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, 15 July 2017

Mainly paint, but some cloth and stitch too!

Last year, while I was visiting my daughter in New Zealand, I took lots of photos of some of the more tropical plants and flowers, with the idea of using them in some way in my artwork. After watching DMTVlast week, I decided that  I would make a painted concertina book, using six images from my collection, which I also printed off, so that I could cut a small section from each, to stick on each page to match the colours more accurately.

I just need to make a cover now, one for the front, and also for the back. These little books make a nice reminder of a holiday, and I will hopefully be making more in the future.

Above is another sample from one of my art classes, where I used a combination of clingfilm and string/wool to build up a textured background. Not quite sure where this one is going yet, but I see an old stone wall, with a bush or tree growing up from behind it.

The art group I belong to have at last arranged to hold an exhibition in Eastbourne later this year, with the theme of birds, a project we have all been working on for a number of years now. I decided that I needed to get all my 'bird' stuff out, and finally finish it off so that it will be ready. These two pieces have now been finished off, and are ready to be presented as wall hangings. There is such a lot of tactile texture on the surface, because I have used a combination of free machine stitch with lace scraps, and paper lamination to build up the surface, and I feel that to put them behind glass would detract from this quality.

I will give more details about this exhibition as and when they become available, but in the meantime, enjoy your summer/winter, depending on where you are in the world!

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Using the watercolour backgrounds.

I have been adding bird paintings to some of my experimental watercolour backgrounds. These backgrounds were produced in one of my art classes, using clingfilm, or other cellophanes by pressing them into the wet paint, and leaving them there until the paint is dry.

I have added the birds to the examples that had a more tree or plantlike pattern, but also further accentuated by adding more colour into some of the negative spaces.

Oh dear, this poor Jackdaw only appears to have one leg! I will have to help him out by adding another!!

Sunday, 18 June 2017

More art class results.

This week we were given a very colourful still life to explore with our watercolours, and a very large sheet of paper to work on. It was easier to stand for this one, something I don't usually do, (too lazy), but it was surprising how it really helped when working large.

I didn't get to finish it, so worked on it a bit more from home. I had taken the photos you see above as a reference. I decided to have another go on a much smaller scale, re-arranging just a few of the elements that I particularly liked. There was something about the large blue jug that attracted my eye, plus the contrasts in the fabrics colourful stripes, and the flowery scarf.

A couple of sketches where I was trying out the new composition.

A much smaller piece, and I've also changed the colours in the scarf.

Another sketch, this time using a paintbrush and paint, instead of a pen/pencil.

I've stopped here, I think I preferred it before painting the jug!

I have also been playing around with one of the experimental landscapes from my other (Wednesday) class, I won't be doing anymore to this one either, but I do feel that I'm learning more each time I put paint to paper.

Finally, the view from my spare room window where I do my artwork, and I think summer may have arrived at last. Gorgeous blue skies, and wall to wall sunshine, long may it last!

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Fun with strange combinations!

During our art classes, we are continuing to have fun 'playing' with a combination of items that most folk wouldn't associate with watercolour painting. Above is the result I achieved by painting watercolour onto wet paper, and using granulation fluid and salt to encourage the paint to do strange things!

I could see trees in the finished result when dry, so pulled them out by using some inktense pencils, and a little extra paint in places.

I took some photos, and then printed one onto some cotton fabric, which enabled me to stitch into it. The colours were more subtle, but it was an interesting exercise.

I also printed the same photo onto a sheet of Tyvek, and then added heat by hovering an iron over the surface. The result is above, and reminds me of pebbles. I obviously 'hovered' for a second or two longer than I should on the right hand side, and as you can see, a few holes appeared! 

We have also been using clingfilm on the surface of the paper while the paint is still wet. It has to be left until the paint is dry, but gives some really fascinating patterns and textures as you can see in the above example. I could see foliage and flower shapes, so gave it a bit more help by adding a few details.

in the example above and below, I have cut up some of the papers when dry, and collaged them, giving an abstract image. 

Not sure what I will do with the example above, but as you can see, the clingfilm has given some very interesting results. We have been following some ideas from a book by Ann Blockley called Experimental Landscapes in watercolour. There are some wonderful images in her book, but I have a very long way to go to get anywhere near producing work like that, if ever!!

Finally, I took this photo of part of a wall on Pevensey Castle. There is something about the combination of shapes and colours that attracted my eye! Maybe inspiration for another piece of  stitched artwork!

Thanks for dropping by.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Gathering Memories Project

A community project in aid of the Alzheimer's Society has been launched to help raise money for their charity. You can find the details here. 

One of my friends sent away for a few of the kits, and I was one of the lucky recipients. Both my own Mum, and Mum in law had forms of dementia, which eventually took their lives as a result of complications caused by this awful disease.

The idea is that you make up a piece of textile art from the kit provided, which includes a length of cream silk fabric, stitched through the centre with gold thread. These strips of silk originally formed a piece of  installation art, which has now been deconstructed. I used my length of silk to form the skirt of the dancer's tutu. 

The theme for the project  is to create a piece of art that reflects a memory personal to the maker. After completion, the piece can either be kept by the maker, or sent back to the organisers for sale in an auction to be held next year. I will probably send mine back.

My memory is threefold really, I always wanted to be a ballet dancer as a child, and can remember how bitterly disappointed I was when I wasn't chosen to be one of the fairy dancers in the school Christmas play. I also truly believed that fairies lived at the bottom of my garden, and then last year I actually went to my very first ballet performance at the Albert Hall, Wonderful!

Thanks for reading, and follow my link above if you think you may be interested in taking part too, 

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Class Experiments, some results!

My Tuesday class results, the two above and below. We've been working on making concertina books, with the theme, 'our favourite walk'. My first attempt above is more abstract, and the one I favour. I was using imagery from a walk along the prom towards Holywell Bay. It is reversible, so you can see each side. However, the examples below are very kitsch/whimsical, and in fact the top one no longer exists! I didn't like it so painted over it and then produced the one below. I don't like that one either, so I'm in the process of trying another idea.

Below are examples of the watercolour experiments from my Wednesday class. We've been using different types of salt, sprinkled over the wet paint, and then waiting to see what marks are produced. You can actually see the salt on the surface in these photos, because I took them before the paint was dry, and the salt removed. That will have to wait until next week now, as I left them behind in the classroom.

The above photos are all close ups of different sections of the same piece, but below I have just taken the one photo of the whole image.

Lots of fun, and it's good to be trying out new ideas with different techniques. I'm sure there will be an overlap at some point with my textiles.
Thanks for reading.