Category Archives: other artists

WOWbook7

It is very exciting to see one’s name in print and even more exciting to know that this blog has provided a spark of inspiration for a fellow blogger.

Amanda of ‘View From Our Hill’ contacted me about the balls I had covered with teabags. See my post here.

They had given her some ideas about how to revive some of her Temari Balls, follow the link to see her blog post about them. She told me about the article she was planning to write and asked if it was ok to mention my blog – of course I was delighted to say ‘YES’!

Amanda writes for WOWbooks and her spread appears in this latest edition. 

look a little closer

Eeek! Thank you Amanda – so thrilling! What a joy to receive this book in the post.

The book is beautifully produced. I wrote to the publishers to ask permission to post these photos and got such warm and generous replies. The book is satin-like to the touch and full of gorgeous photos, useful information and packed with ideas.

You can find previous editions on their website, and they can also be bought as PDFs.

I am really going to enjoy reading the articles and fancy having a go at the ‘Wax and Dammar’ – Dammar is a new word for me – a resin apparently. I have never done any encaustic work before and I am intrigued.

Let me know if you have worked with wax and dammar – I would love to hear any tips you might be able to pass on.

Squares Together

Back in July 2020 I made a piece of crazy patchwork

Chopped it up and sent the pieces off to 15 members of the group Stitched Together – a splinter group from The Stitchbook Collective, made up of people who would like to work collabratively on pieces of textile art.

The aim is to make some pieces in a relaxed and enjoyable way and then to exhibit them to raise money for both national and local mental health charities.

I sent a little bit of sari-waste ribbon with each piece. This did not have to be used but some did.

Magic happened!

It seems like a miracle to see how all those 2″ squares have been transformed

I have had permission from all participants to share our work on my blog.

It was so exciting to open each envelope and discover a beautiful gem inside.

The eye suggested Egypt to me and the nearest I had to a parchment background was some reused teabags that I had sewn together in layers and painted with Gesso.

I painted it a pale sandy colour and started to arrange the pieces.

Each time I thought I had arrived at an arrangement I liked, I left it overnight and then in the morning realised something needed to change. I tacked the squares down and undid and rearranged them 4 times before I was satisfied.

Here they all are now sewn into place and ready for some surface stitching to complete the piece.

If you are wondering what has happened to the Wild Green Twinches, I will be working on them when I have finished this piece.

The Stitchbook – Ta Dah!

I signed up for this project in May 2019

150 of us joined Helen Birmingham’s STITCHBOOK COLLECTIVE and the journey began.

Who knew when we got our first box of goodies in September 2019 how important this project was going to be for keeping us busy, creative and connected.

Each month for 12 months we recieved a kit through our letter box, and even though we had paid for it, many of us felt like it was a present arriving through the ether to cheer us up – happy post!

We chatted via our Facebook group, encouraging and inspiring one another

We were initially working towards exhibiting the books at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show. This was cancelled, but we kept on stitching – the cancellation gave some of us the much needed time to finish the project.

I get very excited at the beginning of a project. I loved the feeling as inspiration flooded in with each new box – but then I go off at a tangent and make a multitude of my own experiments and lose focus.

I am so good at NOT finishing things – anyone else out there like me?

I wonder if I ever would have pushed myself to complete it if it hadn’t been for Helen’s flexibility and gentle encouragement to get me over the finish line.

The covers done and the book bound together with bead spacers – it sat there – it did not feel finished – bizarrely, it did not feel mine.

It was a huge effort for me to focus on the covers, make them to Helen’s specific instructions and get the book exhibition-ready. The front cover has tabs on it so that it can be displayed for exhibition. The effort to get the covers made took away some of the joy, so it had to sit in a corner for a while.

Seeing other finished books online and a few text messages with Cathy (thank you Cathy!) gave me the kick of enthusiasm I needed – out came the beads, the stamps and the paint brush

and here it is – Exhibition-ready!

AND £3,344.00 has been raised by Helen and the purchasers of her kits for the mental health charity, MIND. 

Feel good project all round.

You can see other posts about this book by typing Stitchbook into the SEARCH box and here is a video of the finished book.

A HUGE thank you to Helen Birmingham for this project and to the other members of THE STITCHBOOK COLLECTIVE community.

Textile Tuesday: September

Good Morning! A brand new month and moving into Autumn. I am looking forward to more stitching time, but for now the garden still occupies much of my creative time.

