Tuesday, 31 March 2020

These different days..... on making art during the corona virus pandemic


these different days
Week one of self isolation is over.

A frantic, tiring week of getting used to be home all day and locked in with OH ( my other half).

We usually keep very busy out and about. Going our different ways much of the time.

So how to adjust to being together all day every day?

  1. gardening like maniacs, digging up lawn to create a vegetable patch.... digging for sanity - DFS
  2. watching Breaking Bad from the beginning... one episode a day
  3. walking up and down a big hill every day ( me)
  4. cycling up and down a big hill every day (OH)
  5. making soup (OH)
  6. eating soup (me)
  7. You tube exercise videos ( me)
  8. making books ( not OH obviously.....)

We made it into week 2, and who knows what that will bring.

So what was the book?

I am a member of an Instagram group #areyoubookenough , started by Sarah Maker of Editions Studio in Seattle.

Each month there is a given subject, and if you wish to join in then you make a book themed to the subject.
It is an incredibly friendly group of like minded book loving creatives, and the ideas that people come up with never cease to amaze.

So for March we had 'Hexagon'.

Very mathematical , geometric.....


these different days©caroline fraser2020



I got out a pencil and compass, and re-learned how to draw a hexagon. I have forgotten all my maths.

I googled hexagons in nature

I couldn't get inspired.

I played with shapes. Still nothing.

I definately didn't want to make a book about bees and honeycombs, or turtles.

I learned that pencils are hexagonal so they don't run off the table.....

I was getting nowhere fast.

And then I discovered a template in Photoshop that contains geometric shapes.

I used it to make shapes with images from my computer; old images that felt suitable for a graphic creation.



I went a bit crazy for the next few days, playing and experimenting. Layering and blending.

I used images from the sea wall at Camber sands .


these different days © Caroline Fraser 2020


I used mountains from Norway


These different days © Caroline Fraser 2020


Birds from Aberystwyth


These different days © Caroline Fraser 2020

 and trees from an ancient oak forest inWales


These different days © Caroline Fraser 2020

These different days © Caroline Fraser 2020

And when I had finished I had a motley collection of images that didn't all work together.

Next I wrote some words.




These different days

They asked me to make a book;

‘Hexagon’

but all around the world was changing.

I thought of honeycombs and basalt columns
turtle shells and snowflakes
Saturn’s hexagonal clouds.

But they matter not.
For outside in the brilliant sunshine
while spring is doing its thing,
inside there is darkness, 
anxiety and apprehension.

How to create work in these different days?
Hexagons of no relevance right now.

As the anxiety rose I turned to my library of images
and began to work.
Layering and sifting,
mixing and blending,
cutting and pasting,
sequencing and printing.
Circles, triangles (and hexagons too).

I kept working until time ran out
and I realised that what mattered was not the book
but the thinking, distraction and experimentation
that had buffered my thoughts,
and kept me going 
through these different days.






And once I had the words then the book had to be constructed.

I printed out images and sequenced them, quickly realising that I needed to limit the colour palette for it to work.





I chose orange, grey and turquoise.....


orange, grey and turquoise




These different days © Caroline Fraser 2020




I printed the words onto one sheet of paper, and made a concertina with the abstract images.




The final book was completed on the 7th day of the first week.





And here is the final product with yours truly reading the words in a very serious voice.....





The next topic is machine 

I think my typewriter Olympia will want to be in on that one.

Let's see what tomorrow brings....

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