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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sidetracked...


...again. I went into The Little Green Shed (TLGS to its friends)to redo one of the projects in the Exquisite Evolon book which I'm working on, which was fine. But then I had spare paint. And then I knocked some paint over. And all that resulted in a couple of interesting monoprints, which you'll see some other time, and this interesting piece called 'Mask' (click on the image to see a larger version, I think it's worth it...but then, I would...). It is A4 sized, and ready to stitch...or not... I can't make up my mind. Does textile art have to have stitch? Discuss.

I was delighted to see that Sandy had a good time at TLGS at the weekend...and that was without cake... I hope everyone who came over the weekend had as good a time as I did! See pictures of TLGS, and one of wee me, here

And now, of course, I'll have to tidy up TLGS for the last weekend of Norfolk Open Studios. There may not be cake this time, as I can't stretch a birthday quite that far, but there are always biscuits...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Featured In Despatches...


in this case, a local website, covering the nearby village of North Elmham and information about Open Studios. Although I don't live in the village, I was fortunate to be considered close enough to count as a 'local' artist. Mike and Meg from the website came to visit yesterday. We had a very pleasant cup of coffee and chat in the conservatory, and Advo managed to sit still long enough to get his portrait taken...he looks glorious! Click on the 'Slide Show' (just below my name)to see him and other images of my work and the Little Green Shed.

I've had a bit of a day off, today, drifting around doing housework, albeit rather grudgingly, and sending correspondence, including my application for ISBN numbers for the books I'm intending to publish. Exquisite Evolon is coming on steadily, while Finding Your Creative Focus is with its editor. And I really must remember to send my Little Gem (pictured above) to the coordinator. Wonder who will win it...? New ones are being added regularly; check out the site!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Quick Glimpse...




...of my conservatory, all dressed up for Open Studios. Actually, I've moved things around a bit since then, but you get the general idea, I'm sure. There are paintings on the walls, too, more photos to follow over the next few days...and of course, the studio is bedecked, too. Robin's comment was 'No wonder we have no room in the house'.

It's been an interesting time, this. I'm waiting to be interviewed by a village website , who want to feature local Open Studios artists. I don't live in that village, but it is close by, and our doctors' surgery is there, so I go quite often. Given that it's my first ever Open Studio, I'm pleased to have had about fifteen visitors in the first couple of days, most of them textile people. So it's no surprise that some of my cloth has sold, and enquiries have been made about workshops. We had wine and nibbles on Sunday, a very civilised way to spend an afternoon, sipping chilled white and talking about art. This Sunday, though, will have a different feel. Probably more wine, I admit, but also cake, as it's my birthday, and I like an excuse to have a BIG cake!

The painting featured here is untitled, though if anyone has a title suggestion, I'm always willing to listen. It's a very peaceful oil, with lots of texture. See what you think. To my surprise, there are more painted and mixed media pieces than there are textiles, but then I'm not showing things that will feature in Exquisite Evolon, which is most of my current output. So there'll be lots of textiles to see next year, and at Festival of Quilts, too.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Small Is Beautiful...


...both in itself, aesthetically, and to potential buyers, who would like to have something, but don't have the cash to buy a large piece. Which is why I make greetings cards, in this case for Open Studios. They are small, hopefully beautiful, and not expensive, either. The thing that is different about my cards is that each one is unique, not a reproduction in sight. The only prints are artists prints, usually a monoprint or possibly a section of a block print. The difference is that each one has been hand made and signed by my own fair (albeit usually paint covered) hands. The cards in the picture are mixed media paintings. I'm really pleased with the way they have turned out, and want to go and buy some more watercolour paper, so I can make some more! I might even make some larger pieces in this way, too.... I think they have a dreamy feel to them.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Exhibitions...


mean all kinds of work that you really don't think of. Open Studios starts next weekend, so this weekend is a flurry of activity. Robin is framing and mounting pictures and textiles. I'm hanging paintings in the conservatory, putting hanging strings on other paintings, to be hung in the shed, and unearthing the spare easel from beneath sundry layers of Other Things (mostly cloth). This is pretty much the pattern for the week to come... looking for things, putting things away, making more things (like my monoprinted greetings cards), and generally Getting Ready. And that's as well as the regular things that happen, like the workshops at the gallery (transfer dyeing is this week's topic), and working on the Exquisite Evolon book. So if I'm quiet this week, you know what I'm about.

