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

Monday, 17 July 2017

Serpentine gallery, pavilion and cafe

To the Serpentine, so see this summer’s pavilion, designed by Francis Kéré, a festival of triangles, so lots of resonance for a quilter. Superb blue colour, great shapes, wonderful shadows. Apparently it is designed such that when it rains, there is a waterfall of water cascading down in to the middle.

Then in to the gallery, after a short wait to see the free  Grayson Perry exhibition. Pieces in many media, and some that were on display recently at the British Museum. There are two small cases with his sketchbooks, which I always love to see. The largest piece is the tapestry “Battle of Britain”. Ten of these have been made. For the quilters reading this, there are several quilt designs in the background of this tapestry, but I can’t find commentary about why Perry has chosen to include these. Don’t look any further if you want to go to the exhibition and find them yourself. The subtlety of the weaving matches that of the colours in the Chris Ofili tapestry, but Perry’s tapestries are machine woven by Flanders Tapestries.

Finishing off with a walk across the bridge to a cup of tea within the sinuous curves of the Magazine restaurant, designed by Zaha Hadid.




Sunday, 16 July 2017

May journal - still in fresh water

I’ve got very behind posting about this year’s journal quilts.  May is still on the theme of blue-green algae.

Testing out prints in the sketchbook with acrylic paint

Trying out different way of appliquéing silk, rouleaux strips




Final piece