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THE “MID-FEBRUARY” PROJECT

Updated: Sep 9, 2021


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when I started this project, I refused to use the word valentine; so for the first day or so, it was simply the ‘mid-February project’


My reluctance to bind myself to the valentine hype, was partially from my current bah-humbug-to-love attitude and partially that I wanted to create something more permanent, not a card or a throwaway item that ties itself to one day and not the other 364, I don’t want my pieces to live in a drawer, dusty box or on the shelf.


I really resisted the classic man and woman kissing cliché… I wasn’t sure I wanted to do a work featuring a couple at all, but I knew I needed to push myself to celebrate my instinctive representation of that love. All the while wanting to create an image of a woman standing happily alone, doing things her way.


So I decided that I would create two designs: one from the part of me that still believes in romantic love, and one from the part that now understands it’s more important to love yourself first.


Thus a limited edition of 10 prints for both the VALENTINE: “EMBRACE” and the GALENTINE: “BUY YOUR OWN FLOWERS” was born.


It took me a couple of days to finalise the designs, with the advice of my wonderful sisters and mumma before sending the files off to be printed!

Read more below for the process…

 

PROCESS:

I started looking through soppy kissing photos on pexels, rolling my eyes and kidding myself that I was never one of these sickeningly in-love people (ha!). I downloaded a broad range of photos of couples, I knew I wanted to sketch a bit but wasn’t sure if I’d keep the images – I obviously couldn’t use any of my own photos for this project!! (inappropriate)


I had a lot of fun sketching, but didn’t find it easy – I worked and reworked, trying to capture the illusion of a kiss in as few lines as possible. Eventually settling on a combination of many sketches of the same kiss, merging them together. I filmed the process and will post one day…


Obsessively using circles in my art, I didn’t even question it, the circle was there before I’d even thought about it – but, the circle needed something in it! I wanted to use one of my photographs as I’d chosen to use only the line sketch of the kiss, and didn’t want this to just be a line drawing (nothing against them, I love them… but that’s not what I do). So I searched my archives for some simple textures which would look great in black and white; another instinctive decision. I almost sided with a ceiling shot from a london pub* (sat on the floor attending a Sofar Sounds gig) which had lovely circles and was pretty ambiguous, but then I tried the top right corner of my most recent painting which I’d instagramed and it was perfect!



*nothing says love like a pub ceiling…


 

Four hours into editing photos of flowers that I found searching through my old photos and feeling like it just wasn’t working, I thought to myself, why on earth am I not BUYING MY OWN F+CKING FLOWERS!?! At this point, I had actually already (unofficially) settled on the title “Buy your own flowers” and here I was, scrapping the barrel with something in-authentic and uninspiring. Not only that, they were photographs of funeral flowers – could you get any more depressing?! – that I had been asked to photograph, rather than wanted to.


SO, off I marched to my local shop (mask & gel) to purchase my bouquet, ready to photograph and then enjoy! Integrity intact and passion back on track.


I continued with my first sketch, which I had grown fond of, but was conscious that I hadn’t tried any others…I played around with different photos in the background but eventually selected this unused shot from my Old Mill Creek walk, where I was really happy – I’d wandered off with my camera soaking in the sun’s rays and exploring the foreshore – I thought this was quite an apt image for this piece. With the crop transforming it into quite a subtle abstract, with light bleeds for texture and the blurred woodland sat moodily in the corner… perfect.


My family eventually voted against my beloved sketch, which shows a woman seeming to choke on flowers… my bad. My mum also was adamant that it actually looked like a frog, thanks mum.


VOTED AGAINST….

I ordered one of these prints for myself, because if a frog choking on a bouquet of flowers isn’t art then what is!? 🐸💐 ➡


Going back to all my saved images (from pexels), I was drawn to the photo of a woman hugging flowers – I knew I would likely be able to use most of my flower arrangement from the frog piece on this if I added to it and manipulated it into the woman’s arms. I didn’t want to overthink things, so I kept it very simple.

VOTED AGAINST….






 

some quick videos on the project…


what happened to pt2? life happened.


Seriously though, while out on my walk I managed to rip the skin off the tips of two fingers on my right hand * so fine detail gold-leafing met a little delay & challenge… and I honestly just couldn’t be bothered to edit pt2 with the giant padded plasters on.


by the time I was finished, I was too excited to show pt3 and just glossed over the making-of – well, who doesn’t like a bit of mystery!?


*(HANDS ARE QUITE IMPORTANT TO AN ARTIST!)


p.s I think I look adorable in this video ➔


note to self: make more videos

 



RESULTS:


 

SHOP:

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2 designs available as A4, printed on a smooth, bright white, 240gsm stock poster paper hand embellished with paint & gold leaf detailing


GALENTINE: BUY YOUR OWN FLOWERS

A celebration of & gratitude for: flowers, freedom & females (wxmen)


VALENTINE: EMBRACE

A celebration of embraces; after a year where they became so much more important or suddenly absent…



Pick your preferred design & then which embellished version you like best! There are only 10 of each design and as they are individually hand decorated – you will be picking the exact print you will receive – no duplicates, no surprises! (make sure you select the right one!)

Each print is numbered and signed.



BUY MEEEEE

 
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