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, 29 June 2016

When in doubt, CROP!

Still just experimenting and playing around with my Gelli printing. I go from paper to cloth and back again, but I've been trying out a few new techniques too.

A few close-ups of the first image,

Sometimes, I think cropping can give better results and a more pleasing composition.

I've been doing that quite a lot lately. It makes each piece a lot smaller obviously, but I quite like 'small'.

Above is a Gelli print on paper, and below I've photographed cropped areas that I may cut into.

I covered this particular piece of cartridge paper with white gesso first. You can see the texture quite clearly in the close-ups

The gesso also gives a good surface for scratching into for yet more texture, you can see where I've done that on the right.

I'm really into blue and a limey yellow green at the moment. 

This next group are also smaller pieces that I cut from a larger piece, I didn't particularly like. In fact it started out as a Gelli print that went wrong, so I covered it in gesso and then printed over the top, and you can see the thickness of the paint quite easily.

Below two more Gelli prints, which I have in fact since printed onto some canvas, but as yet I haven't added any stitching. I'm not really quite sure how or where to add any!

Oh well, as I said to my son the other day, I'm not really producing anything much to write home about at the moment, but I am creating a wonderful mess each time I attempt anything, and more importantly, having fun, I hope you are too!

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Inspired by a visit to the Ballet.

On Thursday I spent three magical hours at The Albert Hall in London, for Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.

I was completely mesmerised, and cannot get the wonderful music out of my head. I decided to try and make a couple of sketches of the dancers from the programme, and made the above two using black biro onto some pre-prepared pages in my sketchbook. I find it less intimidating to sketch onto pages that have been painted or printed on beforehand. Pristine white paper can be so scarey, and as I haven't done much drawing of the human figure for a while, it helped me to have a more relaxed attitude.

Although I find it even more difficult to 'sketch' with my sewing machine, I also felt compelled to try and make a small textile piece. I found some Gelli prints I made some time ago on Abaca tissue paper, and a couple of them had a watery feel about them which was perfect for my interpretation of the Swan Lake. It's a little bit abstract, but I wanted to try and catch the mood of the ballet.

Funny how you can spot imperfections when you see your work in a different light. My dancer is by no means perfect, but I have really enjoyed making this piece, and I'm still humming the beautiful, and very moving music by Tchaikovsky. I think I will have to go and buy a CD now, then I can listen to my heart's content!

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Using the Gelli printed papers.

Some of my Gelli printed sheets, (see my previous post) I used yesterday and today to produce these small stitched pieces. Above is one that uses two contrasting sheets, torn in half and put together and stitched to produce a sort of abstract flowery themed image with butterflies. I could see large dark blue flower heads on one sheet, and the stalks on another. The stitching was used to fuse them together visually.

Then I decided to cut up another sheet into  butterfly wings, and stitch it down onto one of the lighter sheets that had plant and leaf impressions printed onto it. This one is postcard size.

I haven't made any paper cloth for a while, so several more sheets were torn into smaller pieces, and layered onto some fine cheesecloth with other scraps of tissue paper and old wrapping paper. It was all glued down with watered down PVA and left to dry.

It may be hard to believe, but these three postcard size images, have been made from the paper cloth. I cut some of it up, and then continued to print the surfaces over with yet more paint, using a variety of stamps, leaves and other textured bits and pieces. The stitching is quite random in places, but I just decided to accentuate certain areas.

Finally, the images in blue which are below, were made on watercolour paper with acrylic paint, using the Gelli plate again. There are quite a few layers of paint, but I just kept going until I felt reasonably happy with the results. I quite like the different shapes and colours that are peeping through from the final print. No stitching on these, I think they are better left as you see them here.

I'm pleased to say that I am thoroughly enjoying getting back into my art again, it's still a bit of an uphill struggle, but the momentum seems to be returning, and that has to be good!