Rome for the Visually Impaired

Last week I went to Rome with a holiday company called Traveleyes, who specialise in trips for people who are visually impaired, ie either blind or with very limited vision.  Half the group are sighted, and in return for a discount act as guides for the VI half of the group.  We were paired with someone different every day, and it was the sighted person’s role to describe the scenery and what was going on, and to act as guide (generally by proffering an elbow).    There were visual aids in the form of 3D relief layouts of historic sites, and of paintings, and samples to feel of fabrics and musical instruments to play, as featured in Vatican museum frescoes.  Carvings to be touched, scented leaves such as the laurel,  and a gourmet tour of the best of Italian food, all appealed to the senses.

Today I went on a Drawing Day at West Dean College with tutor Dale Devereux-Barker, with the theme of ephemera about to be discarded.  I took some old printmaking failures, unbalanced earrings, and other bits and pieces, and decided to make something that a VI could make sense of, reminiscent of the trip.  The columns are an old collagraphp, cut up and with added 3D strips vertically and horizontally.  Will paint in a bit more detail with pva.  The fountain is using an old acid etched Lino print and a tube ticket, and the sculpture an entry ticket.   The hands have been emphasised with wood shavings, and glue may be added here for texture too.  The Roman pavement is cut from pieces of card and carved to show the lines and the steep angles of the sides of the stones.

This is a project that could be developed on in a variety of ways and the challenge is to make it appealing to both the sighted and VIs.

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Square Lino plate

Had another quick go at the Inspired By V&A theme today.  A Picasso painted plate with a bull’s head on it, and my old friend the Peruvian fish/bird textile, plus reading that three new species of starfish had been discovered in Peru, combined to give me th 

 e idea for this lino print.  It looks a bit wonky as it is still in the drying rack and not easy to get the iPad at the right angle.  It was going to be a two or three colour reduction print, but I only had one session to do it in, and common sense prevailed.

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Ps on the Peruvian Prints

One last blast last night, making texture marks but pulling back the roller to keep it light over the fish and create slight horizontal breaks to suggest fabric.

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Big excitement in the life drawing class this week, we went on to multi media and colour.  I took along some pastels (which I have never used) and a shiny new box of Derwent water colour pencils (12 pencils specifically selected by Derwent for flesh tones).  The pastels did not feel very comfortable to use, I guess I need much, much more practice, but I really enjoyed using the water colour pencils which I wetted with a water brush to push the colours around.  It felt (for me) a very productive and fun session and I am looking forward to trying the odd(ha ha!) portrait with the flesh tones.

Using Pastel

Using Pastel

Using Derwent water colour flesh tones

Using Derwent water colour flesh tones

Using Derwent water colour flesh tones - second go

Using Derwent water colour flesh tones – second go

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Life Class 5

Return after break. I’ve kept these two sheets but two went in the recycling bin and another is pending. Room for improvement but looking forwards to another go next week! 


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Playing with Paintsticks Feb wk 4

Couple of hours with Art Van Go using Markal Paintsticks in different ways.
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Spain Feb wk 3

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