Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Wonderful Wood Block Prints Of Jan Fowler

 Do have a look at this wonderful website  highlighting the breathtaking work of Jan Fowler. I was contacted by her husband via my website  as they thought my work reminiscent of her attempts to capture nature in various forms.  Some of my pieces  like   journal quilt 'Cross Currents' above do have similar qualities in looking for patterns in the materials used but I can only admire and aspire!

Seascapes from Scraps - More Journal Quilts

 A productive weekend  working on 'Green Door 2' and on next set of journal quilts - nothing like a deadline  to focus the mind! This set of 3 were made entirely from scraps of other projects, and I had a fine time composing them. In interests of speed I quilted them  all with twin needle stitching and I love the effects. They were put together with waves in mind but when I showed them to Ian he saw cliffs from Portland, mountains, sea spray. He's already 'dibbed' the second one for his office, praise indeed.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Journal Quilts as Samples

In the past my journal quilts have often been sample pieces for larger quilts. With themed JQ challenges over the last couple of years , this has proved more difficult  (unless I happened to be making a quilt which fitted in with these). So I've been much happier this year  when we chose our own themes (so only self to mutter at!). Mine is 'Indigo' and the Journal Quilts for April - June proved very useful testing grounds for fabrics, threads and techniques for my quilt 'Fleet Mudflats'. 

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

FoQ - CQ Horizons

The Contemporary Quilt exhibition 'horizons' was I think the best yet. It had a lovely  well lit gallery space, it had been hung  sympathetically with related colours and themes grouped together and the unified size (50 x 150 cm) gave a coherent display. Difficult to choose favourites there were so many I liked. 
Sandra Grusd and Joanna O'Neill

Christine Restall 
Chris Dixon and Hilary Richardson 

I was pleased with how my 'Nautical Dawn' looked  and had many compliments on it.
I also had 2 quilts in the competitions: 'Shinkansen' in Quilters Guild Challenge 'Transported and ' Fleet Mudflats' in Art Quilt category.

FoQ Boro and Wabi Sabi

Those of us that appreciate the worn and patched, textiles that have been through many lives had some real treats at FoQ, this multilayered quilt in the Banjara exhibit ,with layers rubbed away with age and use, a spectacular example.

Other examples also from India were those utilitarian but lovely Godharis made of old weathered saris.

Closer to home, Mandy Pattulo had some interesting examples of refashioned collages and quilts from tatty bits of embroidery and old patchworks
Finally a new work but based on worn surfaces,  the stunning piece ' Blown' by Susan Hotchkis in the SAQA Metaphors of Aging  exhibition (which I stewarded on Saturday, good chance to have a closer look)

FoQ Fine Art Quilt Masters

It was good to see a new competition at FoQ - Fine Art Quilt Masters ( similar to the 'Quilt 200* of previous years with a few of the same controversies about what was selected!) My favourites were 'Round Meadow' by Elizabeth Brimelow and 'Puppets' by Anne Smith. I've heard both speak at CQ AGM's and admire their imagery and methods of working. I wonder whether knowing more about the person and their processes affects you view of their work ?

I also really liked 'Dungeness' by Sarah Welsby, wonderful mark making through monoprinting  which vividly summon up a sense of place.
This huge piece by Dorothy Caldwell 'How do we know when it's night' was the overall winner. It had her characteristic subtle details of scraps of fabric and stitch  but despite it's size (or perhaps because of  it?) it didn't have the impact for me of seeing her work at FoQ a few years ago. The poor lighting in the gallery space didn't do it any favours either.

It was good to see Pauline Burbidge's work again - I never get tired of her layers of subtle mark making through fabric paint and stitch. 

'Red stones 2'  by Dianne Firth was probably the most innovative, with the shadows cast by the 'stones' on the wall an integral part of the piece, with a 3d quality when looked at in different directions. 

Monday, 19 August 2013

FoQ - Quilts I Coveted

Last year at FoQ it was the quilts of Anne Woringer that really stood out for me. This year there was no one exhibit that grabbed me but  there were individual pieces I wanted to take home! A lot of  people raved about the gallery 'Wiolan: Three dutch textile artists' but while the designs were superb they felt too clinical. Far more to my taste were various pieces by Dijanne Cevaal in 'Through Our Hands' and 'Under Southern Skies' . I've long followed her blog, done an online linoprinting course and bought some fabric but not seen her travellers blankets in the flesh, The stitching was a treat!

My favourite piece that I wanted to take home was ' Barn Door' by Claire Benn hung outside the ' Vitual Studio' of Committed to Cloth. I loved the  combination of simplicity and richness of patina, much like the peeling doors I'm so fond of. 

Further Green Door Experiments

Festival of Quilts out of the way, time to focus on 'Connection' quilts as guest artist with Cwilt Cmyru and second of green door quilts for Thames Valley Textile Group exhibition 'Half Way between' (photos above  of these in progress back in February! ) .  I had a brainwave about making a third, painted using torn masking tape stencils instead of the more laborious paper lamination process. Testing a couple of quilted samples yesterday morning before it got too hot in the conservatory , I think it has possibilities.

Festival of Quilts Purchases

This weekend, besides cooking to replenish the 'hump', I've been catching up with  my journal quilts, admiring my purchases from Festival of  Quilts : threads from Stef Francis, Wonderfil and Chris Gray (Mabon Arts) ; fabric from African Fabric Shop and Changs; most of all the indulgent acquisition from John Gillow of  a faded, darned, indigo strip woven  Mossi cloth from Bukino Faso. 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Tempest at the Globe

Plenty of posts to come on Festival of Quilts but  they require a bit of thought and I'm a bit brain dead after getting back from Shakespeare's Globe well after midnight!  It was our 8th wedding anniversary and we went  with Sue and Peter to see a superb production of 'TheTempest'. As a present we had a boat trip from Bankside to Embankment after the performance - not very far but the lights on the water were wonderful.  

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Slapton Dramatic Seascapes - Paintings

 I've been at it again - somehow deleting the contents of posts so this is mark 2! My best painting was done at the end of the course on a piece of gessoed canvas that Susan gave me to experiment on. I hope to have a go another time on a much larger piece using her techniques of painting with the whole body with plenty of  vigorous brush work, dripples and spashes. Then it can be rolled up to transport.
 It was a while since I'd done any painting so I limbered up with placing masking tape stencils on a sample for the 3rd in a series using an old red and white quilt. Other students were intrigued by the marks and I ended up doing a quick demo.
 Then I started painting on canvas boards, starting with images and sketches from the Fleet at Chesil Beach. I had others in mind but after an inspiring  visit out to Prawle Point, based the rest of my work on those.
 For the first time I did a quick sketch on site in acrylics using  a small lunch box as an improvised wet palette, something I'd definately do again, so much quicker at capturing cahnging conditions than  watercolour. I liked the fresh marks  and colours I achieved unlike the painting I did based on it
which went through several repaints and has yet to be fully resolved

This last painting also needs some more work to simplify , strengthening shapes and colours - it's a bit too literal and pretty at the moment!