Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Stitching hiatus gives time for London art day

I'm in a bit of a lull on the stitching front, due somewhat to catching up with family commitments but also to a degree of inertia at picking anything up.  In the hope of getting the creative juices flowing again, I had a London art day today.  As I started off at the wrong gallery, I had a chance to walk along Millbank and the Victoria Embankment and came upon two pieces of sculpture that have passed me by before.

First, 6 bas-relief panels on the doors of what is now Ofgem ( used to be ICI) by W B Fagan.  II was particularly taken by the panel depicting Jacquard loom weaving.  Terrible photo due to the shadows.


 I have loved this type of door since seeing Dante's Gates of Hell when I was young.  

Next, the statue of Daedalus, by James Butler, a memorial to the Fleet Air Arm.


On the way, three London icons in one photograph, with the camera showing that it is not the same as the eye in capturing colour constancy, which was part of the subject of the first exhibition.


Making Colour at the National Gallery has been on my list of must sees, and I'm really glad I went.  I am very interested in both the craft and the art of painting, and this exhibition combined both aspects.  Since reading "Colour, travels through the paintbox" by Victoria Finlay I have really enjoyed understanding why certain colours and painting techniques came into being.  The painting that I spent most time with today was Moroni's Portrait of a Lady "La Dama in Rosso" due to the sumptuous depiction of the three different types of cloth in the costume.  At the end there are some interesting experiments in the little cinema about  perception of colour , one of which had everyone in the audience gasping with surprise.  Well worth a visit.  Books in the book shop to go on my wish list are, " The Secret Language of Colour"  by Joan and Arielle Eckstut, "Colour in Art" by Steffano Zuffi, " The Colour book" by Sophie Pietromarchi ( intended for children I think, but looks like good fun).

Then on to the BP Portrait Award, and particularly the lace paintings by Sophie Ploeg.


I found these entrancing, and even more so when I read that the lace in each portrait is an actual piece of antique lace, and that the sitters could choose their own clothes that  they wanted to wear with the lace.

My favourite in the actual portrat award was Henrietta and Ollie, by Tim Hall, as there was so much going on in the painting.


Rounding off ( feet complaining a bit by now) with a visit to the Mall Galleries to see " Still Alive, contemporary still life".  Favourites here were Toby Wiggins " The Golden Cloth" and James Lloyd, " Paper Model".  In the book shop, " Nature Morte" by Michael Petry, and lovely cards by Sue Campion.

Steel drum player, glass harp player and good guitarist buskers on the way back to the station added to the perfection of the day.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Obsessed with waves

I am spending hours observing the current crashing seas.  I am telling myself that it is research for translating the shapes into colour, line and stitch, but I think it is really just obsession.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Was it Hurricane Bertha passing?

This morning the skies were very gloomy, apparently due to the remnants of Hurricane Bertha

but by the afternoon, cerulean ruled again.

and as a bonus, there were very big, exhilarating seas.

Too windy to stitch!

Friday, 8 August 2014


A great pleasure of holidaying at a location with a big tidal range is the opportunity for rockpooling and beachcombing.  While my sons were off rock scrambling, swimming between outcrops - far too far out for my nerves, but at least on an incoming tide, I was rather more sedately browsing the tideline.

A little bowl of shells

I love beach glass

Supposedly I'm taking these photos to understand about light and shade, to then translate in to drawings, but that hasn't happened yet.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

New memories and old friends

These have been my two last full days in Sydney, so I've packed in a lot of last minute memories: visit to the Archibald Prize; ferry trip to Manly ; walk over to Shelly Beach and up the headland; views of Wednesday afternoon sailing, including AUS21 in full flight, on the way back; iced coffee at the Opera Bar

My sister also made last night incredibly special with front row tickets to Strictly Ballroom, the musical.  Outrageous , over the top and fantastic fun.

I'm packing up soon, but just time to get a few photos of quilts that I made before I started blogging.

Panel and border by Laurel Burch.

Australian charm pack

I can't remember the name of this block, but it was good to be reminded of what an effective quilt this makes.