However, the Wild Twinchies are returning home! Which is very exciting.

wild twinchies, collaborative textile art

These are the two little gems arrived from Dawn, so beautifully wrapped in a tiny box, it felt like opening a lovely present

and when I put them with the others ideas started to form about how I might work with them

Thank you so much Dawn,  Cathy, Amanda and Rainbow J for your beautiful pieces of textile art – all gorgeous, all fabulous little gifts arriving in the post.

Just over half are here, I’m excited to see what comes next.

~

There was a piece on Woman’s Hour last week about a collaborative Quilt project organised by Sue Brown and Louise Asher called Same Sea, Different Boat.

It seems that many of us had a similar idea at the same time  – Hundredth Monkey Effect and/or Zeitgeist!

There is also the Quarantine Quilt on Instagram

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If you have any textile news or views to share – pop a link in the Comments.

 

❤  Happy Stitching!  ❤

In a Vase on Monday: Altered Art

In a Vase on Monday, altered art, pink dandelions, figs

In my vase today is a posy of Pink Dandelions, thank you so much for the seeds Cathy, they are such gems! And twigs of snowberry bush, well that’s what I called it as a child, don’t know its proper name.

These were picked to accompany a card and three figs from my fig tree, for a dear friend, for her birthday. I also gave her a book, ‘Waterlog’ by Roger Deakin, which I forgot to take a photo of. She loves swimming, in fact she was a swimming teacher and taught all my children to swim.

She is an artist and I absolutely love her sketches and paintings, but she often struggles to like them herself. She tore up one of her paint sketches and gave me a piece folded over into a card for my birthday in November, I tore it on the fold line and did some stitching to make a card for her.

Then I took some of the paper I coloured with Koh-i-Noor, watercolours,

looking for colours that would make a good background

choosing background

I chose this one

Koi - nor inks

staining papaer with inks

I was a bit apprehensive to see what J’s reaction would be to what I did to her painting

altered art

It took her a little while to realise it was one of her painitngs. I think she liked it.

Do you have any blooms to pop in a Vase this Monday?

Joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.

Sand Circles

Today I learnt a friend and unique artist has died.

I am sad beyond words. I need no sympathy because that belongs to his family and closer friends. I just want to celebrate his talent and his art.

Marc created this wonderful ceremonial expression of connection – a magical time on Mwnt beach. One of those people casting moving shadows is me.

Here is the post I wrote about it.

And another when I went with my cousin to Mwnt beach for a New Year’s Sand Circle.

~

Sand Circles

 

Dreamcatcher

Look what I found, hanging in my fig tree!

barbed-wire dreamcatcher

My wonderful son-in-law is a farmer and he was clearing away an old rusty fence. Knowing how much I love rust, he wrapped some into a Dreamcatcher for me and hung it in my Fig Tree.

He also left another bundle of rust for me to cut up and use.

I am so delighted with the thought and the time he put into this in his busy day.

When I thanked him for the time, the thought, the gift, he said, “I like supporting your crazy arty-crafty ways”!

How lucky am I!

Thoughtful Thursday

The Great Wave

The Great Wave by Hokusai

reversed …..

the wave reversedThe Japanese read things from right to left so this is how they would ‘read’ the print of The Wave, by Hokusai.

The focus is more about the boats heading into the wave.

(this is a photo I took of the picture on my computer screen, then flipped it).

For years I looked at The Wave and hardly noticed the boats and the people in them.

Now I see the picture differently

The Great Wave

I wonder how this affects our cultural differences in many and various subtle ways.

ASMR

Sounds on Saturday

 

 

 

There are masses of ASMR clips on You Tube, but most of them come with annoying intro music, chat or ads. This is the Channel I like the best.

ASMR = Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response

a feeling of well-being, as experienced by some people in response to a specific gentle stimulus, often a particular sound.”

Squeaky gates are still my favourite though!

Antony Gormley at the RA

Antony Gormley is one of my creative heroes. In the video at the end of this RA  link about the exhibtion and he says that ‘the viewer is the subject of the show’. Worth listening to.

Gormley

When I go to see an art exhibition I usually whizz round to get a sense of the whole, then I go back and spend time with the pieces I’m drawn to, graspthen I go round again and take photos of the pieces,Gormley

Gormley

Gormley at the RA

Gormelythen I go round again and notice how other people are interacting with the exhibits

Gormley

This is one of my favourite things to do

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RA

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Here is an excellent review by Studio International

I hope you enjoyed people watching with me.

