Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Inspired by Turner

 It's a while since I've posted , mainly because I'm currently doing a different kind of painting: decorating the dining room. Last weekend was spent moving heavy furniture around after reorganising the  garage  to receive some of it and find what I had in painting equipment. Turns out not a lot so a trip to Sittingbourne was required ( atmospheric  pictures from the train below). After a week of tedious prep work, I've got  2 coats of 'magic white' on the ceiling, made easier by my new favourite piece of kit  - a work platform in combination with indispensable  Ikea  wooden stool.  I rewarded myself with watching 'Mr Turner' on DVD.
On Saturday we went to John Lewis to look at replacement hob and oven ( what exciting lives we lead!)   now ordered for installation in February, then   treating ourselves to lunch at Savoir Faire. We haven't been for nearly  a year so it was lovely to catch up with Irene.
Rather than using DLR, we walked through Westfield shopping Centre to  change trains  at Stratford  which was a bit of an eye-opener . Rather more to our taste was the evening  light over the marshes  between Ebbsfleet and Rochester  ( above)

 I've been recording the 2nd floor views from our bedroom and my studio   of morning skies ( above) and  our first snow (below)

  My studio is now advancing along the corridor towards the bedroom  with the installation of a design wall . Ian is more  bothered I might fall backwards down the stairs than my encroachment.
 Had a super trip on Friday 6th with friends from CQ Kent  group to Turner Contemporary in Margate  to   catch the Turner exhibition before it closed. 

 The emphasisis was on  colour and it was  great to be reminded of  his watercolours, in particular those on toned paper . I made colour notes in my sketchbook  to remind me of the details and then searched online ( photos  below are from the Tate  resources,  easy to spend many happy hours browsing....) 


 I caught an earlier train than planned so had the opportunity for a bit of beachcombing  for stones and shells - a friendly local showed me his finds of bits of clay pipe and pottery found on the rocks ( it was a very low tide) . Mainly though I took photos ( too cold to sketch) , lots of inspiration for painting and  quilts. I'm itching to play about in Photoshop but the dining room calls- I need to finish  sanding the woodwork.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Drawing Tuesday - Birch Baskets at the British Museum

Yesterday  was the first Drawing Tuesday of 2017 and  10 of us turned up at the British Museum ( must be all those New Year resolutions about drawing more...)   We had a very convivial lunch  spread over 3 tables, but  first the drawing . The  venue was room 91 , the shadow puppets,  which were wonderfully  intricate, colourful  and diverse but  after my visit to the BM in December, I knew I wanted to spend more time with the vessels and prints  next door in Room 90

 This  display was the print 'Winter Soderstorm' by Gunner Normann  with various  baskets by Finnish artist Markko Kosenen.  I loved the  combination of the delicately observed trees in the lithograph with the vessels made of the  material of the subject matter.  
  I started off with a very rough sketch  of the objects over a faint version of the trees, soon discarding the idea of drawing the willow basket, , gorgeous as it was.

 The notes on the construction of this birch bark basket were informative  about the use of  white birch  asymetrically woven  so the outer white part of the bark was inside. It really glowed.  It was challenging to draw, I kept getting lost, but persisted.  So many ways it could be represented, I  got involved in the quality of the edges, it would be interesting to have a go drawing it on a larger scale.
After such a labyrinthine  subject , I turned my attention to  the more substantial vessel made from layer upon layer of birch bark  which was then hollowed out, very satisfying to attempt to capture it's combination of fragility and solidity.  

 This exhibition   is so well thought out , every object and print so pleasing,   that I'll definitely be  making a repeat visit.  That  could not be said for 'South Africa' Art of a Nation ' which I visited after lunch.   I wanted to like it having  very fond memories   of a plant conservation  work trip there  several years ago but was underwhelmed.  It was just too broad  with  tribal artefacts  mixed up with contemporary art, neither a historical  or an art exhibition but a mish-mash.  The African  gallery downstairs is  far more interesting.    

Iron Wharf Abstracts

 Our walk on New Year's Eve  finished at Iron Wharf  Boatyard , such an inspiring place, I added  further  images  to my impressive bank of pictures, this  time concentrating on these instant abstract compositions.

 This boat with it's tattered covering  is  a favourite  of mine - it's  up for sale ( well at least the boat is!)

The Lands Between

 Apart from eating and drinking and spending time together, Ian and I enjoyed some walks  around  Faversham  exploring  areas familiar and new ( thanks to Adam and Kate who invited themselves  for Boxing day and took us out to Oare ) . We were very aware of the transitions between the land and the water of the various creeks  and of the changes in  later winter afternoon light

Saturday, 31 December 2016

2016 CQ Journal Quilts

 My    Contemporary Quilt 2016 Journal quilts (  8 x 10 inches with requisite small piece of purple, green and orange)  are a mixed bag to say the least!! The earlier hand stitched collages inspired by my surroundings and  experiments for larger projects are the best .The later ones, mainly machine stitched  samples from workshops/ art classes  were rushed and my heart wasn't really in them.
The main  factor ( apart from the 2 months around Ian's op when life went on hold) is  using postcard size 4 x 6 inch pieces for my experimental ' fabric sketches' rather than the JQ format.  It started with  a challenge on the facebook group ' sketchbooks and experiments for textiles'  and then I found they were the perfect size for stitching on the train !
I've made 38 of them so far  and am using them  to explore ideas for new work.
The blog posts I intended to write  will have to wait!
Wishing everyone a  Peaceful, Creative, Healthy, Happy New Year!!