an artists' view

an artists' view

Sunday, 29 July 2012

wasp nest 3

While cleaning out the new home studio, I came across this; I think, a wasp nest?
I've found a couple of these things before. They are papery, and very fragile. 

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Cotton dyed with Nettle

Above is the bundle I soaked in a nettle dye-pot. Instead of binding it, I decided to use these mini bulldog clips. I like the pattern they leave behind. Below, the photo shows the ghost of the clips, left remaining on the fabric, after it's unrolled.
I have to say, it's not as green as I had hoped for. Maybe I'll overdye it again? The flecks on the fabric are nettle seeds. I was a bit late in the season, so there were lots of seeds floating in the dye-pot. They'll wash/brush off.  

I have my artwork, 'WoodBook' exhibited at the Arthouse, till 20th September.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Richard Long @ The Hepworth Wakefield

Two of Long's characteristic circles.
The top one is titled, 'Cornish Slate Ellipse' from 2009. It's as it describes itself, an ellipse shape, rather than a pure circle. The slate is grey with very smooth tops, and people with me said the blocks looked painted. It had the look of a raft, with slats of wood lashed together, or field patterns, seen from high above.

 The circle above, is titled, 'Blaenau Ffestiniog Circle' from 2011. This has lots of colours in the slate, which is sharp-edged, and spikey. Perpendicular, as opposed to horizontal. Colours included black, greys, browns, ochres. These slate pieces come from Wales. It echoes the mountains of Snowdonia, and the Welsh landscape.

Monday, 23 July 2012


It seems that the only thing to have survived the slugs and snails is this onion plant; flowering nicely!
We've had a lovely sunny day here, and I've been boiling up nettles (more survivors of the mollusc onslaught!) to dye with. Two bundles are in, steeping. I await the result.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Chun Quoit 3

A postcard of Hepworth's plaster for the sculpture 'Chun Quoit'.
Careful observation will show the differences in my drawing!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Members Open at the Arthouse

I've put 2 pieces into the Arthouse Members Open Exhibition.
The top one is oil and tempera on canvas, and is called 'Axis Mundi', and the bottom one is a photo-montage of a sculpture called 'Woodbook'. I don't know which will be selected, so I'll have to wait until the preview evening on the 25th July. It'll be interesting to see what it looks like as part of an exhibition...whichever is chosen.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Studios - 1

And speaking of studios, this was my first one, in the defunct Artsmill. From 2006. A lovely space, with wooden floors, and as the name suggests, in an old mill.
I was right up on the top floor, with no lift. A fantastic view over the outskirts of the city, and Chantry Chapel. Lovely, but very cold in the wintry weather. Am hoping to be slightly warmer in my new studio!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Spinning; with a drop-spindle!

Well hat's off to the ladies (spinsters!) of any parish who used the drop-spindle as they were doing other things! The above is my very first attempt at spinning wool using a drop spindle! it looks more like my friend, Paul's, dreadlocks, than a skein of wool!
I made a bit of a 'mullack' (mess) with varying thicknesses throughout the length of the wool, rather than a nice uniformity.
As the electricity was off (builder and electrician working in the garage!) it was something I could do without needing power...except my own hands that is. Took a while to do; and was quite complicated....I thought maybe if I had 3 hands, it might be easier to manage the fleece!

But what has pleased me, is that the fleece I used, was the one I brought back from Islay last summer; that I dyed using procion dyes from my textiles course; and that I've now spun, into 'wool'....or the nearest thing to 'wool'! I'm going to use it on one of my textile prints, rather than knit with it.

Friday, 13 July 2012


Poppies in the rain.
The flowers don't last long with the rain we're having. The petals drop too quickly.
I'm getting some work ready to put into the Arthouse Open Members Exhibition, which will be on for the next Artwalk, at the end of July.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Felt Number 6

This is another piece of felt I made when I was on the City & Guilds course earlier this year. I used natural coloured wool tops, and the small orange blotched at the bottom of the felt, were from some of the Islay fleece which I'd dyed using onion skins. I embellished the felt using 'Green Fibres' organic cotton thread; machine and hand stitching.  

Monday, 9 July 2012

Dyed with eucalyptus

At the top of the picture is 2 pieces of linen ; and at the bottom is a piece of silk (second hand!), both dyed using eucalyptus leaves.
The silk was blue to begin with, and it's gone a lovely pale green colour. The linen pieces (both pre-mordanted with soya milk) came out a pale pink. It's strange to get two completely different colours from the same dye-bath. Not sure how that's happened.
I might have to over dye the linen again, to try and darken it. The patterns of the dye-ing stand out much better against a deeper/darker colour.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Chun Quoit 2

This is the drawing I did at the Hepworth a couple of weeks ago. It's of a sculpture that Barbara Hepworth made. It's a small drawing, in an A5 sketchbook.
The sculpture was titled after the neolithic tomb, that I drew in situ when I visited Cornwall.
It was good to see the sculpture, after knowing about its' existence for years!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Chun Quoit

The pencil drawing I made of Chun Quoit in Cornwall. 
This is an A1 version I did, after the smaller sketch I made in situ. 
It's a passage grave that Barbara Hepworth used as inspiration for one of her sculptures, which is on show at The Hepworth Wakefield.
When I went to the Hepworth on Sunday, I did a small pencil sketch of the sculpture. 
The sculture is nothing like the real Chun. It's smooth, and upright, with an incised circle drawn into it. The stones of the passage grave are heavy, rough, and marked, though not by any workings that can be seen. Though I'm sure the stones were worked in some way.
As I wasn't allowed to take photos, I can't put up an image of the real sculpture.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Garden Toad

My toad!
S/he's a beauty; found in a bin whilst clearing around the garage, ready for when the builder comes to do the work on it.
It's dependant on the weather....which has been pretty dreadful this last month. June, the wettest month since records began; and July starting off no better!
We are on flood alerts here in Wakefield. One friend has a flooded cellar; another has sandbags round her house. I have a garden which is covered in slugs and snails! Eating everything! I've given up trying to get rid of them. There are just too many.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

The Hepworth, Wakefield

Today I visited the Hepworth gallery, in Wakefield.
I wanted to do some sketches of Hepworth's stringed sculptures, as I'm planning a 'clay & string' project for a group I work with. I also did a sketch of Hepworth's bronze 'Single Form (Chun Quoit)' from 1961.
I visited Cornwall when I was studying for my M.A. and I did a drawing of the neolithic tomb Chun Quoit near St. Just. This was later exhibited in an exhibition I held at the cafe in Wakefield Theatre, as well as being shown in Doncaster Art Gallery. 

Behind this Hepworth sculpture, to the left, is Chantry Chapel; the spires just pointing into the sky. 

The River Calder, flowing over the weir outside of the Hepworth, here seen from the medieval bridge where the Chantry Chapel stands. The sun was bright, playing on the surface of the water, turning it to pewter.
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