30 April 2013

Jae Maries - Weekend Course

This weekend I was on a course, amongst old friends and new, with tutor Jae Maries.
Not been on a course in a while and this came along and was much needed.
As always with a workshop it isn't always the main topic which provides the elements of wow, that is just such a good idea.  One thing which fascinated me, was sitting opposite Deirdre and watching her sharpen a pencil.  As a former draughtswoman, she is used to precision tools and accuracy, but I'd never seen anyone do this before.  First she sharpened with a knife, then used sandpaper to refine to a very sharp long point.
Deirdre was also the provider of sighs of awwww at the end of the first day.  We had the doors open and were visited by a cat who lives next door to the venue.  It patrolled round and round inspecting, and was quite happy.  When we came to leave for the evening Deirdre found him in her bag, curled up asleep.  Good job she needed that bag otherwise no-one would have known, we thought he'd left.  He did come in again on Sunday, but this time was escorted out!
Jae was very good with her time, devoting lots of inspiration and ideas to each person.  Though many people came in on Sunday declaring, "I've changed my mind, starting over".  Me included - I think many of us had a sleepless night, in terms of ideas buzzing or just realising doing the design process in the wrong order, or too precise.  We were supposed to be loose with our interpretations, scale, colour choice - well considered but not slave like reconstruction.
I started off with some of these
Sunday we had an excellent lunch together.  We also had more information from Jae, this time excellent hints and tips on mounting/presenting work, which I want to try.
I came home with a piece of work prepped ready to sew - I didn't start sewing because I was tired and didn't want to spoil it.
This is final designing stage
its going to look a lot different from the starting point!
Thank you everyone for your excellent company, lunch and extending the opportunity my way.

25 April 2013

Going Forward and Standing Still

Do you think things happen in batches, or just more ready to receive certain information at certain times?
The 'thing' I sorted out on Monday is two teaching sessions at The Sewing Box in Leigh on Sea.  Rachael bought the shop a few months ago and is developing workshops on the premises.  I'd been told by my friend Helen several times, go in and see.  So eventually I did and went back on Monday to finalise.
28th May : Bead Edgings
18th June : Hand and Machine Cords
Contact the shop to book
I have done this before, and lots of demonstrating things, and even have a mini qualification in teaching  Mostly its been for the Embroiderers' Guild - this will be the first time I've ever done it for a business concern.  I'm also waiting on teaching or giving a demo as part of an Art Trail, and will be teaching again at the Embroiderers' Guild in August.  There's been a gap because of life issues, (hopefully people will stop with the crises now) but even so its weird all these things have hit the front line this year.
I do know that I couldn't do what others do and travel around the country to teach, or to give lectures. I'm more than happy to demo something and share information, but talking about 'me' well that's another issue entirely.
And the other batch of things - is a batch of stuff for the bin.  Everything I seem to have touched the past week, has resulted in little progress and satisfaction. I really should pay attention to myself, I am useless when I'm too tired or not feeling right.  I know this, but still I persist, but every time the item ends up in the bin.
I messed up the stitching on this, stitched in the ditch when I shouldn't have, lines not straight etc, don't think I can, or want to rescue this.  Then I prepped another little piece, spent ages cutting paper.  So all ready the next day.  Started off with one piece which I couldn't stitch very well again, sigh.  Then turned to this lovely creation, only to find it on the floor and worse - wheel indentations through it.  I'd run over it on my office chair.  Its paper, no rescuing to be done.
I think I might have to warn poor Jae Maries.  I'm on a weekend course with her this weekend - my plan at the moment is to sit quietly and try not to ruin anything, and just soak up whatever she has to say.
Mhmmmm, another one for the useless effort - four times now I've hit the wrong button and 'lost' this post.  Sigh - perhaps I need chocolate?  Or cake?  Or tea?  Or a dark room?

22 April 2013

ERTF Conference and Opportunities

What a great day out on Saturday - except for the minor detour in getting there.  Brain fog, early start, been before easily, but this time missed the correct road.  Too busy nattering with Juliet, and the sat nav woman lies!   But the main thing, still there in time for refreshments.
So where was I?  At the ERTF Conference in Cambridge.  First on the Agenda was a discussion about the group, the what and the how and it came down overwhelmingly that the style of Conference is very much liked and important, as its not what any of us get from our own specialist organisations, plus networking, meeting up with others.  Its so nice, and provided lots of chatter and howls of laughter throughout the day.
The topic this time was Marketing Your Artwork - which if you break it down to your own personal level there was a lot of information to be useful.   Jenny Langley our own ERTF Member gave a really good talk about her work, during which she referenced several times how a previous speaker's words had enabled her to take her work forward.  It was really helpful to see how the initial information had worked out on the practical level, making a positive move in someone's art life.
Karen Jinks talk was also very enjoyable, and right at the level of this is real and how you do it, not some airy fairy arty words.
Like most I suspect I came home exhausted and buzzing.  I've also stated my intent to try for the ERTF Exhibition - work to be made there then.
Inspired by the weekend, taking steps onwards I've put this in hand today.  I did have a meeting about 10 days ago re an opportunity, new environment for me.  So today went for a further meeting and its now a done deal!   Small and local, but new venture for me, so a new experience! Will say more in a few days.

Window in the Library
where we had excellent freshments

12 April 2013

Spring Flowers - sort of

Yesterday it was dullsville here, again, last night the fog rolled in and you could barely see the houses opposite.  At the moment there's a spark of sun, wheeee!
I’ve shown a few of my drawings before…but I don’t draw, its not me.  I suspect its cos I’m an Abstract person.  I can draw, enough to get by, but in order to produce something it means so much concentration I get a raging headache, and what is the pleasure in that?
I’m currently working on some pieces which are basic (childlike) shaped houses – I’ve been playing with houses for a little while, beach huts, bird house, they keep cropping up. What goes with them, house/flowers/trees… I have machine stitched freehand some simplistic flowers, but not sure about my efforts, these are from approx a year ago.
I tried drawing lollipop flowers, ie just a circle, but you know there’s quite an art to making simple look good, and clearly I’ve not got it!  A couple of weeks back I had another play, made myself draw in pen, and quickly, and fill a page to practice.  And that's how they stayed, line drawings.
Then last week had a few minutes of therapy, colouring in!!!  Such a very long time since I sat and coloured, it really was soothing and nice to do.  These are alcohol ink felt pens.  And yes I think you can safely say these are naive art.
However, also I’ve finished stitching all the French Knots on a piece.  Its still in progress, but if you want pseudo flowers, then this has them by the bucket load.  Its like a number of sweets in the jar competition, how many Knots?  No idea, but may be I should be paid a £ for every one!