Sunday, 26 August 2018

Pleasures of a wet bank holiday weekend

Lots of time to quilt

Blue splash quilting

Blue splash quilting

Blue splash quilting

Blue splash quilting

Stippling may be a bit of a cliche, but it is fun to do and works well with complex feathers.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Too long a break, what have I achieved?

Too much going on with the building project to allow much time for art or sitting, but that should be no excuse for not blogging. What have I been doing?

Attended the anti-Trump demo, and broke my wooden spoon during the “Make the noise” part


Enjoyed more grids at the Manchester Art Gallery



Made journal quilts for May, June, July and August on the theme of abstracted birds: swan, heron, bittern, grebe. Hand-dyed, rust dyed and screen printed re-purposed sheet.





Went to the last art classes of the term, here we developed our drawings from here, with drawing, collage or paint





Learned to live with this


Baked sourdough bread


Made jewellery on a two day course with Penny Akester

Day 1, silver clay. A pendant cast from a conker case


Day 2, silver sheet. Earrings made to replace a loved and lost pair


Appreciated the beauty of our water lily, which did not flower last year



Sunday, 24 June 2018

Drawing and unexpected pleasures

Our project at the art class has been to take sketches of the urban landscape and interpret them in the style of John Craxton, in the light of the exhibition "Charmed Lives in Greece”  - what a task.  I took a roofline seen from the lovely roof garden of the Mary Ward Centre, and reinterpreted this as a multiple, in the limited colour palette requested by our teacher, and typically I can’t find the photos I took of my work.

This week we were working wit the lovely life model we had before, but now clothed and standing or sitting as part of a still-life installation. Interesting experience.  A series of 5 minutes poses one after another in charcoal.




So many sources of inspiration in the past two weeks:

PRISM at Hoxton Arches, particularly Marian Murphy


and Prinkie Roberts


Stained glass in the hallway of my elder son’s flat as he graduates from Bristol and now moves to Geneva ( yes, a Brexit dividend for our family - not)


Fascinating installations at the Wellcome Collection, “ Somewhere in Between” particularly, “Under” by Martina Amati, investigating the breath control needed for free-diving.

A first visit to the Francis Crick Institute to see the exhibition “Deconstructing Patterns”, marvelling at the angular shapes at the entrance.


and enjoying the suspended poetry pods while enjoying a coffee and a good read



Grids seen on a work-related stay in Manchester


 At the October Gallery, a new exhibition of work by Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga,now finished unfortunately. I love his young man’s work, and as he explores his country’s history, there is more and more depth of meaning in his paintings.

Seen on the walk to the Mary Ward Centre, the lovely building of " The ArtWorkers’ Guild”, with an exhibition of new work by Rob Ryan, using much more colour than he has in the past.

Rob Ryan - This Would Be My Life Without You - courtesy of TAG Fine Arts

While there, a leaflet about work by Edward Bawden, his contemporaries and artists who have been inspired by him, that was on at the Morley Gallery sped me across central London. Now finished, but a Bawden fix is still available at Dulwich Picture Gallery.

On top of all that, a visit to see the documentary about Alexander McQueen - very well done, and as interesting to see who has not been interviewed as well as who has been interviewed and then to the RSC in Stratford to see "Miss Littlewood” a contemporary musical about the life and influence of Joan Littlewood, a theatrical visionary of the early 20th century. A brilliant cast, lots of women on stage worth seeing.

While getting some work done at the same time, catching up with sewing the journal quilts, project managing a house renovation, I'm off for a rest now.









Thursday, 14 June 2018

Eigg 2018

I have been to Eigg again for a yoga holiday and the weather could not have been more of a contrast to my visit in 2017. Blue skies, turquoise water, sparkling sunbeams, sharply delineated skylines, rusty boats.









Lots and lots of rockpools and beachcombing





Inspiring this little work in progress




Friday, 18 May 2018

Must see exhibitions, local and worth travelling for

So much inspiration in visit to exhibitions in the past month.

Compton Verney for three exhibitions. The first an exhibition of one of my all time favourite artists, Eric Ravilious. His use of colour and abstraction of shapes is beautiful to analyse.

Eric Ravilious, ‘Midnight Sun’ 1940

The exhibition also includes the work of his wife and his friends.As this generation of artists were often trained as commercial as well as fine artists, a fair amount of the exhibition contains their work in publishing, ceramic and textiles.  The work of Tirzah Garwood, is terrific. Witty, poignant and colourful.

Long Live Great Bardfield, & Love to You All The Autobiography of Tirzah Garwood

On until 09 June.

At the same venue, “Created in Conflict” , work made by members of the British Armed Forces, alone, and in collaboration with professional artists. Interestingly curated, frustratingly, no photographs allowed, so I can’ show the great nurses cape, perfectly conventional on the outside, but covered with souvenir regimental patches on the inside.

Then lastly, the redisplay of British Folk Art. Lots of bonkers exhibits to make one smile.

There is so much to see at Compton Verney, it is really worth a trip. Transport links are improving, and there is a regular bus service. The grounds are beautiful, and the restored, deconsecrated chapel is a stunning, restful space.

Closer to home, “Charmed Lives in Greece”, free exhibition at the British Museum, on until 15 July.  Wow, what an explosion of colour, shape and heat. It made me want to go and book a holiday to a Greek island the minute I came out of the museum. The images on line really show why it is important to go and see paintings, rather than relying on reproductions. The painting below is a feast of intense blues, greens and purples not done any just by the reproduction.

Landscape, Hydra  by John Craxton  Arts Council Collection        Date painted: 1960–1961      Filler & tempera on board, 66.7 x 120.7 cm      Collection: Arts Council Collection

Another favourite, Kurt Jackson at Messum’s in Cork Street until 25th May. The theme is “Olives” and the heat just shimmers off these paintings. Some collage pieces and bronzes. The gallery is very welcoming to non-buying enthusiasts. My favourite is below, but this gives no indication of the mount of texture and density in the paint.



Sunday, 29 April 2018

How long does it take to make one?

This question is asked often by non-stitchers. I wonder if painters and sculptors are asked the same question, or is it just understood that those art forms have their own timescale, and it may take years for a piece to be considered as finished.

I am asking myself this question as I will soon return to Eigg a year after my first visit, and realise that I am still piecing the “waves” inspired by the colours of the sea there.

Placed on a re-purposed linen sheet, I hope i will finish enough arcs of the waves to finish this quilt when I come back.

Wales 2018