At a few exhibitions recently I have started to take photos of people who go with the paintings they are viewing and then I came across this amazing post about Stefan Draschan’s work, take a look – fascinating.

Tapestry Weaving Exhibition

Back in August I wrote a post entitled Interactive Art, in which I mentioned that I was hoping to go to an exhibition to see the wonderful work of Alastair Duncan.

I went!

Here is a photo he sent me of his piece for me to share with youAlastair Duncan interactive weaving

The pale leaf shapes are wire and when they are touched they play a sound.

On Sunday 20th, I went to the Exhibition in London, at the Espacio Gallery, Bethnal Green Road, curated by Margaret JonesIMG_6376

who had taken over 500 hours to weave her beautiful diptych, ‘The Fallen’

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It was wonderful to chat to Margaret and hear about her passion for weaving and how she had invited exhibitors from all over the world to be part of this exhibition.

Joanne Soroka‘s richly textured piece, ‘Another Country’,  reminded me of Australia

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The dreamy ‘Strandsong’ by Joan Baxter, (if you click on her name the link will take you to a rather beautiful video of her) reminded me of blissful hours spent wandering along the strandline, beachcombing

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I did not take the details of this striking piece – wish I had now

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And this one was more needle-weaving than tapestry but intriguing all the same

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casting delicate shadows on the walls.

If you would like to see more of the tapestries, go to the Heallreaf Instagram Page.

My favourite was Alastair’s, and I loved the interactivity of it

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As you touched the leaves it activated sounds, which you could listen to individually or if you touched two at once or several in quick succession you could layer or weave the sounds together and create a soundscape. There were a couple of sounds of people laughing which was a surprise and made me laugh too. It would have been great to have had the sounds playing out into the room so that several people could play at once.

One of the most thrilling aspects of the day for me was to meet up with two fellow textile artitsts from the Stitchbook Collective. That’s Tracey in the photo above. We all enjoyed the exhibition and meeting and chatting to Margaret and afterwards we went to a nearby cafe to chat some more about the Stitchbook Collective, and share our own textile stories.

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We discovered that we had all made a Sawdust Heart, and this created another rather special, bond. Tracey (in the middle) runs textile classes and if you are in the Cambridge area (UK) and are interested in taking a class, send me a message via the CONTACT ME page and I will pass on her email address to you.

It was such a joy to meet with two more of Helen Birmingham’s happy band of stitchers. (Cathy is another)

The link (Helen’s) takes you to an article written in the Scarborough News (annoying ads alert)

A quote from Helen from the article:

I like this quotation ascribed to the Greek philosopher, Aristotle (384-322 BC): “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”

 

An Arty Week

You might know that I am drawn to all things Japanese (here are some links to my posts about my trip to Japan in 2015) and have been most of my adult life. So when I saw a course at a highly respected art school entitled Abstract Painting and Wabi Sabi I just had to book a place.line, mark, charcoal, explore

You can Google ‘Wabi Sabi’ to find a definition and will get a few different results, I fear it might lose something in translation but in the context of abstract works of art this is my own best shot: the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi, briefly/loosely translated as the celebration of materials and imperfection, leaving things unfinished for the viewer to complete it in their own experience of the piece. 

I learnt by doing, that it is also about immersing oneself in the materials, the properties of the materials and about how ones body and inner senses respond to the materials.

After booking this course, I heard about an exhibition in which a blogging friend, Alastair Duncan was exhibiting his interactive weaving, which I talked about in this post.

Alastair Duncan interactive weaving

AND THEN!

ANTONY GORMLEY at the Royal Academy – I just had to go and see that!Antony Gormley

To fit all this in I stayed in an Air BnB in Horsham in West Sussex, which had free parking and was just a 10 minute walk to the train station. In just over an hour I could be in Central London.

I drove the 3 hours to  Horsham last Saturday.

Visited the Espacio Gallery on Sunday – which I will tell you about in a future post. London gallery

There I met with 2 other members of the Stitchbook Collective – Oh SO lovely to make these creative connections!!

On Monday I travelled up to the Royal Academy for the Antony Gormley exhibition, Gormley at the RAwhich was absolutely amazing of course, but not quite so impactful as his exhibition in 2007 at the Hayward Gallery which I often think of and stays with me on some deep inner level.

And then on Tuesday I started my Wabi Sabi voyage of discovery with Helen Turner in Partridge Green, just a 20 minute drive each day from my cosy self-catering pad.

