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Monday, March 31, 2008

Lovely Lutradur...

is so versatile, I can't see myself ever stopping using it. Today has been an ACEO day; Fly and Create are two new pieces.

I've been trying out some new techniques for the book, amazing what you can do if you really put your mind to it! I'm planning to finish my section of the writing this week, so that I can get on with other things, such as a creative journal kit which I designed on the plane up to Edinburgh to visit with my sister. Travel time is so valuable for having ideas and planning things, but now that it is planned, the real hard work starts!

Thanks to everyone for the feedback on 'For The Roses'; I will be designing a kit on similar lines, so watch this space (and etsy, of course!).

Saturday, March 29, 2008

For The Roses

This is as close as I get to traditional quiltmaking. I love working with small squares, it's my secret vice. I don't do it very often, but find it fascinating when I do. I have two quilts in this mini series so far, this one, a summer garden 'For The Roses' and 'Autumn Rain', a garden in autumn (surprisingly enough). I've made a number of 'garden' quilts, though, starting with the Healers Garden quilts that I made during the breakdown from hell, and seemed to have great significance for me. Then there was a crazy quilt for Robin's mum and dad's Silver Anniversary (which was incredibly late for the event, in truth...). Then there was a wall hanging for my friends Archie and Sheila; Archie has a passion for gardening, Sheila likes my quilts, seemed like a good idea at the time!

For The Roses, though, illustrates a point, as does Autumn Rain. People often looked at my handdyed cloth and said things like, but I don't know how to use it, or what would I use it for, or it's too beautiful to cut up... I wanted to show that you could get great results using small amounts of hand dyed cloth. In this case, four pieces of cloth were used to make this, three of them on the top, one of them on the back. All those different shades of red and green came from two pieces of fabric. Economical! And isn't it amazing, what can be done with simple shapes and vibrant colours!

The piece is quilted using rose motifs that are reminiscent of Charles Rennie Mackintosh (as are the little squares, come to think of it...), so this piece harks back to my Scottish roots in art as well as economy (well, I live in a house called 'Skinflints'...). I'm contemplating offering small kits for garden quilts like this, with instructions on how to make them. Unlike most kits, of course, what you end up with will be different to anyone elses quilt; the cloth is unique each time! Please let me know if you think that's a good idea...and let me have your email address if you want me to reply to you... so many people don't give contactable email addresses via blogger!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Random Thoughts.

I speak four languages, what's to stop me learning HTML?
Must get Andrew and Sarah's quilt pieced together. Making the blocks is Not Enough.
Want to quilt...want to quilt... and heaven knows there's enough up there to get me going, including a large (for me) piece.
Must get the entry form for FOQ before it's too late. If I'm going to be there, I'd quite like to have a quilt there, too...(you will find me on the Spunart stand, working with lutradur and Evolon).
Must paint more bondaweb
Must buy more bondaweb!
Wonder if it's worth applying to Mintd (probably not...)
Wonder what to do next with the wip in the photo (lutradur with brusho, paper, foil...).
Wonder what the parcel is that's waiting at the depot for me to collect?

It must be lovely to have a tidy mind....sigh.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

OOH, Look!

Not all of the weekend was spent doing nothing other than eating chocolate and snoozing, you know! Look how far the shed has progressed. Ahem. That would be shudio. The Little Green Shed is moving on apace. The electricians will be coming back to finish the wiring, and Robin will doubtless do his best to put the walls up at the weekend, though it won't be all that easy, there are lots of windows to cut round...

I have to confess that I'm starting to get really excited about this. The light in there is great, and I'm going to take all the wet stuff out there, so the dye stuff will go out as well as the paints and mixed media. Tables at the right level for dye painting and screenprinting... that will be wonderful. I can hardly wait!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Home Again

to snow, winds and worse weather than there was in Edinburgh, which is not how things are meant to be! I had a wonderful time with my lovely sister, Jane and her equally lovely spouse, Frank, as well as flying visits to sons, daughters and grandmothers... but I did weaken towards the end. Jane and I went to the Gallery of Modern Art on Thursday, and I came back wanting to paint. Frank, bless him, had all the materials to hand, and 'Head Over Heels' was made in an hour or so on Friday morning. It is really a sketch, I would have approached it quite differently had I been at home, but it's not a bad wee thing, really. There's definitely room to make more work around this. Jane assures me that it will be down to live with me, so it might end up looking quite different... but for the meantime, it is drying calmly in a corner of her kitchen.