One thing it is doing for me is bringing me to the realisation that I've got quite a large inventory. No wonder I've not got room for anything in the house, not to mention the studio. The image is one of the small paintings that will be hanging in the Little Green Shed.. why not come and see it in person?

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Silk And Rust...



are sometimes a marriage made in heaven... I hope you agree. I've been spending time at the gallery recently, sitting in their (very comfortable) sofa, and stitching. It was Judy's birthday yesterday, so the stitching was interspersed with birthday cake, very nice, too. And one customer bought one of my mixed media pieces, so things were going swimmingly as far as I was concerned, anyway.

I thought you might like a look at this particular work in process. It's made from a piece of habotai silk, which has been rust dyed. I'm hand stitching with yarn hand dyed by Myfanwy Hart, which is going very nicely with the overall feel and colours in the piece. I'm varying the length and density of the stitches, and it's giving a wonderful textured feel. I'm pleased...and hope to have it ready in time for Open Studios, which starts on Saturday. The time has just flown past, though, so it's more likely you'll find me still stitching on it next weekend. Please do drop in if you can; whilst I'm only open at weekends, I'm more than happy to make arrangements to see you outwith those days.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Last Chance...


to buy a fab collage from Collage Mania, in aid of the American Cancer Society. I have several pieces on offer here, only one of which has sold so far and there are some wonderful pieces from some great artists still on offer. And I was delighted and surprised to find one of my ACEOs featured on ACEO Showcase today, and in a spotlight feature on ByHand It's always a joy to have the support of other artists, and I'm constantly amazed by and grateful for their generosity.

I'm preparing for a workshop in Dereham tomorrow morning, wondering about what to take with me to do... probably the piece I was working on last time, a piece of rust dyed silk which I'm stitching by hand. Or maybe I could take the Embellisher along, I haven't worked with it for ages, and it would be fun to get some work of that kind done. A couple of the pieces I have in Collage Mania were made with the embellisher...which brings us full circle to the top of the post. Go take a look at those collages...you won't regret it! The image featured here is my favourite of the submissions I made, called 'Being Blue'.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Keyhole Kate


I mentioned at some point that I was going to make dolls as one of the projects for the Evolon book. I spent some time today working on them, and here's a preview of the prototypes. Both are called 'Keyhole Kate', and they are, I think, great fun to look at and quick and easy to make. The small one is a brooch; the larger, a proper 'stuffed' doll, about I love the keyhole shape; it just asks to be reinterpreted as a doll... and here she is, in her beaded best. I've been making all kinds of other bits and pieces for Exquisite Evolon, including an interesting bag, something I rarely do. I'm really looking forward to FOQ; I'm teaching a workshop on working in series, and we'll be using Evolon. The more I use it, the more I like it!

Tomorrow's workshop at the gallery focusses on making little books, using some of the paste papers we made last time. I didn't get photos of the papers, though they are at present in my book press, flattening out, but I will remember my camera tomorrow, and we'll be able to look at the work. Last week's workshop was great fun, lots of laughing, coffee, wine (for those of us not driving) and chocolate... so roll on more fun tomorrow!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Coming Soon...

...my first ever Open Studio. The patio and paths have been powerwashed, the studio tidied up a bit, and now I need to start thinking about which work to include; textiles, of course, some paintings, some cloth for sale, maybe some of my hand made books, and of course, the Lovely Lutradur CD. This year, my birthday coincides with one of the days I'm open, so cake will be the order of the day. Actually, cake, or at least a nice biscuit, will be available most days! Meanwhile, I've got a lot of mounts to cut, and Robin has some frames to make.

If you would like to come and visit my studio during Open Studios, the information can be found here. I'm only open weekends, formally, but will happily have visitors during the week by appointment. And why not make a day of it? You can find more information about the other artists taking part here I know I love going round other artists' studios; you learn such a lot from them, and it's great fun!