.

The vision of the Jagriti is ‘Building India Through Enterprise'”

Such an intense journey, living on a train with amazing people and experiences and transformed into this artwork by myself and Temujen Gunawardena

working in all sort of places and situations over a mad 15 days..

Jagriti Yatra detail blancheeellis.com 2

You can see the epic size of our art odessy here…

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So, to make it visible in the world of on-screen formatting I’ve divided it up in the gallery below for you to browse in detail… or…

Click here to see a video of the artwork in motion under the hands of myself and Temujen Gunawardena…

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Click the pictures to browse through the gallery…

Exhibition of the full artwork coming soon….

see previous posts for more drawings from my personal travel sketchbook

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INDIA: Travels and Drawings

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

The Jagriti Yatra.

 Jagriti = Awareness
Yatra = Journey

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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.

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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.

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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:

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A book I newly bound.

Now a worn and frayed old friend.

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

The start of a new journey.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Next sketchbook is under construction.

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Mistakable Bodies…

art, drawing, folktale, Illustration, Painting, poetry, Prints, sketchbook

 

I have been finding more Mistakable Bodies emerging into my sketchbooks….

Mistakable Bodies - Growth - blancheellis.wordpress.com.jpeg WEB

sometimes they’re born of a phrase…

Mistakable Bodies - %22The Whispered Ah%22 - blancheellis.wordpress.com.jpeg WEB

Sometimes they’re silent….
Mistakeable Bodies - Move - blancheellis.wordpress.com.jpeg WEBBut always growing, metamorphosing, emerging and dissolving.

Never static.

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2015 Sketchbook – Drawing In Public – Drawing Public Writing

art, drawing, Drawing in Public, Drawing in Public, Illustration, location drawing, London Underground, metamorphosis, reportage, sketchbook, Sketchnotes, Underground Portraits

Underground Green - BlancheEllis.wordpress.com

well – it’s been a short while but i’ve made enough sketches that i thought i’d set them out them by theme for a change…

 

The largest collection is of Travel Portraits, mostly from the London Underground and Overground. So I’ll start with just a few of those. Trying a new – non-gallery format – let me know if you like it better !

 

 

Overground - Watch Your Children - BlancheEllis.wordpress.com

I think this is my favourite TFL sketch so far.

It captures hundreds of identical moments I see watching people every day – the commuter all bundled up for winter and tucked into a sensationalist free paper whose headline blares absurdly from the crinkled front page.

 

Underground Portraits - BlancheEllis.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

The two guys from this page look like they’re from totally different centuries.

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Imagined journey – 

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Lady on the late train back to Brockley from London Bridge, fellow on a train from Hove to London.
When A Song Is Fresh - BlancheEllis.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

Underground Portrait - New Look - BlancheEllis.wordpress.com

 

Newspaper headlines, brands and names of supermarkets on shopping bags are written all over public space, part of the markings of our world.

 

Sometimes they seem to make a visual point, I can’t always work out what it is, and don’t want to pin it down, but I like to include these things where they strike me as interesting or often, as amusing or absurd in some way.

 

commuters_2_finalA friend also sent me this excellent cartoon about drawing in public – it’s from New York.

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Some other posts coming up will be on exhibitions I’ve been to (Shiele/Turner)…

Egon Shiele Exhibition '14 at Courtold drawings of live music….

Mascara Bar - BlancheEllis.wordpress.com

and a new series that has been emerging in this sketchbook…

‘mistakable bodies’

Mistakable Bodies - Growth - blancheellis.wordpress.com

First Sketchbook Update for 2015

art, drawing, portrait, sketchbook, Underground Portraits

Play blancheellis.wordpress.com

I’ve been puzzling out the space between work and play recently, and racing through my sketchbooks…. here’s the last of the last one….

Old sketchbook - new sketchbook - they started out the same .

Old sketchbook – new sketchbook – they started out the same .

Sketchbook Update

art, drawing, Illustration, location drawing, London Underground, portrait, sketchbook, Underground Portraits
Train Window

Train Window

I’m only half way through this sketchbook but i’ve got lots of images to share from it already. A lot of them are portraits, including those done on the London Underground/Overground – so if you’re a Londoner there’s a tiny chance you’ll find your own picture. If you’re part of my friends and family there’s a much greater chance. I’ve decided to make a portraits page on this site as I do so many.

I’d also like to make a small note about the lovely sketchbooks which I have been working in lately. They’re from a little french company called Alibabette, personal and friendly with charming designs (i’m quite fussy with designs on my sketchbooks – I generally prefer them plain) and I really recommend them. The covers are paper, so they do get grubby but I don’t mind that in the least as beat-up old looking things only increase in beauty to me. The paper is creamy and thick enough to take watercolour, though the colour of the pages dulls the paints a little. They have lots of sketchbooks but ‘Artbooks’ are 200 pages and, in my opinion, make a great journal.

click to enlarge drawings

Tom - UpThinking

Tom – UpThinking