Wabi Sabi

I loved every minute! I got home yesterday.

So much to tell you about. So many photos to sift through!

Wordless Wednesday: Wabi Sabi

wabi sabi, art course

wabi sabi art course

wabi sabi art course with Helen Turner

charcoal, wabi sabi, art course

On a fabulous art course with Helen Turner this week.

Art Exhibition

I am so proud of my sister and niece who are having an exhibition of their art this weekend, ably assisted by my brother-in-law who kept everyone well supplied tea and cakes!

paintings

My sister Caroline,  paints absolutely amazingly beautiful and detailed watercolours of animals and mixed media seascapes AND she is very skilled at making silver jewellery

To see her work in better detail have a look at her Instagram Pagepaintings

watercolours

And meet Lara, my multi-talented niece and her Sealife paintings

selife by Lara

All acrylic on canvas – all so vibrant and full of colour and energy. Lara is a hard-working Vet and paints on her days off. Go visit her Instagram Page to see all her wonderful creatures.paintings

Lots of lovely Red Dots, lots of visitors, and it was just so good to see all the paintings displayed so well together.

They were exhibiting with another silver smith and a fabulous portrait artist, Bernie Lusher who had painted Lara’s portraitpainting

Wow – so much talent in that room!

Well done everybody – so many months of concentration, so many years of learning and practice, so many hours of skilled artistry. Here’s to a successful weekend with lots of sales and spin-offs.

Botanic: Jennifer Steinkamp

Wishing I had stopped to make a video of Botanic and wanting to find out a bit more about the Sculptures I saw in London I found this

It must have been a magical experience to see all of those videos in the centre of New York, I only wish the You Tube clip was slower and longer.

Here are some more videos of her work – mesmerising

 

There are lots more to enjoy on You Tube.

I will be looking out for more of her work. Here is a link to her website: Jennifer Steinkamp

and, from the website, here are the dates for more installations in London:

Sculpture in the City, 9th Edition, 10 Fenchurch Avenue, London, United Kingdom, curated by Stella Ioannou
September 1 – September 30, 2019
November 1 – November 30, 2019
January 1 – January 31, 2020
March 1 – March 31, 2020

They are in my diary, although how many I will be able to get to, I don’t know.

I’d love to know what you think of this kind of art. Do you like it?

Interactive Art

Question: Do you like the sound of Squeaky Gates?

I would hate to have one outside my house, but on a walk, I often open and close gates several times to really hear the nuances of the sounds, my grandchildren look at me quizzically – just Granny being Granny!

This one is near Compton Abbas

and this one at Kingston Lacy

I have often thought, if I knew how to do it, I would create some kind of music out of the sounds, so I was delighted to discover that Alastair Duncan of Still Walks has done just that. Here is a link to his Soundscapes.

Alastair has been exhibiting his interactive weaving and is currently working on an exciting new project: Art and Audio Interactivity.

Very exciting! I hope to get to see his work as part of an exhibition in London in October at the Espacio Gallery

 

Painting a Cow

Miss E and I were watching a TV programme called ‘Home is where the Art is‘, which had 3 artists pitching to a potential buyer for a commissioned work of art. I asked her, “If you were to commission a piece of art, what would it be?” To my surprise she said, “a painitng of a cow”. Not what I was expecting from an 11 year old.

She had a birthday coming up so ………. off I went trawling the web to see if I could find some inspiration. Hey presto! Kath Dunne on Instagram was the answer. Her work is full of life and colour.

I saved this image to my computer

Kath Dunne

Isn’t it fabulous!!! Do go and have a look at Kath’s other work. She is an Australian artist and you can see her work on her website: kathdunneartworks.com

I wondered if I could paint a similar picture for Miss E’s birthday present.

I tried it out in an altered book to see if I thought I could capture something acceptable

altered book

Hmm, yes, I thought I could, so I started to paint with acrylics on canvas, sketching out the basic shape with thin white paint that I could rub off with a damp cloth til I got the shapes I wanted.first sketch for cow painting

With hindsight, it would have been better to block in the background of the shape of the cow first, in light and dark tones, before adding splashes of colour.

sketch

At this point I knew it was time to put the eye in – yikes – scary – the eye and the expression in the eye can make or break a painting. I needed to have a practice painting to work on alongside this one

practice painting

Gosh I did find it all a bit stressful!

