Notes to Strangers : Browns, Shoreditch

I see these notes around London on my daily commute and follow @notestostrangers on instagram, so when I saw that Browns, East were collaborating with street artist Andy Leek, I thought i'd check it out!

It was a beautiful, fun and happy installation in the entrance-way to this cool designer store. I love the messages and felt fully cheered up and spurred on by the sentiments!

Weekly Art Fix : Arthur Jafa

Arthur Jafa: A Series of Utterly Improbable, Yet Extraordinary Renditions

What a great exhibition. Bright / Dark / Positive / Moody. I thoroughly enjoyed this exhibition. Wearing headphones you walk through the zones of this gallery looking at random and powerful images curated by Jafa against a backdrop of sounds, music and dialogue. Seriously emotive and interactive. I enjoyed sitting in the dark room watching the films which seemed again to be so random yet curated. Jafa challenges and questions prevailing assumptions society makes about race and class.

Street Art : Valencia

I visited Valencia with Natasha from @ishootstreetart  in June which was a perfect weekend getaway. Valencia is pure goodness! Its historic old town is slowly being regenerated, but not so fast that the crumbling and decaying buildings and plots have disappeared... instead you have this beautiful contrast of ancient buildings some which have been restored sitting quite comfortably in between graffiti covered walls and buildings. There seems to be a real celebration of street art and its artists as you travel through the narrow streets. For me this is a great weekend destination, amazing spanish food and drink, history, architecture and artwork everywhere! 

Here is a snap shot of what we saw - enjoy!



Art Class Update : Final Week - Life Painting

I've thoroughly enjoyed my weekly art class at the Art Academy in London Bridge. The final class was the perfect end with a beautiful life painting session. The past few weeks have been good to get to grips with painting again. Simple pointers and lessons from the tutor have really made me think about expressive freedom, how to hold the brush and mixing paints to achieve unique colours. Its been a fun and useful practice for me to dedicate one evening a week to purely artistic endeavours. 

The class is over but I am going to try and keep up my weekly art sessions!

Art Class Update : Week 6 -Blue Bananas

This week we focused on tone. We were only allowed to use one colour and white... I opted for blue as i'm interested in learning more about tone in colour rather than just black and white. 

It takes some serious concentration and study to really get tone... which can be quite frustrating. But if you keep at it and keep updating the layers and assessing which is lighter or darker things start to take shape.

A day later I quite like my blue bananas!

Art Class Update : Week 5 - Printmaking

Linocut Printmaking

Oh what fun. I remember linocut printing from school art classes. Loved it then and I do now again! Such instant satisfaction of seeing a mark you've made appear boldly on a crisp white sheet of paper rolling through the old fashioned big wheel press.

I decided this week to explore another of my regular doodles - circles and triangles. I love the relationship between the shapes as they cross over and create new forms. I think the linocut is a great way to explore these geometric shapes using a quite free handed process.

Art Class Update : Week 2

Week 2 at the Art Academy in London bridge.

This week felt a lot more fast pace... The sculpture needed to be completed by the end of the session as next week we'll have a new challenge!

I found myself again really enjoying working with clay. This week I had to refine the body I had started to mould last week. 'Make the legs and arms less sausage like' was the advice lol! I also had to try and mould the face - she looks a bit scary and modernist now!

 It is really interested how working with clay to build the human form really gets your brain wired into thinking in 3D rather than the 2D world of graphic design. You really start to appreciate the structure of the human form and observe the details of the body's muscle and bone from all angles. I am hoping this will help with my sketching and painting when we move on from clay in a few weeks.

Weekly Art Fix : Making & Unmaking

This week's art fix comes from the Camden Arts Centre on Finchley Road. Inside this Victorian fronted building which doesn't look like much from the outside is a modern and bright space which was refurbished in 2004 by Tony Fretton Architects. The light modern airy space inside contrasts with the smoggy Finchley Road outside. It has a lovely garden space, cafe and bookshop and is free to visit! 

Making & Unmaking is a curated exhibition by the designer Duro Olowu. It features over 60 different artists who have all been selected by Olowu. Art, design, photography, jewellery, sculptures, fabrics and ceramics are all exhibited in an inspiring and colourful display which feels like a beautiful slice of inspiration from Olowu himself.

