Working with mixed media images which are only possible in the creative arts, gives me great joy. I have the constant help of trusty friends the Schnauzer and the Siamese.I enjoy digital and traditional media and use both in my work.
Studio is now ready for visitors. Just an hour to go before official opening time. This is my work area all ready for the weekend (Saturday and Sunday 11am -5pm), it may not stay this tidy.... but if lots of lovely visitors keep me talking, then it may be this tidy at the end of the day. ;o).
I am opening my studio to visitors both weekends from 11 - 5pm and would love to see you if you have time to come and chat. I have some new work hanging in the studio and shall be working in the studio during opening times. Check the Swindon Open studios website for further details.
I have signed up for the Open studios again this year, and so thought I would give you the opportunity to put the date in your diaries.
6/7 September and 13/14 September , 11am to 5pm, officially it is the 2 weekends... but I am happy to open the studio during the week by appointment. I shall be working/ demonstrating in the studio both weekends.
So please let me know and make an appointment if you would like to come during the week. I am showing some new work and am planning to have a sale of work too.
I have decided I need to make some storage space for newer work, since taking early retirement, I have been quite prolific in my production of new work, and so need to find new loving homes. Look forward to seeing you.
Went along to a workshop which featured Amanda Hislop as the tutor, which took place in Marlborough. I have put a photo of Amanda's work above. She works in layers of paper and cloth and in a painterly style, incorporating stitch by machine. I have often worked in this sort of manner and so the workshop was a wonderful escape for me..... 6 hours for me to get lost in what I love doing.
My pieces of work are not finished... they still require some stitching. I have taken these photos whilst the work was still wet with paint
My inspiration for these pieces are rendered quite differently from Amanda's muted colours. I know when I am the tutor I am always pleased when students own personality shines through. I am never impressed if students work is a clone of the tutor.
This particular piece need more painting as well as stitching, what the photo has not shown however is the glorious surface texture of this piece....layers of paper, cloth and threads as well as paint.
Yes I did become totally immersed in my work yesterday.. and completed 4 paintings. Most of my fellow students completed 1 or 2..... I could have continued into the evening.... but the class finished at 4 and I drove home to re-engage with my responsibilities.
The work has dried overnight....so I hope I manage to find a few minutes today to work on them some more.
I have spent the whole day stitching with my lovely group Great Western Embroiderers. I still have lots of stitching to do on this piece, but you probably recognise the theme from a previous post. Lots more still to do, but it was so pleasant to be able to pass some of my caring responsibilities over to some one else today, so I could stitch.
I have another 4 hours of freedom tomorrow, and am trying to decide whether to stitch in the studio or got the local art gallery to see their exhibition. Decisions........
Talking about exhibitions..... the Lydiard House exhibition is coming to an end on Sunday.....so you have a few days to catch it.
Well it is so easy to tell its is a Bank Holiday here in the UK.. it has been raining all morning and quite cold too. Now as late afternoon arrives the sun decides to shine, but the dark clouds are still threatening us. Its been one of those none days in my studio.... too many things going around my head, and so I have settled to nothing of any great value.
The red and pink Azaleas in the garden however are enjoying this barmy weather and were certainly ready for the rain. They are looking quite wonderful this year. Usually the red one blooms first on my Mum's birthday and the pink about 10 days later. This year they have decided to bloom together.
Hope you have managed to get to Lydiard House and Park to see the Exhibition.... not long before it finishes... so here is the poster ... just in case you have the time or opportunity to visit over this weekend. It finishes on June 1st. The house is open on Bank Holiday Monday
You may also like to visit the Central Library to see the Swindon Open Studio promotional exhibition ( Open Studios in in September 2014) We are due to take down and collect the work on the morning of Saturday 31st May. I have a piece of my latest work on show.
Had a lovely meeting in the studio of my creative sketchbook group - and I am so proud that they are producing such wonderful work. Imagine my surprise then when one of the group Kath who has just returned from a lovely trip to Australia and had managed to visit another long time mate of mine... Dale of the Thread Studio in Perth, gave me this present from Dale's shop on arrival at my doorstep.
