Busy, busy being creative..!

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

On being determined

It's been a while since I've written a post here on my blog and I can't even begin to imagine how this year has been for you so far. I hope that you've been able to find moments to be creative and have some small adventures, even if these have been imaginary and in or close to home.

When I created these Goat of Determination Magical Animal postcards, little did I know how much determination, encouragement and support we'd need to get through the past 6+ months. I sent out some as gifts at the start of the year and they've been pinned to notice boards and stuck to fridges and [so I've been told] have helped and brought a smile when it's been needed. They've been a visual reminder that little by little, small step by small step, we can keep going. 

I've just discovered that I've still got some Goat of Determination postcards and so I've listed them on my Folksy shop at a reduced price [3 postcards for £2.50 plus p+p], as I'd really love for Sandy to go and to hopefully spread a bit of 'doormat' joy!  

Link to Folksy Shop:  Goat of Determination

I hope I can tempt you to purchase a few Sandys to send to your friends and family. Send to raise a smile and a hug by post.  ;-D

Keep Going, don't stop believing - YOU CAN DO IT!!


PS Please do share with anyone else you think might like to buy some. Thank you! 

Thursday, 2 July 2020

What happens when you say Yes...

Exciting Announcement!

I’ve written a chapter for a book called The Biggest Book of Yes and it's now available for preorder on kindle (print coming later this week)!  

This book is all about what happens when you say Yes. It includes 49 short adventure stories ranging from driving a Tuk Tuk across India, long distance cycle rides to what happens if you get up a little earlier each morning. Tales of adventures big and small as you know, adventure can come in all sizes. 

I'm so chuffed to be a part of the book and this project as it is filled with inspiring stories. I've a feeling, some of them will inspire my own future creative adventures...

I’ve written about the time I decided to go on my own pilgrimage following in the footsteps (ish) of Saint Morwenna from Brecon in Wales to Morwenstow by bike, boat and foot. 

It's actually 5 years since I went on that adventure and this Saturday - the 4th July, is the date I completed the journey in 2015, so the timing really couldn't be better!

Here's the link if you’d like to take a look at the book and find out more: https://bit.ly/TBBOY3

It's a book for charity, with all proceeds going to The Teddington Trust.

*Happy Dance* 

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Skye in Cyanotype

I've been thinking about the Isle of Skye for some time in terms of what artwork it inspires me to respond with, and on first thoughts it was about the light, the colours, and the food. I'd been thinking around a few ideas and one that kept coming back, was experimenting with the cyanotype process using digital negatives which I thought could have lots of scope.

Before I show you my experiments so far, I wanted to share a bit about the history of the process and one woman in particular.

The cyanotype process was developed in 1842 by the English scientist and astronomer Sir John Herschel [who has a museum in Bath] as a way of reproducing notes and diagrams rather than in a creative application. It was Anna Atkins [1799 - 1871] who first saw the potential for the technique to be used as a type of photographic record and who used it to create a series of cyanotype limited-edition books that documented ferns and other plant life. Because of her use of this technique, Anna is often considered the first person to publish a book illustrated with photographic images and the first female photographer. Images from her book can be seen here: Anna Atkins Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions

The process works by mixing two chemicals [ferric ammonium citrate and potassium ferricyanide] together in equal measure, and coating a surface e.g paper. Once dry, you arrange objects on the paper and put outside in direct sunlight to 'develop.' Mixing these two particular chemicals together causes a reaction that renders it sensitive to the UV rays in sunlightCyanotype photography was popular in Victorian England, but became less popular as photography improved.

So, here, I'm sharing my very first test pieces with you, and it was a rather magical experience seeing the images appear as you rinse away the chemicals! I discovered that the handmade paper I'd used wasn't really up for the job as some of the paper started to disintegrate when washed. So you do need to use a strong paper as you have to make sure you wash all the chemicals out of your pieces otherwise they will continue to develop. These test pieces were left in midday sun, with a glass plate covering them to improve the contact with the paper, for around 7 minutes. 

I was also surprised how well the digital negatives I'd made worked and which images created better prints than others. I did have to try a fern, as that's possibly the most cyanotyped object in history! And I can see why, as it creates a really strong image. 

Next is to try some different papers, objects and fabric.

I bought my Cyanotype set from www. cyanotype.co.uk and my Inkjet film from The Surrey Inkjet Company and have been surprised and really pleased with the results so far.  It's really fun!

Have you tried this process for yourself?  

All images copyright Morwhenna Woolcock

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

A New Tradition. Say Hello to Sandy, The Goat of Determination.

Happy New Year and New Decade to You! 

As it's the start of a new decade it felt like the right time to begin a new tradition:
Creating a special postcard to bring in the New Year.

This is something that I've been thinking about doing ever since going to Morocco in 2013 and visiting Yves Saint Laurent's beautiful home, Jardin Majorelle, in Marrakesh.

Every year, Yves would design and send out a special postcard to friends and clients of his fashion house. He used mainly collage and the theme was always the same - Love. I bought a replica postcard of one of the designs, and ever since then, thought it such a lovely idea that one day I'd start doing this myself. This year, as we start a new decade, it seems like the right time to adopt this tradition for myself and to begin....

Let me introduce Sandy, The Goat of Determination. 

As you may already know, I've been creating Magical Animals for a while now and this seemed the perfect character to grace my first ever postcard to send out to friends and family. 

Sandy has a message for us:

"Keep going, don't stop believing - YOU CAN DO IT!"

Sometimes, we all need a little encouragement from Sandy, The Goat of Determination.

Seeing the cards printed, writing the cards, sending them out and then recieving the messages from those who've recieved one is bringing me so much joy! Being told how Sandy is now pinned to their fridge or notice board, how getting a card has made their day and how it'll help them through 2020 is just so so lovely and makes me so glad that I went ahead with this idea. I didn't really know how people would respond to this curious looking goat, but it appears that everyone loves Sandy. x 

Sandy is proving so popular that I've listed some for sale over on my Folksy shop. ;-)

Have you created your own traditions? I'd love to hear about them. 

Sandy, The Goat of Determination is the first New Year's Postcard I've created especially to send out to friends and family