29 August 2012


Repurpose - otherwise known as, I've changed my mind!
Actually this is quite a good thing that I'm doing, but often I will struggle on with something, to the point of binning it, when may be if I'd thought and taken it elsewhere it would have had more success.

I originally showed a snipped of this in  this previous posting.  Even then, something wasn't right about it, but I was still of the mind to continue with it as it was.  Until yesterday when I took a knife to it!
Originally it was 18" x 6" - I know inches, but its hard to work in cms when the canvas to mount on are in inches!  I do flit between both, often on the same piece.
So yesterday I wielded the knife and now I have two pieces 7" x 5" and already it feels much better.  perhaps the technique/scale was all wrong for a larger piece.  What's more I made myself consider where to cut, none of this if I take it from the edge I'll have a piece left over and I can.....  The two new pieces don't even join up edge to edge - radical hey?
The patterns were drawn on when each colour was whole, which is why the circle, is no longer a circle.
I was describing this item elsewhere, and realised its multi media, multi disciplines, many genres.  The 'fabric' of course, being me, is paper.  The curved piecing is a technique from the world of patchwork, topped off with simple embroidery in silk thread.
I will take it out with me today and continue to stitch the marked patterns, which are combinations of circles and straight lines.  The bonus is, its one thread, one needle, one pair of snips to carry!!!
I don't have many UFOs, because I've found I can't return to something once abandoned, unless it was abandoned in a good place.  If I put it away, because it wasn't working, then immediately I see it again I get anxious over it.  I can't leave them out on my table, and I can't have them in a box nagging at me.  It was years before I took the plunge and threw away what gave me bad feelings.  Worried about the time and money invested.   Phew such a relief, treat them as a learning process, and be rid of.  I feel so much better and happier to work this way, keeping hold of stuff which isn't working was becoming a huge block on actually doing.
So these little pieces now will be finished, because its better that I've repurposed them into a different idea from the original, the anxiety has gone, I'm actually looking forward to completing them.

23 August 2012

And breathe.....

In the last few days I've:
~ prepared and dealt with paperwork
~ finished mini art pieces
~ been on a design/research trip
~ helped to put up an exhibition
~ prepped more paperwork from another source

I very much need to chill, might explode otherwise.  Why does it all arrive at the same time?  I really can't do any more right now, on top of personal stuff, I am worn out.  I had hoped by now to find some peace, but far from it.  As my friend Anne would say, some days have rated themselves as "definitely a 3 chocolate bar day".  And I did buy some, but not touched yet.  As long as I get tea straight into a vein, I can survive - and the design trip out did involved tea and cake!
The three little snippets I showed in a previous post have ended up as these:

They are all actually the same photograph, variously zapped on the puter, printed onto canvas, with hand stitching and beads. Aqueous I, II and III.  Up for sale at the Material Girls Exhibition in Maldon, which opens today!
Very little taster piccies, but I hope you will go along to visit.  This is your last chance to see panels in the UK, in our collaboration between Material Girls and Articulation.  In 2013 all the panels make the journey across to Canada, for display there.
I've one more event to prep for, and then its   b r e a t h e.  Well hopefully, but I know from the past there may well be "can you just....."

20 August 2012


Drawing – sigh… I thought I’d have this topic in my Bulletin, because as artists darhlinks, we get this draw, record, thrust at us, and some of us, ie me, have brains that don’t work that way. But how can you make art and not draw? Well I do, so there!!!

I hate so much that if you’re like me and struggle, it’s a given you must continue to struggle, must not utter the words out loud “drawing is not for me” – Can’t you just hear the fellow artists suck in breath at the idea, and a loud tsk and tut, the artist police will come and lock you up.
Well may be that’s not true, but I’ve certainly felt at odds with everyone else and alone. That’s the reason for this Bulletin. I want to stand up for those who don’t do the beautiful sketchbooks, who don’t dash off a sketch whilst at the bus stop, who feel less worthy, less of an artist because they don’t find drawing easy, but feel forced into continuing to do it, believing otherwise you are not a proper artist. STOP when it comes to the crunch the information you need is exactly that, INFORMATION FOR YOU. It took me years and years to learn that. I may want to do the beautiful sketchbooks, but its never going to happen, wanting and being aren’t always the same thing. Importantly it took a long while to understand that it is not to my detriment, its just DIFFERENT.

