Friday, 18 November 2016

Cluny cartoons

I am in Paris,

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with my lovely husband, visiting our son who is working here.  Much needed by both of us. We spent today walking, walking and walking in the autumn sunshine, ending up at the Cluny Museum, home of the famous Lady and the Unicorn tapestries. The tapestries are really as beautiful and enigmatic as I expected, although I think my husband found my explanation of how tapestries are woven, a little convoluted. The layout, lighting and labelling of many of the of exhibits however seemed very dated in comparison to museums such as the V and A.

The museum is being refurbished, so hopefully this will be addressed. Perhaps it is just a difference between UK and continental museum-keeping and curating. In contrast to the ponderous approach inside, the panelling outside the museum, hiding the building works, has some witty cartoons showing the exhibits being carted off for storage.

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Sunday, 13 November 2016

Returning to normal life with a lap quilt

My relative’s suffering post-stroke has now ceased and we had her funeral on Friday. Very proud of my son, who even though very distressed,  was able to get up and speak about her positive impact on his life.

Shuffling through some old hand-dyes, ( in the same colour palette as here ) and discovering some leftover hearts from the Alice quilt, led to an urge to get them stitched together.

Appliquéing the hearts on the tray-dyed cloth

Composing the  7 inch blocks on he temporary design wall.

There was not enough of the variegated solid ( a contradiction in terms?) so I had to fudge the edges a bit and lose some corners, therefore not one for the perfectionists I think.

Not bad for a sunny afternoon.  Five years since the cloth was dyed, so hopefully the quilting will be faster than that.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Drawing and domesticity

The art tutor took us to see a free exhibition of work, mostly drawings, by Maggi Hambling at the British Museum, called ‘Touch’. Maggi Hambling divides opinion, but I like a lot of her work particularly the Scallop sculpture. The exhibition is on until 29 January 2017.
Photography is allowed.  The intent of the visit was for us to study Hambling’s mark making and to study, through copying, those marks. As some of the work was mono printing, that was difficult to do, however just looking at the range of marks on the print of this figure was inspiring.
There are some very touching drawings of her friends and family close to death.
My own attempt at that figure, head and hand. Nowhere near, but closer than I was 2 years ago.
The next week, a replacement tutor catapulted us in to portraiture -aaarrrggghhh!. After I calmed myself down, I’m pleased with this ( A2 size, charcoal and chalk on a coloured paper), as it is recognisable as the sitter, though he said I had made him look much younger.
Stitching for the past few weeks has been very domestic.
Replacement curtains and cushions for the bedroom to replace the “temporary” curtains and cushions that had been put in 22 years ago. After 21 years of family life, including the dog choosing one of the cushions as his favoured favoured window-viewing spot, they finally had to go.
The pattern matching along the front of the past of cushions took much measuring and swearing to get correct.
Inherited Ercol chairs have arrive in our house ( let’s say that ours have more of the patina of age about them). Their cushions were also in a sorry state, so while my piping skills were honed by the 30 degree corners on the bedroom cushions, I could tackle four replacements for these. Not in the original style, but a lot more comfortable.
The swan has also been finished. Faced rather than bound and waiting for the right wall space to show it to advantage.