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.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

A 'date' at Kew Gardens

I had a 'date' at Kew Gardens on Monday, and I spent a wonderful day strolling around the brilliant exhibition of sculpture by David Nash. Above and below is one of the mounds he created from cork bark. I loved the way that the light changed it's colours and shadows as I walked around it, giving it a unique texture from the different angles.

One of the reasons I went on my 'date', to Kew, was to fulfil one of the weekly tasks that I've been invited to do as part of a workshop I'm taking part in. It's The Artists Way, by Julia Cameron, which she designed as a way to help those of us who want to get in touch with, or unblock our creativity. The twelve week course, requires that we take part in a two hour 'date' by ourselves each week. It can be anything that you wouldn't normally do by yourself, but which is fun, and often playful. I often do things or go places by myself, but this visit to Kew was something I had been wanting to do for a long time, and which I would normally do with a friend. As you can see from the photos, it was a gloriously sunny day, such a treat after all the grey skies of late.

Although I really loved Nash's large sculptures, I especially liked his smaller pieces that are on display in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery. He has been 'Artist in Residence' since last year, and has been studying the fruits, seeds, bark and even the cellular structure of wood whilst there. These studies have informed his smaller pieces too,  and some of them look so fragile and delicate, reminding me of sea shells.

Nash was also influenced by a piece of Aboriginal art from the Kew archives, and subsequently scorched parallel  lines into some of his smaller sculptures. The wall hanging below is so simple, but is one of my favourite pieces.

There are also some larger sculptures in the Temperate House, set amongst the wonderful foliage. I particularly liked the two spoon like piece below, which he has also 'scorched' to give it it's black appearance.

This was also a favourite of mine, half hidden behind large leaves, and reminded me of a giant tadpole, or water creature!

Of course, I also wandered through some of the giant glasshouses, and took plenty of photographs. I particularly enjoyed the wonderful reflections of the Victorian glasshouse structures, seen in the small pools.

I can't resist including this Prickly Pear, it's one of my favourites, probably because of the shapes it makes as it grows, with the fruits sprouting from around the edges. I have a textile piece that I still haven't finished, inspired by this wonderful plant.

I can thoroughly recommend a visit to Kew, and especially while the  David Nash exhibiton is there. Not for much longer though, it finishes on 14th April, so maybe you could also make a 'date' to visit this spring!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

A Gift.

The wrap for a gardening art journal that I have made for my daughter Emily in New Zealand.

The paper I've used for the journal in the making. Mine is at the top of the photo, it was made during a 'fun arty' day with three other friends. Both sides of the giant sheets were covered with marks in black ink, applied with a wide selection of  tools including brushes, cardboard, sponges and twigs!

Front Cover

 My daughter is heavily into gardening, so I chose that as my theme for this book. I selected some quotes that were relevant, and also put in some magazine cuttings of different plants. 

The inside of the wrap is lined with some gorgeous hand dyed fabric purchased from Maggi, and I stitched in this little machine embroidered daisy that I made a couple of years ago, as a pocket to hold seed packets.

I inserted a very small book that I also made, with a hand stitched wrap. I named it 'garden notes', so my daughter can keep track of all things gardening!

I'm showing a small selection of the pages where I have also inserted some of my own art work, all with a flowery flavour.

There are quite a few pages with not much added, so that Emily can add her own magazine cuttings and notes.

The back of the book.

And finally my February JQ. I used the photo from my January JQ to experiment with. In the edit section of my camera phone, I selected 'mirror', which gave me the arrangement you see above, then changed the colours to 'vintage'. I printed the results onto some silk organza, twice, and cut them to produce a piece 12"x8". The quilting is in silver metallic thread.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my latest creations, I have certainly enjoyed producing them, and thanks very much for reading my blog!