During a gap between City & Guilds courses, I did a year’s art course, drawing, painting, followed on by being part of a private group having weekly lessons, I think that went on for a further couple of years. It means I’ve put in a LOT groundwork, hours, and tried lots of different media. I’ve done the still life, the people, the architecture, the 1 minute sketch the 30 minute sketch, the non dominant hand, not looking at the page, continuous line and so on, all the options tutors give. I have the knowledge of all aspects of drawing….
So I CAN draw, I think you can recognise what these are. Even so after all that input it’s just not natural or easy to me. I just don’t like it. There, said it
I actually get a raging headache, because I have to concentrate so much, think about each aspect, even after all the above, none of it comes naturally. I don’t finding it a relaxing pleasurable thing to do at all. It certainly doesn’t flow instantly from the fingertips. Who wants a nice sketch and a migraine to go with it? Why would I willingly do that to myself?
I’ve even tried the “drawing a day” – at one point it was the ‘in thing’ (may be having a resurgence at the moment) people boasting on the web of drawing every day for months even years on end. Another point of envy. I follow this blog which I enjoy immensely Missouri Bend Studio
However my foray into doing this started off with good intentions, which evaporated, the drawings turned into abstract playing, my every day, found gaps, until it withered to a complete stop.

I saw it as a complete failure. The reality is I should have paid attention to myself, to what I was doing, analyse what I had, ie colour, texture, experimentation, good things. Is this you too? Note your strengths be proud of them, go with them, and don’t get bogged down in the negative of what you think you should be doing, to the detriment of what you ARE doing, and other skills you may find along the way.
I do a lot of this kind of thing, laying one type of paint over another and see what happens, these are acrylics over watercolours.
Words flow easily for me, (likely you can tell), I also touch type, so I can record at the speed of thought. Whilst drawing is headache making, writing is very much free flowing and natural. I found absolute joy in this book….  It has a section on writing about your work… what utter bliss for someone like me. Not only does it describe ideas for what to do, but more importantly for me, this small section gave me legitimacy. It was OK to write about your art. Phew, relief, someone else has agreed with me. So if writing is a natural thing for you, then do it, you may be like me, in the written word can ‘see’ exactly what is described.

There are multiple ways to collate the information you want in order to make the art you want. So if something doesn’t work for you, try something else, don’t stick to something because you think you should, because its what ‘proper’ or ‘real’ artists do.

I have more to say on Sketchbooks themselves, that was another big art revelation for me, so that will come along another time. I also use my camera a lot, so I’ll talk about that too in another Bulletin.
Remember find the freedom in being you. Don’t close the mind to any options, but realise that to be a creative hands on artist, its OK NOT to draw!

Just looked outside, sky is still up there, we are safe for another day!!

17 August 2012


Sigh, irritation, or as we used to say when I was a teen - "I'm aggranoyed" - meaning a cross between annoyed and aggravated!
I've ended up in one of those situations where kinda everyone steps back and I'm at the front, with tasks I didn't expect or ask for.  All I can say is its a good job I don't have a webcam, and even better not a microphone!
So I left my table like this, about three days ago...

The work space a bare minimum, its been covered up with folders and papers since, but they are back in other piles.
This stuff needs a home, the bag at the end hasn't been looked in and emptied since Tuesday.... the sofa is covered in papers and stuff from him indoors sort out of filing (not).
I do find it irritating though, when talk about Why something is hard,difficult, time consuming to do, if you actually just got on and did it, its sorted quicker than the 501 reasons why not.  Anyways after being sidetracked and consumed elsewhere I have done as much as I can.  So, she says with hope as she has been saying for the last 2-3 days, I can get back to where I was, and actually do something nice!
All the threads on the table actually went onto these (partials), needs a bit more tweaking and then done.  I'm hoping there will be an old film on the tv this afternoon and I can just do nothing but nice stuff and feel I've actually got somewhere this week.  Ssssh don't say it too loud.

12 August 2012

Hello Goodbye

Passionate Pink
This piece went to its new home yesterday.  Thought I'd give it another moment in the spotlight, because actually I've had so very little time with it.  I finished it and the very next week someone wanted to buy it.  It then went off on display at a couple of venues, been gone since May, came back to me yesterday and immediately transferred to its new owner, barely a backward glance!!!  In its finished state its probably been in my hands only two weeks.
Its small - 6" x 8" or so.  Background is 180gsm cartridge paper, with Inktense colour, which I blended by using Gesso, not water., to give a chalky appearance.  Machine stitched grid.  On the points of the grid are tiny tiny flat sequins with a bead.....
Heart shaped hole cut out of centre and filled with another heart.  Painted lutradur, covered in hand stitching.  Brass rings filled with beads, and heart buttons, and a sprinkling of more sequins.
I wonder if I will ever finish and sell another piece so quickly!

08 August 2012

Shopping, Stitching and Stash!

