MATS BOOTCAMP MAIN ASSIGNMENT - PART 1

Monday saw the arrival of our main assignment for Bootcamp in our inboxes and the brief is to design journals. This gave me the perfect opportunity to concentrate on completing another piece for my website homepage: flowers in vases for the journal cover. I wanted to design a vase for my flowers with a Springtime theme to complement the magnolias.

We’re lucky enough where I live in Devon to occasionally spot little yellowhammer birds darting around. They seem to be shy little birds and so often it’s just a glimpse of their yellow underbelly, but they’re quite unmistakable. I find them absolutely captivating and get really excited every time I glimpse one! Sadly though, they’re on the endangered ‘red’ list here in the UK as their numbers have been declining rapidly in recent years. So, I decided a yellowhammer it was to grace my vase which obviously had to have a vintage feel to it!

It’s actually got me thinking that I might quite like to get into the ceramics room and hand-paint some porcelain, because I’d rather like this vase to grace my own home! The Blue is a deep ultramarine, another colour I have tended to use little of in the past and have fallen quite in love with!

I also had a play in photoshop with my original magnolia design and spurred on by a dear friend, created a repeat pattern.

Next, I will be concentrating on putting this image onto a journal cover and creating some hand-lettering for it, so off to work I go… but I’m nearly there, you never know I might actually have this one ready to submit early, which will be an absolute FIRST for Mats Bootcamp!

Magnolias & Yellowhammer watercolour painting in Handpainted Vase by Susie Batsford
Magnolias Hand painted Watercolour Painting Repeat Pattern by Susie Batsford

My Mats Prep for Bootcamp 2019

Hooray! It’s here again, the inevitable anticipation is over and our first ‘mini’ assignment has been released. Bootcamp with Lilla Rogers has to be one of the creative highlights of my year!

We get a week to work on a little warm up exercise before we’re given the main assignment. We then have 2 weeks until sharing our work in an online public gallery. Then a weeks rest before the cycle starts all over again and so it continues for four marvellous months of incredible inspiration with a group of kind, talented and wonderful artists, many of whom like me, come back year after year. There’s always a fabulous mixture of old and new faces alike and a buzz of excitement which is quite contagious.

Before the class begins, Lilla always posts a little preparation exercise or two. This time we had to collect a variety of objects from around our homes to create a colour palette from. That’s a photo of mine below. I’ll be sharing updates of my work from the assignments over the next few months so feel free to follow along.

My Mats Prep Bootcamp 2019 Colour Palette by Susie Batsford

The Pattern Curve!

At last, I have made the commitment to finish the final year of my degree, my youngest will be starting school in September and now seems like the right time!  After much thought and deliberation, I've chosen to pursue Textiles and Surface Pattern Design. While I'm incredibly excited at the prospect, I'm also slightly nervous and a little apprehensive.  Having already done the first two years with a young family in tow, I am under no illusions of how tough it's going to be, despite my wonderful and supportive family.  Plus, oh my goodness I have got so much to learn about pattern!  So in an attempt to start as I mean to carry on, I've been going slightly pattern crazy by starting with some of my existing work and getting to grips with creatine pattern repeats in photoshop.  Hopefully, with some practice my pattern designing will become a little more sophisticated.  I'm really intrigued at the thought of looking back in a years time and seeing how my work has evolved!

Mr.Bag.Repeat.Pattern.Susie.Batsford
Aretha.Franklins.Bag.Repeat.Pattern.Susie.Batsford

Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search 2018

This years first round of the GTS is finally upon us!  We received the brief two weeks ago and deadline was today.  A journal cover which included; Japanese Anemones, Stag-horn Ferns, Hand Lettering and an optional figure.  I've been hidden away, immersed in creative bliss and enjoying every minute of the process and am pleased to have a new piece of work for my portfolio.  Meanwhile, the results of the first round will be published on Friday, along with the gallery of entries which promise to be a feast for the eyes.  There are only 50 artists chosen to get through to the next round and the standard of work is just incredible, I have been genuinely blown away as my Instagram feed fills up with visual gorgeousness.  The judges are going to have a difficult task ahead of them, I certainly would find it very hard to whittle down.  This is the stuff hopes and dreams are made of and I wish all of my fellow artists, many of whom are friends, the best of luck as we all hold our breath and wait until Friday!

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What You Seek Is Seeking You

This months Bootcamp was to design a journal cover based around tea and particularly tasseomancy, the old art of reading tea leaves. I've been really into painting portraits lately so decided I wanted to focus my work around a fortune teller. Many moons ago I used to quite enjoy reading tarot cards and so my gypsy fortune teller, is based on the 2nd card in the Major Arcana, The High Priestess. She's intuitive, empathetic, independent and has a wonderfully balanced equilibrium. The quote I've used: 'What you seek is seeking you' was written over 800 years ago by the well known mystical Persian poet Rumi. In todays world of violence and uncertainty, it seems more important than ever to keep hope alive and remember the incredible importance of our spiritual journey, a healthy soul and our connection to everything and everyone! Quiet moments of contemplation seem so hard to come by in our fast paced lives. It's important to give ourselves some sacred space, whether that be a walk in nature or curling up with a cup of tea in a candle lit room. Quiet reflection recharges us and that in turn my friends, allows us to focus on kindness to others. Here's a link for you to check out the Mats Bootcamp February gallery.

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