Task 17th December Research week

You are required to collect lots of research on your chosen city which should include imagery, photographs, drawings ephemera fabrics etc.


You will then create at least 2 x A2 Moodboard/Concept/Inspiration board, which shows your theme and selects elements from the information you have gathered.


Hand painted images I could use in repeat patterns

Yes, it’s very FLORAL… but switching things up on the Mac and producing some really interesting repeats!

I think i’m a little off curve with the colour scheme here and even though i am enjoying the liberty of experimentation- I’m going to refer back to my mood boards and swim back into those beautiful pastels of parisian vintage!

My Wallpaper Designs

Hand painted repeat pattern wallpaper product (A2 size)

Product Ideas

To integrate my hand painted designs, repeat patterns and images/photos of paris (all of which have been edited by myself and some i have worked over useng paints and paint pens) – i’ve decided that the final product of my research and reflection of a parisian inspired task, shall be a large scale, saleable “Collage Kit” for a teenage girls bedroom.

Product and Market research

There are quite a few kits on the market – available on Ebay and Amazon etc. However mine will be iniquity in the fact that the images vary in size and, more importantly – will contain my own paintings.

Here are a couple of examples of the things i’ve spotted.

My Parisian Collage Kit

I’ve taken around fifty images and photos which include the hand painted pieces, photographically adjusted photos and drawn pictures .

Each image has been synchronised and tinted with my PARIS inspired colour scheme and blown up to A3 and A2 sizes. I have used both matt, silk and gloss finish – to ad depth and texture to the finished wall piece.

The item will be packaged to be “assembled” by this client. I love that this in turn gives the opportunity for someone to be creative in their own space – and that to a certain extent, each finished collage would be an original ensemble! There is vast flexibility in size choice and would cover a MINIMUM AREA of 6 square metres, depending obviously on how many images are used and how they are arranged. you may even choose to have two smaller collages!!


Evaluation of First Term

In conclusion to this section of my first ever, very basic blog, I’m going to try to put into words some kind of evaluation of my first term at York College.  I have throughout tried to self critique my progress by recording and blogging even the mistakes I have made along the way.

I have enjoyed each and every part of the course so far, in spite of me not quite reaching my full potential in some of the areas.

Firstly, when I enrolled I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.  I came back to college because it’s something that I have always felt I should have pursued over 20 years ago.

I mentioned in the introduction of this blog that I was a little blown away by the fast pace and versatility of the foundation course.  It didn’t only feel 

different because of the massive ‘gap’ in my learning before picking it back up.  It’s also a completely different style of learning too and as I said, initially it was daunting but that actually turned out to be the best element  for me.

I had loved to sketch and paint.  I’ve gifted friends and family with drawings and portraits that I’ve produced because I enjoy getting lost in it.  What I really needed though was this.  I’m just so glad that I followed that ‘hunch’!  My work is far from brilliance but it comes from a need to express something and it’s very much an outlet for me.  

Each of the briefs that have been set this term have interested me and I really do think I’ve embraced them fully.  Sometimes I’m a little off track because i’ll get something in my head and can’t stop rolling it over and trying to develop and evolve the ideas that hit.  Then i’ll look up and think… “Rebekah, this has nothing to do with what you were given!  You need to take stock!”  – That’s just me and it HAS come from that initial instruction but I can’t always conduct a clear correlation in keeping with my thought process.  It’s just in there somewhere, I promise!

Self Portrait

The self portrait project we were given was the first time I had ever made something based on myself and I used an old canvas, which I resurfaced and then based the painting on a rough sketch of me sitting in the garden. My daughter had taken pictures of me and I was hiding my face because I had a hangover from the evening before! – On choosing this particular photo, I thought, ‘Perfect! At least i don’t have to draw my face!’.

Self Portrait

There is a lot of texture in the painting and it’s not a dead ringer, but I loved mixing the colours and well, it’s my impression of me isn’t it!  

I don’t make a habit of using too much colour in my work.  I like monotone or sepia at a push.  I love natural, neutral and muted tones.


