The Heatpress

I began by making a stylised cutout of insect wings. This was to be the template for some of my experiments.


I used a piece of white cotton material with the heatpress set to 90. I tore yellow paper and put grey over the top. I like the intensity of the colours on this setting

Using the same cutout, I tore some grey and put light blue over the top. This time I reduced the heat press to 83. The colours came out a lot lighter. The impression of the stencil came out yellow even though the material was white. I still think it works well with the other colours even though it was unplanned


This is where it all went wrong. I started to get a bit big for my boots and decided to use some flocking. I made the mistake of putting the flocking over the whole image instead of cutting it in the shape of the bits I wanted to be flocked. The flocking ended up fusing the stencil between itself and the material. I managed to pull the stencil off while it was still warm, but it cant really be used again. This pattern that was left was quite interesting though, so I put some shiny gold paper over the top to see what happened. I notice that the gold paper stuck to some of the flocking as well as the areas that I had actually glued. I wonder if this always happens or if it is just on this piece. I feel like the work was worth putting on here because of what I have learned through it. It is no great masterpiece, but it’s also not altogether unpleasing on the eye (I’ve seen worse Christmas decs)


I didn’t use a template for this one, but cut out a leaf shape in yellow and then cut out the vein shape in light blue and then dark blue flocking. I used copper coloured shiny paper this time and once again, it stuck to the flocking as well as the glue


Using my leaf template, I added grey and blue paper. I wanted to keep it simple because I like the delicate pattern and didn’t want anything to draw away from it. I like the clean colours and lines

Working with the heatpress was a really good experience. It is lovely to experiment with, and it produces very quick results.


Manipulating Nature and Cutouts

After pondering over cutouts and how paper can be used to mimic nature and architecture……..

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I progressed on to actual nature and how it can be manipulated to mimic …itself


Leaves joined together and cut outs made to resemble the eating patterns of insects


Leaves laid flat and blobs of glue from a glue gun used to resemble a snail’s trail


Autumn leaves arranged on water to form a lily pad

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A reed treated with stripes from a felt tip pen after it was cut thinner with cutouts at the edges


A leaf cut from a larger leaf with the cutout of a snail on the side. This was inspired by the artist Mitsuru Koga of Japan. His art is inspired by the patterns that insects make and creates works of art out of leaves.

Going back full circle, I decided to explore a leaf patterns for myself, and made a large leaf cutout out of card

IMG_0122  IMG_0123

The cutout is raised on the paper because I like the way the shadow behind makes it appear 3D.

The winter morning light was too inviting to pass up the opportunity to play with the shadows a bit more

IMG_0105  IMG_0104  IMG_0103  IMG_0102  IMG_0101

I think the cutout has the potential to be the basis for the pattern of a print. I like the delicate, lacy framework it creates, and it makes me think of insects wings and insect patterns in leaves.

Flight of the Bumblebee

I was ready to focus on my Bumblebee, so I began with 3 drawings. The first was a charcoal study of a Bumblebee about to take flight.

I concentrated mainly on the texture and the shapes of the various parts of the body


I would like to do another sketch of the same bee, but also focusing on more details like the eyes – perhaps a sharper version than this one done in graphite pencil. I think charcoal was the right choice to show the fluffy texture of the abdomen. I can also see the shapes beginning to emerge

The second uses the image of the Bumblebee and simplifies it into just the shapes so you are left with a 2D Bumblebee stamp.


I really liked the shape of the wings. They looked like there was potential to experiment with them using different textures and techniques.

I used this image a third time. I kept the simplified shapes, but flooded them with water and dropped coloured ink in.  I was really pleased with the brightness of the ink and the way the colours blended to look like it had been tie dyed


I have been looking at Tord Boontje as a contemporary artist, and I have been fascinated by his beautiful paper cutouts. I treated the wings as cutouts and experimented with Boontje’s style a bit more by pressing a chantilly lace pattern into the paper with a nail


I experimented a bit more with the wings, creating textures using different pens, beads and even bubblewrap


The cut out still seems the most beautiful to me. It reminds me of lace and is very femanine. I feel that this would be a good way to represent the delicate intricacy of the Bumblebee’s wing

Drawing Workshop – Inglorious Beasties

The title of this next project is “Inglorious Beasties”. We will be exploring the lives, habitats and habits of insects which are of the inglorious persuasion – in that they can’t help biting, stinging, ruining things and generally being a pest.

