A blog about making art and other things using cloth, paper, paint, colour, stitch, and all sorts of exciting techniques, some of which I'm sure I still have to discover! I hope that the joy all this gives me is visible in what you can see here.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

The dead end journey of an idea!

 Gelli print above.
simplified sketch of jelly print.
 Sketch drafted onto cotton cloth and coloured with Derwent Inktense blocks and pencils.
 Didn't like it so I sliced it up and re-arranged it.
The verticals seemed too strong so I added some squares to break up the lines and stitched them down I also added some further stitching to outline some of the shapes.
 Didn't like it, so I painted over it all in white paint, and then started to colour it in again.
 Oh dear, it still wasn't working, so I added lots of gold paint and used some stenciling before cutting it up into six postcards!

Better than just chucking it in the bin I suppose, and at least I have some cards for friends when I forget to buy some.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Lavender and Art in the Sun.

The Carshalton allotment lavender field weekend is an annual event. Our local Corner Gallery owner Jackie Kahn had a stall today, selling a few lavender related pieces of art, pottery and cards, but her main focus was to have an arty related activity for the kiddies to enjoy free of charge, which I helped to run. Above is a table all set to go for them to enjoy making small mosaic type collages with fabric, crayons and glitter glue. Below are some of the amazing creations they thoroughly enjoyed making.

I was also invited to sell some lavender related, and other small pieces of art which you can see above.

I took along lots of lavender and green bits and pieces of fabric for the children to use in their collages, thinking that they would want to choose lavender themes for their art work! Oh how wrong I was!

As you can see, they chose a combination of animals, butterflies and a rather smart looking car!

I particularly loved the colourful tiger above.

I made a few lavender related postcards, and small pieces of textile art ready to mount in a frame.

What a thoroughly enjoyable day. Visitors cut armfuls of sweet lavender to take home, and there were plenty of other stalls to wander through, selling potted preserves, jewellery, soaps, cakes, icecreams, and of course lavender bags! The sun shone for us today, and  hopefully we have enthused some young artists to the idea of mixed media and collage.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Old Table Cloths and Lavender.

This is a sort of trial piece really, because I have an unfinished piece of embroidered tapestry that my Mum was making before she died, and another piece of embroidery stitched by my maternal Grandfather while he was convalescing after a serious injury during the WW1. I would like to use them both combined in some way in a piece of textile work of my own, but understandably, I don't want to go full steam ahead, and ruin two very precious pieces of embroidery!

So, I decided to combine some hand embroidery from an old table cloth, with a small textile piece of my own, and some paper cloth, and hand printed fabric that I made some time ago. above you can see how I have cut the embroidered flowers from the main cloth, and stitched them over the surface of my small panel. The cloth couldn't be used anymore, as it was badly stained in places, so I didn't feel guilty about cutting into it. However, the edges have frayed somewhat, but I guess it wouldn't be too bad if it was mounted and protected behind glass.

At the end of the day, I think it will be a case of really making sure that I choose the other elements very carefully, and make a really good plan of how the finished piece will look, something I didn't really do with this one. 

It's that time of year again, Lavender time, and our local lavender fields have been looking glorious. I am hoping that the weather holds until Sunday, when I will be helping our local gallery owner, Jackie, to provide some 'lavender' focused art activities for children, as well as hopefully selling a few small pieces of lavender themed art. Below are three that I completed today, they are postcard size.

My posts are a bit few and far between at the moment, but that's because I have been trying to sort out cupboards and drawers, and painting and cleaning other areas of the house ready to put on the market. I'm hoping to move to the south coast, which will be exciting, but in the meantime, there seems to be lots of preparation to get things ready before inviting any prospective buyers to view our home.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you'll pop by next time too.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

When in doubt, CROP!

Still just experimenting and playing around with my Gelli printing. I go from paper to cloth and back again, but I've been trying out a few new techniques too.

A few close-ups of the first image,

Sometimes, I think cropping can give better results and a more pleasing composition.

I've been doing that quite a lot lately. It makes each piece a lot smaller obviously, but I quite like 'small'.

Above is a Gelli print on paper, and below I've photographed cropped areas that I may cut into.

I covered this particular piece of cartridge paper with white gesso first. You can see the texture quite clearly in the close-ups

The gesso also gives a good surface for scratching into for yet more texture, you can see where I've done that on the right.

I'm really into blue and a limey yellow green at the moment. 

This next group are also smaller pieces that I cut from a larger piece, I didn't particularly like. In fact it started out as a Gelli print that went wrong, so I covered it in gesso and then printed over the top, and you can see the thickness of the paint quite easily.

Below two more Gelli prints, which I have in fact since printed onto some canvas, but as yet I haven't added any stitching. I'm not really quite sure how or where to add any!

Oh well, as I said to my son the other day, I'm not really producing anything much to write home about at the moment, but I am creating a wonderful mess each time I attempt anything, and more importantly, having fun, I hope you are too!

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Inspired by a visit to the Ballet.

On Thursday I spent three magical hours at The Albert Hall in London, for Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.

I was completely mesmerised, and cannot get the wonderful music out of my head. I decided to try and make a couple of sketches of the dancers from the programme, and made the above two using black biro onto some pre-prepared pages in my sketchbook. I find it less intimidating to sketch onto pages that have been painted or printed on beforehand. Pristine white paper can be so scarey, and as I haven't done much drawing of the human figure for a while, it helped me to have a more relaxed attitude.

Although I find it even more difficult to 'sketch' with my sewing machine, I also felt compelled to try and make a small textile piece. I found some Gelli prints I made some time ago on Abaca tissue paper, and a couple of them had a watery feel about them which was perfect for my interpretation of the Swan Lake. It's a little bit abstract, but I wanted to try and catch the mood of the ballet.

Funny how you can spot imperfections when you see your work in a different light. My dancer is by no means perfect, but I have really enjoyed making this piece, and I'm still humming the beautiful, and very moving music by Tchaikovsky. I think I will have to go and buy a CD now, then I can listen to my heart's content!