When we came in that first week and Penny gave us all a different artist to use as an influence for the mask project, I was very pleased that i was assigned David Nash. I do like his work and I really like to look at natural and raw materials used in art alongside everyday life. I had literally, that week just placed a piece of raw wood in situ on a wall in my living room and I have pieces like this all around the house. Also anything re-claimed, I love!

My mask was very simple to look at but actually a tricky process to get that curve around the face without looking overly constructed!  I am pleased with the outcome and happy with how it looks.

Abstract Squares

I really enjoyed spending time around the college, both in and out, getting a feel for the place and familiarising myself with this new favourite place of mine. Taking my little bench and making minnie drawings with a close up perspective. It’s a lot different and more energising than just drawing from photos. I was pleased with the work I did for this and I found changing colours up, zooming in and focusing on the less apparent points of objects really interesting. I found that if I tried for accuracy in the initial sketch then it was far easier to then “blow it up”, add depth with colour, twist things around and distort for a lovely and often vibrant effect. There is a lot of beauty in an abstract world when you really look.

The relevance of my outcome excited me too – it really was the first thing to pop into my head and it’s not often I roll with something from the ‘get go’!… and what’s more ‘everyday object’ to us, at the moment, than a face covering? I mean we are currently in the midst of a pandemic and a lot of my work has been done in isolation too!. I’ve created something that not only shows an element of my creative ability but something which is 100% usable! My daughter even wants to wear it!!

Near Mid Socially Distant

I came into college ready to embark on this new project.  The weather was foul.  Bleak even!  Definitely the worst day we’d had this year so far.  Cold, rainy and miserable.  Unfortunately for us, our fairy god tutors had planned a wonderful bit of field work and a little bit of fresh air was to be had by all!  Not the best day to work with black ink and tools that had been put together by ourselves, I thought.

As it happened some of the work I produced that morning really reflected that dreary weather and kind of went hand in hand with the bleeding ink and the dilution of the medium. In Fact it turned out to be one of my favourite briefs. Id never worked with inks before and i feel like ive really fallen for it. I’ve since done a lot more experimentation with it and even done a couple of my own pieces through lockdown!

Back to the evaluation you’re hopefully more interested in though. My preferred piece in this section was the panoramic view over the field to the barn. I threw a little sepia wash in the ‘near’ and I think that counted toward the detail closer to me. I could have done with making the barn a little more vague though, more of a shape in the distance. I’ve learned from it though. And that’s what i’m here to do.

Big Letter Little Letter

A capital letter, a lower case letter, a colour and a bunch of relevant words to choose from. A very random project, I thought at first. Mixing colours was the first task and then creation of a huge design for the classroom wall. This was enjoyable for me … but i really liked doing the 5 photographs. Superimposing ninjas standing in front of my work as it was displayed in the class and giving another piece some comic glasses to rock! Very entertaining and again something i’ve not done before. I think each of the outcomes of this brief went well.

Photo Montage & Fake News Headlines

I wasn’t in love with this brief straight away as i’m not really a fan of this sort of work.  I’m a fan of Monty Python though and this subject took me straight back there.   When we were given the homework to collect newspaper cuttings I wanted to trip back in time and try to find all of the ones that stayed with me over the years.  Unfortunately, due to the world we live in, most of the main headlines over the last thirty years have been devastation, death and doom so i liked the idea of jumbling it all up to create our own headlines and scrambling out a bit of nonsense.

Although i had fun doing this one, it didn’t really fill me with joy.  I know that it’s supposed to be a bit slapstick and I get the political reference and the rebellion of the dada movement but…. No.  No thank you.  Not for me.

I produced a top hat to display my favourite headline and covered it with my other one first all in mono.  The main one being on the front in full colour.  A tophat was chosen because an elephant donning a tophat was mentioned in the chosen story, obviously.

I think that the best outcome for this brief was the weird video I made of me wearing the hat and a bag for life with my face painted gold, trying to look ‘illicit’ while shimmying about to “read all about it”!! (all in the headline) – horrific! But so much fun to make!

