Tag Archives: collage

Starting new projects- having reflective weeks

The inspiration word for The Arts School‘s 52 week challenge this week is SELF. I am using it to reflect on where I am with my own art practise and what I want to do this year.

It’s great to spend some time stopping to look both in and out.

So far (it’s day one!) I am seeing a renewed interest in how “we” are effecting the environment around us (my BA final project was on this), story telling (which my MA thesis considered), and lots of exploring materials.

Now to start making some goals.

©️Sophie Douglas 2018


2018 – The Arts School

Wow! It’s been a long time since I posted and the reasons good!

The Arts School is up and running and I am loving teaching again! Now we start the new year with lots of courses and a new teacher working with us teaching watercolour (Jo Hudson).

Come and take a class and hopefully enjoy it as much as our past students (and we) do! www.theartsschool.co.uk

The Arts School

Getting ready to run a taster day at The Arts School tomorrow.

General Art is one of my favourite courses as it is project based and gives you a chance to try different materials out and develop your own ideas and work. 

If you are interested in this course or any others, please visit or website email me at sophie@theartsschool.co.uk


Pallent House Gallery 1

This post is split into two because otherwise it would be a very long post!

Pallent House is a fantastic gallery in Chichester. It is currently showing a retrospective of Edwardo Paolozzi’s work (on till 13th October 2013) along with the permanent collection.

Pallent House
Along with the current exhibition (in the new part of the gallery) there is also the permanent collection housed in the old house. It is great space, wondering round this beautiful building full with art curated into groups by collector, influence or inspiration. There are models of previous exhibitions, and plans, ceramics, furnature (my favourite being Nina Saunder’s “Autumn Flowers“, a surrealist chair), paintings, a dress/coat made of balloons, photographs and more, all housed in a Grade 1 listed Queen Anne town house (1712)’ with views of the cathedral.

This space is definitely worth a visit! Check out their website for what’s on.

The Collection: (images from google image search)

Prunella Clough “disused land” 1999
Paul Huxley “Modus Operandi x” 1993
Mark Lancaster “Cambridge Red and Green ” 1968
Nigel Henderson, 4 Mural Panels (Screen) (detail), 1949-52 and 1960, Collage, oil paint and photographic processes on wood panel

“Pallant House Gallery is home to one of the best collections of Modern British art in the UK, with works by Henry Moore, Walter Sickert, Ben Nicholson, Eduardo Paolozzi and Peter Blake.

The core of this ‘collection of collections’ is Modern British art but other artworks figure such at the Bow Porcelain of the Geoffrey Freeman Collection. Each group of works has been formed by different collectors and different impulses and lends its own character to the collection, making the experience of Pallant House Gallery engaging, insightful and unique.”



© 2013 http://www.sophiemayer.com

Students projects, and going back to school

As an art and design teacher at a 6th form college I teach my students a way of working through a project, and they often argue that it is pointless, that they should just work on a finished “perfect” idea, and not have to explore all the different ideas, materials and techniques we make them do.
my main question, or issue is why creative people don’t want to explore and experiment with new materials, and what impact this perfectionist, non experimental, focus on achieving a qualification (over producing work they are interested or inspired by) approach to learning will have on the future of art and society. What is this idea they have of a certain type of finished outcome, all neat and precise, but very rarely new, or challenging, or exciting. They want to pass the course, not develop ideas and projects, it feels like something has been lost, about trying things out, and making mistakes. It all seems very serious.

We teach them all these different things, because it is part of the course, but more importantly, so they have a massive arsenal off tools to make work with, as well as a developed and sophisticated visual language. But I struggle with whether I am right, is it wasting their time to try things they don’t enjoy, or feel makes “good art”, or have they been programmed to create manicured art with no substance.

Is the way I teach through a project actually productive? To answer this, I am doing their latest project at the same time as them. It is a graphic design project, based on “life cycles”, with the final outcome being a leaflet of a set size, with some specific format requirements.
So here is the start of the project! Lets see what I come up with!

The process:
1) INITIAL STAGE: Explore the question, and possible subjects . Select a couple to explore further (using words and images). Select on to develop (further investigation into words and images)

2) RESEARCH STAGE: Look at a range of artists, designers and styles to give inspiration

3) DEVELOPMENTAL STAGE: develop ideas and get initial visual responses. Develop these using different materials and processes



4) APPLICATION STAGE: Define final outcome. Make final outcome

5) REFLECTION STAGE: Evaluate project