More shopping for these...
Yes I have a Filofax darhlinks, looking for windows so that we can interface.....  actually very big gulp never bought the next year's diary for this so early and.... need a lay down, bought a 2014 year planner too!!!  Came over all unnecessary!
Yesterday I was at my little stitchy group, I took this along.
Not sure I actually like it, might get scrapped, something not quite right about it, lacking oomph I think, It is me, but not quite... my colours, my paper cut/stitch/cut with a variation.... it's just.......
So I went deliberately not taking much, only two threads, that way, its get on and do and stop faffing.  Nice surprise though, come home with this little lot.
The peach stuff is like a folded paper ribbon, there are thin strip of wood, a bundle of clear straws (yummy, always stealing acquiring those in cafes).  There's some gold wiggly wire.  And the metal stick thingy do dahs.  I believe their original purpose is as hangers for pennants, you know when you meet and greet as a team and exchange mini flags. They are 18cms long tip to tip.
The person who gave them to me is having a sort out... brought a few things and its amusing when something comes out of a bag and there's "I thought this was your thing" as its handed over.  Now, I did decide having dealt with my mother's things, that if a bag of stuff came into the house, then a bag of something had to leave.....  does it count that I gave away a big food mixer with zillions of attachments last week?  Priorities in this house, dust covered food mixer versus clear plastic straws, no contest!

06 August 2012

Stitches and Pictures

Friday I went on a 200 mile round trip, to see "Finest Stitches" which is an exhibition of pieces from the Embroiderers' Guild collection.
Somewhat of a surprise to find 75 pieces available to look at.
Leek Embroidery
This piece may be recognised, certainly was by me, as its been included in many books over the years.  The lines across the photo are because it was in a glass table cabinet and got the reflection of the overhead lights.
Actually saw many pieces by 'names' as well as pieces where the stitcher is not known.  Wide variety of items from babies clothing, tiny shoes, hats, to samples, panels and cultural pieces.
Alongside there was an exhibition of City and Guilds coursework.  It looked very impressive, but I did smile to myself.  Overheard a couple of students talking, mentioning their tutor was pushing for them to "step outside your comfort zone" - see nothing much changes.  Guess we've all heard those words whilst studying.

We then went off to the camera warehouse place... and bought me a new camera a Fuji Finepix, 16 megapixel, 20 times optical zoom, makes tea, hoovers the house, you know the sort.  Well it does have GPS.... not sure I actually need to know the place where I am taking the photo, after all, I am standing there!  And the advice on my old camera "not worth bothering" to replace the glass on the front.  Sigh.
I'm not really brand loyal, but actually am quite pleased that I've got this camera, because I already own a Fuji Finepix bridge camera, and I'm forever forgetting which settings to put it on for what.  So hopefully now with two the same, using the same words for things I won't be getting myself muddled.  Oh and the most important thing, the new camera is white.....first time I've ever had a coloured camera, wonder if it will improve the usage!

01 August 2012

Next Year Already!

It's AUGUST and its a lovely hot sunny day dull grey drizzling day.  So of course its absolutely the right time to go out and buy one of these:
Small A6 page a day for my arty life.  I remember from last year buying mid-August that the local Factory Shop (like a pound shop but more expensive!) got their diaries early.  So thought I'd give it a go... and what's more I'm not the only one looking.  This little delight cost me the huge sum of £1.49.  Not a pink person, but its bright and foiled which means when it gets swallowed by the rubbish serious art work on my table, ought to be able to see the wretched thing.  I have textile things for 2013, and even some for 2014, makes me sound very busy, out there, doing - but the reality is venues and events have to be booked so far in advance to get them, that dates are known a long time ahead.  Exhibitions tend to be booked at least a couple of years ahead, so in our arty world its not that unusual to plan - course it helps if you have the diary!!!   Already I know that there is all or nothing, as in the usual everything within a couple of days and then nothing else for months, sigh.
I've got nothing nice and arty to show you, bit sad about that.  But I seem to have spent past few days consumed by paperwork, dealing with tasks I've been allocated, finding, as always once you reply, something else gets added in.  Then there was wear another hat and answer these queries.  I'm off out on Friday, hope to see some textile art, will let you know, if I get there, its all been a bit vague as to what's on offer.  May also get a new toy on Friday - camera.  My point and shoot live in my handbag has lost the glass over the lens.  Not looking forward to the shop experience, no I don't want to eliminate red eye, no I don't want to do 30 second videos, madam wants close-ups of stitches, and drain covers, rusty wire, peeling paint, Nooooo people, get it!
Isn't it just yumacious!!!  Why on earth wouldn't you want more pics like this?