Surface Pattern and Design

This was my favourite outcome! I went a bit maverick with the fluid art medium (because I just found it to be right up my street!) but the process is in there if you really look!

Lino printing was not my favourite at all to begin with because all of my designs were a little bit too intricate and the lines too fine for my inexperienced hands to process.  

I put down a few prints with what I had but they were terrible – all bubbly and hard to make out. Also i could only really work with one colour in these, because I had only left myself with fine lines, it looked very …pre-school.

I wasn’t happy and became frustrated so i went back to the drawing board (quite literally!) and chose a more suitable one of my designs. This one being based on the central curve of the number eight (in the collection of numbers i had gathered) and the leaves i had drawn in the ‘Near Mid Socially Distant’, ‘Vertical’ piece. Better!

I have loved working on these wallpaper designs… so much so that i made three not two and three versions of each of the three designs. I also managed to get them all printed on A1 rather than A2, as after a discussion with my tutor, Penny, I decided I wasn’t looking to produce a repeat pattern but rather a mural wall covering option. I think this could be something to sway my specialist subject decision.

ABC Concertina Book

For this brief I chose to go with the ‘Character Study’ theme and quickly produced 20 thumbnails describing a little girl’s day.  My page and font will be monotone but fixed with foam tabs and photographed to give a 3D effect on a flat page. 

Rather than hand drawn illustration I chose photographs to give an element of colour in a kind of ‘scrap-book’ style.  These too to be attached with the foam pads initially then photographed or scanned.  Each photo is not in the same context or even sourced from the same area.  The ones with an actual girl in them are never the same girl.  This is because Ami-Louiz is more of a ‘collective’ character I am using to convey the info.  Maybe some of them are actually my line drawings – but a photo of, then fixed in.

The little girls introduction contains the fact that her name begins with a name and ‘A’ and ends with a ‘Z’ee, but worded as if we are speaking of an object (which of course is the book …. Or the alphabet!)  Also this ‘introduction’ happens in the midst of the story!

I know.  I’m odd.  But it’s how I roll!

The scanned images of my pages are then printed with a lovely sheen (like a real life book) then attached to my ‘here is one i made earlier’ concertina, giving the pages a super thick feel – but this is kind of fitting because lots of ABC books are in fact printed on card. Winner winner chicken dinner!

The cover could have been better.  If I had more time that would have been the case.

The book doesn’t make perfect sense or even rhyme on some pages where some of them have more of a flow.  But that’s simply because of three things.

  1. It was written in less than a day.
  2. I’m not a children’s book writer.
  3. I’m not all that clever.


Homework … Numbers we can visualise in everyday life and natural composition.

Concertina Book

This little gem is a tad nonsensical but I think it has a bit of cutesy charm!


Thumbnails – planning my little story about Ami-LouiZ, who begins with an ‘A’ and ends with a ‘Zee’

I do feel up against it having to produce a page for each letter though.

Plus I’m after 3 to 6 words beginning with each letter per page – all the while trying to keep it in some sort of a ‘day in the life’ kinda flow!

Mock up progress

My concertina pages have been formed

I’ve made my pages a standard A5 size, after discussing with Penny, my tutor, just because for the finished article I will be scanning and printing onto a gloss paper. I can use A5 paper in the printer and this saves time cutting things to a ‘less standard’ size.

Although this book is written as if it is about one little girl, I’m using her name, ‘Ami-Louiz’, more as a collective noun for the photos I have illustrated with. Therefor the pictures are of different children and objects referred to in the book. It is not a fluent character but more of a collective.

Front cover
Back cover

This is my front and back board design for the book.

My little girl, Eden features in quite a few of the pages and here I have got her to lay on the floor in a couple of positions and taken photos of her, while stood on a chair. I have then super imposed them onto a black background, using an app on my phone (SuperImpose), added my lettering (TextArt) and printed it out on to gloss paper. The photos could have been of better quality but time was against me at this point.

