Martha R. Ford : Illustration

A collection of works-in-progress, works-finished and 'things' I like.

Category: Bits and Bobs

Brisfest 2012

Walking back from work the other day all wrapped up in my massive scarf and jumper, I smelled woodsmoke in the air and realised Summer is over, Autumn has arrived and Winter is not far off. I wondered where my summer months had gone. Then I had a good think and realised I have actually filled my Summer to the brim, I just haven’t blogged about it…

So…as well as going on a couple of (parent funded family) holidays to Disneyland (yes, we are all big kids), Yorkshire(with kites!) and Greece (for a good friend’s wedding), creating my lockets and taking part in the Paper Scissors Stone pop-up shop in Cabot Circus; I have been working part-time in the super ‘geek’ paradise (I love it so much) that is Forbidden Planet, working on new designs and illustrations ready for a crazy crafty Christmas and volunteering in the decor team for Brisfest.

Fairground in the morning

Brisfest is a volunteer-maintained, community music and arts festival in Bristol with an emphasis on showcasing new and local creative talents. After five years, the festival has returned to the beautiful surroundings of Ashton Court and from what I could see and hear yesterday, has been a great success. It should be coming to an end about now-ish and although I decided to go home and read a book, I am hoping the more energetic festival goers fared okay with the bad weather!

My finished woodland seating area(most of the seating is out of shot!)

After volunteering for the decor team last year and having great fun, I was asked back as a core team member this year. I wasn’t able to give as much time as I would have liked in the first half of the year, but I did manage to free up quite a bit in the lead up to the festival. My personal decor projects were finished in time and I even got to help on a few other bits and pieces.

My contribution to the festival was a collection of painted wooden animals. We had next to no budget for decor so I made use of old graff. boards and our limited paint supplies(as well as adding some of my own). For me, this was painting on a big scale, something which I don’t often do. I do do a lot of work with traditional techniques and media but more and more, I am making good use of the computer to edit my artwork so I found myself  frequently surprised when I couldn’t just ‘undo edit’ something(fingers would occasionally twitch towards an imaginary cmd + z).

I had a good time exploring pattern and colour with these and it’s the first time in a while I have really explored how I depict animals.

A slightly sad looking stag

Wolfy wolf no.1

My two favourites

Originally meant for the Chill out zone and at the last-minute moved to a fence by the endangered beetles enclosure. Pretty lo brow stuff, no deep underlying message to these creatures, just fun and a little weird for a festival that was very fun and very weird. I loved making them and from the feedback I was getting, people loved looking at them so…success!

Family of foxes

And here’s a slideshow with a few more pics, take a gander:

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So, I’ve created a piece for this unusual yet amazing exhibition called BUNT.

To celebrate BIG Green Week around 100 local artists are each creating a large scale piece of wooden bunting illustrating the range of bio-diverse plants, insects and animals from the region.

The BUNT show will be hung in many of the festival’s key venues throughout BIG Green Week, and is being coordinated by the local illustration collective Drawn in Bristol.

The pieces will then be auctioned off at the end of the exhibition.

We were given a long list of subject choices and, having a bit of a thing for bugs, I chose the Anax Parthenope (a species of dragonfly).

I’m quite pleased. Personally, I never feel a piece is ever ‘finished’ but sometimes, you just have to leave it alone:)

Looking forward to seeing it hung alongside what will no doubt be a some beautiful pieces. Exciting.


The Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford

I went to this amazing(and famous) museum just after christmas with my dear sibling and parents and absolutely loved it. Its like stepping into a Victorian explorer’s lost attic/warehouse. Collection after collection of curiousities(model ships, lanterns, coins, musical instruments, you name it)are hoarded and stuffed into glass cases.

The room, although big, is full right to the edges with interesting objects. Regardless of the space issue, there were still people sat on little stools in corners and in front of some of the cases sketching away. I would recommend going along for a few hours if you are ever near oxford and have a good drawing session. There are also some amazing patterns/textiles around the place.

I personally loved the shrunken heads display(I assume its a popular one) and the lamp collection- there were some wonderful lamps made from drinks cans from Palestine and a bizarre blowfish lantern.

It also has a great collection of weaponry upstairs.

Its a free museum although I fully recommend helping out and giving a donation if you can. Go visit! It was wonderful and I will definitely be returning with a camera and  sketchbooks.

Oh and although its a bit gruesome, I love sketching butterfly/insect collections and flicking through old botanical books so this beautiful display wall in the natural history museum(in the same building as the big pitt rivers collection) delighted me no end!:

NOTE: These are not my photos! I wasn’t able to take any of my own due to the old batteries running down on my camera:((so I nicked other people’s from google images- thank you, they are wonderful!).

Hello again- This is what I have been doing(not grad film).

Okay so it wasnt the next afternoon.

Over the past month(+) I have been quite the busy girl:

I worked for ArthurCox for the day, helping at their wonderful screening event in Bristol- I loved it all. Also got to go to the Depict! screening to see George’s film on the big screen. The panel were really interesting too.

I finished a little 14 second piece for a student documentary- its a simple asteroid hitting the earth sequence. I hope they like it, they didnt really give me much to work with in terms of what they wanted. Sorry about the jerkiness, its a rough animation but the avi version isn’t THAT jerky(it would also take ages to upload).

Here it is: