Wednesday, 22 March 2017

From the Kitchen Studio

 I've had a productive few days of studio time, partly  tweaking a composition on my design wall  with a bit of stitching in the upstairs sewing room but mainly  working on Journal Quilts and samples in the painting ( kitchen) studio. It's a while since I used my Golden acrylics ( using them like watercolours on gessoed sections of old quilt ) - I'd forgotten how intensely pigmented they are!
February's Journal Quilt is collaged scraps, machine and hand stitched , inspired by swirling waters around rocks at Rydal .
March's Journal Quilt  is inspired by the breakwaters at Birchington as are the 2 postcards below. Sections of  stiffened indigo cloth are inserted into cut slots in the quilt with stitching from the back with perle in the bobbin .

Probably my favourite though is this map-like sample I used to demonstrate painting techniques to CQ Kent group when they visited. It's basically a tension testing square  with a light coating of gesso then painted. I just love the random marks and loose threads!

Two Creeks Walk

  A Saturday afternoon walk  from Oare to Faversham getting some practice in for Greece in a few weeks time. We followed the excellent directions  with map and interesting snippets of information of the 'Two Creeks Walk' . There are  some more ambitious ones  to do next  but this was an excellent introduction .

Passing the boatyards we walked along Oare creek until  it met up with Faversham Creek at  'Hollowshore' ( the combined waters flow out to  Oare Marshes opposite Sheppey)
Guess how many photos I took of this boat.....
 Lots of kissing gates along Faversham creek , pretty quiet apart from a group of birdwatchers (  several Little Egrets  but always flying off before I could get my camera out)
Then we were on familiar territory  at Iron Wharf and rewarded ourselves with a pint at the Phoenix on the way home.  I love that we can just walk out from the house and experience these wonderful places.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Contemporary Drawing Sketchbook week 2 : Developing Visual Imagery

 Lesson 2 of Contemporary Drawing Sketchbook course  was   based around opening out personal ideas based  on data collected at Wellcome Collection using a range of improvisatory techniques. We looked at Tom Phillips' s ' A Humument' and William Kentridge Six Drawing lessons ( which I've now ordered! ) .  We had a selection of random pages of text , some photocopied, some ripped out of a book  and looked for words related to our theme  which were circled  then the rest of the page covered and worked on .
I struggled a bit with trying to apply the electric  discharge theme ( above), but  got more on track when returning to theme of handprints and  looking at redacted words as marks

 We then looked at work by Alison Wilding  with ' backgrounds'  painted over drawings.   Working on a larger scale and on decent cartridge paper  rather than photocopies  I had  fun with ink:  a skeletal hand with  a 'fingerprint' wash over the top  and then stencilled hand in graphite with ink wash.

We were shown different booklet folding techniques which I didn't get round to but I've aiming to do something different to the back of these papers and then fold and see what I've got. Not quite the scale of  what I did with broomsticks in Puglia  !

Drawing Tuesday at Brunei Gallery and Wellcome Collection

 Drawing Tuesday last week was back at the Brunei Gallery at SOAS. Id brought coloured pencils and pens  but was so overwhelmed by all the wonderful textiles I didn't know where to begin! So I settled for something simpler (haa!) a selection of silver bracelets rendered in graphite

After lunch at Mary Ward ( delicious vegetarian food)  I headed back to Wellcome Collection to  collect some more information for the Contemporary Drawing Sketchbook Course
 On the previous  visit I'd been intrigued by the x-ray quality  of  white ink drawings on slate by Michael Hopkins  so came armed with black paper and white pencils and crayons!
 They're beautiful when you look at them closely, the combination of hard and soft edges and diffuse overlapping shapes reminiscent of bones. On a different scale to Ian McKeevers 'Temple Paintings' but sharing some of the same qualities .
In the 'electricity' exhibition ( no photos allowed) I didn't get past the first room with the very early studies of discharge patterns . Again the black paper and white gel pen came in handy and I remembered the subtlety  of Rothko's  graphite on black  in  trying to show the 'Lichtenberg Figures' on copper plates.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Contemporary Drawing Sketchbook - Data Gathering at Wellcome Collection

On Thursday,  after lunch  in the members room and a quick look round rooms 90,91 at British Museum ( watercolours and ' where the thunderbird lives'),  I headed off to Wellcome Collection for the first session of City Lit Contemporary Drawing Sketchbook  course.

After a discussion on various ways of recording : eg different materials ; collage; continuous line; making notes; we spent an hour each on 2 different activities: drawing 2  commissioned works by contemporary artists ( lots to choose from)  looking at methods used and how they'd interpreted their them and then drawing from exhibition ' Electricity- the spark of life'             

 I first studied the glass interpretation of  the swine flu virus by   Luke Jerram, fascinated by the different qualities of the glass itself but also the shadows and reflection. I could see rings of of papercut  people in the shadows . Intentional, accidental, does it matter?

Then in the  reading room , high up ,difficult to see  easily , 'Sewing Body'  by Alice Anderson  which incorporated personal objects and a needlework figure wrapped in fine copper thread. I used 0.1 pen to work out what was going on in the lines  in contrast to the graphite I'd used for the glass. Note to self - try different materials using same subject.
On her website, found picture of wrapped lightbulb , appropriate for the electricity theme  and also some photographs of her performances. Capturing motion is the main theme that came out of my observations.

 No photos allowed in the electricity exhibition so  had to do a lot of searching for similar model of  fantastic 3d model of electricity consumption assembled from hundreds of daily record cards.
 This led to  all kinds of   wonder in Parametric 3D forms

 Then a study  of  first X-Ray  by Roentgen  and  trying to capture the motion in film on  Cineradiography articulation of limbs
 I was just thinking I could do with a book showing details of hand anatomy  and drawing instruction when  the following  day  I picked up How to Draw Hands Oliver Senior  for £1 in the Fleur Bookshop!

 I've long had a bit of a thing about hands - in Wellcome collection; double hand print ;  and look what's currently under the sewing machine for International Threads .

On Saturday  I met up with some members of CQKent at  Oast Quilters, with an interesting  talk by Mary McIntosh  and today I'm returning to Brunei  Gallery  and then back to Wellcome for some more data gathering  for this Thursday. Housework has been abandoned this week!

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Knit and Stitch Olympia March 2017

Despite not arriving home from Rydal  until after 9pm on Friday, I was at Olympia for Knit and Stitch on good time , if a little weary.  I had volunteered to help out on the QGBI workshop ,  helping  visitors make log cabin  blocks for Linus Quilts . Despite having practised at home, even I got the odd piece the wrong way round! Some  lovely people: a lady who made tiny shoes; another who did embroidery and applique in Tracey Emin's studio; a young girl back for a second go so she could perfect her seams ( making a better job than I did!).
I had some time in the morning for a bit of retail therapy (12wt  threads from Barnyarns and some African strip cloth) but mainly a good look round the textile galleries. There may not be many of them  but they were all worth a visit. it was lovely to see my 'Eroding Margins' again in the CQ 'On the Edge' .  I  found the exhibits by the 62 Group and Quinary   thought provoking and inspiring  but what stole my heart  was 'What do I need To do to make it Ok?'  I literally stopped in my tracks when I saw the  Dorothy Caldwell  pieces !

I'm still hugely influenced by the class I did with Dorothy in Puglia and a lot of my  work is based on using old textiles , including 'Eroding Margins'  which is made of indigo dyed old quilts,  so this exhibit on darning and mending really resonated with me.  Her notebooks and samples on display were a delight, I love to see the process of people's thoughts and making as much as the finished work.