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.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Eastbourne Christmas Artists Open Houses and Studios

Yesterday the 1st of December, was also the first weekend for the Eastbourne Christmas Artists Open Houses and Studios. The following images don't really do any of the artwork justice, as the conditions were quite dark, but you will hopefully get a flavour of what is on offer.

Weatherwise, it was an absolute wash out, non stop wind rain and gloom all day. However, as you can see, myself and five other artists were warm and cosy at the Printers Playhouse, Grove Road Eastbourne, which is where our work is being exhibited. Behind the bar, Mitchel kept us well entertained, watered and fed, and in fact I can thoroughly recommend the delicious food cooked at lunchtimes/evenings on Saturdays by their very talented chef.

Despite the rain, we were visited by some brave souls who ventured out in the deluge.  We even sold some cards and gifts, and that's no surprise as all of the work for sale is stunning.

Teresa Neal's work (above) includes a range of beautiful scarves with matching bags, all produced from fabrics that have been printed from her  fabulous photos.

Above shows a selection of my watercolours and textile art, and below are a some collages, collograph prints, and textiles by Jodi Jones.

Lucy Dean is showing, and selling prints from her original semi abstract bird collection, the colours and patterns so intricate, they deserve closer inspection.

Toad Maloney designs and creates extraordinary cigar box style guitars, taking recycling to new heights, with his fabulous collection. A must for any musician to display, (and strum!)

Finally, but by no mean least is the wonderful art you can see above and below by Jenny Grace. Her hand drawn and coloured Islamic Geometry is beautiful, and her colours perfectly and carefully chosen to enhance each piece.

I hope you have enjoyed seeing the photos of our work, and if you live in the East Sussex area, you can come along to the Printers Playhouse next Saturday, 8th December, and see it for yourself. Doors open at 11-30am and remain open for the exhibition until 5pm, but you would also be welcome to visit this venue on other evenings for music and good company.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Illusion and Fantasy, (sketchbook development)

This is a photo I took of my daughter in her kitchen one sunny morning. It shows her reflection against the glass door into her garden, which is why the leaves from the trees and bushes outside can be seen in the image of her silhouette. I have used this image before in my artwork, and continue to come back to it from time to time. 

Above and below show further development.

Then I decided to play around with the profile, to see if I could use the idea for a Mother and Child theme.

Here I have used some scraps from a hand embroidered cloth, trying to capture an idea from the foliage showing through on the photo. Below, I have copied the image after experimenting with some filters in photoshop.

I thought I would have a go at some collage, using paper from an old magazine.

Unfortunately, I think I have moved further away from the idea of fantasy and illusion, so decided to use a different image from my archive of photos.

The image above shows a small stitched piece that I made some time ago. It was inspired by a photo I took of the remains of a dead tree in a local park. To me, it reminded me of a female torso.

I have drawn it again in my sketchbook, using a background of trees from an old book, which I have knocked back with paint to give a slightly misty effect. It almost looks like the naked torso of a woman dancing amongst the trees! Well, at least to me it does! I may add some other fantastical creatures into the scene during my next art class.

Finally, patterns inspired by the markings on the wings of butterflies and moths. Again, not sure where these ideas are going, illusion and fantasy is proving to be a rather challenging subject this term, but it's always good to be challenged out of our comfort zones.

Sunday, 30 September 2018

New Techniques for Illusion and Myth!

A new technique from Design Matters TV, which 
Linda Kemshall demonstrated using extra strong PVA glue. A drawing is made by extruding the glue from a needle nosed bottle. Once dry, watercolour or acrylic paint or ink is washed over the surface. I decided to use an image by Hundertwasser for my experimental piece.

After my first attempt, I wondered if I could draw by using some black acrylic paint in the bottle. It seems to have worked, but I just need to add some colour now.

My Tuesday Sketchbook Development class this term is titled Illusion and Myth. Not quite sure as yet where this will take me, but I'm wondering if I can use this technique in some way. On the above drawing, after using the glue and letting it dry, I experimented by going over it with an indigo coloured sharpie pen, after using watercolour and acrylic paint for the background.

Most of these experimental images are black and white photocopies from some of my original and previous artworks or photos. The above image is from a photo I took of my daughter one morning. The sun was shining through her kitchen window, and was creating an interesting image being reflected in another window across the room which looked out on to her garden. The background of  leafy trees and shrubs were all surrounding the reflection of her profile as she was about to pick up her morning cuppa. I used a variety of green sharpies to colour the glue outlines, and after painting the background I rubbed some gold lustre over the framed area.

Above another copy from an original sketch showing part of a shell on the beach, and below, a cropped section from a photo of some grasses and reeds. I left the glue uncoloured on this one, but drew with a black fine liner around the edges of the glue.

This last piece is another coloured black and white photocopy of a textile that I made some years ago, inspired by a nest containing two eggs. I have used the sharpie  pens again to add colour, but no glue on this one. However, I have started to add some detail with a white pen, going over the details I could see through the coloured pen from the original textile.

I love experimenting with new techniques, and when I can actually go back and make use of photos or pieces of artwork from my stash, it helps to convince me that it's worth hanging on to stuff after all! Good excuse eh!

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

COLOUR (but no stitch or cloth!)

Just a riot of colourful moths and butterflies

Background painted in first, with the main characters left until last.

A few images showing some close up views.

No subtle colours with this one, just lots of fun with my paintbox!

Saturday, 15 September 2018

A walk with friends on the South Downs

My latest panel inspired by a walk in early July last year. 

We did a circular walk on the South Downs, starting opposite the Seven Sisters Country Park in East Sussex, through Friston Forest and West Dean. I have included some of the photos I took, which I have used as inspiration for my watercolour panel

Farm land as well as the forest area.

Lots of plants, flowers and insects, and as it was a lovely warm day, the air was really buzzing with it all. 

So lucky to have all of this on my doorstep, who wouldn't be inspired!

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

My walk along the seafront on Sunday.

This sketch shows some of what I saw, and photographed as I walked along the seafront on Sunday. The sea cabbage on the shore was absolutely covered in cabbage white butterflies, and the cormorant decided to show off for me by spreading its wings in the sunshine. The Jackdaws are always scavenging for titbits at Holywell Cafe, where I stopped off to enjoy a coffee before walking back.

The flowers and grasses that grow along the side of the promenade also give plenty of texture, and is yet another habitat for birds and insects above the beach. It's lovely to have the seafront, shingle beach and sea birds on one side, with the contrast of trees, shrubs and plants on the other.

The full panel will eventually be folded into a concertina card, giving four panels. I need to get some good photos first though, before the fold lines start to show.

I've been wondering about printing some of these images onto cloth and adding stitch, but I think that may be taking things too far. However, I like the idea of recording places I visit using cloth and stitch, so an idea for me to be thinking about for a later date.