Monday, 29 February 2016

Arty Experimentals

I went to pick up my snowdrops from the Shaftesbury Snowdrop Festival and only came home with one!  Very pleased to say that this one sold. 

I've had a few bits delivered including these Khadi books.  I have loads of loose sheets somewhere but liked the size of the long one, 20 x 8 inches.  

I know normally I'm not a sketchbook user, in fact I run a mile to be fair, but I know Khadi can be stitched as well as drawn onto and something just made me go for it!  Perhaps it's all the notes I've been taking in my other book about ideas that creep in and will need working on at some point.  

I have also noticed that more and more often I am truly seeing the difference between technical ability and artistic expression.  I am working very, very hard at seeing if  have a 'voice' rather than just flexing my 'I can do that' muscles.  It's proving very enlightening!  Maybe it's the sort of thing that would have been worked out of me had I managed to do the collage thing before life took a sideways turn. 

First thing I did on the paper was colour wash it in landscape tones.  Very predictable and I was really rather disappointed with myself so it sat there for a couple of days.  I then spotted my Chinese bamboo pens and, after looking out at the fields around the house, dipped them in Iron Gall ink which flows beautifully.  I think I achieved an effect I was after. I have added a few more lines since this photo was taken as it was all a bit floaty. 

To get over the staid background I used some pastels on the next sheet. (I've cut the sheets out to use and I'm glueing them back in once done). 

Just starting with blocks of colour and adding layer upon layer I ended up with quite an in depth piece that I then put under the sewing machine. 

I just kept going until it was all covered.  

 I loved how the texture of the paper went back to its cotton rag heritage!! It feels lovely.

The hanging has been going on at the L'Artishe Gallery in Swanage.  Quite a marathon of putting up pieces no more than 100mm x 100mm before framing.  

Mine are the three wooden frames above the left print browser.  Hung properly!! That opens tomorrow and is on for the whole month should you be in Dorset at all.

A few things in the studio are calling including another page or two in that Khadi book.  

Have a great week! 

Thursday, 18 February 2016

A Bit of Work and a Bit of a Party

I have been twiddling around with this and that this past week or so.  I'm trying to get together some samples for a little demoing with Maggie Grey in April at the Brockenhurst Needlework Fiesta.  A small but very popular show local to me in the New Forest.  I have also done some pieces with my pastels which has been a lovely change.  A friend of mine recently lost her dog so I have done a portrait, I will show you when she has received it. 

Karren and I went to the opening of the Snowdrop Festival Art Show last week.  I really do struggle with these 'professional' people left to hang these exhibitions!  These were my snowdrops.  

A good position but hanging on one wire so they sort of flopped any which way.  At least they were eye levelish and you could see the stitching, if you were average height that is. This was the hanging of the Erosion pieces last year.

I'm 5ft 7ins and had 2 inch heels on. What can I say.  They are now with the third one in L'Artishe Gallery in Swanage for the whole of next month.  I hope they are at a level where they can be viewed as stitchwork, I think the owner is more sympathetic than the other hangers.

Yesterday we had a delightful little Fairy arrive on the doorstep! 

She had had a very exciting morning!! (Please note Elsa's lovely embroidery hoop work on the wall!!)

She is 2 already! 

We had a lovely lunch and a Peppa Pig cake (John thought it didn't taste of bacon enough). 

I think these events will start to be a little more exciting from now though.  At Christmas when she stayed, Olivia had one last pressy to give us on Christmas morning. 

Very excited and happy for Elsa, Mike and Olivia. 

She did have to leave yesterday having morphed into a pixie by hiding behind the chair. 

I'm not sure if the door to fairyland is actually there, but you never know! 

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Quite a Few Finishes

Whilst looking through my dashboard on the blog I realised I had several draft posts sitting there mainly from when we were in Dublin in December and I was beginning the 31 Day Blogging Challenge.  One of them was a bit of a rant about the ability of restaurants and the like to give you food on or in anything but something sensible.  It really is one of my 101's having these stupid little pots and baskets taking up space on my plate and often ending up being knocked on the floor or worse, in my lap!! First thing I do is tip the food out onto the plate where it is supposed to be and pointedly put the silly receptacle on the side or, better still, in the hand of the waiter/ress. I had a huge laugh when I heard this. Radio 4's Dear Restaurants. I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds this truly irritating!!

I completed the Snowdrop piece for the Shaftesbury Snowdrop Festival next week.

It looks ok framed up in a deep box.

You can't see the 3Dishness of it on a photo though.

I also decided to put in the first one I made and wasn't too sure about.

There will lots and lots of other ways of interpreting a snowdrop so my funny little pieces will be in good company!

I made a mixed media panel up with the latest kit from Workshop on the Web and it's been on display at Westpoint, Exeter at the Craft4Crafters show on Maggie Grey's stand.

I was there on Thursday with Maggie and Fiona and it was lovely to meet quite a few of the WoWies in person.

I actually didn't have time to buy much and there didn't seem to be much new which is probably a good thing!

This week I have been trying to make a few notebook covers and do some experiments with tyvek.  Not sure that's going the way I want it to at the moment but I will keep trying.  I did layer up the two UFO's I found ready for stitching.

I put these together not long after I finished the Stay at Home Robin in 2011.  My tutor at the time, Laura Kemshall, brought out some of her printed fabrics not long after and so I added a couple of bits of those too.   I liked the mishmash of the SAHR but didn't manage to go much further.  Now could be their chance!

Another cardie for Olivia has been finished.

It's quite a joy having such small things to knit in the evenings! I really should revert to stitch at the moment though at the Art Weeks is not far off and I need more work to show!

Monday I will be off on a jolly with my friend artist Karren Burkett to drop off the snowdrops and then down to Swanage to enter the three Erosion pieces into an exhibition down there.

Off to watch the rugby now, have a great weekend!