The course is over, the journey begins

Well folks that’s it; the college course I have been so engrossed in for the last 9 months is now over!  My time is my own again, well OK, mine plus all the millions of courses I have purchased and started but not finished, or purchased and not even started.  And then there is my wonderful family who need my attention, as well our house and garden and of course the cat that needs attention ..etc!

So I thought I would drop by say hello and do a quick precis of the final unit. It’s been a while I know since I’ve said hello, but I’m not going to lie, this last unit has been all encompassing and has taken over every minute of every day (and night – I even dreamt about it, waking up in the middle of the night having ideas or panic attacks, sometime at the same time ha ha.

Our unit title was “Layers”

I mean what sort of a title is that? I walked away from the class that day with absolute horror at the thought that I would need to make art based upon a theme! I wasn’t ready for that, I didn’t know what I was doing, I’m not someone (an artist) that can just come up with stuff you know. However, with some mind mapping, some thought processing and a lot of soul searching, an idea came through, and I began my research.

I played around with ideas and eventually struck on the idea of “layers of me”. I mean at my age I’ve had one or two experiences, some okay, and some pretty traumatic, however I can pinpoint three distinct periods of time in my life that have created a different path, or a destination to something else. So there we go, I had an idea to do for the project.

As you may know I love holistic therapy, especially crystal healing, so I am aware of the female archetypes; Maiden, Mother, Crone, and I know I am in enchantress stage (she sits between Mother and Crone and is a wild woman, a creative woman, a woman on the cusp of change!). The things that have happened to me have shaped me into the person I am today, so to tell that story seems kind of “logical” albeit vulnerable and damn right scary. The Greek Goddess Hecate is the goddess of the triple moon. So the number 3 kept cropping up for me too.

At this point I felt I had a very definite idea for the final project, and how I wanted it to end up. We were advised not to think of the final piece, but I had an idea and I planned to stick to it! I am going to make a sculpture….

I initially investigate Hecate and her symbology.  This piece shows the three moons, Hecate’s triform symbol. I put them all together to create a key.

I create a lino cut of a tree, surrounded by the triple moon.

However for Challenge one I create a linocut of the key, and make a print that is framed, a journal and a tote bag.

For challenge two I investigate tree spirits and further investigate the tree of life to think about me as the stoic tree and my two other selves as part of the tree. I learn to paint trees and tree spirits before finally creating an A3 painting in watercolour and femaing it.

For challenge three I investigate mixed media on a canvas, and specifically the broken heart element to my story. This canvas took a lot of work and was quite emotional, whilst also being completed at a time when my sister has just been advised of a medical situation that needs urgent attention.   I genuinely thought I would not be able to complete this, or finish the course. I think this adds another level to the story of this heartbreak being mended.

By now my initial idea for my final piece is still there, except it has changed, morphed, become something different. One day I still want to try to achieve it, but for my final project piece I have gone in a different direction. We were warned this would happen so not to plan the final piece. This is an A1 canvas, I used tissue paper to create the texture of the tree trunk and branches and everything else is in Acrylics. It took me in excess of 8 hours to complete over several days. I don’t think I have ever given so much attention to a single piece of work. This process has taught me so much about the length of time a piece of art can take to complete. I have learnt that I should not rush and that I can make mistakes or take different directions. This canvas itself evolved so much before I put down the final paint stroke.

Here is a quick video of the sketchbook that relates solely to Unit 8. 

Unit 8 Coursework sketchbook

Here is a photograph of the body of work that makes up unit 8 and the examinable part.  This is what needs to be good, and tells the story, and the examiners can see what I was trying to say. I will be presenting this as part of a video q&a session as a final body of work at college later this week, then it all gets packed up and sent off for marking.

I have absolutely loved this course. I am already missing it and the discipline it brought me. I have loved learning, I feel I have really grown as an artist, in confidence and technical skills. I want to do it all again! Oh wait I am, I’m starting Level 3 in September. Yay go me, I will one day be able to call myself an artist.

Disclaimer: All opinions expressed here are my own. I paid for the products discussed, I received no payment and I am not affiliated in any way with any brand mentioned herein.

2 thoughts on “The course is over, the journey begins

  1. Fabulous work 🤗 looking forward to working with you on Level3 🧚‍♀️

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