A year on…….

It’s now almost a year since I posted anything on my blog so it’s great to be back in communication. Last March I posted that I would not be using the blog as my Learning Log because I had signed up to study two subjects with the OCA and it was just too complicated to be writing up two sets of notes for different tutors on a Blog. So I have been using the good old method of handwriting and I have to say I’ve enjoyed it.

It has been a very interesting year with huge challenges but also some good progress.  I wasn’t able to complete the textile course, ‘Exploring Ideas’, because there was just too much work to do, alongside the Watercolour Course.  I managed to complete almost 4 assignments but had to put it on hold in order to concentrate on watercolour.  I found that because of the quantity of work and research that I was feeling unable to do either course well. So for the last few months I have been focused totally on my painting.

However I certainly don’t regret attempting to run ‘Exploring Ideas’ alongside ‘Watercolour Practice’. They are both excellent courses and in a strange way, complement each other.  ‘Watercolour Practice’ has a very strong skills focus while ‘Exploring Ideas’ is, as the title suggests, aimed at stimulating ideas and exploration through the creative process. I did find that my ignorance and lack of experience in Textiles was a challenge but I was encouraged to approach the assignments as a painter and this was exciting.

For example, in the first project I explored PAPER and how this material could be transformed as a surface and as a creative medium  and this led to some excitng results…just a couple of examples….

Using tissue paper in tones of grey to create a still life collage

Using tissue paper in tones of grey to create a still life collage


Close up of collage

Close up of collage

Using dyed tissue paper

Using dyed tissue paper

The Old Tree usinf dyed tissue paper

The Old Tree using dyed tissue paper


The most important thing I learnt from the Textile Course was the value of ‘exploring’ in the creative process. The major part of each assignment was this exploration – taking an idea and pushing it through many, many strands until you reach the final image! This process also involved considerable research as part of the investigation – research into other designers, but also research into as wide a variety of materials and methods as possible. It was fascinating to see the ideas evolve!

Applying that process to painting is great! So many times the first idea seems to stick but when that first idea becomes just the starting point and you allow it to develop and grow, experimenting and pushing the boundaries, then wonderful things can happen.


About pbfarrar

I am an Australian living permanently in England. I have recently retired from the position of Principal of an independent school and have taken up the study of Fine Art with the OCA.
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