Everything printed out ready to lay on to the pages of the concertina.

The pages are cut 5mm within the borders of the page for neatness, as I couldn’t print directly on to the concertina.

The front and back covers are cut 10mm larger for a tidy edge as I cant print directly onto the boards.




… Numbers

TASK: “Using your 20 number photographs PRINTED OUT, you will be primarily using these along with any of the work you have produced so far (……..self-portrait / mask / abstract / near middle far / letters projects and Contemporary Art collages).
Over this week, you will be exploring all things decorative but will then choose one of the following to explore and design more specifically…
Textiles /Surface Pattern / Ceramics/Jewellery / Fashion / Interior Design

“Using your NUMBER printouts as the main primary research, start to explore these and some aspects of your research work”

“Explore media and materials which are appropriate to your designs and be experimental with these”

“Choose your favourite design idea from Day 1.
You will be given a piece of lino and cutter and you will cut out this design and print it on to paper/newsprint/tissue paper (these may be pre-prepared with colour as appropriate) these prints will be integrated into your later designs in some way.
Continue experimenting”

So Eight is my favourite number, simple, fluid, eternal, loopy number eight! I wonder what I can do with it….
Going back to the ink work we did in the ‘near, mid, distant’ module, I’ve been experimenting with the central part of my number eight. Abstracting it and blending it through some of my sketches. To begin with I’ve brought with me the mono for a beautiful dramatic effect.
I’d forgotten how mush I don’t like this part! … my poor wrists!
A few basic prints and then onto some colour….

Wallpaper Designs while in isolation!

I didn’t really get on with the Lino printing expedition. I don’t think I can achieve the elegantly delegate and more flowing outcome I’d like to see for the wall paper.

I love the use of ink and the effects and bleeds of fluid art. I’m using alcohol ink and A1 sheets of Yupo paper for my designs with a blending solution of isopropyl 99%. I’ve then worked over it with black, gold and white – Posca Paint pens (using images from the drawings of the figure eight…. and the ink drawings of the leaves in my ‘near, distant’ work). I’ve then copied these huge pieces for an example of range.

Here are my favourite 3 outcomes on A1 sheets, as large wallpaperpossibly murals rather than a repeat pattern.

1. Vibrant

2. Muted

3. mono


… and here are a couple of failed attempts – although experimental pieces can still seem beautiful to me in their own right. Just not wall covering material in my opinion.


A Play on Words – Art & Language

Task – “create your own fake news headlines. Look at the news stories that you have collected. Using Tristan Tzara’s cut up technique, play around with them to create new news – creating a play on words”.


TASK 2 – “Make experimental plans and test pieces for an artwork that uses the text and can be held by your body in some way”

Create your piece in College using materials from College and home.

Vintage hat made taller so all of my “fake news” headline can fit on the front.
My initial idea was to just use any news paper in the mache…

… then I decided I could use my other headlines (black and white versions, allowing my “banger” to stand out, at the front, in full colour!)

“Create five different images/videos of your piece with YOU in the image”.

… not everyday you get to paint ya face gold and wear a bag for life! I embraced it illicitly (like the elephant!).

Stuff I’ve seen in the papers … mainly in my lifetime – some a little before.

Given a little homework task;

“Whilst not at College, you need to collect between 10- 15 news story headlines.
Make sure to bring those news story headlines in next week- if you’re able to have them printed out from a website or from a physical newspaper then that would”

So immediately I recall lots of things I’ve seen in the papers throughout my lifetime. Some I’ve been grown enough perhaps to remember happening, others my parents have spoken to me about and those stories have had an impact on me one way or another. Other clips I’ve chosen are regarding events, broadcasts and celebratory news from a while before my time but are obviously historically important aswell as being important to me. (I know they must be because they were on my brain as I was setting up the printer!)

So you see there’s no real theme to the selection of headlines I have chosen … hence the title “stuff I’ve seen in the papers”

…. and I know there are thousands of other events I’ve not recalled or paid homage to here. These are the ones that have stuck with me. I suppose the theme is an historic one.