And here I am, back again, full of ideas and thoughts, and delighted to have spent some quality time with my 'little' sis! Now it's back to work, of course, but that is hardly a hardship.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Know Thyself...

was the inscription above the entrance to the Delphic Oracle. I know myself by the art that I make, because it is a way for me to work out what is going on in my life, my relationship with myself, others and the environment. So when I was asked to create a 4" square self portrait, what could I use other than images of my work to illustrate it, printed onto lutradur. Beneath that, there is a photograph of me. And on the back, a comment; By My Art, Shall Ye Know Me. That is a theme to which I intend to return, but in book format. Watch this space! Meantime, here is an image of the piece to be going on with.

I'm off for the rest of the week to visit with my sister in Livingston. It will be the first time we've spent more than a few hours with each other in a very long time...I don't remember the last time, probably before I went to University, and that wasn't yesterday! I'm looking forward to this trip a great deal, but my blogs are likely to remain silent until I get, see you next week!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lucky Me!

Part of the joy of Etsy is getting to know other sellers and their work, and arranging trades with them. Not everyone trades, of course, but sometimes they do, if you ask nicely... So I asked Karen Turner, whose blog I've been reading for a while now, and whose work I love, if she'd be prepared to trade with me. And she was... but that wasn't the end of the story. She then sent me a 'top up' trade, because she thought she got the better end of the deal (wasn't true, but there you go...). LOOK what she sent me! Aren't they lovely?

I've now made a number of trades with different artists on etsy, and each time been delighted by what I have received. I now have some wonderful jewellery and handbags, neither of which I make, a lovely doll from Karen, and a selection of ACEOs that is fast turning into a collection! Come to think of it, I have one or two lovely pieces traded with other bloggers, too. Lot to be said for good old fashioned barter! Who's up for a trade, then ??

Monday, March 10, 2008

Textile Equals Stitch...Right?

Well, no, not really...or not always. Though I must admit, this is the first time I've made a textile piece without actually sewing. This is a textile collage, called Dream Journey, which I made on Saturday afternoon. I had been thinking about doing 'something' with a piece of velvet dyed in lilacs and turquoisy greens. That something turned out to involve adding some painted bondaweb, some metallic foil and some hand dyed silks. And there it stopped. The whole thing is mounted on a studio canvas.

I talk about 'leaving space for stitch', and in theory, at least, there is plenty room to place some stitching, either by machine or by hand. But the piece feels complete of itself. It doesn't seem to need anything else. So I'm not going to interfere. Always best to keep out of one's own way wherever possible...

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Missing Photos From The Last Post!

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It Has Been A While...

since I posted, the demons have been dancing, and keeping me busy. I was asked recently to describe a bout of depression. In the end, I said, imagine your worst ever day, when nothing goes right, you feel lousy, tired and low, you hate your work, you hate everyone and you hate yourself. Then replay it over several weeks, as it gets steadily worse...and then steadily better...until you are wondering what all that was about. I'm one of the (arguably) fortunate people for whom fluoxetine (Prozac) actually works (if you believe the most recent studies, which suggests that antidepressants of this type don't work for many people), but all that means really is that I don't get quite as low as I used to.

I'd like to show you two things that I've received recently from other artists. The first was a PIF on another blog, by wonderful textile artist Karen Hall. I had forgotten about the PIF, and was amazed to receive this fabulous doll from Karen in the post, just after Christmas. As you can see, she is me !!! And I'm flying!!! Isn't she amazing? The second image is of a journal I received as part of an online swap in a group I'm part of, ZNE Artists And Poets. Again, it is a beautiful piece of work, by Heidi Eberle, expertly conceived and made.

So what do they have in common, apart from the fact that they were both made for me? Well... I have taken part in swaps, trades and such before, and doubtless will do again, but what makes both these pieces stand out for me, is that the artists have clearly seen me as a person. They have gone past the outer facade and made something for me that touches me at lots of different levels. That indicates a level of caring, much less craftsmanship, that leaves me both cherished and humbled. Karen, Heidi, thank you.