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On painting and passion May 26, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Art, Family, Photos.
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Peony Painting

Been paintin'

My mum has always said that I need a creative outlet. I need some form of self-expression that gets the gremlins out of my head, that pauses the whirring thoughts and ever-twisting cogs, letting me calm down, relax, stay as the me I know and love.

You see, I’m naturally quite a creative person, and yet at the same time I have a rather large side to my personality that is built on logic. The stubborn side, the realistic side, the part of me that doesn’t like getting carried away with my whimsical Piscean ways! The two sides, although obviously both pretty large components of my personality, can clash, and when that happens I can mentally work myself to the bone, with neither time to breathe nor recharge.

The only was to fix this fragile frame of mind is to make sure I give myself a release. I can do lots of exercise, I can write a story, or as was the case last night, I can sit up late into the night and paint until my heart’s content. Hence the painting above, a peony, for a particular someone in my life (who I doubt will mind it ending up on my blog first). And you know what? After sitting and painting until way past my bed time, I had the best nights sleep I have had in months.

It just goes to show – mothers are always right.

A little bit of painting… January 23, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Art, Photos.
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My painting of waves and sky

Been doodling..

The clouds

The clouds

I’ve been painting this week. I actually sat down to attempt to come up with a tattoo design for my second tattoo, which I hope will be a beautiful way to incorporate my favourite Bell X 1 lyrics onto my body so that they will always remind me that life is worth living. However, as always happens when I sit down to paint something specific, I found my paintbrush wandering, and before I knew it strange blue/green waves were creeping across the canvas. After a little blinking at it I realised it seemed to want to be an ocean, and so soon enough that was what it became. An angry ocean deserved an angry sky, and I am particularly pleased with my tempestuous clouds marching across the horizon.

On another note, I have booked a session for my tattoo, two Saturdays from now. I am terrified, of course, but really excited too. Bring on the inking!


As a political child… August 4, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Art, Life, Chatter & Politics, Rants.
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I was quite a political child. I knew what I thought was right and wrong, and whilst those bright shades of black and white have been filtered through into a number of greys now I am older I like to think that those days of believing in good and bad as separate entities have in many ways shaped me into the politically minded person that I am today.

I remember, for example, waking up to find that my favourite spot for adventuring, at the top of the wall in my garden, had been obliterated by the council. My beautiful trees, which I spent so much of my childhood falling out of climbing, had all been chopped to allow a nicer view over the valley for the cycle path. We hadn’t been informed of this, and were quite surprised to see this bald patch of mud and grit where our verdant forest had once stood. Angry about this assault on my childhood, what did I do? I wrote a passionate letter to my local newspaper, request vehemently to know “Where have all the trees gone?”.

The Tate Street Art Exhibition

The Tate Street Art Exhibition

One area I have always been passionate about, for as long as I can remember, is graffiti. I don’t mean tags and scribbles and other unintelligible nonsense, but the type of graffiti that involves serious talent, beautiful artwork, and transforming dull concrete urban spaces into different worlds. I remember strolling around Plymouth, captivated by the floor to ceiling street art in the otherwise awful bus station. I wrote regular letters to my local supermarket, begging them to run a graffiti competition in their multi-storey, to turn the dusty white walls into a riot of colour and meaning. More recently artists like Banksy and Ben Eine have started redefining how the art world sees street art, and it has become a much more acceptable form of self-expression.

What I am slightly disturbed about, therefore, is how my passion for street art and my political leanings have recently clashed. You see, David-Bloody-Cameron recently chose a large Ben Eine print as his gift to Obama. Yes, a Conservative leader chose a form of an illegal street art as a gift for the President of the USA.

The thing is, of course, that I have a deep and passionate hatred (and I never use that word lightly) for David Cameron. He is a little shiny faced Thatcherite, and I am worried for my family and the country (in particular education and NHS) under his rule. For me, street art like that of Ben Eine is generally an expression of the feelings of an underpriviledged section of society, a creative outlet for the downtrodden and politically ignored. Graffiti as art, to me, fits more with a working class Labour form of politics, rather than a Conservative outlet.

Of course, such a well-publicised purchase of a piece of art like this is bound to do wonders for the world of street art, and the acceptance of it. And that, of course, is brilliant. However, I can’t help but wish that it hadn’t been instigated by someone whose politics so neatly contrast with the art itself, whose restrictive views would, realistically, be more comfortable with repressing rather than encouraging street art. It just doesn’t seem right.

Little cop outs March 30, 2009

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Art.
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It is such a copout, isn’t it, to draw people and avoid drawing their faces. Unfortunately, my faces always look like they have been squished with a shovel or transplanted from a pig, and so avoiding drawing them in one of my biggest aims. A good excuse, I have discovered, is to make them wear masks! Hence why my latest magical woman has a certain ninja quality to her!

floating ninja woman

Now spider faces, I can do. In fact, I am average at anything that doens’t involved a human face, human hands, or human feet. This one actually looked quite scary despite the fact that, as Ben pointed out, it actually looks like it’s been crossed with a bee!

spider sketch

To illustrate the point March 22, 2009

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Art.
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I have always enjoyed drawing – at uni I worked with arcylics (still one of my favourite mediums), but since I left I haven’t had much of a chance  to draw anything – until now.

As my creative bone (located right next to my inventive bone, but quite a way away from my boring bone) has been a-tingling recently, it seemed that Ben buying a guide to drawing mystical creatures was perfectly timed. I wanted to draw – and so draw I shall. Hopefully this new-found follow-through creativity (where I don’t just talk I actually do) will keep going into the knitting plan!

Here’s some of what I drew!

owl sketch

The owl was surprisingly easy to draw – so as soon as I get hold of some acrylics I hope to draw a fire bird type creature, and a feathery watery counterpart.

hell hound sketch

My hell hound! I was pleased with this one, it’s really quite creepy!

manga angel

I have discovered that whilst I can just about draw bodies (at least with some practise I will be able to), I cannot draw faces – even Manga style, which is supposed to make it easier!