Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Black to Basics.

while i was waiting for Sian to comment on the second part of Module 1, i went back to my sketchbook. i have been giving thought to layers and the different ways to achieve them, particularly since i went to an 'exhibition' as part of The Devon Open Studios. this exhibition called Polytek was held in a partly disused warehouse and showed the work of 'South West's finest graffiti writers and artists from Central Saint Martins' MA Fine Art course. in true graffiti style the day we went it was locked but the people before us had broken in, so we followed for an amazing experience (more photos to follow). the above window was taken in the building. i loved the images on the window and the hazy shadows of trees seen through it.
i have often thought of transferring digital images to transparent fabric but never had the computer to do it until now and i'm sure there are many of you out there who have done this and think its old hat but not to me! so and due to lack of funds i went along to my local Waterstones to see what was out there in the way of useful instructions! i found 'From image to stitch' by Maggie Grey, it was excellent and i must apologise to Maggie for using the bookshop as a library but the library leaves a lot to be desired and the book will be on my wish list. So since then i've been experimenting with printing onto Japanese tissue and other thin papers, some based on the window and others on graffiti related splodges! basically the fine paper is stuck around the edge onto ordinary print paper with pritt stick, allowed to dry (i placed baking parchment on top and weighted them overnight)and voila! ready for the printer. the above piece is on a fine paper with lines of different densities.
my husband threw a wobbly and said ooh! do be careful, so i was rather concerned when i put the above one in as it's quite textured but it turned out perfectly.
with a rather interesting print left on the paper underneath.
brush stroke on a Lokta type paper, but i bought it so long ago i can't remember what it is!
again the striated paper.
a lilac Japanese paper with gilded bits in it.
and finally just a basic compilation print using Photoshop.
i then went back to my sketchbook and show a few that i am still working on, using watercolour, chalk and graphite.
the above overlay on the left page is printed onto some Paperchase tissue.
finally i printed an image of one of my stitched samples onto a map supplied to us by South West Water who were doing some work outside our house.i adapted it.needless to say i will be experimenting with fabric later!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Daily drawing

when i started this course i made a small book for drawing in. Sian suggested drawing the same object, related to your research subject everyday for 10 days. i still had a few pages left so i took the book with me on holiday hoping to continue. i have recently rediscovered watercolours so decided to paint without using a pencil. these pictures are the product of my holiday. i had gone hoping to paint orchids but my husbands father had got rid of them all so i was left with cacti. obviously not related to my research but i was on holiday!

i also spent some time in the National Museum of Scotland, my favourite museum, painting stones while listening to live traditional Scottish music from Gary Innes and Ewan Robertson.
on my return home i tried a few more items around the house.
yes, the stone does have a face!
and finally some 'love in a mist' pods i had.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Rabbits at last !

Every time i prepare work to send to Sian i get a cold! does that tell me something or am i being stupid! anyway to cheer me up i am going back to rabbits and my graffiti tangent.
a few posts ago i said i could see a rabbit walking his dog in the above textile piece. and as graffiti has many monsters i decided to make my own.
first i made the dog based on a graffiti tag 'feed me'. i stencilled the design onto undyed linen, cut, stitched, padded and embellished with quartz crystal pee and voila!
meet Maximilian and 'Feed me'. Maximilian is wearing Devon tartan trews woven at Coldharbour mill in Uffculme.They sell many things in their shop but i bet this is the weirdest thing made from the fabric! i was hoping to take my little monsters with me to Edinburgh for photo shoots around various sights but couldn't squash them into my bag, so they stayed at home with Bunny the cat and had a fine time. do you think i could use them for my 3D functional piece!

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Of tweeds and tartans, cream soda and cupcakes!

