Monday, 27 June 2016

Light and darkness

Last attempt of the term to get the shape of “that” jug. Almost there, even if i did have to add an extra piece of paper to be able to include all of the handle.


 Thursday evening


Friday morning


Thursday, 16 June 2016

Bodies and trees

Another morning of life drawing, 5 minute, 3 minute and 15 minute poses with both wet and dry media.

Holding a brush and sitting on a stool, although the holding a brush looks more like spear-fishing and I’ve made the beautiful model look rather squat and rather heavier than she was.


The brown ones are done by another member of the class. The two on the right hand side and the pink one, with the brush, are mine.


Combining or overlaying the 3 minute poses on one sheet of paper.


Wet ink and charcoal, seated.


Struggling to cope with the strong pink wash to get enough contrast between light and dark


Happiest with this one.


After a rest and lunch, off to Highgate to see the works by Richard  Downer, the father of our tutor.  Richard’s drawn work will be known to all of us in the UK who used phone directories between 1967 - 1985, as his drawings were on the front cover of every local directory.  This exhibition focuses on his private paintings of trees, their life, demise and regeneration. Very striking and with echoes of Paul Nash in the series about the aftermath of the Great Storm of 1987. On until 23rd June and well worth a visit.  Great views walking down Highgate Hill are a bonus.


Saturday, 11 June 2016

Life drawing

A morning of life drawing this week.  I started out full of trepidation, but on balance, enjoyed the morning and was reminded again that the rubber is as important as the pencil / charcoal/ crayon. Our regular teacher, Abigail Downer, was away this week, and we were therefore taught by a replacement teacher, whose name has shockingly gone from my head.

We started with a rubbed charcoal ground ( messy!) and then drew in the darkest shadows and the lightest lights.  It was a sunny day in the studio, so the contrasts were easy to see.  

After 20 mins of short poses, when the model changed her pose without any notice, captured with pencil in the sketchbook, we then moved on to two 30 minute poses, one seated and one standing.

The foreshortening on the seated pose was really tricky - are the feet really that huge?


Standing should have been simpler after that, but those legs look decidedly wonky and where is the left foot?


More to come next week apparently.

On a related note, Abigail downer’s father is Richard Downer, whose exquisite pen and ink drawings used to adorn the covers of British telephone directories. He has an exhibition on in Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution until 23rd June.

Last day or so to see the most recent PRISM exhibition. This group seems to be moving away from "textile art" to t"extile-inspired art."  I wasn’t so thrilled with it as in previous years,but a gorgeous all white quilt by Niki Chandler rewarded much quiet contemplation.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Things that fly

I have not posted for a few weeks as my energies have to be focused on surviving the barrage of continuous aircraft noise that now assaults our home.  Although we can now get away most weekends, family commitments have meant that we have been at home for a stretch of 10 days of ongoing noise from 0430h - 2400h.

A 24h break, because of the recent storms, allowed me to do some quilting on the Kaleidoscope quilt.

My mind must be obsessed with flying beasts, as I’ve ended up with shapes that look rather like moths.  Each side of the quilt has a series of moths with different patterned wings. These are dreadful photos, the triangles really do have straight edges!

Now to ponder what to do in the striped triangles between the “moths”.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Ancient and modern

I’ve been sewing on the Singer Featherweight.  

Years of sewing on a flatbed,curtesy of a Horn cabinet, have made me value how less physically taxing it is to sew for extended periods on a machine inserted in to a flatbed. Much domestic discussion led to the purchase of 


a SewEzi table.  After a full weekend of sewing on it, I am full of praise.  Sturdy legs, smooth table surface, easy to put up and down, truly portable, worth every penny.  It helped me get to the borders stage with the splash and triangles quilt top.



I’m still making design decisions on the plain parts of the borders and am swaying between appliqué of some of the splash shapes, and leaving them blank for some dramatic machine quilting.  To be considered further.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

College collage

A superb day today, using the papers generated here to make a collage of the lotus seed pod.

First arranging the papers in order of tonal value


then tearing,  cutting and temporary gluing - great fun.





Still needs some work, but I am really pleased with this - and not a pencil in sight!

After the class, two exhibitions.  First of all the October Gallery to see the welded steel sculptures of Sokari Douglas Camp.  Epic in scale and in the themes explored.  Then to Tate Modern to see the work of Mona Hatoum.  Some really interesting work - why do I find any work using human hair so disturbing? Good to see the sketchbooks on display as well.  I loved he black marbles and the ever-changing circle of sand.  Really worth a visit.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Bank Holiday design decisions

On the design wall - or ,more accurately, the design floor, auditioning half square triangles with some appliqué blocks ( I think based on a block from  Piece O Cake) that i worked on in Australia, nearly two years ago. 

Stitching on the sturdy featherweight.

I can see now that the middle block in the bottom row is missing a piece!

Auditioning in black and white shows a misplaced square in the topmost right, and insufficient contrast in a few of the sashing squares.

Auditioning a border of strips, which I think is too busy.  It needs some plain fabric between the squares and the strip border.

Still discovering functions on my camera - black and white with a hint of red.