Back to collage and sploshing paint around in an abstract way for a bit of relaxation, for a while – then onwards ……

cows

And here it is, below, the finished painting – I wish I could have captured the look on Miss E’s face when I gave it to her – she was absolutely surprised and thrilled. She said it looks like Clover, her current show calf – so that is the name of the painting: Clover.

cow painting

I contacted Kath Dunne to ask her permission to share my painting with a link to her website and she said ‘go for it’! Creativity and connection across continents – love it!

I’m looking into making a few prints of Clover, let me know if you are interested.

Whimsical Collage: 2

Back in November I went to a fabulous 4 day Mixed Media Collage Workshop led by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and Nathalie Kalbach. See my first blog post about it here.

It was such fun getting messy and creating colourful papers in readiness for our first 6 collages. We used pages from old books we had been supplied with – books that would otherwise have gone to landfill. The print adds a layer of texture and interest.mixed media collage workshop

And the books themselves make perfect little sketchbooks to carry around for those odd doodling momentscreating collage papers

Julie and Nathalie have a great way of introducing the theory of colour and composition in fun bite-sized exercises. Julie BalzerIn this one we were mixing tones of one colour using black and whitemixing tones, acrylic paints

no paint was wasted, we cleaned our brushes on more paperusing old maps for collage

collage paperand then experimented with stamps, building up layers of marks, pattern and colour – my memory is a of a frenzy of fun and activity as we all dashed off all these wonderfully inspiring pieces without really thinking

stamping, acrylic

In this way we gradually built up supplies and confidence, moving towards creating pieces we were pleased with.six 6 x 6 collages, mixed media

The background of this one is the newspaper I was using to protect the cloth beneath. I think at this stage it reminds me of textiles …. still more to do in those blue squares, but I’m not sure what yet……

newspaper as art paper

I wondered about adding a little knot of silk remnant

mixed media, sari silk

and maybe some stitching …… hmmm …. not there yet.

Julie’s first Blog post about the workshop  explains the format of Day One and Two.

There is a picture of me (the 8th one in) in pink Tshirt, working away, ( and a couple more later on) plus loads of pictures of fellow students and their work. This blog post alone is inspiring enough to keep me busy for weeks as I remember all I learnt and discovered.

And then we were ready to work towards some finished pieces.

Next up –  working in a series: six collages on 6″ x 6″ card

collage

Julie’s second Blog Post: Whimisical Collage in the UK Part Two shows lots of these from the group. You might be able to spot mine in amongst them.

mixed media

The best part – building the layers with stamps and oil pastel lines and scribbles

The next part is wondering if they are finished or not

mixed media collage

The 4 on the left have a story attached to them, but that is for another day ……

Joining in with Kate and her Scrap Happy January band of happy scrappers.

 

 

 

Silent Sunday at Tate Modern

Tate Modern, Bridget Riley

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Bridget Riley

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Somerset House 4

Now for a quick dash through some of the exhibits as my penultimate post about this fantasmagorical exhibition! Come on – keep up!

First up, Full Spectrum:  Australia’s Celebration of gay marriage being accepted by law

pride Oz

I liked the way the rainbow lights shone out of the darkness in such a playful way – metaphorically beautiful.

gay marriage celebration

Next a room to make you giddy with exotic scents and mesmerizing patterns

London Design Biennial 2018

from  Hong Kong, Sensorial Estates: lift the lids and inhale deeply! Heady stuff!

Hong Kong

And now a quick trip to Guatamala. This exhibit really deserves more time – click on the link to discover more and see much better photos. Such a great project.LDB 2018

colour

Closer to home: Dundee and Shpeel

interactive art

Each button on the black box, when pressed created a different light effect on the wall and different sounds. It was fun to play with these and feel like a conductor of light and sound. I played for some time here and  it got even better when I was joined by a group of students – I got a tiny teeny titchy sense of what it must be like to be Jean Michel Jarre! Ha!

 

Lastly, for this post, kaleidoscopic doodles from Saudi Arabia – blurred because they were constantly moving. Oh how I would love to be able to do this with my mandala doodles.

It makes me feel charged with electricity just thinking about it! A mandala doodle as a kaleidoscopic mirrored wall – oh my goodness wouldn’t that be trippy!

doodles

Gosh I have to stop now and go off into my mandala-doodle-filled fantasy – I might be lost all day!

Click on the links to discover more about each exhibit.

See you soon with my last post about the London Design Biennial at Somerset House.