Thursday, 27 September 2007

Random Acts of Kindness

I didn't think I was going to have anything to say today but I have had a wonderful gift in today's post which I must share with you all. Over at MixedMediaATC_UK group on Yahoo we have a monthly lottery and one person drawn at randon wins all the ATCs entered on a particular theme for that month. This month's winner was Helen (drawn by my DH). Helen had announced earlier in the month that she had had a clear out in her studio and had an envelope full of goodies to give to the ATC voted the group's favourite. Guess What? It was me! I won the bag of goodies and look what was in it

I think I shall now have to have a clearout of my own to make room! Thank you so much Helen, you are so generous.

Not only that, but Helen sent me the ATC that she made for the September Lottery:

I have to apologise to Helen as the colours arn't quite right - the top band should be purple - I think my camera may have been set up incorrectly. I'll have to check it out.

This will be my last post for a while - we are going to be busy and I won't have a computer. Pleasure, not pain! All will be revealed, with photos, when I get back.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

I wasn't disappointed

Gill Boyle's exhibition at the Willoughby Memorial Trust Gallery (see this morning's post) was inspirational. The exhibition covered many aspects of her work from watercolour painting to highly textured and embellished textile work. By a stroke of luck Gill turned up while we were there and she has given me permission to show one or two photographs here.
This piece includes seedpods, textiles, scrim, skeletal leaves, beads and metal.
This is a detail from a large piece of embellished fibres and embroidery which won Gill a Madeira Embroidery prize. I could not decide what had been used to give a waxen looking finish to this piece (wax maybe?) but the surface was thickly encrusted and many materials had been included. The image above is a detail of what was about a 24" x 16" canvas.
This is a detail from a large painting which I liked for its colour.

Gill very kindly gave me permission to show her work here so please respect her copyright - as will I. I'm hoping that Gill will soon run some classes so that I can learn some of her techniques first hand. Regrettably she does not have a website at present. I find it is often easier to pick something up when someone shows you and you then try it for yourself.

Fibre & Stitch

I've finally completed the lutradur and lace challenge for Fibre & Stitch and will be posting it on the group site this morning. I have enjoyed the experimenting so far and will be doing much more with it, I hope. I know I haven't been as adventurous as some of the ladies and have kept my piece quite simple. I certainly haven't attacked it with any heat sources so far. I did a small piece earlier on and hit it with a heat gun and didn't like the result I got with that particular piece as it buckled up. However, I have seen another artist's work who dealt with a similar result by pulling silk thro the resulting holes and that looked wonderful.This compilation is a repeat of the stages the piece went through. I hope this photo of the finished piece shows up the metallic stitching as blogger won't enlarge it. I am going to use this on the front cover of my journal for my forthcoming holiday to Austria.

I am really looking forward to this afternoon. My friend Ann and I are going to an exhibition at the Willoughby Memorial Gallery at Corby Glen. The exhibition is by another friend Gill Boyle who works with fibre and paint. Hopefully I will be able to take some pics which I will post tonight.

Monday, 24 September 2007

More brass & Lutradur

As promised these are the rubbings that I did yesterday afternoon. There were more but they are on blue paper and are not so clear. The lady's head with the wonderful headdress belongs to the hands alongside and the hands on the far right you have already seen yesterday.

I have had an enjoyable time in the studio today playing with lutradur and lace for the Fibre & Stitch Challenge. I have worked with a combination of acrylic paint and inks and have to admit that I did use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process as I wanted to get all the layers painted today.

This is the first layer of inks in red madder deep and magenta. It also has a tiny touch of blue here and there. On the left hand edge is a little acrylic bronze paint which I put on by mistake at this stage. I dried the ink and then painted on acrylic interference paint in shimmering red.
The next stage was to paint a layer of acrylic bronze paint (above).And finally a mixture of inks : magenta, red madder deep, brown brazil (just 2 drops) and gold red.

This detail gives a better idea of the colour which in reality is wonderfully rich and lustrous and which changes as the light catches it. I used bondaweb to attach the lace to the lutradur and the remains of that is showing slightly lighter. My plan now is to apply some hand stitching in metallic thread to secure the pieces of lace. When it's finished I will be using this piece for the front cover of a journal.

This lutradur is a medium weight, not the heaviest and I have also painted initial washes onto some other pieces in lighter weights which a friend very kindly sent me. The lightest weight is beautiful and can be laid over other fibres. I will be working some more with the lighter weights and will post my results later.

I am struggling quite badly today with this anaemia thing and am wondering if I should go back to the doctor as I have had something approaching pain in my chest today again (I didn't mention this to the doctor last week). Apparently angina can be a result of anaemia but I suppose I shouldn't self diagnose. This week and next are going to be pretty busy for me so I may not get round to blogging quite as regularly for a while. Don't go away though. I'll soon have lots of pics to show.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

How much fun

can a person have in church? I have just spent a really great weekend on my knees in the chancel of Barrowby Church doing brass rubbings (well, not quite all weekend). Some kind soul gave me a hassock to kneel on and off I went. I had never done any brass rubbing before but it is really therapeutic, especially when accompanied by Josh Grogan on a CD, followed by an assortment of relaxing classics. Lovely.

