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.

Friday, 4 August 2017

July journal, seedhead

The journal July is the first of three on the theme of seeds.  Stencilled fabric, then experimenting with different weights of threads.


Sunday, 30 July 2017

A whole day in the drawing studio

I started drawing lessons in early 2014. Little did I imagine that three years later, I would be looking forward to a full day of life-drawing in the studio at the Mary Ward Centre. Twelve easels, twelve women, one teacher, one model, much concentration and some laughter, and these are the result.

Seven minute poses of the lovely Abbie, 


Three minute poses


Five minutes of continuous poses without looking at the paper 


Twenty minute pose, with a painting by Frank Stella projected on the model’s body


Twenty minute pose, with Matisse' Snail projected on to the model’s body


 At the end of the day, there was not enough wall space on which to tape our drawings, so the rather dilapidated skeleton that live in the studio was pressed in to service!


Saturday, 29 July 2017

Journal challenge continues - seeds

Having made my first six mini- quilts on the theme of  pollution, covering plankton and blue-green algae, I’m now moving on to seeds, taking a lot of inspiration from this incredible book by Rob Kesseler, and Wolfgang Stuppy.


The relationship to the overall theme of pollution in my journals this year is through two things.

First, 60% of the energy intake of the population of the world is from only three crops: rice, maize and wheat. Within these crops, biodiversity has decreased dramatically. If an untreatable plant disease, or an unknown pest damages any of these crops, many people will starve. With increasing levels of pollution, plants become less resilient and robust, and therefore less able to resist disease and pests.

Second, the Global Seed Vault, set up as a bulwark against catastrophic worldwide disaster, flooded this year, due to completely unexpected increases in temperature in the Arctic.

Trying to use my own source materials for this part of the series, I’m working on seeds that have parachutes, as it feels like the world needs a parachute at the moment. I think this is a Goat’s beard rather than a dandelion.

Stencilling with white paintstick and a freezer paper stencil to try to get the airiness of the seed head.




Stitching to come!


Sunday, 23 July 2017

End(ish) of July - I'm still catching up with June

Blue-green algae series number 3. Block-printed cloth, hand-dyed background, machine quilted. The blue-green algae strand has 3 or 4 graduated layers of wadding sewn within it.

Now on to July, and I need to decide whether to start the "Seed"series or the "Bacteria"series.

Too much inspiration about microscopic detail from a visit to the Whitworth Gallery to see "Verso" by Cornelia Parker and the astonishingly lush and complex paintings by Raqib Shaw.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Flowers - sketched and real

I have an obsession with the sweet peas growing in my garden. So many photographs of them,

so many bunches gathered


they have made it in to my sketchbook