Thursday, January 19, 2017

Pomegranates

Somebody asked me for some photos of older work and one of the pictures I sent is a combination of two favourite things. In the 1990's I did used to piece some quilts but I pieced in such a way that no lines matched , but your eye wants to make the lines match. This way of piecing was inspired  by African calabash decoration. I added a layer though, by using the borders to create an opportunity to create a story. This originally came about because my middle daughter used to draw tree spirits( I don't think I have any pictures of this) so the first quilt done in this style contained her tree spirits. Some years later I came back to the technique ( I used to teach it as a class- there were a few variations) and this was the little quilt I came up with . it contains of course pomegranates ( a thing I am playing around with again at the moment)


I had not looked at this little quilt for quite some time- funny that I should pull it out now that I am playing around with pomegranates again.

I am stitching on an indigo dyed khadi piece- it is all hand stitching ( because I cannot run my sewing machine in the shed- that has to wait for later in the year) But just sitting and stitching has been generating ideas, partly to do with the new lino block print form my previous posts. I can see the linocut morphing into a much bigger piece. Sometimes I ask myself the question is all that stitching worth the time- but I like the stitched linocut much better than the one I am just beginning to stitch. So there is a lot more stitching to do!



Monday, January 16, 2017

Linocutting

I have slowly been organising my workspace in my shed. Everything has to be placed in containers as unfortunately natural vermin abounds especially when I am not there and of course plenty of spiders, other insects and an overabundance of ants. This morning I found a green spider- never seen one of those before! It was outside.

I found one of my shaped linocut printed cats I made ages ago. I obviously started stitching it but did not finish.Must finish it one of these days!


I am teaching  at Linocutting at Open Drawer in Camberwell on the 25th of January. There is still one place available if you are interested. We will be doing a little more advanced linocutting  and of course printing.  And on Friday the 3rd of February I am teaching a half day class on embellishing the bush project panel- there is a materials fee which includes a bush project panel. You can chose whether you would like to join the project  or not. here is one of the panels that I am working on.

 I still have panels available or simply  tell me what colour you would like for the background and I can print you a panel.  There is information on the Aussie Bush Project Page on my blog- just use the tab at the top of the page. You have until  mid June to finish the panel.

I also printed up some more Florentine panels on different colours.



If you are interested in buying one simply use the Paypal Buy Me button below or email me if you would prefer to pay in another way. The bottom print is actually a more orangey/green colour.


Colour

Friday, January 13, 2017

Shed and Old Photos


I have been slowly sorting through all my things and found an old Ipod I had years ago. I was absolutely delighted when I charged it up on my 21st century solar power to find  hundreds ( actually thousands of photos) that I thought I had lost with  the demise of my laptop and  the back-up hard drive that I had purchased especially to save said photos. So I found photos of my shed when it was being put up and then lined with the slab in place. It is  strange to look at it and realise that I am now living in it.




There is still a long way to go to make it more liveable and there is a very long wish list of 21st century amenities. I have been writing that list down, and it started me thinking about how  women in days gone by ( pioneering days or even great aunts etc) coped with the lack of amenities. I remember living in houses in the Netherlands that didn't have bathrooms as such- just a sink in the toilet.  Like my great aunts and uncles at the turn of the 20th century- what did they have available to them- yet look at their immaculate clothes. They would have had no electricity I suspect, their irons would have been heated on wood stoves- everything would have been starched- there would have been no running hot water, showers or baths, no flushing toilets. I am not sure how their water would have been supplied. Anyway food for thought, but given that we are experiencing quite a wet summer, a ride on mower is catapulting to the top of  the list of amenities. An acre and a quarter is a lot to mow by hand- phew!


I have a bit of a thing about wooden spoons, and it is nice to be reunited with them. The round pale wood ones are Moroccan soup spoons bought many years ago. The others are hand carved.


My Italian storyboard is starting to come together- I have got the thinking cap on to make work inspired by Italy for another book effort in the future. I am going to find myself spending some more time in Italy in May/June 2017. I thought I  had read my airfare booking conditions properly ,hit the pay button and when the ticket arrived realised that instead of coming back in May I am coming back in June. Because I selected a fare that allows no alteration,I will be spending more time in Europe than planned, so may as well make it be research!So any suggestions for budget accommodation  would be most welcome as it is starting to get into the expensive tourist part of the year around that time!


Monday, January 09, 2017

Florentine Inspired Print

It's been a bit gruelling in the shed with the heat, the coolest place is in the shade of the trees, so yesterday's much cooler weather was very welcome! At least I could sit at my table and do things!