Again I find myself looking forward to what we are going to be doing or how we are going to be using these cuttings in our project this week.

To be continued…?


Contemporary Art Practice, Dada, the Iconic Art Movement, Baldassari …. and my efforts!

Dada – Hmm, not so sure? …

Ridiculing “real” works of art.

Being cantankerous with politicians.

Completely absurd and VERY nonsensical!

The memory of staying up late and watching the likes of Monty Python, with my late father, are vivid.

It didn’t make sense at all, very confusing, considering “the life of Brian” was made when I was only three years old! I’m not surprised I couldn’t quite grasp it!

“How weird” I would have thought at the time – even though I didn’t know what weird was. Maybe this was it! Yes, this was weird!!

How very odd. I feel like that now as we are looking at all these works in class.

I like a bit of Monty now though. I like the films and I like the recall of my dad’s amused face – because, of course, – he got it!

It was funny! Completely nuts and profoundly silly… and silly IS funny!

Day 1. “Create as many collages as you can or want to. You could use your sketchbook or work outside of it”.

Initially, I found it difficult to work in this way and just found it too bizarre
There is a flow to it though. Even if only I can see it, I recon I’m a bit of a dada-ist!

Day 2. “All day –
Continue to create photomontage. Using your favourite pieces of collage we intend to create a large scale group mural”.

Here’s little piece I added to the wall.

Day 3+4.
“Make like a Conceptual Artist”
“John Baldassari was an influential conceptual artist who also taught at CalArts. Inspired by his class assignments from 1970. Choose 5 to complete at home.

A new way of thinking? Not for me thank you – but I’ve had a little trip to the Dada side!

To be continued…


BIG LETTER … little letter

I have been given an UPPERCASE letter, a lowercase letter and a colour. These are ‘Z’ and ‘n’and the colour named “Gingerbread Brick”

Who knew that this particular shade of brown would be such a bugger to recreate!

Initially I used a premixed brown acrylic paint and tried to work in some yellow tone. The brown I’d chosen was too much of a red base and just came up sludgey. I decided to start from scratch, mixed a green up then added a small amount of red and a teen bit of white, all the while being careful to try remember the “recipe”…. which proved difficult – so I’ve taken little snapshots of the amounts I added each time. I know – I’m a genius!!

I’ve chosen the words, overlay, crop, pattern and over write.

Now to play around in our sketchbooks with ideas to kind of communicate the given words. Working towards a huge peice for the wall at the end of today.

Had to use this though!

Loving the patterns. This is the one I’ll blow up today.

The finished PATTERN on the wall in the classroom 2m x 1.5m The Gingerbread Brick IS in there – the photo isn’t quite as true as it could be.

Now to go home, choose another of my experimental minis and repeat the last bit of the process…. but obviously with whatever resourses might be lurking in my studio! (appart from gigantic hairy October spiders atm!)

I’m picking on the word “Overlay” for this one and I’ve had a fab idea for it if I can get my hands on the materials!

This wallpaper will save a lot of photocopying for my background!

Ignoring the Harry Potter theme OBVIOUSLY 🙄
Work in progress…. I used the biggest sheet of card I could find at home (A2ish) then papered both sides with a 5” overlay – making it supersized!

Day 4 – at home
“Make five photographs or short videos of this piece of work next to things that start or contain either one of those letters. Blog the results” ….


Near, Mid, Socially Distant!

Tasks – “you will make a set of drawing tools using the materials that you have collected over the weekend. You are required to make at least six drawing tools that can create a variety of marks and qualities within your drawings.”

“Experiment with black ink and water to produce a range of different marks, textures, patterns and tones, from the lightest to the darkest tone with each individual tool.”

“Produce 6 monochrome, A5 studies of 1 particular place. Rotate round and using your handmade drawing tools create compositions which demonstrate the idea of near – mid – far. Make each one different in approach and use of tools. Use a range of tones made with dilute black ink and water and remember that you need a near object to suggest the mid and far zones of your drawing. The near object should be very close to you.

