30 August 2011

Primarily Colour: 20thSept/2nd Oct

Further information: Craft Arena Gallery, Barleylands Craft Village, Barleylands Road, Billericay, Essex. CM11 2UD telephone 01268 523780; Opening Hours 10am-5pm (closed Mondays)

There will be an opportunity to attend a workshop at Craft Arena run by Diane Kelsey, for more details contact Denise Gannon at Craft Arena, 01268 523780

28 August 2011

Been Thinking.....

... always a dangerous pastime.
More spooky muzak stuff.  Sometime back some textile friends were chatting, and a person's work came up for discussion, it was remarked upon how good it was and unusual - but then another person piped up "but its a copy of someone else, its not original to her".    And I thought... yes there is a familiarity about this work, but I can't quite place it.  Then last night reading and there it was, not the same at all, but enough so you'd think they came from the same person, or they'd both attended the same workshop, and gone on to make their own interpretation.  Perhaps in this case it was a shared experience, who knows, but equally it could easily be a shared vision. Some people can be really nasty when they see work which they believe you've copied from them.  I've heard of threatened legal action and all sorts.  And of course its always - who had the idea first?
Back at the April ERTF Conference Stacey, the speaker, commented that we should make notes of our ideas, and date them, so we have a record.  But lots of these things grow over time, and a snippet first thought of can take months or years before it emerges into work.
Many years back I bought a stitch book opened it and stared at "my" work.  It was obvious that both the artist in the book and myself had used the same source picture.  In my case from one of these coffee table books which are nothing but pretty pictures.  Of course beyond the source material and colours, the pieces weren't the same, mine was all hand stitch, the one in the book machine.  But working back publishing timelines/date the source book came out,  I guessed we'd likely both been working on the piece around the same time.
If you look back at textile history you can find textile techniques which are very similar prevalent in countries hundreds of miles apart - the only way to share would be by rowing in primative boats across vast seas.  Similar ideas and techniques do develop without reference to others.
Its really difficult when you have an idea for a piece, or a technique and its sitting there on your table and you open a magazine, a website, attend a lecture and ta dah - there it is.  Am I on trend  and having these brilliant ideas the same time as others.... or don't I possess a single idea of my own?  I think we just have to have the courage to continue, to do so with integrity, to work it out for ourself and not study another's version - and come to a piece which is your own.  But its not easy to continue, so I've found, when looking at other similar ideas and pieces, because there's a world of difference between knowing 100% you've not seen the other things, you've not met the person, copied their work in any way, and yet with their version in the public eye, it looks exactly like its not original to you.  I guess that's why we're Artists, to keep trying, exploring, expanding and to put your own style onto something.
Perhaps after all that thinking, I need to lay down!!
Did You Ever Stop to Think
and Forget to Start Again.
Winnie the Pooh - A. A. Milne

25 August 2011

Effort and Return

Finally I am doing some work... well cough choke, attempting.  This is the "before" - various old maps, in the queue.  After a bit of processing, part done, we have this:
which will have further surface additions.  But I'm struggling.  I can do these with my eyes shut, and actually in lots of ways I find it a comfort to make them, there's a rhythm about the process.   Its all contradiction because I like doing them because I know how, I have multiple variations of this technique, its soothing and yet repetition irritates - although I like pieces which are the same but different!!!   See  I give myself a headache just thinking about it all.  But the problem at the moment is one of "I've got to make them" - which immediately turns it into a difficulty.  Even after a stern self lecture "just get on with it" - I do and I have but it still feels like my fingers are made of lead.  See, I should learn... should make when there's no pressure, no deadlines, then I'd race through them.  But everything is a struggle, even fetching out the portfolio case where maps are kept is an effort, and incidently its not gone away again, cos that's even more effort!!!
The Rochford Art Trail has added in a Taster Exhibition - aside from actually writing it in my diary and sketchbook, I've not got round to what to submit for it yet.  Still take in is only 10 days away - plenty of time - I suspect Emperor's New Clothes might be the idea!!!   Its a masterpiece darhlink, what do you mean you can't see anything... except a price tag....
Tomorrow more PL work - Production Line, may be, after a cuppa or three.