I found the exhibition really inspiring and it made me think of the inspiration that I have here in my family home. We were not allowed to take photographs as a number of the artworks are from private collections so I have taken some pictures of artwork around my family home which reflects some of the themes seen in the exhibition. Photos above are from the Camden Arts Centre website. Photo credit: Mark Blower.

Lisa from #blackbritishart advised me that I need to 'just do you' so thanks for the great art fix this week! 

Art Class Update

Summer is here and i've started an art class at the Art Academy in London Bridge. Oh what fun! Having met Saskia Gall in India at the art retreat I thought i'd expand my art learning in London where she is teaching this summer and have some fun creating something new! 

Week 1 - Sculpture

The last time I worked with clay I was probably about 10 years old at Clapham Pool where we did pottery every saturday morning. I loved it then and think i'm now realising that I still do... I was late for the first class (bloody typical!) so had to shamelessly interrupt the intro session as I walked in. It's a class full of women and one man! Do men not do art classes mid week then? No problemo as I'm here to learn and express my creativity not to look for a potential date (lol). 

I loved the first class and was surprised at my starter effort - I was quite pleased with myself and here is the result of week 1. I will continue to update with each weeks art efforts! Ciao x

Weekly Art Fix : Jeff Koons

In an effort to stimulate my creativity and to take advantage of the vast amount of accessible art around us in London (and the world) I have decided to make this a new feature of my week and blog.

This week I visited the Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall, London. The gallery is owned by Damien Hirst and is part of the regeneration and re imagining of Vauxhall from an old and sightly forgotten part of central south London to this clean cut, arty zone with contrasting old buildings and swish sharp lines of modern London architecture. The gallery is lovely, beautifully designed inside and out and it's FREE!!!! 

The exhibition : Jeff Koons - Now

Jungle Art Retreat : Goa, India

28th February - 10th March 2016

Arriving in India from Abu Dhabi was surprisingly chilled out. Not sure what chaos I was expecting, but arriving in Goa to see a man holding up a lovely yellow hand written sign with 'Welcome Carolyne Hill' was the best feeling ever!

After driving through various towns and villages to get to Khhaama Ketna retreat I arrived up a dark dirt track and at the bottom of a small gate which looked like the entrance to the jungle, I was left with my rucksack to make my way up (glad I didn't take the suitcase!). At the top I was greeted by Saskia, Sandra and Tiago... what gorgeous people I thought! Then I met David who was also so handsome, looking like Mowgli from Jungle Book! I was shown to my hut which was the furthest out into the jungle... OMG Its proper jungle out here... they were not joking! The jungle backed onto my open air bathroom... WTF...I can only laugh at this point as i'm not sure what i'm more scared of; the Indian clay hole in the ground toilet or the thought of monkeys or snakes or what ever else is in the jungle jumping on me while I shower or sleep in my hut with open windows. Turns out I was just fine and this was the most amazing place I've ever stayed in! I loved my open air shower and the feeling of taking a midnight shower with the trees and stars above my head became the best end to a day ever.

My Jungle Accomodation

My Jungle Accomodation

The art retreat was an amazing experience! There were 8 of us in total including David's Mum Suzie. Bev, Lisa and Kat from the Art Academy in London Bridge, Nicky a exec from the TV world, Andrea from Hungary and Alex who both live in London. Such a lovely and varied bunch of people. We had  a great time, full of art adventure, beach visits, jungle spice farm tours and lots of eating!

Amazing food prepared for us at the Khhaama Ketna Farm

Amazing food prepared for us at the Khhaama Ketna Farm

Every day we'd do some artwork under the banyan tree which was a beautiful and perfect setting. Who can draw? Who is really good? I was nervous to begin with, but very soon under the banyan tree we were all getting stuck in and enjoying the adventure!

A moonlight life drawing session under the banyan tree

A moonlight life drawing session under the banyan tree

For me this was a chance to leave the mac behind and remind myself that I can draw and paint and that I enjoy it... I was surprised by some of the work I produced and also felt at times that i'd not moved on much from A-level art! Over the 10 days we were guided by Saskia and David through various activities of painting, drawing, jungle foraging, sculpture as well as various tours to the beach, spice farms, waterfalls and more.

The palm weaving workshop

The palm weaving workshop

Life drawing under the banyan tree

Life drawing under the banyan tree

Saskia and David were the perfect hosts and friends to have made. Such inspiring individuals who decided to set up this magical art retreat in the jungle!

My exhibition!

My exhibition!