I think these 3 figures on the right are angels.

This first rubbing that I did was unfortunately a bit pale as I didn't realise how hard I needed to "rub".

This lady's name is Margaret Deen.

These particular brasses lie under a carpet in the chancel of the church and are rarely seen as they are quite worn and have suffered considerable damage over the years. The more I've looked at these brasses the more detail I have seen. It seemed extremely strange to be looking so closely into the face of people who had lived and died centuries ago. I found the hands of the effigies particularly beautiful, the fingers all so slender. The hands in the top picture belong to the lady above and her cloak is held on by a thick cord. I made a larger rubbing today and I will blog that when I have scanned or photographed it. The gentleman above is probably looking so forlorn because this is not his lady.....I "rubbed" her today and will post her tomorrow. She wears a simple ermine trimmed gown so must have been a person of some standing.

The Art & Craft Fair was quite well attended and DH did well with his photos.

The children had been busy with their own crafts and had also, previously, painted a beautiful altar cloth.

These butterflies are wonderful. They are so colourful and so exhuberant, they really lifted my mood.

Something for the patchworkers.

No time for my own artwork today except for some stitching on the weaving. More of that later.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Ann and I had a very enjoyable day today at the Craft4crafters show at the Newark Showground. As you might expect having an enjoyable day involved a little shopping - well more than a little actually! Oops VBG! Lol. I was very good, well, I tried to be. I went with a shopping list that I was going to stick to but somehow......yes, you've guessed, I went off list. Well, was it my fault I couldn't find any of the things on my list and there were so many other tempting things? Ok, ok, I'll show you my haul.......... I should have taken things out of their bags for the photo but I was trying to be quick.

In my defence Ann gave me the organza and I'm sharing the sari ribbon with her. You might be able to see we got some hand felting needles which I plan to have a play with tomorrow. The beautiful little piece of lace was from the Unique Scrapstore at Newark - they are great for cheap materials for mixed media art and have an online store.

The show itself was better than I expected. This is the first time it's been held in the Midlands. There were just under 100 stands and, although quite a lot were for cardmaking there were enough fibre and mixed media type stands to keep Ann and I busy for 3 hours or so. I was very tempted by the new Sherrill Kahn book on the Sew Good Books stand but succumbed to Maggie Grey's "Paper, Metal & Stitch". (Don't tell DH!) I shall have to save my pennies again for the Knitting & Stitching Show in Harrogate. If you live in the Midlands the show continues till Sunday.

Tomorrow (and Sunday) sees DH at a local church at an Arts and Crafts Festival selling his photo cards so I am going along for moral support and hope to have a go at Brass Rubbing. Who knows? I may be able to incorporate it into some ATCs sometime. If I get the chance I shall sit and do a bit of stitching too. Some time ago I did a pen and wash drawing of Barrowby Church where the Festival is being held tomorrow:

I exercised a little artistic licence so that I could include the lychgate and the view through it.

The church has the most beautiful stained glass window:

Yet again blogger won't enlarge my photos, sorry.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Weaving away

I wasn't sure what I was going to do after finishing the ATCs but last night I read an article from Workshop on the Web by Sherrill Kahn and was immediately inspired to start my journal page for September. (That's the Bead Journal Project page that I'm supposed to be doing to shadow the official group). I decided not to use paper (entirely) but to use fabric, hand made paper, scrim, sequin waste and anything else I thought I could sew through.

The warp cloth is kunin felt which I intend to zap later to reveal the backing material underneath. I have bonded the piece onto some cotton curtain material but it's too dark to photograph now. Before I zap it I will be stitching onto the surface - as usual I don't have any particular plan for this - various ideas are floating round my brain. Knowing me I will just pick a thread colour and start and then make it up as I go along! Since it's supposed to be for the Bead Journal I will eventually add some beading but for the moment I just want something to stitch.

I am looking forward to tomorrow as my friend Ann and I are popping up to Newark to a new (to this venue) Art and Craft Fair (more spending)! You can find information about it here. There should be about 90 exhibitors including some stands selling fibres and yarns so we're hoping for a reasonable day out. DH has been instructed to draw some money from the cash machine while he's at work! I'll report back with any goodies. :)

I got the result of my blood test today and, joy of joys, I've got to take iron tablets! Great! At least iron deficiency explains why I have been struggling so badly. My GP thinks that it has crept up on me since I stopped eating all the things that contain iron as they mostly also contain fibre or are harder to digest. We all know what iron tablets can do to your gut so I am going to have a jolly time trying to balance the effects of the ferrous sulphate against keeping my gut happy. Happy days! (I should say I am really grateful that there is a reason for my feeling so rough and it can be sorted fairly easily).

Wednesday, 19 September 2007


I remembered to look out the other portrait I did a la Modigliani. I am amazed that I painted it in 2002! How time flies! This painting was built up in patches of paint (oil) and I worked all over the canvas without bringing any one area to completion ahead of the other. I suppose this way of working made me less scared of tackling a portrait. Also I quite like Modigliani's way of painting which is not strictly representational but often had elongated faces.

