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.

Monday, 28 October 2013

The Colours of Autumn.

My previous post showed the cloth I was making with printed and stenciled leaves. I divided it into two pieces, producing the above textile, and my November journal quilt,  fourth photo down. The added autumn fruits include Roundhead Blue funghi, conkers, acorns, holly berries, yew berries, blackberries and spindle berries, (unfortunately not very visible in this photo.) 

A couple of close-ups.

I've decided to call this journal quilt 'Frosted Leaves'


Two small 5"x5" pieces echoing the wheels and winches from the two pieces in my previous post.

I went for a walk this afternoon, and most of the leaves seem to have been blown from the trees in the gale force winds of the last 24 hours. Let's hope that we don't get any more weather like that for a few more years. Winds like that can be so damaging, so I hope that if you're reading this, you were safe too.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Autumn Colour......Everywhere!

A lovely collection of Autumn leaves collected during a bracing, windy but very pleasant walk in Oaks Park this morning.

My colours are rather more pink, but this is the cloth I produced with the leaves, using them as stencils and for printing.

A close-up.

I will be adding lots of stitch, and some applique, but I'm at the experimental, playing around with ideas stage here, and am wondering about some autumn funghi.

Above, some small painted sketches of the different varieties of funghi that can be found at this time of year. I quite liked the blue against the autumn colours, but still not sure yet.


And finally, I seem to have managed to 'autumn colour' my hands in the process! I took these photos after I'd given them a good scrub, so I hope it fades soon.

Monday, 21 October 2013

A Workshop with the Dorking Embroiderers' Guild



Above and below, all working very hard, either on their sewing machines, or on the 'wet' table.

Below, are photos of  'works in progress', and I was pleasantly surprised at the wide variety of outcomes, everyone had their own brilliant design ideas.

Abstract above, and a meadow full of butterflies below.

A couple of ladies even went outside to collect leaves for some leaf printing motifs, and very successful they were too!

A touch of Klimpt.

Bird in a meadow.

Another touch of Klimpt.

Beautiful butterfly.

I love these daisies.

Above and below, lots of hand stitching going on.

This image shows both the back and the front, and I think they are both equally beautiful in their own right.

I would like to thank the Ladies of the Dorking Embroiderers' Guild for making me feel so welcome, and at ease, (this was my first workshop ever!!!!)  It was such a pleasure to spend the day with them, and I hope that they were as pleased with their results as I was.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Rust, Peeling Paint and the Beauty in That!

Above and below, the two pieces I've been working on, and which are now finished. Textile and mixed media, including, dyed, printed, stenciled, painted fabrics, plastic netting, cording, free machine stitching and machine embroidery, and fabric crayon.

Below, a selection of the photographs that I took in Dungeness a couple of years ago. I have abstracted the colours, shapes and textures from the derelict fishing huts to build up the compositions for the two pieces. I particularly like the contrast of the hard, rusty metal winches and rigid plastic bait boxes, with the soft draping  folds of the fishing nets and ropes. The textures and softer colours of the peeling paint from the rotting wood has also informed some of the background shapes and marks.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Colours, Shapes and Textures of Dungeness.

In my last post I showed the beginnings of the above piece. It's almost unrecognizable now, and I'm wondering if I've overworked it. I've definitely changed it drastically, but it just wasn't what I was trying to achieve before! The colours were too bright, so I've sprayed it with acrylic paint, and added netting and cording, lots of free motion stitch and machine embroidery. The insides of some of the derelict fisherman's sheds at Dungeness were absolutely full of old nets, plastic trays, ropes, rusty winches, planks of rotting wood where the sides of the sheds were collapsing, and plenty of contrasting shadows and shafts of light pouring in from where the windows used to be!

This is a second attempt, not finished yet, but my aim for this piece is that 'Less is More'......ha ha ha!

Goodness, two posts in one week.....that must be a first!

Friday, 11 October 2013

Ally Pally, Knitting, Stitch and Inspiring Textiles.

Outside the entrance to the Knitting and Stitching Show, 2013 at Alexendra Palace today, was this black cab, wrapped up snugly in all this incredible knitting! Unfortunately, as it was beginning to rain, I didn't hang about, and forgot to find out any details.

Last year I was lucky enough to do a five day workshop with the Canadian textile artist Dorothy Caldwell, whose work I just absolutely love. She is at Ally Pally this year, exhibiting some of her fantastic work called 'IN PLACE' and I've included some photos here. I managed to write down the titles of most pieces, but unfortunately there are one or two that I missed, including the one above.

This piece is called 'Comfort of Fog'

Red Hill/Black Hill



About this exhibition 'IN PLACE'

Weapons Listening and Waiting

Following the Sounds of Birds

These photos do not do justice to Dorothy's work, there is so much texture and minute detail which is hard to see unless you are in front of one of her pieces. It's as though she has honed her experience of place,  down to the bare bones, simplifying the images to reflect what she feels rather than sees. These are my words, not hers, but it is how I translate what I see in front of me.

I was also really intrigued by the work of a young mixed media textile artist called Bethany Walker. She has unusually combined concrete and textile/fiber materials, the results of which you can see above. Again, this photo doesn't do justice to her work, and the combination of industrial/domestic materials, fused together like this, gives unexpected results that I find very exciting. It will be interesting to see how Bethany progresses with this technique.

Back down to the nitty gritty, and above is a piece I'm working on at the moment, inspired by a photograph I took in Dungeness which included rusty mechanisms from a winch, tangled up ropes, fishing nets and rotting wood. As you can see, it was just the starting point, and my imagination has also been given free reign! I'll post a further photo when it's finished.

Finally my Journal quilt for October, again, using the same image that I used for September, but this time I wanted to experiment with a mono print for the outline which I made on some hand dyed fabric that had very washed out colours. I overlaid the piece with organza before outlining the printed area with free motion machine stitch, and finished it off with hand stitch.

It's been such an inspiring day, I've walked my feet off, seen some wonderful textiles, and spent far too much money! It will all have been worth it though if it gets my creative juices flowing again, something which has needed a bit of a boost these last few weeks.

Thanks for reading, and whatever you're creative exploits are, enjoy!