Thursday, 18 December 2008

Still here

I've been away from blogging for so long that I don't know where to start, not that I've got a huge amount to say anyway. First of all, thank you all for your 'get well' wishes. I'm pleased to say that my cold is much improved and I am feeling much better. It was certainly a nasty germ and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Thank you, everyone for your lovely caring messages.
I have got a couple of workshops to update you on. The first one is from several weeks ago and was a general muck about working mostly in white and texture.

I have used several textured wallpapers, skeleton leaves, lace, stencilled texture paste, tissue, serviette (napkin), mesh and newsprint. I have used a small amount of white paint to push back the right hand corner of the design and a little blue paint has been addedto the left corner to balance the right. The idea of the workshop was to try out various arrangements and textures and not necessarily to end with a finished product. I personally like the inclusion of text or parts of text. We were supposed to leave it mostly white but I felt the need to brush on small amounts of gold paint to warm it up a little.


Last Saturday I dragged my still-weary bones and cough to another workshop led by a very talented friend who you may have seen commenting as Gilby. Gill is a wonderfully adventurous and inventive mixed media and fibre artist and it was great to spend a day with her. Fortunately she led us in an exercise which did not ask too much of my cold-fuddled brain but which I found inspirational and which has fired me up with ideas, which I think was the general idea.

Basically we used coloured tissue and tore and pasted it to cartridge paper. You could use any colour or tone theme to suit yourself. For my first piece I worked with warm colours,



and for my second sheet cool colours. The beauty of tissue is that it's cheap and you get some lovely colour combinations where the tissue overlaps.
Once dry the tissue covered sheets become a design tool. We made a simple outline still life drawing which we then traced. The tracing can then be laid on the surface and moved around to decide where you might place the actual still life. Other options can then be to work into the negative space with other media leaving the still life predominantly as the tissue surface, keep the background and work into the positive still life shape, turn the background over and trace back the still life in a random position and affix that to a new background, use the tissue background as a guide to making a fabric quilt or a piece on the embellisher, use the tissue background as inspiration for layering sheers and organzas, the list is probably endless.


You could also orientate the background horizontally or vertically. The horizontal background made me think immediately of a landscape. Why not have a still life on a landscape background? I think this is a very exciting design tool and I'm really grateful to Gill for introducing me to this concept. I've already been out and bought a supply of tissue to play with!
You may have noticed a new badge in my sidebar. Andy Mitchell, husband of the lovely Silverpebble, is running in the 2009 London Marathon in aid of the brain injury charity Headway. He's made a special request for silver socks for Christmas - apparently they help stop niffy feet! He still has quite a way to go to reach his target so it would be wonderful if you could give him some support and sponsor him. The badge will be there until April so there's plenty of time to help after the festive season.
I've had the most wonderful gift today from my friend Grace. She had come across a bag of crocheted pieces while looking for something at home and thought of me. One of the pieces dates back to 1911, the year she was born, and I think commemorates the coronation of King George V. Unfortunately the light had gone by the time I got home today so I will photograph it as soon as the light improves and show you it all. I am so excited about it and will have to use some of the pieces for something special. The work was done by a friend of Grace's and is wonderfully neat and even. Sorry, I'm teasing you, not having any photos to show you! I think the George V traycloth should possibly be preserved as it is a piece of historical commentary. I certainly won't be sewing that into anything.
I'm off to catch up on some blogs. Christmas has rather taken over this week and I'm getting all behind. I've been working on a couple of presents which I can't show you in case one of the recipients looks in here but I'll put them up after Christmas Day. Did I say I hadn't got much to say? LOL

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Jacquelines blog said...

Glad you are feeling better Julie!

Susan D said...

Glad to hear you're feeling better.

BTW You mentioned you where reading 'No 1 Ladies Detective Agency', there is an episode on Radio 4 on Christmas Day afternoon, I think it starts just after 3.

sharon young said...

So glad you're feeling better, Julie, just in time for Xmas too :-)
Your tissue workshop looks fantastic, looking forward to seeing what you do next.

gilby said...

Hi Julie,
Thank you for the very nice comments on the workshop, it is always good to have feed back.
Pleased to hear you are well again have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Love Gill.

Genie said...

Glad you are felling better Julie
love waht you did at workshops.
Happy Christmas

Val Foster said...

Hi Julie. Waving at you here. I really like what you've done on these. Love all the textures on the first one, and the colors on the tissue paper ones. It looks like you're learning some great stuff here. Wonderful, keep it up.

Sorry you've had a cold. I HATE colds. I hope you recover and feel better soon.

Pat said...

Glad you;re feeling better Julie, love you textured piece and the tissue workshop is very interesting. I look forward to seeing you crocheted pieces. Happy Christmas.

silverpebble said...

Lovely tissue work there Julie. Glad you're feeling somewhat better - enough to go and make therapeutic things. I'm laid up myself at the moment - a nasty germ here too.

I would have loved to have seen the crochet! Looking forward to it.

Sharne's Bit 'n' Bobs said...

Glad you are feeling better. I have missed reading your blog.

Gina said...

Glad you are still here and feeling better Julie. I'm way behind on reading blogs and catching up so just wanted to say (in case I don't get another chance) hope you both have a wonderful Christmas... and stay well!

Becky Vigor said...

That's interesting, to layer still life on tissue paper. I also like the still life in landscape idea, it's something I was thinking of doing for my boots project, have them superimposed on an illustration of one of our walks.