“Make one? VERTICAL long thin drawing that stretches downwards across two pages of your sketch book. Use your black ink, but also add one well-chosen colour in your drawing”.

Over the field and far away? I’m not one hundred percent happy with this. I’ve not quite got the perspective right and the trees look odd.

Create 2 x A2 drawings of 2 completely different views. Include some natural forms and some architectural forms. Use a range of tones made from dilute black ink. Remember the rules of Near Mid Far.”

Didn’t quite hit it on the head with the perspective but kinda like it’s quirk?
Grandad’s yard steps on a slightly brighter morning

“Make a large drawing of a different view which goes across two pages of your sketchbook opened out flat. Try to think about words or phrases that relate to your drawings or the landscape – perhaps your own thoughts, reflections or some poetry you might know. Include these in some of the drawing. How do these words integrate into it?”

The street I grew up in …. a combination of the words themselves, the man who said them and obviously the location, reminds me of my late father x

“Make a PANORAMIC drawing by extending the pages of your sketchbook. This drawing will be long, thin and horizontal but still needs to include near, mid and far elements, both architectural and natural. Use considered, careful colour.”

A little sepia wash added to the “near”. The fields have just been cut so the crop stubble gives me a new take on things.

I’ve really enjoyed painting this last one – I can see a “distance”….. I’m sure of it!

Because it was raining and blustery outside we were given the option to choose an interior view and use water colour rather than ink.
I’m happy with this as again, i enjoyed practice using the water co;lours and was still able to portray the feeling of near mid and further, sitting at my kitchen table!
Grandads garden steps…


Task – “You are given the challenge of creating several small abstract compositions from around the College building and outside on the podium. You may work within a 10cm shape”.

I spent quite a few hours stationing myself around college in little odd and very random nooks

I used my viewfinder, as instructed and although my little bench isn’t the comfiest seat, quite enjoyed the situation.

I was solitary amongst many! I was enjoying myself! … I think!

“You will also create a larger abstract composition”.

I chose the close up drawing of th gravel/ stones outside in the grounds because I think I did a good job of capturing som depth.
Snappy colours added and we have the abstract element!

“You will then use this abstract composition to decorate an unusual surface – think household object.”

Photograph and record your object as though it were featured in an Art Magazine or Gallery post this on your blog along with 5 of your favourite abstract pieces.

Portmanteau Mask Task

Task –

“Whilst in college and during your two days working at home we want you to produce a mask based on elements of your self-portrait and a specific artist that you will be given.As art students, you should be constantly looking for different and individual ways of expressing your personalities and the world you see and experience. This exercise is to make you explore ideas in 2D and 3D materials and to create an individual mask which will reflect a personal representation of yourself and your given artist.Think outside the box, don’t go for the obvious or your first thought. Be inventive, original, quirky and experimental.”

My given artist was DAVID NASH – a British artist who sculpts from natural materials. I’m excited about this! I love using raw wood in m home and I’ve found inspiration i Nash’s work in the past. Randomly fab choice Penny….

The bark was collected from my local woods (I live in a beautiful village and I had actually spotted this gorgeous find, on a fallen tree, while I dog walking earlier in the week.

We had fun with the papia mache moulded face shape and then screwed the wood into place. All that was left to do was re-surface it with Acer leaves … i know, I know – they look like something else haha! a little gold leaf to add a bit of sparkle. I hope this reflection on me. love a bit of glamour I do!

Eden enjoyed the modelling!

Summer Project – Self Portrait

Task – “Create a Self Portrait Complete a full-length life size self-portrait in a medium of your choice. Whatever, however – but the portrait must include all of you from your feet to the top of your head and must be to scale. The way that you construct your portrait is entirely up to you and for this task there is no right or wrong. You may want to consider your positioning as well as the perspective. You have the freedom to complete the project how ever you deem fit, using any material you like.”

….so i decided to resurface an old canvass and set about using acrilic paints. I did a sketch first from a photo my daughter took.