I haven't had much time for art today but I did manage to make an ATC for the Time swap. I decided on a collage this time and chose my favourite subject - Chocolate Time!

I've been a bit lazy with the remaining two cards for this swap as life is a bit hectic at the moment, so I've cannibalised an abstract painting I did some time ago. I do actually think that these describe the abstract quality of time.

As you can see by the new logo I have been invited to join a new networking group for fibre and mixed media artists. It looks like it will be a friendly dynamic group so pop over there and join in - the more the merrier. 'Course, we'll never get anything done because we'll all be too busy in cyberspace! LOL

Oh yes, the reason I didn't have much time to play today is because I went to the hairdressers - for three hours! Can you believe it? I went to have highlights and lowlights and a trim - I can't believe it took so long. I'm pleased with the colour so it was worth the wait and, no, I'm not going to post a pic. :0)

Tuesday, 18 September 2007


DJ's latest work reminded me that some time ago I did a sketchbook painting in gouache which was a reworking of a painting by Modigliani. I have always thought that I could not paint faces but I found by doing this exercise that I could at least reinterpret someone else's portrait. Pity I didn't pursue the point at the time and move on to using my own model or photo. Maybe I'll have a look at this technique again.
The title of the original is "Portrait of Jeanne Hebuterne".

What I will do though is have a play with my painting (which I think cannot be the subject of copyright breach as it is my version of the original) and see what I can do digitally and also print it out on fabric or lasertran -ooh, ooh, or even lutradur!) and see where it takes me. I was really proud of this little sketch as it was all my own work (I did actually do it after a class re-working another Modigliani painting called "Portrait of Chaim Soutine" - I'll post that another time).

I finished the other entry for the September lottery at my Mixed Media group and managed to find the recalcitrant (big word!) washer. I still can't find the rest though. I reckon they're with the key to the patio door (don't ask!).

Monday, 17 September 2007

Where did I put those washers?

I forgot to include these lovely chiffon scarves that my stepmum gave me when I blogged yesterday. They are gorgeous! I don't think I'll need to look for any more sheers for a while. I photographed the ATCs again from yesterday.

This one is from Amanda.

The vase of flowers is from Jenny.

And this gorgeous card is from Pippa:

The next three cards are on a theme of Summer Garden and are from Amanda

and Jean
The other ATCs I painted yesterday have dried and this is for the lottery at Mixed Media ATCs_UK. The colours not right but you may be able to see that I decided on 7 layers on a seascape theme (unfortunately the photo makes it look like there are 8 layers but really, it's only 7, promise!
The three ATCs for the beach theme are finished too

It's amazing how different the colours are from the pics I took yesterday. These were taken in the conservatory in daylight. This last one is much closer to the actual ATC, it is quite pale with a sparkle from irridescent paint.

I've been working on another ATC on the 7 theme but I've hit a snag.....I want to include a painted washer but I can't remember where I've put them! Oh dear....another senior moment! lol

Sunday, 16 September 2007

I'm back

Did you miss me? You don't have to answer that! I certainly missed my laptop and all my favourite blogs! I have been sneeking a quick look since I've been back and catching up with all the usual boring washing and shopping but I've now finally managed to sit down long enough to catch up here.

I had a good (quiet) week with my stepmum in Devon. We didn't get to Trago Mills after all but we did have a trip to Exeter which is going through a lot of changes at the moment. I took a few pics for Becky as she used to live there and misses it:

What do you think Becky? Has it changed much? As you can see, we didn't get any further than the main shops because I was having a weary day so I'm afraid the pics are not too exciting.

One thing I did like though was this mirrored pyramid which has poems etched into it. I love all the reflections and distortions in it.

You can see me taking the pic on the left and my stepmum in the pic on the right.

As I say, we didn't do a great deal other than chat a lot but I did have a wander along the beach at Paignton at the end of the week and took a couple of pics of the pier and beach huts:

I came home to these lovely ATCs from swaps at Mixed Media ATCs -UK. The first are on a theme of "Flowers" and are from Amanda, Pippa and Jenny. I am sorry it is such a rubbish photo. I shall photograph them again individually tomorrow.

These beautiful ATCs represent a "Summer Garden" and are by Amanda, Jean and Becky. Aren't they lovely? I love Jean's embroidery.

My final surprise was a gorgeous ATC from Lynda. I feel very honoured to own a piece of this lady's work. I am ashamed to say that the photo is blurred. What am I like? Should have asked DH to take it I am quite proud of the fact that I've been in my studio today working on my next batch of ATCs. They are all works in progress but I thought you might like a quick look:

This is on a theme of "7", my choice, and is 7 layers. I have painted it but it's too wet to photograph - hopefully tomorrow.

These are on a theme of beach.

I think that's it for now. It's good to be back (despite blogger's quirks) but I'm off to make a cuppa and catch up round the blogs.