Posted in crash course in art history, inspiration, news, process

Crash Course in Art History launching…soon

arthistorybooks

Learn and Do

Join us on a journey, starting with the cave paintings in France and ending with Bridget Riley’s painted stripes.  We’ll hop through the centuries and decades, learning interesting facts about the artists along the way.  What did Michelangelo think about being landed the job of painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel?  Who were the Fauves and how have they influenced art today?  After flying through history, we will all create an artwork influenced by one of the artists we learned about.

Think you aren’t good at drawing?  It doesn’t matter!  Some of us have put up barriers due to a bad experience with art making.  This lesson will help to overcome that.  Do you love making art?  Great!  Perhaps you will learn something new and can then repeat that back home.

It has been proven that creating art relieves stress, focuses the mind, encourages us to become creative problem solvers and so much more.

The workshop is divided into two 30 minute sessions:  Learn and Do.  We learn.  And then we make.

Who is this workshop for?

Everyone!  But to narrow that down, here is a list:

– Team Building Groups

– Businesses who observe Mental Awareness Week and are interested in bringing something new and fun into the workplace

– Special events (birthday parties, hen parties, just because parties)

– Educational events (especially for those teachers that might not have a good grasp of art and art history due to the other hundreds of things you are teaching in class).

For more information please visit my website here.

My first event will take place in February and I have been burning the midnight oil planning, designing, thinking, and writing about this event and for this event.  Two months ago I officially listed this effort with Companies House and ever since that day, the foundations have been forming.

2020 is going to be a big year for me.  The exhibition was the first idea to land in my head and grow into big ideas about it being an installation piece.  Soon after Crash Course formed and I had to grab onto it and not let it go.  I have had to move around my work commitments to make way for these two new things.  I am both excited and daunted.  I am curious about how these two ideas will grow and that is winning out over any uncertainty.

What are your big, fun, and scary plans for 2020?

Posted in allthesmallthings, competition, galleries and shops, inspiration, news, process

#allthesmallthings competition

CassandraHarrisonIllustrations1

The other night I thought I would lay out all the drawings I have made for the #allthesmallthings exhibition.  The floor was covered from corner to corner.  I am rather impressed with the number of drawings I have created in spaces where I thought I did not have time to draw. It is interesting to me to see how much my style has changed and developed in just a few short months.  In August I was asked to draw people for the DECIEM launch event in Edinburgh.  I was like ‘People?!  You want me to draw people?  Have you seen my artwork?  I do NOT do people.  Or animals.  Buildings yes, but nothing on two or four legs thanks very much.’  So then I started drawing my friends and family and my obsession with drawing people caught in-between moments grew from there.

There is certainly a style growing from this challenge and I’m so glad I can use materials on the hoof.  I think of those artists with massive studio spaces and hours to be in those spaces.  One day I shall have that but for now I will embrace my parameters and see what great things I can make from here.

As for the COMPETITION part of the title, I have a little competition on the go.  It’s easy to play along.  All you have to do is Follow this blog or Follow me on Twitter or Instagram and tag in a friend.  What do you get for this small yet big action?  On January 31st I will choose two names from a hat and will draw a photo of you/your family/your favourite building/your best holiday snap/your favourite cafe/your prized shop dog in my style.

Please share and thanks for following.

CassandraHarrisonIllustrations2

Posted in allthesmallthings, inspiration, news, process

#allthesmallthings

shrinkies

I could go on and on about how a decade has ended and a new one has begun.  Really, though, a new decade follows an old one every year.  2019 looked back on its own decade from 2009 and 2018 reminisced about all of its days from 2008.  It is exciting to look back at all the fun, cool stuff you saw and did in a nice chunk of time and I have to say, my ten year time lapse has been incredible.  As with many others, I have seen so much change within the lens of my own life that I could not have even guessed at most of this that has come to pass.

To say I have hit the ground running would be accurate for this new batch of months.  I have booked an exhibition space at Bloc Gallery and have been working on sketches towards artworks to be completed for the show.  The initial idea was to create hundreds of sketches then choose a few to work into paintings.  I have realised, however, that my life is not parceled up into nice, long blocks of time where I can concentrate fully for hours or days, if needed.  That is so far from my life.  I long for that, but that is not how it is right now.  So, I will work with what I have.  I will choose to not feel restricted by it but will instead embrace the 20 or 30 minutes I have and do what I can in that time.  What I have found out is that what I can do is quite small.  Literally. This is one reason why I have chosen the title ‘allthesmallthings’ for my show.  It is about capturing those moments in-between.  Those small spaces of time.  I have chosen my materials also based on this theme.

There is a lot more I could say about my 2020 plans however they are on a very different topic.  So until then…I hope you enjoy the gift that is this time of year.  It’s nice/agonising/painful/uplifting to reflect on what has passed.  Let us now look forward and do something great with the time we have together on this spinning blue and green ball we call Earth.

 

EdinburghDrawing

Posted in news, process

Present!

Present, St Mary's Street, Edinburgh
Present, St Mary’s Street, Edinburgh

On my journeys to and from the Copyshop (for all my scanning and postcard printing needs) I often pass this little gem wedged between restaurants and cafes on St Mary’s Street.  I have ventured in, bought presents and cards, ventured out then went on my merry way.  The thought occurred to me that perhaps my prints would be a good fit for them and so I made contact.