22 August 2011

ERTF Essex Day at the Seaside

 Bit later than planned, but these are photos from Friday's ERTF Essex Day. I certainly had a wonderful time. I didn't go on the beach, wretched arthritis playing up big time, so I parked myself on a bench on the promenade. The above left was the view when we arrived, tide out. This is Westcliff-on-Sea in Essex, in the distance those buildings are in Kent! By the time we left to go up into the cliff gardens, the tide was coming in, second pic - at quite a speed.
So I sat on my bench did the response type recording, as in not trying to make a beautiful drawing (which for me is a non starter), but rather recording the things which speak to you as an individual, so colours, or shapes, or converting sound into lines or stitches etc. I did a lot of writing to describe things. I found myself sitting in the sun humming away to myself. What a difference a day makes, Thursday has been like Autumn, dull, cold and wet, and here we were in sunshine.
After lunch it was into the Beecroft Gallery to see the Essex Open - remember the one I failed to get in. As usual there are some pieces which are stunning, some which you think, huh, how did that past the grade. And although they accept textiles, its always very few - only three this year. We thought we might bombard them with textiles next year!!
It so nice to meet up with people, and especially those who are new to your acquaintance - there is so much talent around, its nice for it not to be hidden, and to be able to sit with others and chat art/textiles etc I'm not sure I'm continuing with the sea project. We are going to have a follow up meeting to see what's developed. But as this was my first time recording in this way, now I know what I'm aiming for, I think I will be able to choose something more considered and thus take the correct colours or tools with me, most of the stuff stayed in my bag!! So first steps learning.

17 August 2011

Fresh Look - New Ideas

Hello all - have you noticed, we've had a change.  I was looking for something else in the Design area, didn't find, but here we are with a fresh look.  Of course it has to remain purple... my fave colour... and its all about branding darhlinks!!!  Its not just thrown together you know, I've learned bits about branding via names and colours, so my website is also purple/white.
I'm having spooky muzak moments....  remember my posting a couple of weeks back referencing being a Materials driven artist and Jae Maries book - well, duh, lightbulb, the whole reason why this blog is called Fibre-Reaction is because my art is my Reaction to my Fibres (materials) - see I knew that even before Jae wrote her book!!! ggg tut, she only had to ask.....
Sat. at our Embroiderers' Guild, we had a lovely talk by Penny Lynne - illustrating a true event with a series of work.  Another shiver down the spine, work made for a story - and my ERTF piece has a story made for the work... not such a daft idea after all.
This coming Friday I'm out with the ERTF Essex Members, we are doing Location Response artwork.  Whoah, sounds exciting.  Not done this before in the sense that this can be anything, ie drawing or stitching in response to what we see, hear smell.  Another spooky moment, quite like the idea of 'recording' sounds via art.  Remember the November Conference, and a talk by Debbie Lyddon on her work based on music, this (excuse pun) sounded very exciting.  I've done lots of drawing, well mark making to music in art classes but I've never done it otherwise.. why?  I've written here before, I also learned to type to music - I know hysterical laughter at the very idea - but we did.  So I think I must at least give it a go on Friday, listening and recording.  What the point of going if not to challenge and learn something new.
Years back with an art class we were doing location drawing, all of us sitting on a wall, drawing without looking at the paper - so we sat there staring into the middle distance, scribbling, gave much amusement to the coach party which turned up right in front of us and gave us a good look!!!
Oh yes, just heard the 2011 Sketchbook Project has finished its tour... think mine was looked at once, or may be twice - so funny - but at least it was opened!  Would love to do it again, but too much to do for this year, so will see if it runs next year.
And now I must get on... need to make work for the ERTF shop, and other things.

10 August 2011

Happy Dancing - It's a Yes!