this is the final 'post' from Edinburgh as it now seems a rather long time ago! a lot has happened. i have spent 3 hours sitting in the Games Workshop watching my son battling with his 'blood Leta's', i have gone back to work and school has started thank goodness, i was beginning to tear my hair out! as i mentioned in another post (if anyone reads them!) i am very keen on tartan. so whilst in Edinburgh i wanted to get a few offcuts to play with. although i hate 'touristy' shops we ended up in Geoffrey kilts mill just below the castle. like the Dovecot it was built on water, an ex reservoir. where the water used to be there is now a rabbit warren of tartan this, tartan that and the noise of the looms. somewhere down in the depths i sought out Murdo who found me a few samples, some of them shown above with other goodies brought back! i am now wondering what to do with them!
as part of the festival each year there's a craft fair; i love craft fairs you can never have too many to visit. two of the stalls 'Breagha' and 'Fieldy' i was pleased to see were using Harris Tweed which i am also rather partial to. unfortunately i didn't buy anything but do check them out. of the various shops we visited or walked past was Jenners (above), one of their windows was decorated with Timorous Beasties wallpaper. Timorous Beasties are a Glasgow based company who use modern day motifs to re-invent 'toile de jouy' wallpaper and textiles.
other eye catchers were this sweet shop in Glasgow, full to the brim of amazingly kitsch packages and exceedingly garishly coloured sweets. i bought my 'hello kitty' sweet dispenser there!Harvey Nicols always has wonderful window displays, this time they had a different theme in each. metal, fabric, wood, cardboard, string and glass all with the exciting use of cable ties for foliage. most of my photos had too much reflection in but this shows the 'metal' window.
walking along Whalebone Walk for the first time i was interested to see this attached to the large whale bones at the start of the walk. originally they had been on the 1886 international Exhibition of Industry, Science and Art on the site. somewhat bizarre.
and finally one of the best things about travelling is the food! (are you reading Jackie?). this time Edinburgh was bursting with serious cupcakes and when you have to stop for morning coffee and afternoon tea the tummy gets bigger and the purse emptier! my favourite restaurant in Edinburgh is Urban Angel, so we had to go there and in amongst the necessary stops between Packed Lunch (a taster from various festival acts), the revenge of brainwashing puppets, the high street swarming with people, various acts and paper being thrust into our hands, we have made a new discovery (besides Sainsbury's making a cream soda of my youthful memories),of 'Loopy Lorna's. a wonderful tea room with butterflies, polka dots, knitted tea cosies, painted clouds on the ceiling and oh of course cup cakes! my one regret is not getting to see Michael Clark perform his new work.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Back to the drawing board and how many bags of sugar?

i've no photos to illustrate this post so these were seen on the streets of Edinburgh. to continue with my exhibition exploits. yet another 'one of the most inspiring' was 'This is now: From drawing to contexture' @ the Wasps Studios. it showed work by S.T.A.R. (Scottish Tapestry Artists Regrouped) who were all graduates of the tapestry department at Edinburgh college of Art. the exhibition showed the journeys from concept to final product and some of the back up material i found more inspiring than the finished artwork. i tend to work 'small' which has always been a bit of a joke with previous teachers and co-students and much of this back up material was like small 'cabinets of curiosities' which caught my beady eye like a bee to honey. my imagination was captured mostly by Linda Green, Birgitta MacDonald, Jo McDonald and Jo Barker.
all had, except Jo barker, moved away from the 'traditional' sense of tapestry weave. Linda Green used materials such as plastic/nylon and paper as did Birgitta MacDonald whose use of paper, text and maps showed also in her miniature 'books'. whereas Jo McDonald had also used recycled 'books' to weave with, her hanging of knotted paper strips was absolutely stunning. i should also mention Anna Ray's wall of 'knots', an amazing work.
i also visited the Dovecot Studios in their new premises; a refurbished Victorian baths (without the water!) which my husband who is from Edinburgh remembers pre-tapestry. this was our second visit here but the first time the weaving balcony was open. they were showing the work of John Cunningham of 'Mr Gumpy' fame (you can do some homework if you don't know who he is!) around the walls of the gallery so you could look down on the weavers. i wonder if they ever feel like fish in the goldfish bowl!
downstairs at the Dovecot they have two further exhibition spaces. one showed the work of Alan Davie, but as we had to pay to see that we went onto the Jerwood Contemporary Makers show in the other gallery.
work by two of the finalists, Linda Florence and Rachael Matthews were the most appealing.
Linda Florence is well known for her wallpaper but it was the use of sugar that i remember her for. she used sugar sprinkled through stencils to make a pattern on the floor of the V&A's cartoon court, dancers then made further patterns in the sugar! that cartoon court has seen many a strange thing, i speak from experience i used to work there but i think sugar over the floor is probably the ......!
and for all those knitters Rachel Matthews has set up a UFO website for people to adopt unfinished knitting projects! as if any of you don't have enough to do!!!! anyway for any of you who want to know the Hawaiian for 'jumping flea' is Ukelele!