Thursday, September 06, 2012

Swindon Open Studios

My studio is nearly ready for visitors to Open Studios this Saturday and Sunday...... its looking very colourful. I have lots of my work on the walls, and I shall be working in the studio all weekend and look forward to chatting to visitors about my work and what I do.
Do have a look at the Open Studios website here all the participating artists are listed, there is a map too so you will be able to find everyone. Let me know if you can make it.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Empowerment Exhibition - Private view

The Empowerment Exhibition - Private View was an inspiring and not to be missed event. 180 people attended this creative experience, curated by Shanta Ranee.
The presentation was multi media.... using computers , MP3 files, headphones and movie/still visuals on the digital projector.... as well as traditional reading and live music and singing. The static visual work decorated the walls... poems were presented to be read personally on the walls... but they were also " performed".
A couple of comfy seats and a table on a carpet were in the centre of the gallery, for people to sit and listen or read. 50 shades of grey was also available to read on the table.... this exhibition focused on female empowerment..... the next exhibition features male empowerment. They have a hard act to follow!!!!
Detail photo of my submission - called -Tick the box-.
Media: Hand dyed fabric and threads.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Vesey room, Bampton

We chose a lovely sunny day to go and visit  the Exhibition at Bampton Gallery. Beverley and I both have work in the members Exhibition, and we wanted to spend some more time looking at every one's work. We also wanted to have a closer look at the Vesey room which is also part of West Ox Arts exhibition space.

You may recognise this building as it features as the hospital in Downton Abbey. it is actually the old grammar school of the village of Bampton.

Classrooms in those days were small, but  the room is a wonderful exhibition space. Erin Singleton has an exhibition called Bohemian Pearl there at the moment. Very thought provoking, but fun.

This wonderful gate/door is the entrance to the building.

Was really taken by the gated entrance to the church, which seemed to be a short cut for taking the village dogs for a walk.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Empowerment Exhibition

Hope you can make it to the Private View next Friday evening. I have a piece of work called "tick the box" that has been accepted. See you there?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

National Gallery and Tate Britain, London

I decided to take the grandchildren to London by coach to view the paintings and art in the  two galleries. On arriving in the Cromwell Road we were greeted by lots of Union Jacks and Olympic banners. It was a very festive sight, and the children loved it

Building sites were hidden by these hoardings.

Not sure what was happening at Harrods.. it looked quite odd. The green awnings had been taken down and very few windows were dressed. Quite disappointing.

 The Dorchester in Park Lane made us give out some Oooohs and Ahhhs. The cars parked outside were incredibly expensive!

 We finally managed to get to Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery... which was.our first stop. We had to stop and look at the Bronze sculpture on the Fourth Plinth.. more details here

The National Gallery Looked ready for the Paralympic Games ... and we heard the next day that David Cameron and Boris Johnson were at Trafalgar Square.. so we missed them by a day. All the preparations had been done though. Inside we followed the children's trail.See Here It was just right for us. We then also viewed the modern galleries and the firm favourite was - the tiger- Henri Rousseau. After refreshments and a visit to the shop. We then went out into the sunshine.

Of course we had to sit by the fountains. .and because it was breezy ... we got wet!

Then it was back on the coach for the trip to Tate Britain on the embankment.

 We passed Westminster Abbey on the way.... that's were THE wedding took place last year,and before we knew it we were at Tate Britain. Long walk round to the  Manton Road entrance as some building work is going on at the front entrance.
 Tate Modern had a wonderful interactive sculpture space for the children.. see Here and the children were soon engrossed. The Howard Hodgkin Exhibition on the walls kept me amused as well!
Usain Bolt on his podium!

After a great time looking round the gallery we headed for the Embankment to have a look at the Thames.. so much wider than where we live.

Needless to say the children could not wait to get back on the coach for a rest.. and we thought this an appropriate painting.

Then we saw this wonderful sculpture

Isn't this amazing? Its over the front entrance to the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Festival of Quilts 2012

Had a really great time at Festival of Quilts this year, not only did my daughter come with me, but granddaughter as well. I booked my granddaughter into the children's workshop in the afternoon, and despite lots of nerves to start with she really enjoyed herself. So many thanks to all the helpers at her workshop. She is very inspired and her "curly whirley " is hanging in her room.

To celebrate them agreeing to come with me this year, I entered a quilt into the contemporary quilting section. They had both watched the progress of the making, so obviously were thrilled to see it hanging at the Festival. I had hoped to inspire them to both enter a quilt next year... and watch this space, I think I have succeeded.

Not may photos I am afraid, too busy talking and lots of the booths said " no photography".... why? I never understand that. We all bought lots of goodies and came away very inspired by some wonderful work.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Resist dyeing

Whilst on the Embroiderer's guild trip to Redditch, on of the members approached me about dyeing as she was having a lot of trouble getting her recipes to work for her.
 Her interest was resist dyeing in black, using tying techniques. I invited her over to my studio and we spent a couple of hours playing and experimenting with my recipes. She phoned me the next day to say how pleased she was with the results. Here are mine all washed and ironed. I was rather pleased with mine too. My black dye is quite old and I just love the blueish hue.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Visiting the local art galleries.

This amazing sculpture of hands threading a needle is at West Ox Arts Gallery in Bampton. It was the Private View of the current members exhibition..... and it was very well attended. The gallery looked superb and such a good range of work. What a skilled membership of this fantastic gallery.

