Monday, 14 December 2015

A lot to catch up on

Do you realise it's 3 months since I wrote a 'proper' post on here?  Losing mum took a slice out of our lives and we continue to think about her and miss her.  Thank you to every single one of you who left messages or sent cards, it was appreciated at such a difficult time.

So, where do I start for the catch up?  Maybe I should start with a little creativity for a change.

With the coming of Autumn some friends and I had a go at getting impressions of leaves onto watercolour/rag paper by boiling in a strong tea solution with white vinegar.  I used some heavy weight paper that had some acrylic ink marks on it and I was pleased that they remained after the boiling.  This concertina book is about 4" square and I have plans to add some stitch to the pages eventually.  The concertina book was layered with leaves and clamped between some plastic sheets.  The little clamps I used to secure it all have gone very nicely rusty.

Did I mention that I had been experimenting with weaving?   So far I've mostly woven scarf size pieces.  I've just realised that I can't actually share them here until after Christmas Day but believe me when I say I am seriously taken with this new-to-me skill. 
This little sample is an experiment to work out how to include found objects in the weave.  Needless to say the seashore figures strongly in the theme.

On the subject of the seashore, after we got back from Ireland we travelled down to Cornwall for our usual pilgrimage.  We only had one week there as we had to rush back because of mum but we seemed to have packed a lot into that one week.  As it was September Arts and Music Festival while we were there, there were lots of events going on, not least a site specific installation by the ceramicist Jack Doherty

The pots shown here were displayed in St Nicholas Chapel on the Island in St Ives.  Their surfaces were beautiful and I liked the matt finish that the single firing gives them.  The colours spoke of St Ives. 

These beautiful vessels were in the smaller chapel on Smeatons Pier.

 I was also happy that some friends of mine, St Ives Textiles, were having their first exhibiton while we were there.  

 These beautiful figures were made by my friend Carolyn Saxby.

I thought I had taken more detailed photos of the exhibition but apparently not. 

As it was Festival I decided to do a couple of art workshops at St Ives School of Painting.  I did two classes with Liz Hough and while it was a bit daunting I really enjoyed it and brought away some skills to use in future work.  In the first class we explored some drawing techniques and in the second workshop looked at interpreting the landscape similarly to Peter Lanyon.  The drawing course involved a brief sketching trip on Porthmeor beach where we employed charcoal and rapid drawing techniques.

 We had to select our site quickly so I settled on the rocky outline above.  We were very lucky that it was a dry day.

 We had to make first a 10 minute sketch and then a rapid line drawing condensing the information into five lines.  The second sketch was looking out to sea.

The sketch and collage above came out of the drawings.  I'm not quite sure what I was channelling but a ship and a figure seem to have crept in!

The second workshop called for us to look at Porthmeor beach through the eyes of Peter Lanyon.  This involved more quick sketching from different viewpoints.

My finished collage is in the middle at the top.  Unlike the previous collage I was really pleased with this effort.  You can see some of the other students' work alongside.  It was interesting to meet new people and to work in a different environment and see how people worked given the same scene and process. Of course, the atmosphere of the famous Porthmeor Studios added to the experience.  The view from the window was a trifle distracting though.

Just by coincidence Peter Lanyon's son, Matthew Lanyon, was staging an exhibition at Porthminster Gallery and we called in in time to catch the end of a talk he was giving about his work. 

This mammoth painting is called, The Listening Seas.  Sadly we don't have the space or the money for it but I love that it tells a story as you move along it.  I do like his work, there is a lot to look at and enjoy in its shapes and colours.

Finally for this post, we were exploring St Ives burial ground and revisited the grave of Alfred Wallace.  
 This little shell had been left in tribute.


Living to work - working to live said...

What a lovely post. So nice to have you back. Facebook is all very well, but nothing beats a proper blog IMHO!!

Heather said...

Your boiled paper book looks so interesting and the weaving is beautiful. I love all those ceramic pots - the soft colours, textures and varied shapes are very desirable. I am impressed and very envious of your wonderful workshop sketches and collage. You may not blog frequently but your posts are always full of interest.

Corrine at said...

A catch up indeed. Good to hear from you and thanks for sharing the wonderful art....Nice paper prints and your sketches are great, we saw these I think, now to keep on going eh, always more on the plate than we can handle. xox Most Happy Christmas to you and family. 🎄

Amanda said...

Glad you're back Julie. Loved your visit to Cornwall. It's years since I've been so it's nice to live it through your posts.


Gorgeous post ... so nice to see some of what you have been doing. I am sure there is a lot more ... you have been doing some amazing workshops and visits. Sending lots of love always xxxx

Mrs Mac said...

Thank you for the Wallace link, I'd forgotten about him and I love his paintings. Julie, as always, you take my breath away with your creativity. You have such a free style and an openness that always comes through in your work xx

Mrs Mac said...

Thank you for the email ;)