'Cool' by Amanda Jane Ogden (pencil drawing)

World Art Day

Thursday 15th April (the birth-date of Leonardo da Vinci) is designated World Art Day, so this week, I’m sharing some of my thoughts on the subject of art – and also sharing some of my work. The aim of World Art Day is ‘a celebration to promote the development, diffusion and enjoyment of art’. You can read more about it here.

I strongly believe that everyone is creative, though we may express our creativity in different ways. During my 14 years as a secondary teacher of Textiles and Art, it was my job to enhance and develop creativity in young people, including those with Special Educational Needs.

Strangely enough, I was not encouraged to pursue a ‘creative’ subject myself at school after the age of 14 (I wanted to do ceramics). I was strongly advised to go into an options group which involved studying two sciences, three languages and history, plus the usual English and Maths.

This led on to studying French, German and English in the final two years of secondary school and then French and Spanish at Cambridge University.

It took a long time to alter course – a bit like trying to turn a large liner! I didn’t go to Art College until my late thirties and completed my Textiles degree part-time, whilst also working part-time and being a parent. All the creative things I do now feel like a privilege. Alongside my regular work of designing fabrics and writing quilt patterns, I also take up challenges to do things which will develop my creative skills. One of these was doing a project (as a member of the WI) with Chelsea Art College: I wrote about this here, here and here.

I also decided to take up the #100daychallenge on Instagram organised by Lindsay Jean Thornton. This is her description of the project.

#The100DayProject is a free, global art project.

The idea is simple: choose a creative project, do it every day for 100 days, and share your process online.

I made the decision to draw a simple portrait every day. I want to include faces and figures in my art quilts in the future and I knew this was something I needed to practise. This means making mistakes publicly – not a comfortable position. However, I have persevered and have just 29 days to go to finish the project. Each piece is named with a quality or characteristic that I saw in the finished face. I chose to use various different art media during the project. Here are a few examples.

portrait in watercolour of a young man with blond hair and a blue top
‘As man thinks, so he is’ by Amanda Jane Ogden (watercolour – still wet when the photo was taken!)
‘Attentive’ by Amanda Jane Ogden (watercolour)
‘Concentration’ by Amanda Jane Ogden (fineliner)
‘Cool’ by Amanda Jane Ogden (pencil)
‘Reader’ by Amanda Jane Ogden (charcoal)
‘Guarded’ by Amanda Jane Ogden (charcoal)
‘Focused’ by Amanda Jane Ogden (watercolour pencil)
‘Gentlemanly’ by Amanda Jane Ogden (paper collage)
‘Bold’ by Amanda Jane Ogden (paper collage)
‘Tourist’ by Amanda Jane Ogden (paper collage)

I hope you celebrate World Art Day for yourself by drawing, painting, stitching, making something. Alternatively, visit an outdoor artwork or an art gallery online. Happy World Art Day!


This is my latest fabric design ‘Continuous Roses’. You can find it here

‘Continuous Roses’

Let me know what you think!

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