Sunday, 15 October 2017

Sketchbook - a working object


Regular readers will know that the term “sketchbook” is one I have very mixed feelings about.  I mistakenly used to read this as an object of beauty, with a wonderfully formed image or composition on each page. Through discussions with my art tutor, I now understand that it can be a working, dynamic object, where pages can be revisited, added to, changed and adapted.

I realise that I enjoy setting up a page and then coming back to it several weeks later when I have worked on other techniques, been to an exhibition, or viewed my photographs.  I have been doing that this week.




Painted page, cut out, with inverted section and then with photograph of work by Victoria Coeln.




Thursday, 12 October 2017

Back to drawing

It is lovely to be back at the Mary Ward Centre to draw with the inspirational Abigail Downer.  The first exercise is to consider two objects, a natural one and a manmade one, as “actors” in a composition.  My objects are a vase and a gourd, 


Many exercises later, I have a drawing of the vase,  a little lopsided, but a good start.


While studying the structures together, I was struck how overlapping multiple images of the vase mimicked the folds and rolls of the gourd.  That is what I am exploring next,


Sunday, 8 October 2017

One out, one in, and see the Hive

Kaleidoscope is finally finished and bound, so time to bring out my blue splash quilt and ponder quilting designs.

Scribbling with variegated thread on the little squares in the sashing.


Auditioning possible quilting patterns with soap lines



I think wavy lines are the way to go.


If you have time, do go and see The Hive at Kew. Really innovative and strangely unsettling to be inside it. Intriguing grids on grids to photograph.




Monday, 25 September 2017

Finishing lines

I have been in Rotterdam, supporting my incredible sister and her partner as they represented Australia in the amateur team at the World Triathlon Finals.
They both crossed the finish line in very respectable times,  and were still up for a big celebration in the evening.
Lots of stitching inpiration in the photos of the pontoon where the swimming leg started
and also from the food stalls  in the superb Markthal.
And in the mesmerising,multiple escalators
All of that dedication and training pushed me to my own finishing line, the binding on Kaleidoscope, started in December 2012.
I evidently don’t finish enough quilts, as I had forgotten how to join the two binding ends together seamlessly. This video, from Heirloom Creations, is the simplest explanation I have every found, a boon for those like me who find the upside-down, back to front instructions of others completely confusing.
 Twenty feet of binding to hand stitch down now, the last part of my quilting and piecing triathlon on this quilt.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Sculpture by the sea

One year I hope to visit “Sculpture by the Sea” in Australia. Until then, I make do with seeing sculpture in weathered shapes at British beaches

Cramond causeway, weathered U-boat defences, reminiscent of the cardinal sculptures by Giacomo Manzu.

Or with less sinister features

With a stretch of the imagination, beginning to resemble the Venus of Willendorf

Ogmore beach, wooden groynes weathered in to anthropomorphic shapes

These shapes are percolating through my mind as I have forgotten to bring any sketching or stitching materials on holiday.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Edinburgh, Dovecot Studio, Daughters of Penelope

A fab’ few days in Edinburgh, with a highlight as ever being a visit to the Dovecot Studios. The light was shining down on to the studio floor, making the colours glow

Work in progress in the studio

Surrounding the walls of the viewing floor, an exhibition about tapestry as architectural commissions. One of my favourite artists, Victoria Crowe, has just completed a commission, in conjunction with Dovecot for the Leatherseller’s Company. Seeing the artist's  sketches, initial work-ups, weaver’s ( NaomiRobertson ) workups, the full working process, samples of weaving techniques is marvellous.  The heraldic blue, yellow and red are both historical and contemporary.

Downstairs, a superb exhibition called Daughters of Penelope. So many wonderful things to see here, on until January 2018.

A rug that was made to move within a dance performance

Monotone weaving

Ash seeds woven in to a textile

A recording of spinning songs that, from the comments in the exhibition notebook, divided the opinions of the attendees. I loved it and was intrigued by the circular notation of the singing. Great embroidery potential there.