I am in the middle of writing my Traveller's Blanket book for Editions de Saxe, but just needed to do something else, and as I am beginning to research my Italian book. I have this wonderful book from 1923 entitled  Historic Textile Fabrics by Ralph Glazier, who sadly passed away before  the book was published, which is a history of woven textiles and including some block print. There is a section on Lucchese and Florentine  woven fabrics. So one of the textiles ( many of which as in the Victoria and Albert  Museum ) has really caught my eye for many years so I decided to try and adapt it for a linocut. The first drawing is  taking some of the elements from the image pictured in the book- but it needed changing , or in the words of Gianni Verni- "Grafico!"


Fine lines without  adding some extra weight to the lines or positive space areas do not translate well to lino. The  drawing in the top right is too squiggly and too light and not a good balance for the other heavier designs- so what to do? Pomegranates were a very popular motif in the 15th and 16th centuries- so I decided to add some pomegranates to the image which will sit nicely with one of the chapters I am planning. I thought i was drawing a square but it turns out  the print measures 11.5 inches x 12.5 inches.It took quite awhile to cut out this print.




I could not wait to print it and must say I can see lots of embroidery possibilities for this print. I have printed it on four different colours and it is for sale for $23 inclusive of postage. I only have the four colours shown at present and the blue print is on indigo dyed hand woven khadi form the Stitching Project.




You can buy by clicking on the Paypal  button- the different colours are listed. There is also still time to join the linocutting class which runs for 8 weeks - you work at your own pace.


Colours

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Linocutting On-Line Course


 A Happy and Creative 2017 to everyone!

Well it was pretty hot in the shed yesterday! But I have joined the twenty first century  and have a solar panel and so have lights and can charge my phone. However a  power point for the sewing machine will have to wait  for a little. But it has begun and that is a good thing!

I am busy trying to finish my book on the Travellers' Blanket for Editions de Saxe-it all takes time!

There is still time to join the online linocutting class. I do intend to add a video to the class though most of the class is delivered with pdf files outlining different exercises to increase your skills. You can work at your own pace but  notes are delivered fortnightly for 4 sessions. I also set up a Facebook group where we discuss and trouble shoot and share inspirational linocut artists around the world. The cost of the class is $60AUS. If  you use the paypal button it will take you to the payment page.



Below are some images of the linocuts I have made in the past. We have been sorting through things because after three years of having things in various places you lose track of what is where. MY daughter is in the process of building me a website- which I hope to launch soon. But meanwhile it is possible to purchase linocut panels.

The printed fabric  below was inspired by the weeds I encountered on my morning walks in the shadow of Pic St Loup last year. I have used the Carrotte Sauvage part of the linocut ( by masking the other weeds out) for an article I have written for Magic Patch. Each colour is a separate panel. The button will take you to the payment page- but you will need to tell me which colour you would like. The panels are A4 size ( legal paper) and have been hand printed. The price includes postage.Each panel is $18.00AUS




Friday, December 30, 2016

The Year That Was

The year 2016 saw me away  for more than half of the year. Firstly house sitting for a friend near le Triadou in the shadow of Pic St Loup which saw many walks with my doggie friend Nesta and then various exhibitions and demonstrating for Bernina France and learning new skills. I also visited new places ,such as Trieste, with which I fell in love, and got to know Milano better. One of my daughters came to Europe for a few weeks.I also travelled to some Australian cities with the Medieval Project and also New Zealand and then back to Europe for Ste Marie aux Mines and Vendee Quilt. Looking back on the year it seems like a bit of a blur- most of it was lived out of a suitcase and quite a lot of time was spent on trains, buses and planes, and devising a new project entitled the Aussie Bush Project which will start touring in June 2017 ( there is still time to join and I will be printing new panels over the next few days, just visit my blog page for the information)

So a quick overview:
I walked kilometres and kilometres in the shadow of Pic St Loup with my faithful companion Nesta. I loved the clear blue Languedocian skies and the crisp air of the early spring.


I exhibited at Chartres at the Collegiale Ste Andre in Chartres it was cold cold cold, but wonderful to be a part of and am very happy to be invited again for 2017. From Chartres it was on to Quilts en Beaujolais- always a delightful event with high quality work- it's always a great place to meet other artists- I have made some good friends through this event over the years and happy to see it will continue in 2018!

I then went on to meet my daughter Siena in Milano where we stayed for a few days and was thrilled to be able to attend a William Kentridge exhibition. I had recently read his Six Drawing Lessons so much of what he wrote about in that book suddenly made sense on seeing the exhibition.


