Posts tagged ‘memory’

June 26, 2012

British Summertime and Vintage Caravan Drawings

There is something unmistakable about holidaying in Britain, and this time of year brings up memories of childhood trips with surprising fervour. I believe it may be partially due to the weather, which seems to change its mood hourly; the smell of rain mingled with cut grass and sunshine, wet sandal-footed feet and BBQ’s that end with in a crowded kitchen, or sheltering under a porch. This June I’ve found myself looking at holidays in Devon with a kind of longing, whilst mulling over old photographs and doodling vintage-style caravans decked with bunting and flowers. The caravans and trailers owned by parents and their friends were always decorated and altered with personal touches, in honour of their travelling days.

Having a dog throughout most of my childhood meant we felt compelled to  take relatively local trips which allowed our furry friend to join us, and so I have a great nostalgia for British holidays. I can safely say that those planned for July and August share the same possibility of being dictated by the weather as those booked for June. Alongside that, however, they equally have the potential for some amazing memories. On the occasions where the sun shone and the heat was almost unbearable, we would hike to high places so that the deep blue of the sky stretched for miles around, or make dens in the fields surrounding the campsite or play hide and seek in apple orchards and have picnics on chequered blankets. The rain tested our innovation and our ability to conjure up new ways to make fun; board games were always a firm favourite, building forts from the chair cushions, or making up stories, like that one time we were oceanographers and our caravan was a submarine lost in the Atlantic. In later years we got Gameboys, and would trade Pokémon and narrate our adventures; when the rain cleared again, we would explore the long grass.

I am certain things were not always so rosy as I remember – a bunch of children in a confined space is never wholly pleasant – but the boredom and childish squabbles are easily forgotten and only the wonderful bitter-sweet moments remain in my memory. Such is the nature of nostalgia.

A few years ago a small group of friends and I stayed in a caravan in Devon for a week in June, and a half-hearted attempt to celebrate our collective childhood British holidays. That June bought thunderstorms and torrential rain instead of the usual intermittent drizzle and showers. We spent half the week in a caravan with water pouring down the windows, busying ourselves with games of scrabble and Artist Charades, (in which the players use famous artworks – installations, paintings, sculptures, sound and video, – instead of the usual books, films and TV shows,)  and when the clouds cleared we donned wellingtons and took walks across country fields, discovered secret beaches, explored rock pools and ate cheese sandwiches under the shelter of oak trees.

Although I have no time for a holiday this year, I have been looking for some kind of caravan escape for next summer, or even scraping together some impromptu weekend camping before then. Last night I discovered a website for an enchanting campsite in Cornwall, which offers some truly beautiful converted vintage vehicles as accommodation, which I feel is definitely worth perusing by anyone considering a holiday soon. In the mean time, I wanted to make a bag that would encompass these happy memories, which I could take on my outdoor wanderings to carry my spare leggings and jumpers for when the weather turns! I found it difficult to decide whether I wanted a blue or mustard colour on the illustration, and settled with making both so I could mix-and-match depending on my outfit. Even when it is raining I am now able to have cheerful little reminder of summer with me.

January 22, 2012

Paper Cut Escapades

A few months ago I spent time drawing several designs for paper cuts (here, here and here), which never ended up being cut because of my lack of craft knife skills when it came to the details I wanted. But it’s a new year, and with that, comes new challenges, and new ways to overcome problems. So since I was having trouble with the details being so small, I figured, why not try cutting a larger version, so that the small details would also be bigger and easier to cut?

I took the design I posted a while back, based on the memories of travelling as a child, and started work on a larger version. It’s becoming so cold here that my fingertips felt frozen whilst I was trying to cut the paper! Although it’s not finished yet, I am very pleased with the results so far!

I’ve also got a few framed simpler papercuts availble in my etsy shop:

November 2, 2011

And Another Travelling Papercut

October 31, 2011

Another Travelling Papercut

Continuing on from last week, I have made another papercut design based on childhood travelling memories. I definitely prefer the brown paper to the block colour now, and I am particularly fond of the delicate washing line and oil lamp, as well as the weaving on the bender tent. There is one more image on the way that should be completed with celerity.

October 30, 2011

Recollected Signs: Fabric Traveller Posters

This week I updated my website with the completed series of textile pieces I had been meaning to finish for some time. Once again, I seemed to have chosen a repetitive process to create these works, (which are based on discriminative signs I remember outside shops during my childhood,) and started to get sores and cuts on my hands from the scissors during the cut-and-slash technique on the fabric. After a break from the process it was quite hard to find the motivation to go back to it, with so many foxy things to be doing, and so they sat in the studio, half completed, looking oddly dishevelled. It’s a huge sense of relief to finally finish them alongside the satisfaction of writing up the page for the website.

October 26, 2011

Traveller Paper Cutting

Paper cutting has been on my mind a lot over the last few years, but I am not entirely certain I have the technical skill to create the works of art I envision in my mind. After many messy attempts I have concluded that although I am a competent craft knife user, when it comes to the detailed lines and delicate card cutting of the designs, I can’t seem to master the technique. But I do love paper cuts and I love drawing plans for them even if I am not able to complete them myself.

The image above is the first in a series of paper cuts based on my memories of travelling as a child. Although, of course, it is not actually a paper cut, but a line drawing coloured in Photoshop so I could get an idea of what it would look like when I eventually perfected my cutting skills, or more likely, gave in and sent it to be laser cut, avoiding those pesky human errors that tend to add charm and character. I think it may work well in block colour as print too, but I do prefer it with the brown card backing.

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