Some wonderful hand dyed silk threads, some chiffon and Jacinta Themes (which are hand dyed silk tops) and also some dyed porcupine quills and some bronze glitzy powder.
Kath and Dale however have also conspired and issued me with a challenge.... to create a piece of work to show to Dale when she comes to London to the Knitting and Stitching show in London October 2014 see here. This may be quite a challenge... I have a number of ideas going through my head...... but what a fabulous thoughtful gift?
I think Kath was surprised to find I had worked with porcupine quills before... I do recall how difficult they were to use, especially as the ones I had were quite short.
The work created by the North Americans however is fantastic, but I understand most of the work can only be seen in museums now. Have a lookhere for lots of interesting information.
I found the above illustration online.... it is a beautiful example of quill work. So a great challenge for me..... I am looking forward to playing with these lovely goodies. Thanks Dale and Kath. I'll blog about my ideas .. so watch this space... ;o)
Oh and if you have any tips about working with porcupine quills... I'll be ever so happy to hear from you.
The Talk at the Branch meeting was about traveling in India and the textiles seen on the way. Tiggy Rawlings is a very enthusiastic speaker and had lots of Indian Embroideries and photos to show us. Tiggy was happy to share the techniques used for dyeing cloth and embroidering discovered on her travels, with us.
Have a look at her blog here.. the photos of India are really inspiring, this is one of the photos Tiggy showed us.
Fortunately for us, she had also bought a lot of interesting sale items for us to spoil ourselves with. As you can see I could not resist. Loved the packaging too......much better than plastic bags.
As always it was good to meet up and chat with everyone over a cup of tea and biscuit.
I have been translating a lot of my experimental drawings into textiles, and having lots of fun along the way.
I have called this piece - To stitch or not to Stitch #1 - its is on show at the moment at the Central Library promoting the 2014 Swindon Open Studios. I am taking part again this year for 2 weekends in September.
I chose the title carefully for this piece of work, as the Swindon Literature Festival is underway for the first half of May and the exhibition has a literary theme. .
The Mayor is officially opening the Exhibition by Great western Embroiderers at Lydiard House today at 2pm. The House and Exhibition is open to the public from tomorrow. Lots of associated events are also on the calendar. Next week I am giving an illustrated talk on the history of Embroidery. Check out Lydiard's website for more information .... here
I'm afraid I have not been sitting around drinking tea.... although I would dearly love to.
Life has been far more hectic than I would wish and has demanded skills from me which I do not have. It has also been something of a nightmare trying to organise some support to help deal with the issues. The process is incredibly beaurocratic and time consuming. My creative output has been nil as a consequence. It has taken all month at the moment and is nowhere near resolution.... wish me luck.. it appears to be a lengthy journey.
The school children have just had a half term break, so 2 year old grandson has taken advantage of having his older sisters at home and has in true family tradition been painting.
Fantastic output...and just look at that happy grin on his face.
BTW the cup of tea in the photo was consumed in a moment I had to myself whilst himself was at the Parkinson'sgroup balance gym.
My car was parked when I took this photo through the windscreen, I wish I had taken my sketchbook and drawn the wonderful image I had in front of me.
I had just attended a meeting at the Marlborough Embroiderers Guild. The talk was by Amanda Hislop, absolutely brilliant, such an inspiration to get drawing into sketchbooks.
I did a workshop a few years ago with Amanda and amazingly I blogged about it too... have a lookhere. I wonder if my photo today was inspired by the work I had just seen at the meeting?
Amanda very generously allowed me to take a photo of her, but was not keen on me recording her work, so I will not share any photos here, however she had a wonderful booklet for sale showing her work, and if you would like to see some of her work ----her website is here.
At present she is working on her Prismexhibition work, the annual exhibition which takes place at the Mall Galleries in May. The exhibition is called coded: decoded. details here. We had a sneaky review of her ideas.. its going to be really exciting.
