Sunday, June 22, 2008

Time for exhibitions

Had a day of visiting exhibitions yesterday and most enjoyable too. Both exhibitions were in Cirencester.
First went to Edwina Bridgemans' exhibition "Orchard" at the new Brewery Arts in Cirencester. Very thought provoking. It finishes today and goes on to Glastonbury next and then tours herefordshire and Kent... catch it if you can. Well worth it. I found I needed to allow myself the time to read and view and think to fully appreciate this work.

Then I went on to view the Rubicon exhibition at Cirencester Museum, a small exhibition, but with my interest in Roman artefacts and such like, well worth it for me. The group had looked at the artefacts in the museum and this inspired their works of art. Intriguing and thoughtful work. The above mosaic is at the Museum, its one of my favourites.

Friday, June 20, 2008

What a mess!

This is the state of my table and my workroom... yes I am busy doing things, but that no excuse for this mess!
I think it must be time to have a clean up. Cannot find a thing. I dare not take a photo of the rest of the room.... its a lot messier than this, if that is possible. Shall hang my head in shame and do something about it tomorrow. Want to stitch tonight.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Day out working!

Well, there might be shortage of fuel here... but I still have to travel around the south of the country on exam business. I really enjoy this work, such a pleasure to see such a wonderful variety of artwork. Yesterday I was in Bournemouth, it was a lovely day, sunny and pleasantly warm.

Whoops.. took the occasional wrong road and had to turn round.. but a very pleasant drive. On the way home, decided to eat the human fuel ( bought sandwiches ) in the New Forest, always a pleasant spot when the sun shines and a welcome break from all that driving and concentrating.

Well as you can see, a downpour of rain put paid to the picnic, and I had left the coffee in the boot, no way was I going to get wet to get the coffee! So did without.

On the way back , Salisbury Cathedral looked splendid in the sunlight - John Constable eat your heart out! This is just a quick snap.

Then, in order to get to Marlborough entails a drive through Savernake Forest, enlarge this photo and you will see an enormous old tree very close to the road, quite amazing. Would love to know if it is really 1000 years old.
Then home again. Lovely day out.. but working too.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The layers instalment for GIMP

Thanks for all your comments and mail about using GIMP, I am so pleased you are enjoying using a free program. As I promised here is the next tutorial for using layers. Its great fun. You will need to start with 2 digital photos. I have used a portrait and a photo of a plant.

1. Open your photo files

2. Go into Dialogues menu and click on layers

(remember if you click on these photos in blogger -they will enlarge)

3. Go into Layers menu and click on duplicate- do this 3 times

4. In the layers window, drop down to dodge and play with the %- in the copy 2 duplicate.

5. Go to file menu and click on open as layers

6. Open another photo

7. Click on “scale” on the tool bar and scale the 2nd photo up and click scale to finish

8. In Layers menu-click difference

9. Repeat opening a new photo as a new layer.. Do not scale.

10. Click on the move tool and move the photo to the top right of the palette

11. Create 2 duplicates of this image

12. Play with the layers, move tool and duplicating of layers until you are happy with your design

When you are happy with your collage – then save it.

Let me know how you get on with the layers in GIMP, and I would love to see the results of your all your hard work.

Monday, June 09, 2008

New excitements to play with.

Hope you are enjoying playing with GIMP, Pippa, you will well and truly be a computer junkie! I am working on the layers still, so hiphop by later to have a look. Sue, the cat is going to feature on some new work I am doing. The strangest things can start me off on a design idea.
Great joy today, Maggie G new book arrived in the post, I have only had time for a quick glimpse, but it looks good.

My embellisher machine was running very hot yesterday, and not just as a result of the hot weather we are are experiencing. Its all Dales fault for getting me all enthused again. Such fun.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Working with the Embellisher

Here is my first attempt at putting a video on my blog.... hope it works Ok.

This was fun trying to film whilst operating the embellisher machine. Where to put the camera was an interesting problem to resolve. I will leave it to your imagination. Did it in the end, but shall not share with you how I did it... my good friends know!

This piece of work has just returned from Exhibition and I am thrilled to say it has a new home. How exciting is that. Although you saw many sample shots ( modeled with resident siamese) whilst it was being made, I don't think I posted the whole thing. So just for you... here it is.

Memories of the Mekong Delta

(Click on the photo to enlarge)

The cat sat on the mat

I was rummaging through my mothers' work box, looking for some elastic. I was so surprised to find this lurking in the bottom of the drawer. I had no idea she had kept it, I made it , at school, when I was 8 years old. I can still remember stitching the blanket stitch around the outside, as I was the only pupil who could do it, and so helped the teacher show others.
I have been playing with my embellisher today and have had great time, will share the results with you later.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Playing with digital images.

A little while ago I had a wonderful time teaching teachers how to use digital photography creatively. There is a free program on the Internet called GIMP-click here. When the home page opens- just hit the download button on the header and -away you go. As the teachers on the course came from a variety of schools and taught different age groups it was important to find software which we could all use, but without the huge costs involved with purchasing software. We found GIMP to be powerful enough for experienced users, but stress free for beginners.
So I have promised to share some of the ideas I have been playing with. I thought I would start with a little tutorial in 10 easy stages for beginners, to familiarise you with the basics of how the program works. Then later I will work through the layers menu with you.
So just to get you started and familiarise yourself with GIMP.
(If you click on any of my images, it will enlarge for you)

1. Click on the Gimp icon and open the program.

2. Go to the File menu, and click on New.

3. A sub-menu appears- click OK.

4.On the Toolbar menu -go to the Airbrush symbol and click.

5. In the sub-menu for the Airbrush -- click on pencil sketch and then the colour Blue from the foreground colour palette. Make some random marks.

6. Change the colours of the Airbrush in the foreground colour palette. I suggest you keep to bright primary colours.

7. Make sure the background colour is Black and in the toolbar click on the Bucket. Click on the white spaces in your design. Keep clicking until all your background is black.

8. Your finished design might look something like this:-

9. You can also play with the filters to get different effects. Go to the filters menu and the sub menu -Distort, there you will find the Emboss filter..Play around with the numbers. When you have an effect you like.. save it. I worked on the image until it reminded me of a textured embroidery. You may like to print some of your images directly onto your fabrics.

10. You now have a number of simple routines available to you with this program... over to you to be creative.
I would love to see the work you do... so please post your comments and a link to your blog so we can all have a look..

Thursday, June 05, 2008


I have been travelling all over the south of England this week and have seen some wonderful artwork displays created by 16 year olds.

What a lot of talent in this country, amazing. I have to say I regretted recently selling my trusty old car as I was driving home in the torrential rain, through badly flooded roads on Tuesday, I was sharply reminded that my new eco friendly car lacks traction control...... scary..... I really had to slow down on the duel carriageway. Lesson learnt, I was lucky not to aquaplane. A close shave.

Felt particularly sorry for the folks who live down the bottom of the hill, they suffered severe flooding again!

Amanda I am so pleased you enjoyed the Wantage Exhibition. I received lots of supportive comments when I gave a "meet the artist session" on Saturday. I will be taking the exhibition down this Saturday in the late afternoon, so I have decided to share a few photos with you, just in case you cannot go along to see it for yourself. There is a lovely cafe area as well.

Maggie ( yes she is also calling me ToM - which stands for "The other Maggie") asked whether I am still doing a lot of computer work, and the answer is yes. I will try and follow your tradition Maggie, and put together a little demo on layers. They are such fun to do.
I will try and put the demo together over the weekend, as I really must do some housework tomorrow.