an artists' view

an artists' view

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Knitting and Stitch at Harrogate

Yesterday I went to Harrogate to the Knitting and Stitching Show at the conference centre. It's the first time I've been. I bought some 'stuff'; and saw some amazing creations, made from wool and textiles. 
There were some wonderful objects on display, some notable ones were;-
Beryl Dean's ecclesiastical embroideries. Huge bishops copes etc, laid out as works of art.
Valerie Huggins' altarpiece based on her inspirations of Mexico. Her e.mail is; -
Linda Sadler's knitted work and felted fabrics, based on corals, seen through a microscope. Her blogspot is at: -

Been up to the studio today, using some of the new materials I bought; and organising myself for what I need to do for the final session of the textiles course on Tuesday. 
I've also had an idea for a textile piece using the plant-dyed fabrics I've been making since August!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Talks and ArtWalks

I gave a talk at Chantry Chapel last Monday, 21st November, based on my M.A. dissertation. Called 'The Sacred Landscape', it explored the influence of the landscape upon twentieth, and twenty-first century artists; including Barbara Hepworth, Paul Nash, Chris Drury, Aaron Watson, Berenice Henson et al.

I'm just reading a book about John Piper, and realised I missed him out of my research completely!

I've put some work into the exhibition of resident artists work at Westgate Studios for the next Artwalk on November 30th November 2011.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Islay; drawing with stitch

The east side of Islay, seen from the campsite on the western side of the Loch. Here was where Jon and I watched the moonrise on consecutive evenings. The moon was waning, so we only got to see it for a couple of evenings. This sewing is based on a pencil sketch I did whilst we were there. The foreground, the sea; the low hills on the horizon.

I'm working on a second drawing with stitch, based on another pencil drawing I did on Islay.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

'Silk' paints; and ethics

'Silk' painting....or, not actual silk; taffeta in fact. It lacks the vibrancy of painting on silk. The colours don't sing out as much. But I don't use silk as a fabric, as I try not to use any (obvious, at least!) killed animal by-products in my work. I realise this is a loaded issue, as I use oil paints and art materials which have most likely been tested on animals to 'ensure' their safety, and non-toxicity to humans. It's not an easy subject. The more I consider it, the more problematic it is! I just try my best; tiptoe-ing through all the ethical issues. The other students' work looked much better than this taffeta painted with silk-paints; the paint is designed to work best with silk, after all. I do keep a look-out for white/pale silk fabric in the second hand shops. Somehow it feel it might be alright to use second hand silk. But I don't buy it new; and in courses, I choose not to use it.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Wiltshire; Tipi

We stayed on a campsite just down the road from the Uffington White Horse, and near to the Ridgeway. Sharon, Stanny and Eli stayed in the tipi, whilst Jon and I stayed in Blanche. We had a wonderful time, and had a roaring fire on the Sunday night. We let off fireworks, and danced around with sparklers.....well Sharon and I did! It stayed dry, and sunny, and I would have loved more time to spend with our friends.

Wiltshire; The Vale of the White Horse

To the right of this photograph is the Uffington White Horse. To be honest, it's best seen from the air. I was particularly fascinated by the chalk hills. Like ribs, rippling under the green. There are some interpretations that the White Horse is in fact a dragon; that's what these hills looked like to me. The bones under the skin.

Wiltshire; Avebury

Avebury; the village in the henge. Walking round Avebury, we were struck by the 'trig-points', the concrete posts which indicated the positions of stones that were no longer in existence. We wondered about this wall.....was it made up of broken bits of ancient stones that had been removed from their original spots? Beyond it though, was the contrasting textures of a thatched roof; and in the garden, a tree, with some apples remaining.

Between them, they seemed to tell one of the stories of Britain.

Wiltshire; Wayland's Smithy

Wayland's Smithy in the autumn light. The leaves collecting in the entrance. The dappled sun shining through the trees create shadows; and darkness to the passage tomb's entrance. It looks a bit artificial, this light. But it's how the day was. I like the golden path of leaves; a carpet to soften the walk to death. Hmmm; very seasonal.

Of course, the information boards say that it's been 'reconstructed', as many stone circles/ rows, and standing stones are. This 'front' part had fallen down in the 1920's, so what we see is a modern construct.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Core Sampler; Journey Through The Past

This is a section of a large textile piece I'm working on; and have been working on for longer than I intended!

It incorporates hand sewing; machine sewing; fabric painting; transfer printing; hand-dyed fabric; and currently, I'm working using the silk papers I made on my textiles course. I'm hoping that the work I'm doing now, is the final part of the jigsaw. It's hanging on my studio wall, and I keep taking it down, to work on, to do more hand sewing. Then I pin it back up, till I get back into the studio to work upon it again. I'm hand sewing small leaf shapes (fossil leaf shapes to be exact) onto the silk papers, which I'll then attach to the cotton fabric.

There are quite a few to sew; 13 or 14, depending on my final decision. I am so looking forward to completing this! I can then clear the least in my head!.....and think about my next textile piece, which I have photos and ideas for.
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