Your Future Queen – 2018

Ink pen and acrylic on pages of an old Boy Scouts Annual

42 x 30cm

This particular piece was completed as part of my demonstration for the lovely people at Birstall and District Art Society. Sadly my beloved old Alice in Wonderland book is no more, as I’ve used all of the pages, so the collage background of this comes from an old 1920s Boy Scout Annual. While flicking through the book I stumbled upon a script for Cinderella, which seemed to fit with the ink portraits I do rather well. I was also keen to incorporate a few of the quaint little illustrations in the book too. As with a lot of my mixed media work, some of the process is planned, while some is rather random and I’ll just go with the flow, accept the happy accidents that sometimes happen or learn to live with things that work less well. I just enjoy working in this way and I know that would probably annoy the hell out of a lot of artists :-)

A big thankyou to all the people who listened to my chat, watched me scribble for two hours and for making me feel so welcome :-) And another thankyou for the lovely things you said about me on your latest newsletter…

Newsletter – Sep 2018

“I have had an interest in collage for many years and was looking forward to a demonstration from a professional artist who specialises in collage, mixed media, pen and ink drawing and a particular interest in portraiture. I was not disappointed!

Stephanie Coley, an artist living in Derbyshire, presented a most interesting Demonstration with a commentary that explained her process in some detail. There were examples of her work on display and her striking paper collages had a palette of magazine colours and textures to develop the surface. She had cut and assembled fragments of coloured paper in a continuous building process, similar to that of a traditional painting and, for me, this work was more accomplished than her demonstration piece!

That is not to say that I didn’t enjoy her demonstration …far from it!

Steph began by explaining the process she followed and how she sourced the collage material and tried to find some specific pieces that would have some relevance to her finished work. Old books were a particular favourite and poetry, something that would compliment her work. She often enjoyed the joy of finding ‘happy accidents’ in her random use of torn bits of paper (as long as they were the right-way up!)

She is constantly lookout for new ideas and finds source material on ‘Pinterest’ magazines, newspapers and any old books that she can get her hands on!

The torn pages are fixed to cartridge paper using ‘Pritt Stick’ adhesive.

Starting with the eyes, she began to draw the face of her subject using ‘Biro’ pens to sketch and shade. Often she turned the reference photo and her drawing to get the shapes and shades that she was looking for. A lot of time was taken to shade the dark areas and she finally added highlights using white acrylic paint.

This was a most interesting demonstration that could boost the sales of ‘Biros’ in the Birstall area! So much potential for people to try this interesting technique and so much talent within our society for individuals to take on the challenge of ‘having a go’!

Love to see her do a workshop!” D Walmsley – Birstall And District Arts Society

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