I came away from the meeting very inspired.... I have a free morning tomorrow... just hope the inspiration lasts and I can get into the studio.
I take no credit for this very tasty beverage, but can recommend. A meeting atHeelis meant I could indulge..... I love the symbol with the sprinkles.. great effect.
I have been trying to do something creative every day,.... even if only for 15 minutes. Mainly thanks to Myfanwy and her FB - "Be Creative" incentive.
Here is today's effort. The A2 painting has been hanging around the studio for a few months. Just waiting to have the paint/ dye/ink discharged with bleach...... so today was the day.... 15 minutes later... it was bleached. Why did it take me so long to get down to it? Better post it on FB as well... otherwise they will all think I have been slacking again.
The studio table was in a real mess by the time I had finished today, and this is my feeble attempt at tidying up. The weather was awful today.. it was raining ice at one stage, and late afternoon was getting very cold. So it was good to be cosy in the studio and working.
This is a small quilt that has been hanging in my studio unfinished for quite a while. it now boasts a backing, binding and sleeve. It may need a little more surface decoration in the form of embroidery. I am not sure, I do like the textures as they are..
The daylight was very poor, and so this is not a good photo. I have decided to leave it hanging in the studio before I decide whether it is finished or not.
The weather forecasters are threatening some snow tomorrow, just hope they are wrong. I have some chores to do which involve going out.
Myfanwy created a Facebook group ( for this weekend only) giving a series of prompts all through the day for spurring your creativity. Have a lookhere.
This was my response yesterday to Prompt 1.... which was 6 circles. My first thought was round footballs... but then as usual, I make it all my own.. and created oval rugby balls with faces, drawn with neocolour II in my sketchbook.
I then took a digital photo of the sketchbook page, and then played with layers in the free program called GIMP see here. I use it a lot and find it very powerful.
The resulting image above, I uploaded to FB. to the group page....... and obviously the next question is.. how to use it?
Have had thoughts about that too. I may print it onto fabric and then stitch into it. At the moment it will have to wait though... I have other work underway in the studio today. Its a small quilt that has been hanging on the wall, looking dejected and unfinished. So its time to give it some attention.
Right back to the studio and some being creative... this is fun!
A few letters need to be posted, so a short walk was called for to the post box. The weather was dismal and grey.... but the redness of the post box shone out quite brightly. The complementary colours of red and green seemed to work particularly well too.
Instead of turning round to go home... I thought I would take a ten minute walk as it wasn't raining. The walk took me past the children's play area.... totally deserted today. Perhaps the children prefer to play indoors today. The bright colours caught my eye.... but there seemed to be a lot of moss too, a result of all the damp and rainy weather we have experienced.
This bush of red berries caught my attention on the way home.. it is national bird counting here In the UK this weekend. We do not get many birds in our garden, but the countryside nearby is full of good things for them to eat, so my bird feeders are not as attractive to them. that's my excuse anyway.
After a hectic morning of chores, I had to go and post some letters after lunch, so decided to go for a walk as well. At least it was dry, but the wind was bitterly cold. Very strange sky in this direction.... but..... turn around ..... and......
Blue sky...... ;o)
Had a another look at the number of road signs that are now gracing the road closed.... they seem to be multiplying by the day. When I got back home I headed for the studio, feeling rather cold and windswept.
Some of my Internet buddies and I are trying to do drawing more frequently and trying out different techniques. Just for fun. Here I tried some drawing by touching objects ( hidden under a cloth) and making graphite drawings..... it was great fun. I have isolated some areas of the drawing that I like and may translate into textiles.
I have also been making a mouse for GWE's next Lydiard Exhibition which is April - June 2014. The mouse is nearly finished and I will post more photos when I have put in the finishing stitches .
I also put a few more stitches into some abstract work that has been pre-occupying my thoughts and sketches, and my studio walls since the autumn. It felt good to get into the studio today and complete some unfinished pieces of work... and of course sketch.