I began with a quick scout around to see if I could find any of these critters lying around the house

IMG_0038 IMG_0063

The obvious choice for me was the Bumblebee

We began with a simple warm up by drawing our insect to size in pencil, at different angles

Following on from there,we enlarged our insect and drew it in fineliner

Finally, we focused on a particular area or body part and enlarged it on our page (with the help of a magnifying glass)


This done, we folded an A1 page into 8 sections

In the first section we drew our insect from memory, adding in as many details as we could possibly remember


I was quite surprised by the detail I actually did remember due to the previous exercise


The image was drawn using a Berol pen, so I was able to use a wet paintbrush to do the shading afterwards

Following this, we did three quick drawings in  succession

IMG_0046 Continuous line drawing from memory

IMG_0047 Continuous line drawing looking at the insect and not the drawing

IMG_0048 Normal drawing looking at the insect and not the page

I was a bit dissappointed in the outcome of these three drawings, but the process really did help to loosen me up for the rest of the workshop

Next, we focused on one area of the insect that we liked

IMG_0044 IMG_0052 and put in the shaded area with a wet paintbrush as before

From this we created a pattern

IMG_0045 IMG_0053 and shaded it

We had to think about texture next, and make marks to indicate what the main texture of our insect or a particular part of our insect  was

IMG_0049 IMG_0054 I think it showed the texture better before I shaded it

For the final part of this exercise, we tried to turn the body of our insect into the shapes and create an image that looked like a stamp

IMG_0050 IMG_0055 I think I could use a bit more practice

These are the tools I made for the next exercise


They consist of various sized nibs, a dish scourer on the end of a straw, a feather, some sponge, a willow stick and a bit of cloth.

I was quite pleased with the various marks that each made, so I continued with some black ink.

The products of my mark making

IMG_0057 IMG_0058 I also used the straws to blow the ink

This workshop was so enjoyable and very helpful in that it helped me to loosen up in my approach to drawing. I also discovered how to study an object through drawing and to approach drawing in a completely different way. I learned to record in a variety of ways too

CROWN – Roses among the Thorns

  • The title for our Fine Art rotation was NOW MAKE ART!

I was totally overwhelmed at first and set about researching Artist Ernsto Neto to get an idea about how to make/ alter something to stamp my thoughts and ideas into it.

I had a short walk in town with a camera, and was imediately impacted by this beautiful crown in a shop window


I love the way the crown is made up of hundreds of little people. This brings up so many themes in my head about the monachy and how society is governed, and most importantly structured. I began to think about structure and how I might be able to make a crown with this in mind. I wanted to tackle a big theme like Death and Life, but I wasn’t sure how I could put this in a crown, and what structure I could use to get the message across?

Further along, I saw this image on a window

crown 1

I liked the simplicity and the way the crowns had been reduced to their basic shapes. I thought this would be good to use in my design. The first thing I thought of when I thought of a crown depicting death was the Crown of Thorns that Jesus wore.

I went home and made a wreath out of rose thorns to see how it would look. It was at this point that I decided that my final piece would be an image rather than a sculpture. The realistic thorns were too brutal for the crown I had in mind, so I used the idea from the crowns above of simplifying the shape into a much more stylised version. It would be good to use beads as a medium for the thorns too. This way they would look heavy and ornate.

The next step was to think about the roses. My inspiration came from a painting I had done for my sister and her husband on their Wedding day. My inspiration for this had come from Mackintosh, and I loved the full blown rose – which had come from one of the panels on the marital bed in the Mackintosh house.

heath and johnThe rose provided me with a starting point to use beads in an experiment to see if I could make it look like a jewel

The roses needed to be delicate in order to provide a contrast to the thorns. I also wanted to put beads on some of them in order to make them appear closer in the final work. I again got my inspiration from Mackintosh, but this time from some wallpaper in the dining room – I also looked at the way he tackled the idea of structure in the mural decoration in the Buchanan Street Tea Room.

tea room The trellis type structure around the woman was what I was thinking of for my roses on top of the thorns

Easter Crown The final piece – A crown depicting Death and New life

A Brave New World – Fashion Body Adornment

There has been a terrible environmental disaster pollutiong every particle of this planet! Every living creature on this world has had to adapt or die.