A view across the gallery which shows the wonderful creative buzz that was in the room.

This wall shows my 2 pieces of work and also a fellow member of my- Losing the Thread- Exhibiting group - Jane O'Brien

Another member of -Losing the Thread- Margaret Charlton has work on this wall, as does my new art friend..... Beverley Greig.

The refreshments were very welcome as well, it was a warm day, and there was a lot of talking amongst those that attended.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Day trip to Redditch

Every year the Marlborough Branch of the Embroiderers Guild organise an outing, which I love to take part in. This year we were destined to go to Redditch to the Forge Mill needle museum. Its only about an hour away by coach and the journey was very pleasant. On arrival we were greeted with a piece of cake and tea..... and I warmed to the adventure immediately.
We were split into different groups and each group escorted by a gentleman guide. We were destined for the Scouring house! The strange smell of old oil and soot greeted us as we went into a very dingy workshop and the process of scouring the metal was explained to us. This is usually an end process, after the needles have been made.

 Above a photo for the hessian and equipment used for scouring.

We then went for a most enlightening talk in another section of the museum and given a talk about Bordesley Abbey.. I was hooked.... absolutely fascinating. I just wished we had time to explore this Abbey more fully. Certainly justifies another visit.
 The final part of the official tour took us to another workshop.. this is the start of the process, where the wire  is made into needles, the dummy above is doing the pointing of the needles, and the only health and safety precautions are a scarf around his mouth. Apparently this was a highly paid part of the process as the men rarely survived beyond 35 years of age due to lung disease.
Unfortunately the talks had taken so long that we had little time to do justice to the Small Samurai Exhibition or the fantastic needle exhibition on the top floor. I did manage to purchase a postcard and some special needles. Time was short .... and before we knew it we were back on the coach ( travelling through some beautiful countryside) and at our 2nd  destination..

We quickly arrived at the Jinny Ring Craft Centre.. the photos of glass baubles hanging from an artificial tree... very apt colours this year

After some lunch - we were not allowed to picnic in the grounds I sauntered into the garden and the views were magnificent.. enlarge the photo below and see if you can see the church.
I then had a wander around the craft studios, and chatted to a few of the crafts folk. My only purchase was some chocolates for himself. Hand made... they look wonderful, but I have not been offered any .....yet!

I really enjoyed my day out and would love to spend a lot more time at the needle Museum, I do not feel the same about the Jinny Ring... although the restaurant and grounds are really lovely, I think my expectations were higher for the crafts. These were very commercial units on the whole, and I know they are expensive to rent and so have to make money. I had hoped for more .... but enjoyed myself anyway. Would love to hear what others think.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Words and Pictures - now showing

 The Words and Pictures exhibition opened at Artsite on 1st August and runs until the 11th. I feel I can share my images with you now. The PV was Last Saturday and I was quite upset that I could not get along to it. There is a great blog to support the exhibition too.. have a look here
The top photo is of my piece in response to the Annie Lennox song- Why.. and this Abstract work is in response to the line in the song - Do you know how I feel? ( You can click on the images to enlarge them for further detail)
The 2nd piece is in response to the Scissors Sisters - I don't feel like dancing. In particular the line.... You got so many colours it'd make a blind man so confused.

Both pieces are for Sale.... but do go along to the Artsite Gallery and have a look at the exhibition... some really good work on show. I am due to steward again next Thursday (6th) in the afternoon.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Art in Action in the studio

The blog entries have been  a bit sparse of late... humble apologies.

Plenty of work happening in the studio however..... the above picture is courtesy of 3 of the Grandchildren. We had a fun day making sketchbooks and these are some of the covers which were painted. As a great sideline any rejected paintings were cut down to size and were transformed into a page of the sketchbook. Great lessons were learnt about cropping paintings and not discarding any work which was not quite up to the desired standard for the outside cover

Spiral binding was supplied by the use of the Bind it All. Eldest granddaughter is becoming very proficient at using it accurately...... in fact much better than I can!!!

Daughter also spent a whole day using my sewing machine in the studio to piece this quilted top. It really is looking good, she has called it lilac dream. This photo does not do it justice.. it is really beautiful. Next comes the quilting of the whole thing.... suspect that will be another day spent in my studio.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Warm enough for you?

We have had wonderful blue skies for a few days now, and the temperatures have soared. Is it summer at last? Hope so.

The flowers in the garden are really enjoying the sun, after all that rain of last month. I do not really like the heat, despite growing up with lots of it.
So I have stayed indoors in the shade and done some drawing, inspired by reports of Tim Vyner recording the  Olympic games by drawing on his digital tablet. A while ago I had downloaded a free software programme onto my tablet called Sketchbook Express and so set about doing some drawings. Number 3 on my list was handbag (purse in the US).... so here is my drawing using my tablet,

I enjoyed the process so much.... the only problem I had was with the exporting of the image............ and as you can see it is quite a small image. So I made the decision to buy the full program, called Sketchbook Pro.. it cost all of £3.18... very reasonable. Drawing number 4 on the list is mug..... so using the full program on the tablet.. I started drawing again.

However I really got carried away with all the features, some great textures and layers are available to use, think the accuracy of the object suffered a bit as I tried out lots of different options. This is painting and drawing without having to wait for the layers to dry. Great fun. think I will be drawing some more!