I am happy to announce that they have taken me on.  Hurrah.  Any shop with a shop dog is ace in my book.  Bunty does not disappoint.  She is complete with handmade scarf, her own house and tiny bowls, and sweet demeanour.  Can’t help but like that the owner of the shop is sporting tattoo sleeves of the real variety.  No meshy slip-on ones for her.

The tourist season is soon upon us and this makes me sigh with relief.  I know I’m a bit of a sell out, but we must all make a living somehow.  I like it that they like my work (especially the Yanks) and that my artwork is living in homes from the States to Japan and lots of places inbetween.

And so, I plot my next artwork, possibly a view down from Calton Hill.  If I can manoeuvre my expanding self up that steep incline.

Posted in Daisy Cheynes, process

June pop up in Stockbridge

Danube Street
Danube Street

In June, I will be having a pop up art exhibition at Daisy Cheynes in Stockbridge.  To be honest, I’m not sure if such a thing should be called a pop up as it is already in a shop.  But anyway, I will be creating 5 to 7 new Stockbridge specific artworks and we will have a little opening party at the shop some Saturday afternoon in June to welcome the new arrivals.

So far I have created only 2 screens as I am still wandering around the area, trying to find new and interesting angles of some old favourites.  It’s not that easy.  Stockbridge is not a massive place.  I also have yet to decide my colours for this project.  Perhaps I’ll take a leaf out of the Hula pop up book and choose six colours, each work using five of the six in various quantities.  You have to plan these things or the show might not come across as coherent.  I’ve already tacked together swatches of fabric onto my work desk and will try out a few other variations before I settle on something that is pleasing to my eye (and hopefully almost everyone else’s).

Posted in inspiration, process

Getting rid of rigidity with adventures in Monoprinting

As this is the year of experimentation, this old goat (Capricorn…not that I give much credence to that stuff) decided to try to introduce new ways of mark making into her artist’s life. There is the fun side project that is Tex and Bonnet, which is a collaboration with Jimmy and our friends Super Fun and Fantastic. It’s an outlet for collaborative creativity and we’ve already started rolling out some new designs.

I have unearthed my massive sketchbook and am commiting myself to adding to it every day. I have failed 12 of the 14 days of January so far, but my intensions are good and I at least know where the massive sketchbook is.

Today was my first firm step into the realms of rulerless-drawings-of-buildings-and-things-on-buildings. I have tried to do this with pencils and paper but no matter how hard I try to quickly and energetically lay down my line, the rigid, rule-follower in me, the person that practically faints at the sight of a vertical line that is NOT perpendicular to the bottom edge of the page, persists. I’m clean. My paper is tidy. I have several sizes and types of rubbers at my disposal. (Sorry Americans, that would be ‘erasers’ to you and yes, I realise you are practically weeing yourselves with laughter right now).

Monoprinting‘ was my word for the day. A brayer was purchased, as were papers and inks. I’d read a book and saw some helpful Youtube videos and now it was time to commit. The thing about monoprinting is that you cannot rest y0ur delicate hand on the paper because if you do too much of that, you are going to smear the heck out of the image side of your paper. So. Lines must be laid out decisively and quickly. Look at your subject, then commit. There is no erasing unnecessary or ugly line. You may be able to fudge it with a scribble and call it a ‘tree’ or ‘foliage’ but there’s not much to hide something errant.

It took a few tries to lay on the ink correctly as too much ink turns the entire paper, erm, inky. But even that mistake wasn’t too catastrophic. The unfortunate thing about monoprinting is that, as indicated by the prefix, it is a one shot printing adventure. I do have ideas, though, on what I can do with these monoprints for the future. I haven’t abandoned my print on fabric artworks. In fact, these monoprinting adventures are going to segue into developing my process. I’m really digging this monoprinting lark as it challenges me to create artwork that is so very different from what I’ve been doing the last three years.

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I remember reading an excerpt from an article about Tracy Emin. Emin and her friend travelled in the states. I can image her in some desert, dust clouds kicking up and the heat beating down. In my imagination, she’s wearing aviator shades (when they were tragic) and sitting in an itchy, fold out, lawn chair – you know – the kind with the plaid design, woven in plastic, frame made of cheap metal.  Actually, it was rather a different kind of chair in which she sat.  And as a matter of fact, here is a link to the photo that feeds my imagings.

As for this blog and my joke that it is ‘relentless self-absorted chat about what I do,’ I find that for me, the writing about making art and inspiration is as important as the making of it. It almost feels as if I can’t have one without the other.

Posted in inspiration, process

The Seal and Josey show

Possibly too much fun is being had chez Steel and Harrison.  We have gotten our mits on a device that will make many fun products for our crazy imaginings.  Three different designs were created today, two of which are featured below.  The third design may need some re-thinking as to how we want to present it to the world.

Both images began as rough sketches in my sketchbook.  Jimmy then added the necessary colour and zing to make them more fun than my black-ink-on-beige-paper markings.

find me on a pocket mirror
find me on a pocket mirror
and me, too
and me, too