This is normal

It has been 3 weeks since I enrolled on the course. I got into it right away, set up my blog/profile, read through the first assignment, and then began! With gusto and curiosity!
But then I had a trip away, and other commitments have had to be made priority. Also, although I do like blogging, it feels a little less spontaneous.
When I journal or write notes, I can write as little or as much, no titles needed, no grammar checking, no making sure the entry is organised and tagged and in the right section!
I do know that this is normal, from reading others’ blogs, and from knowing my own working style. It’s easy to let things build up…

Although I feel that I may not have been doing my eight hours a week, in truth I probably have. I spend a lot of time thinking about the work and although I might not frequently write those thoughts down or post more regular entries, I do take down notes and then write them all up into one. My aim is to make an entry once a week, and make it like a ‘weekly check in’.
Where am I at? What have I done? What am I discovering? What do I want to do next?

I have been thinking again about the photos I took. I have lots, but endeavoured to be selective about which ones to post.
It is a challenge to select/edit and highlight but when it has been done ‘right’ it is effective and allows for clear and focussed thinking.
The thing is, now I am worrying that I should put more up, or should have written more reflective analysis on each of them.
Maybe I didn’t post up enough of the ones that didn’t work too well?

What I am pleased about is that I don’t fight my way of working anymore.
For instance, with the drawing part of the introductory assignment, I have noticed that I don’t have the attention span to stick to one drawing for too long. But instead of making all my drawings quick 5-15min sketches, I have decided to keep several drawings on the go, so that I can rotate and move on to the next one when my focus begins to drop.

I will post some photos of work in progress at the end of the weekend.

Starting the Introductory Assignment

I made a start a few days after receiving the course material. The initial task was to choose one of the given themes and brainstorm them.

I have a tendency to be indecisive and had mixed responses to all four themes so I chose to do a speedy brainstorm of them all.


  • Tropical Tourist: I liked the sound of this one and knew I would have no problem finding relevant objects.
  • Style Lounge: I got a bit stuck with this and knew I wouldn’t pursue it
  • Iced Landscape: I was intrigued by the theme and chose to go for this one as I was curious to see how I would create a sense of an Iced Landscape.
  • Nature’s Larder: I was immediately drawn to this, because of living in rural Wales, always liking natural forms and enjoying nature, walking and foraging but it was almost too accessible and I sensed it wouldn’t challenge me to think outside the box

Once I chose Iced Landscape I brainstormed the theme further, concluding that the aspects that interested me were to do with the cold hard ice/snow/frost/rock and what people who may live in these conditions use: animal skins and furs which create a softness and warmth. I also picked up on the imagery of light and atmosphere – the mood that can be created. Finally I thought of the animals that live in these sort of conditions – arctic hares and foxes, snow leopards, bears, fish…

Once I had a sense of theme and concept I collected my objects. Here is an image, photographed without any particular arrangement or attention to lighting:


I chose: some sort of gemstone/crystal, a pendant a friend had made into a necklace for me (originally part of a chandelier I think), some wool knit booties leather soled and sheepskin lined, a round glass lamp, a pair of leopard print knickers (!), a clay modelled animal I had made randomly once and a semi precious stone egg.

Choosing how to compose and arrange the objects effectively for photography took some time. But it was a process I enjoyed. I realised pretty quickly that the images would look better by using the lamp lit up.

One of the outcome themes from my brainstorm with an ‘Iced Landscape’ was that of atmosphere/mood/lighting coupled with the contrasts that I had noted: light/dark being one of them.

Here are a selection of the photos I took:

The more photos I took, the more I noticed that they looked better if kept simple. I also found the images adopted a narrative quality, possibly due to the intimate lighting ‘setting the scene’, adding drama, atmosphere. Also the animal sculpture creates a sense of figure in the landscape. The fish skin began to take on the qualities of a rocky mountain surface. The lace and it’s shadows create a sense of fragility that comes when faced with extreme weather conditions.


I particularly liked the shadows being created by the lace, and the reflections in the pendant which almost took on the image of iced snow topped mountains.


I was surprised by what I had discovered.  I felt that I was really ‘investigating’ something. I look forward to Part 2!