Easter update

I have spent the first week of my hols catching up on marking student journals and papers. That’s how great teacher holidays get - you can do schoolwork in your pyjamas. More interestingly though I have been investigating screen exposure units for an update of our screen printing facilities at my workplace. And it has been handy research for a UV exposure unit of my own so that I can make cyanotypes all year round. They are not cheap. So I have arrived at a possible deal with the supplier to make me a board with lighting frames, power and timer attached. The box surround can be build by someone else - hello lovely husband. I have a lot of skills but woodwork is not one of them.

I have also started a commissioned cyanotype. My first experience of cyanotype commission work if you don’t count the one I did for the owner of  Coach House Ale last year for which I had total creative free rein. This one will be fun and challenging. It is a surprise 50th birthday present for my friend’s sister. I have a photo of the family house in Blackpool, England and a few little mementos of her childhood, but not much. I have really enjoyed the process of discovering things about my client, her travels and life away from Blackpool in London and France. But it is the Blackpool childhood in the 70s tht I am focusing on. Making something really special that will be loved and will represent a happy childhood in poetic way rather than being too obvious has been my personal aim. Incorporating and respecting the ideas of my friend is also part of my mission. As you can imagine it is very different from just pleasing myself and representing my personal experiences and feelings about childhood (in my own works for the Hard Light show) which weren’t so happy. I have been sending pics of my progress and the responses have been excited and pleased. So far so good. I’ll let you know how I get on…

I had a down day from the commission due to poor weather (so you see my need for a UV exposure box) and spent it marking another set of year 7 art journals. Elements and Principles of Art Cover Page. Not a snappy title for a unit but a very useful way of introducing visual language to 12 year olds. While procrastinating… I checked Lens Culture magazine. Lens Culture is a well established on-line magazine for photographers with articles about amazing work from around the world. Always very inspiring. They have reular competitions which I have entered a few times. The best thing about these is their portfolio review service. My last entry was into the Photo Series category in December 2015. It has been a long wait but the feedback I found ready today was really encouraging.

It is so amazing and surprising (to me) when people who work in the photographic arts industry and see a lot of photographs like and ‘get’ what you do. I am very hard on myself all of the time so for people like me it is important to have objective feedback that I can’t dismiss. Thankyou anonymous Lens Culture reviewer.

© Wendy Catling