Then it was onto Florence and Siena the city after which my daughter was named. There is so much to see and encounter!

I love this image on the floor of the Duomo in Siena- it's so wonderfully expressive despite the fact that it is two dimensional and executed like a drawing in marble. It seems very alive to me. Then it was onto Oderzo where I teach for the  Feltrin sisters and ultimately to Trieste at the invitation of the patchwork group there. I had never been to Trieste before but what a lovely lovely place- the fact that the weather was perfect of course added to the whole experience. I was delighted to walk the Rilke path after we had set up for the patchwork day in Duino.
 I had travelled to Padua on the way to Trieste to finally see  Scrovegni Chapel painted by Giotto. They only allow in 15 people at a time so tickets have to be booked and you are allowed 10 minutes to see this masterpiece.I can't begin to tell you how beautiful it is and how it will be part of any future pilgrimages!
 From Padua it was a short hop to Verona to meet up with a friend, Sandra Reford who callse Verona home part of the year.it was  wonderful to find little corners and nooks of the city and find out some of its history.



And just before returning to Australia in early July  i exhibited as part of a textile festival in a little church in Mane in the high Luberon.

Then it was back to Australia and winter. I stayed in the bungalow of friends because I do not have power or running water in my shed nor do I have a bathroom ( hopefully a solar panel will be installed soon and the other matters are on the wish list)

Then it was back to Europe in early September to demonstrate fore Bernina France at Ste Marie aux Mines and  having a play on the Q24 and Q20. A learning curve for sure!

We did climb up to Chateau Hortus near Le Triadou- I had long wanted to photograph some of my work at this Cathar ruined castle- the climb is rocky but so worth it. However as we went in the middle of the day the light was not brilliant for photography.


The second half of the year was busy but somehow less inspirational than the first half. I was also working out ways in which to be able to live in my shed- to have a place I could sort of call home because to be perfectly honest it has been  a little exhausting not having my own place as such. Despite the fact that  travel is part of my life- I also seem to need a place that is "home"- it doesn't matter that it is basic, but that it is somehow a place where i can refuel and refine and work on new work.

I did manage to however make quite a lot of new work in 2016 , mostly inspired by Banksia explorations.

So 2017 promises to almost be as busy as 2016 but I feel a little bit more settled in that my shed is now "home". There is lots of things I need to do including putting up the guttering which fell down so that I can install a rainwater tank.Sometimes these tasks seem really daunting when you are on your own. I also need to buy a car. A solar panel will be installed in the not too distant future to at least be able to power my laptop and charge my phone ( even though it is still a digital blackout area without a landline)

I will be returning to Europe after the first week in February 2017 to teach near Geneva ( in France though) and then to exhibit at ChARTres 2017 in March and then further teaching in Germany and  in Normandy around the time for Pour l'Amour du Fil. In May I hope to be teaching in Italy at Oderzo and Trieste. I made a mistake when I booked my ticket- I thought I had booked my return for early May- hit the buy button and when I got my e-ticket realised I had booked for early June. So if anyone would like me to come and teach late May or early June in Europe I will be there!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

In the Shed

I have finally managed to borrow a car so I can be down in the shed. I had been trying to survive without a car but unfortunately Gellibrand is 22 kilometres from the nearest shopping town, so a car is a necessity. It made me a little crazy not being down here simply because I live out of a suitcase about 6 months of the year ( when I travel) and it is hard to  make new work when there is no base at which to recharge and think and prepare.

I finally have most of my things in one place after having them spread between various places for the last three years and it is nice to become reacquainted with favourite things and small things acquired on travels. I never buy big things because it is too difficult to carry and I only want small little reminder of places I have been.



The boxes below were purchased in Syria- in Damascus. I really do worry about all the people I knew there- are they alive- how hard must their lives be amidst all the destruction and war.

I did manage to put some colour on fabric a few days ago- something that always makes me happy- thinking about what I will do with the colours- do they speak to me- what can I make with the fabric....so many possibilities. The colours are much better in person!


 And then to be reacquainted with printing done in the past- simple but effective !

I am hoping to  be a little inspired in the next few days and really get stuck into some work , making new things.

I wish all of my faithful readers a safe and peaceful  2017- hope your year is filled with inspiration and kindness- I feel the world needs much more kindness and empathy and awareness.

Don't forget there is still time to enrol for my online Linocutting class which commences after the first week in 2017. See my previous blog post for details or message me.