Friday, 18 January 2019

30 Day Sketchbook 19 continued

Day 18: 'Trees'

   I'm really enjoying  the prompts  for the 30 day sketchbook challenge and have been keeping up, even today ( above)  with a plumbing emergency  with water  pouring through 2  ceilings from a leaking shower, it was a welcome distraction.   Working small ( A6) helps  and I've been spending about 15- 20 minutes, a bit  more if I've been getting into it .    
Day 10: 'Red' 
Day 11: 'Furniture'

Day 12 : 'Botanical Study' 
  Drawing  a  sprig of shrub  from the garden reminded  me of  the beautiful  carved frame my paternal grandfather  made  inspired by  ' copybook'  drawing manuals , he was a pattern maker on the Glasgow shipyards and a gardener. The photo is of my grandmother ( who sadly died when my Dad was just 13) - you ca see where I get some of my curly hair genes from !

Day 13: 'Books' 
 My favourite - represents about a 3rd of my collection ' There's no such thing as too many book'
Day 14: ' Something beginning with R' 

Day 15: ' Your Art Materials'
Day 16 : ' Something Hot' 
( on the Facebook page this generated a  large amount of 'likes' and comments, or should that be steam...) 
Day 17: 'Something Cold' 
 Not inspired  and  only spent 10 minutes on this  but it's important to  do it anyway. 

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Drawing with the Gift of Time

  Most of December was spent looking after  Ian  following surgery . He's back at work now  and  with surprisingly little in my diary for the next few weeks  I have the gift of time to  think  what I want to do this  year and get back into the habit of drawing. And at some point I will try and catch up with the backlog of blog posts....

 I can't get to 'Drawing Tuesday'  until next week but as Margaret has written  on her blog, we had a lovely session before Xmas at Janet K's -  as we weren't in a museum with the strict rules on 'dry' drawing materials, I took my watercolours and used them to capture Carol's childhood treasures.

I  wanted to  return to the discipline of daily art  - ' Wind Me In the Sea' started as that  in 2017 as a sort of daily stitching  and in 2013 I kept up working with colour catchers for several months.  I'll have several sewing projects  planned  in preparation for an exhibition in September   so  bought 12  A6  paperback sketchbooks  with the intention of  filling one a month.

Day 1: Something small 

So I started   recording my sewing kit  and then  a shell from my collection of small treasures  then discovered  #30daysketchbookchallenge19   and found that the first 2 prompts had co-incidentally  been 'something small' and 'Shells' and have  now signed up.   I'm enjoying what  other people are posting  on the groups Facebook page and the encouragement offered ( like getting into the habit is more important than necessarily producing a wonderful  drawing ) .  So here are my efforts so far. 
Day 2: Shells 

Day3 : A bag 

Day 4: cubes 

Day 5 : Five 

Day 6: A kitchen utensil

Day 7 : birds 

Day 8: Footwear

Day 9: Under The Sea

Sunday, 30 December 2018

CQ Journal Quilts 2018 ( and earlier years)

 A composite  of all 12 of my CQ Journal Quilts from 2018, 7 x 9 inches ,  mainly pieced from offcuts and scraps and experiments in excavating sections of old quilts and  stitching to emphasise the holes and creases. Beauty in found marks.  Read more about January to April; May to August and September to  December.

I've been making Journal  Quilts since 2003 and over the years  they've been important to me as  experiments and samples and  a sense of achievement in squeezing  at least some stitching into  a busy life. Some have become the basis of larger works,  others not (or at least not yet). Since 2007 I've  joined in with the challenges set by the Contemporary Quilt  specialist group of the Quilters Guild of the British Isles  and seeing what others do with the same theme and the variety of sizes and formats  is so inspiring.

 Here's a few groupings from previous years.









Friday, 28 December 2018

CQ Journal Quilts September to December: Foundmarks and breaking rules

  I haven't been doing  much stitching   lately  and my  time on the train has mainly been spent on catching up with notes/ preparation  for EDAM classes.   I have however been continuing to explore the layers in sections of old quilt , carrying on from my 'indigoboro' journal quilts but this time working with the original colours rather than overdyeing. It's  difficult to know how far to go  cutting through the layers and adding stitch,  wanting to  enhance and preserve the ragged beauty of the original . In a very small voice, I must admit that I haven't trimmed them down to the  prescribed  7 x 9 inches  as I love the uneven ragged edges and will probably mount them to  show them off.   Also against all the rules , I took photos for posting  on CQ   group in full sunlight   but look how that raked light shows the peaks and hollows of the quilting.

It's slow  work ,so  running out of time ,  for November's JQ ( above)  I found a section of  old quilt  with a light layer of gesso on and added 'stitch' using   Pitt pen and for Decembers ( below) I found a section of machine  quilting tension sample  and added paint and pen marks. 

  Just shows you can find inspiration anywhere  and  I like the idea of recycling, reusing and  returning to the salvaging of offcuts I started in January.  I do like to get involved with the Journal Quilt projects - this was my 15th year ! Next year it's a return to A4 size thank goodness  but with an interesting challenge involving trying different techniques  I think I'll try and keep to one theme -  the year of  Indigo was  one of my most successful. 

Sunday, 23 December 2018

Oceania at the RA

 Several weeks now since I went  to  see 'Oceania' at the Royal Academy. As I'm no longer a member , I paid full wack and thus spent as long as possible to get value for money! I normally don't bother  with the audio guide  but I'm glad I persisted as there was disappointingly little interpretation.  or description of items apart from that. As the exhibition was principally about how the items were used or  the cultural  and spiritual significance, the stories told   on the guide added another dimension.

What I also found of great value when looking round were the teachers resources I'd printed out  and read beforehand  (KS1&2 ; KS3,4,5  ; art detectives ). Apart from featuring what were some of my  favourite pieces, they provided a different  way of looking at things. For instance ,  for the Marshall Islands navigation charts ( below)  students were asked to think about the materials used; the senses other than sight; how do you get somewhere you don't know ; examples of different kinds of maps.  Linked art activities  included creating symbols for visual features  and for younger pupils,   asking them to think about their journey to school - could they draw it on paper  with their eyes closed  or explain to their friends   and using matchsticks and Blue-Tack to create their own navigational  chart.

The rooms were dark ( I presume to preserve the materials used )  so the lighting produced very interesting  shadows while proving a bit frustrating for taking photos, certainly too dark to draw.  When the piano was being played in room 2  it was also very loud. Nice idea but  you didn't feel you could linger and look at the items on display.

Some of the artifacts on display ( above ) were similar to  some  I'd seen and in some cases drawn at the British Museum  , for instance  the headdress , masks and barkcloth  below were part  of the fantastic barkcloth exhibition 

 The stories behind  some of these objects  such as the Polynesian deity A"a  are   on the RA website and their powerful presence reminded me of  drawing this  figure from Papua New Guinea,  again at the British Museum  

 The piece that most  moved and inspired me, based on format of barkcloth  was  ' To all New Arrivals ' by John Pule  ( interview here ) . Taking on the themes of war, global warming  and nuclear testing,  he says  " I don't want to show our gods  safe in nice , clean  dark storage rooms , I wanted to show these prized objects out in the open world." The  monumental  size  of it , with  variation in  media and scale from large paint daubs of  enamel to tiny intricate drawings and the multiple layers of meaning and story telling was  breathtaking.  I spent a long time  looking and discovering. The art activities in the teachers guides for this work included  discussing environmental issues and proposing designs for a floating island to carry environmental scientists, activists, journalists and artists  to different parts of the world that need their help. What a wonderful idea.