Yes!!!! Wheeee, Happy Dancing, My piece has been selected for the ERTF Concepts & Meanings Exhibition. (so sorry keeping it secret for the Exhibition viewers to get first look).
I received the news but just thought, Oh OK. I think its because you live with something for so long, it was 8 months back that I had to give in my Intent form, and it was hovering within knowledge before that. And for me that's actually a long time for the one piece to be in mind. So its taken a little while before realisation that I've achieved something. I don't know and I'm not really interested in the who, how, why aspect of the decision making.  I gave it a go, it worked, (actually to my surprise - I was making plans of what to do with the rejected work) and that's enough.
I've tried one or two other selected events, where the wording is required too, before realising everyone else had their work professionally photographed, so this is realistically the first juried/selected exhibition where I've been able to feel on a level with everyone else.
I can't help but think back to one of the first things I put myself forward for, just after completing C&G studies. I was sooooo convinced I could comply with the criteria and I was going to immediately achieve greatness, I remember, honest this is truth, barely being able to make my legs move to take my application to the post box, so full of nerves. Of course I was naively confident, and devastated at the obvious mistake of the selectors not to choose me! These days I still travel hopefully, but far more realistically. I enter things and put myself through the angst, I guess because I need the challenge of trying, stretching myself, deadlines.  This piece is a totally new Concept for me (pun intended). I've made a piece which I've created a back story for, a whole imagined scenario. I've never done that before. Its not for the viewer to know, but it makes sense for me for the project. I liked the whole idea of this, and may do it again.   And... the big news is that the exhibition is in my home city, but already nerves wondering what my friends will think. That may be one of the bigger challenges with this project, trying to explain my art to friends I've known since I was 11.... who have proper jobs!!  (See the poster on the right)
PS Since writing the above earlier - I've had my Rochford Art Trail venue confirmed, so all systems go for that one as well. 

03 August 2011

The Material/Abstract Artist - Moi!!

Just to prove that I do actually stitch, sometimes.... and to prove that yes I can also stitch by hand!!  This was started yeserday at the stitchy meeting I go to once a month.  No idea what is is, or where its going, just me, being a Material Artist.  Thank you so much Jae Maries for this section in your book, Contrasting Elements.  In the past I'd felt such a failure because I often don't have pages of drawings, or artwork, of the gorgeous sketchbook kind.  I do get a very clear vision of what I want, but can't express it, except by just getting on and doing it.  I also fall into the Abstract Artist category.  I had hang ups about not being a 'proper artist' because I don't work in this way so many people coo over.  As I've shown you in the past, my sketchbook is wordy, and technical, full of measurements etc. But this one page describing the various types of artist was like a breath of fresh air.  No one can help but work the way it feels natural to them - but as I've said before on the blog, I've come across some sniffy attitudes because I don't do realism, or don't have pages of gorgeousness (Its absolutely not that I don't like or admire, but for me its like pushing a snowball uphill).  My imagination/vision is almost like a photo, I can see everything, all the detail.  I've just spent past few days mentally working out how to hang a piece of work.  Its been looked at and examined and revised, all in my head.  I'm going to actually make a little physical test sample, but its not stage 1, because of all the thought processes.  The above piece is.... of course... all papers, and something else I'm noticing, by chance - lines.  Mhmmmm, note to self, 'do you realise how often lines appear in your work'.  Do you think I could make my USP (unique selling point) - Lines on Paper?  Doesn't sound very exciting does it and reminds of school and the endless, "I must behave in class"   shudder....

01 August 2011

Nature's Colours

At the weekend I attended a family gathering and met two new additions.  At one household I met a West Highland Terrier puppy, and at the other household I met... Drake.
He's a Bearded Dragon. here he is running about the carpet (that's a shaft of sunlight in the background).  When I first glanced I thought its just orangey brown, but actually the more you look the more colours he has.  And I became more and more fascinated by not only the colours, but the teeny scales.  The changes from one colour to another because of tiny scales - almost like pointilism.  As well as lots of different shades of brown/cream., there is a blush of pink, a soft pale peach, different shades of orange.  I'm told when he's an adult he gets a red/orange ring around the eyes.  I didn't pick him up to inspect closer, not being aware of how to handle him properly or whether any eye contact is threatening, and those eyes look in all directions!!!  It is a reminder to look closer to nature, in whatever form, because the colours are stunning, and nature really doesn't get things wrong. He is certainly more intriguing to study a colour family, than looking at colourwheels!  I must remember, another autumn project a tiny smidge of blush pink may make all the difference.
I hope to go to a Conference in November, where the theme is colour - I doubt we'll be looking at Bearded Dragons though!!!