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.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Text and Image workshop with Cas Holmes.

Today was one of the most enjoyable days I have spent with my passion for textile art for a very long time! A workshop run by Cas Holmes, where the theme for the day was 'Text and Image', is to be thoroughly recommended. Cas is an extremely inspirational textile artist, whose work, created mainly from found objects, and her wonderful ability to transform the seemingly mundane, into something profoundly beautiful and meaningful, is also a very generous teacher. I loved her phrase, 'design enema' which was how she suggested we approached the workshop today. After selecting three papers and three pieces of fabric from our own stash, we were then also allowed two pieces from a collection that we each donated to, and which was handed out to us by Cas.

To begin, we were encouraged to make rubbings onto our chosen fabrics/papers, and then to further experiment with simple mono prints. We used leaves, grasses and anything else that we had with us. It was such a good excuse to play, and see what results we could achieve with simple tools, and a restricted array of materials.

During lunch, we stitched as we ate, playing around again with our papers, fabrics and a needle and thread. At this point, we also added any text by either printing, or writing onto some of our peices. To be honest, I was so enjoying what I was doing, that I think I could quite happily have gone without my lunch, something that for me is almost unheard of!!

At this point, Cas demonstrated the next stage that we needed to carry out to take our work forward. This was where her expression 'design enema' became meaningfull! Using the papers and fabrics that we had worked on during the morning, we had to layer and collage them together, using a watered down cellulose paste, but WITHOUT giving too much thought to how we were placing things! I think most of us found this quite difficult, I know I did, and it made me realise that more often than not, I probably over think my design ideas on most occasions.

The result of my efforts is in the first photo at the top of this page, with the two underneath showing work in progress. Below, you can see two more attempts that I had a go at once I had returned home. All three need to dry out, and then have further work done on them, which could include further printing, collage, stitching, or even being cut up and reassembled.

Above are some examples of Cas's work which she had brought with her, and they really are very beautiful, these photos in no way do them justice I'm afraid. Below are further examples of her work, the booklet shows the work, Urban/Nature that she will be exhibiting at The Festival of Quilts in Birmingham from the 16th to 19th August this year, and again at The Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace in October also this year.

Above, a piece by Cas Holmes using a simple onion for inspiration, where the theme was 'bulbs'.

If you are going to the the FOQ's or the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace, I can thoroughly recommend that you make visiting Cas Holmes exhibition, Urban/Nature, a priority!

Friday, 29 June 2012

Tropical Leaves. July JQ.

My Journal Quilt for July, inspired by the photos below that I took in New Zealand a couple of years ago. Why not in shades of green you may ask? Well, the four Jq's for May through to August have to be in shades of yellow, with up to 25% of any other colour. I guess there's a fair amount of black, plus some very subtle green shades on the bottom right.

These were from the the North Island, Whangarei to be exact where my daughter lives, and is semi tropical. I can't wait to go back for another visit!

I'll hopefully be back soon with some photos from the Cas Holmes workshop that I'm looking forward to attending tomorrow, just as long as I don't get lost on the way!

Sunday, 24 June 2012

My five minutes of fame!!

Please excuse me if I blow my own trumpet! Members of Contemporary Quilt, part of  The Quilters' Guild of the British Isles have taken part in the challenge organised by EQA, to make a quilt that celebrates Diversity in Britain today. 60 little 8" squares were needed to make up this quilt, which is now on display until the 1st September 2012 at the Quilt Museum in York, England. Popular Patchwork magazine have run a three page article about this quilt, and you can imagine my delight when I opened the pages to see not only the whole quilt, but a lovely large photo of my little square! You can see it above, and the whole quilt below. There are some really imaginative little squares in this quilt, and I am hoping to make a visit to York later in the year to see the quilt before the exhibition finishes, and, of course, the quilts chosen by the other participating countries.

Below I've posted three more pics of the 'Reflections' quilt I started to work on a few weeks back. I didn't feel that it was going well, so put it away for a bit. Today I decided to add some more stitching around the couched down wool that I'd added, and I feel that at last it may have a future! Each panel is a sheet of 100% rag paper, painted with silk paints, and I do like the effect of using paper instead of cloth. I've decided to stop trying to make it look like the photo of the reflection, and to allow my creative instinct to take over instead. I wonder where it will lead me?

Thanks for taking the time to read this far, and enjoy whatever it is that you are creating! (As long as it's not havoc of course)! ;)

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Getting the most from my sketchbook.

Experimenting with my phone camera, I was trying to isolate smaller areas from some images in my sketchbook. I then decided it might be fun to see what results I could get from playing around with the effects button. This is what happened when I tried the 'negative' effect! In my opinion, a rather 'positive' outcome! Either a stormy scene, or a night time image.....or maybe a sea fog rolling in!

The same experiment on this image, which is a section from the sketchbook page below. This was also part of an experiment in itself. I had previously cut random shapes from a magazine, stuck them down onto some A4 paper, coloured in the area of white paper around the shapes, turned over the paper, cut it up and then re-stuck the sections into my sketchbook. This particular fragment caught my eye, and I have in fact made a small textile piece from it. I decided to use it as the inspiration for one of my journal quilts later in the year, so cannot show it just yet.

You may recognise the section from the sketch above which I used to make my June journal quilt.See my previous post below, but again, the negative effect has totally changed the mood of the sketch.

Sketchbook page with experimental work.

Section of a watercolour sketch which I may use for a textile piece.

Negative effect of a feather print I tried using bleach over watercolour paint in my sketchbook.

A small section of a watercolour wax crayon sketch I made of trees and flowers.

Another very small section from a watercolour crayon sketch, and changed with the use of the negative effect again. I like the texture that 'zooming in' has given it.

It seems to me that there is still more mileage to be had in what I produce in my sketchbook, thanks to the technology available in my modest little phone camera. Lots of fun, and even more inspiration for future work.

Wishing you all lots of fun too in your creativity, and thanks for stopping by.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Jubilee Fun and Carshalton Ponds,

We have a delightful park with ponds in Carshalton, so when I was asked by our local gallery to try and produce a textile piece depicting an area of Surrey, our local Carshalton Ponds seemed to fit the bill! It's in my mixed media style with the spirals and painted spots, and lots of free motion machine quilting. During the Jubilee celebrations, some beautifully knitted ducks appeared overnight tied to the railings. Read about it here

 My sister Rowan and myself in Battersea Park on Sunday, waiting to watch the River Pageant on the Thames. This was taken before it got too crowded.

The park beginning to really fill up, this was taken near The Pagoda.

The Royal Barge on the opposite side of the Thames waiting for the Royal Party to arrive.

As we were leaving the park, my sister took this photo of me standing with this sculpture, Three standing figures by Henry Moore,  He made it in 1947, so we four are almost the same age!!! Hee hee, I think they've managed to keep themselves in better shape than 'moi'

Thanks for stopping by, until next time.