Saturday, 30 April 2016

Threaded Together's Exhibition today

This year my work has been almost wholly concerned with abstraction from images. Our exhibition title has been the hook upon which I have built a series of four pieces all of which relate to abstractions from images and recollections of  bodies of water and their behaviour. 
I hope that they catch the mood, the colours and the movement of water, it's capricious behaviour and capacity to reflect the mood of its surroundings. I include short descriptions of what influenced these abstractions.

Rufigi Sundown

'Floating down the Rufigi Riiver in Tanzania as the sun was setting, listening to the start of night sounds, and watching the ever changing reflections on the river of the decaying light.'

Moonlit Zambezi

Relaxing by the side of the Zambezi river just above the Victoria Falls I watched the water in the centre of the channel tumble and race headlong for the edge, roiling, boiling and foaming, while the water near the banks was gently moving its way to the precipice.'

Harbour Lights

'A casual stroll late at night by the harbour in Bergen, I took a photo, buildings lit across the water. Thinking nothing much of the memory shot I was staggered when later I saw the small patch of reflected lights in the water, red, blue and yellows.'

Still Waters

The waters of the Norwegian fjords were cool,silent and gentle, with lovely reforming patterns and with light reflecting on the ripples.'

Monday, 25 April 2016

Turning JQs into book covers.

Last year I started the JQ project with loads of enthusiasm, planning to create a collection of images from the Cambridgeshire fenland area. I was so enthused I made 5 by the end of March! Sadly I made one more and then the muse left me. I tried all sorts to get back on track but gave in. Weak, I know, but my mind wasn't ready to change the theme and just do anything. They went into a box and I forgot all about them. Clearing out, as one does from time to time to make way for new toys, I found them. What to do with them? They sat on the shelf looking accusingly at me and then, when our plans for our Threaded Together exhibition were coming to life, I realised that they were exactly the right size to make book covers to sell at the show.  So that's what I've done!
Here they are!

Having made these I went through the samples box and created two more from experiments for work that went to Alsace in 2013. They too have made neat little covers.

All of this of course has only put off the point when I need to start some new work. Blank sheet syndrome...... I'm hoping a day with Viv Arthur and ArtVan Go will set the creative juices going and I'll be ready to work again!

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Why do I blog?

There has been a really interesting strand on the Contemporary Quilt Yahoo about the merits of blogging and blogging v website. On the face of it, blogging is a rather arrogant imposition of ones ideas, opinions and creations on an unsuspecting world! Before I started to post I enjoyed visiting textile blogs, especially of those whose work I enjoyed, especially when the process was shared. At that point I was visiting blogs of those I looked up to. How, then did I imagine mine might stack up? I suppose because I never saw this this as a vehicle to do other than catalogue my textiles journey and as a means of holding myself to the challenge of developing my textiles in a more systematic manner.
In the same way I enjoy the face to face contact with other textile artists I like to share what I am doing. Working away in a room on ones own is a lovely privilege but it's good to let in the sun and share the work too. Textiles artists are generally very generous with technique and there are so many ways in which we learn from each other. That at the root of it is my rationale!


Friday, 8 April 2016

Experiments with dyeing fabric with Chalk Paint

I had read that Chalk Paints could be used to dye fabrics, the very matt nature of them appealed for a piece of work I'm contemplating making.
I found Annie Sloan trial pots in the colours I wanted.

Initially the thick consistency was a bit off putting until I realised that they needed to be significantly diluted with warm water. I tried a sample of each of the paints on cotton fabric.

Muted and with a slightly sueded texture.

I then tried mixing the paints.

When dry they were a lot less vivid.

While the instructions from Annie Sloan state that the paints are non toxic, I found that when dry they were very 'dusty' from loose chalk. I did dye a linen top, the colour is excellent but the loose chalk is taking a lot of getting rid of. I'm not sure whether this is always the case or if I used too greater proportion of pigment to warm water. I shall have to try again!

Friday, 1 April 2016

Room 6. "6 Shades of Grey"

I just wanted to share with you an interesting exhibition I visited while at the ICHF show at NEC recently. Room 6 are a group of textile artists who met through their course tutor Susan Chapman. The group comprises Consuelo Simpson, Lynn Onions, Helen Still, Alison Hulme and Caroline Bell.
While all the works were interesting I was particularly drawn to a pair of pieces by Alison Hulme. "Urban Streets" influenced by city streets, looking up at the tall buildings and down to the chewing gum on the pavements.

Her second piece "Conversations " influenced by heal heard and overheard conversations.

Sorry photos not as good as I have liked because the stand shape made it hard to get further away from the pieces.

Caroline's Bell's series of pieces "Fade" exploded grey through naturally dyed fabrics and printing. I loved these, the variations that were achieved and her use of hand stitch.

I still strive to achieve a series of pieces that are linked. I'm setting off to try to do this again this summer with two key themes in my brain, Jordan Desert and Family History. More later.