10,000 years has passed, it is now the year 12,011. Although humans have survived, we have had to evolve, conventionality has gone, we must look to ingenuity in the way we do everything; walk, run, hide, pick things up, talk, eat, etc…

Think about ways in which the human form may have to evolve, to survive, to function in this utopian or distopian brave new world.

Start with your own knowledge about the environment, technology, politics, anthopology and ethnography.

Design a body adornment for a  person in this new world, taking all these things into account


Human greed caused the Great War!

We reclessly took from the Earth, devouring our resources with no consideration for the future. It was just a matter of time before countries started looking inside each other’s barns to find what they were missing.

The fighting was intense and it didn’t take long for the bombs to destroy the little of the planet we had left. Those who survived did so in stark, clinical falout shelters. The world outside had become toxic and so had the minds of most of the survivors who had fought or been exposed to  the mountains of negativity and toxins.

In his search for a treatment for the ravaged minds of his peers, leading psychiatrist and nuclear physisist Robin Murray, discovered the wonder drug Curoxin

Upon entering the mind, curoxin began attacking negative thoughts which were lodged in the brain stem. Within a matter of weeks a patients mind could be restored.

Murray went on to discover that in certain individuals, this process continued. He discovered that in these cases, the mind went on, not only to heal itself completely, but to expand inexplicably. Areas of the mind that had never been discovered were being used. The moment the mind became completely purified and transformed the “GLOW” began.

No one understood why this only happened to some, but it did – leaving the person with a beautiful light coming from their head. These became the celebrities and leaders of the New Age. They were the sharpest, purest minds and the most beautiful of our species – THE LUMINARIES

It was discovered fairly soon that the “GLOW” from the Luminaries had a slight sedative effect. This had different reactions and the population was split into those who wanted Luminary Rule, and those who considered themselves the freedom fighters

   wendy davids tent 2 My interpretation of the “GLOW” (acrylic on MDF)

glow issue  A Mood Board demonstrating the issue of the “GLOW”

The luminaries finally came up with a solution. They asked me to design a head adornment which would act like a type of lamp shade, sheilding people from the effects of the GLOW and harnessing the energy that was produced in order to use it for something worthwhile.

I designed the STAR which is as beautiful as it is functional. It’s job is to harnes the energy of the “GLOW”, leaving normal people to get on with their day, and energizing the cities of the World

IMG_0078 copy A Luminary wearing the STAR

IMG_0086bc An Add Campaign showing the beauty and functionality of the STAR


Musings of the Elderly – A Book

This weeks rotation was Visual Communication. The brief was to make a response to a newspaper article by interpreting the information Typographically. Then we were to explore the final layout before deciding on the final outcome. By using a range of text and image to explore the chosen article we were to develop different visual media processes and the conceptual meaning of the article.

In short, we were to produce a small booklet

Untitled-1Page 1Page 2Page 3Page 4Page 5

 Page 6

     I really enjoyed the process of making each page. On review, I feel that the Typography has let me down a bit in the final outcome. If I was to do it all again, I would focus mainly on the writing, and experiment a bit more with the work of Tom Phillips in mind

I have found his work on “A Humament” particularly interesting. He set about altering each and every page of a victorian novel, and produced some beautifully layered works with lots of depth. I found this way of working very interesting, and a wonderful way of portraying an idea – without saying too much.

a-humument  Here are some pages from “A Humament”. I really like the way the words have been treated like images, and seem to make a map across the page

ticket2I think this is one of my favourite pages from “A Humament”. I love the expressive use of colour, and the way the words and images create a full story, without saying too much

Alas, my work isn’t like a humament, but I have still enjoyed this rotation. I can see a lot of scope for improvement and experimentation – and given more than a week to produce my work, I’m sure I will.

The final layout of my book looked like this



A HUMAMENT: A Treated Victorian Novel (1970, revised editions 1980, 1987, 1997, 2005, 2012)

TOM PHILLIPS: The Portrait Works. London: National Portrait Gallery, 1989. ISBN 1-85514-021-7