27 June 2015

Burnham Art Trail - Last Two Days!

Well last weekend of Burnham Art Trail., so much work and prep and then it all rushes past.

This piece is specifically for the area "Burnham Bound"

As always, with every Trail, there are new situations to experience.
This is my first time in a studio/gallery situation.  Lovely venue.

I spent all day stewarding on Thursday, it was a very quiet day, no telling if its too hot, too cold, ending of school term, so busy elsewhere.  I put my time to good use, with some prep for our next EG meeting.

However, having had a really quiet day, with a fraction over an hour left to go, the room exploded with noise and chatter.  18 primary school children with three teachers arrived.  Each with a little clipboard, they'd been out walking the Trail for three hours, on a very hot day, but still had boundless energy.  The gallery space has a permanent collection on display, high on the walls/top floor level.  Didn't take long before there was whispering...   "there are naked people up there"!

I did chat with the few visitors, yes some are interested in textile art, asking lots of questions. A couple were interested in a piece by my host, let's hope it becomes a sale.
So I was ready to leave, but we'd not closed the doors, so the two late visitors were allowed in.

Surprise and new to me to see, in his set up, fellow exhibitor Colin had added QR codes to his labels.  I wonder if this is something to be aware of for the future.....

 I will be back stewarding on Sunday afternoon, so come and say hello.

21 June 2015

Sunday Share - 21. 6.15

Another delve into the sketchbook.  After last week's chat, you might have thought err why?  Well what you see here is more of how I use a sketchbook - really its just a place to save information, and in convenient form.

For some reason I have a deep need to photograph doors, which also at times includes windows, gates and chimneys.  The doors dominate my photo collection though, but I haven't really made much art from this source...

However, as you will know from past posts and work, I do like beach huts and conversely the stereotypical birdhouse.

So here we have the latter.  Much as you can readily find templates for such things on the internet.  I work everything out myself.

I will spend ages drawing, planning, measuring, trying to get the look right.  Yes it would be easier to copy someone else's work, but then it wouldn't be my work would it, and I've always believed good or rubbish, at least its all mine.   Plus there is something to be said for working it out, as it gives an understanding of the how and what.
I've said before my sketchbooks look like architect plans.
As well as trying by drawing, I do also go on to make paper mock ups.  I find it a lot easier to work in my hands this way, and to look and adjust and see what I like and don't.

Here we have a whole pile of try-outs in different sizes.  This set of workings pre-dates my Beach Hut trials, so it informed me of how to proceed with those.

So after all that plain dull playing, which actually I find quite satisfying... this is what appeared.

Little colour ideas for a selection of, and a stitched sample.  So far it has not gone any further than this, but it might do.  However, there is a whole wrath of colourful houses and  birdies around, lots of skillful artists experienced with bright colour and shapes, which I am drawn to looking at, but not quite made my own.  Unless of course you count this...

My secret postcard made for Burnham Art Trail 2014.

19 June 2015

Burnham Art Trail 20th-28th June

Its almost upon us.  Tomorrow, is the opening day of


My work is on display at
Venue 13
Chapel Studio
Albert Road

The piece, top left, is specific to the area, entitled "Burnham Bound"
Prices start at £15 for the 'postcards' - actually small artworks 6" x 8"
suitable to be framed.
There are a total of 13 map postcards available
and don't forget
there's a Secret Postcard event at The Museum.

I am stewarding
All day - Thursday 25th June
Afternoon - Sunday 28th June
please come and visit.

18 June 2015

Its All Happening....

Busy busy busy.  Been flat out working on arty stuff.  Partially my own fault, but heavily influenced by not being 'with it' because of personal worries and the wretched cold which stuck around for almost six weeks, and completely knocked me sideways for two.

So... where were we then?

Well at our last meeting of The Material Girls, we needed to have our work completed to be photographed.  So last week, we arrived with bundles of gorgeous stuff, to oooh and aaah over.
I hope The Girls didn't think I sprung surprises with my work, one piece I'd made tests and trials for, and showed them the mock up sample, but then when I came to make the actual it morphed into something else, but does include previous try outs, so it was all there, just not in that order!
A n d    I may have made the largest piece of work I'll ever make, you will have to wait and see.
Can't reveal anything of any of it yet, as its for exhibition, so you will need to watch this space and The Girls website, Facebook, and blog for more information.
In the meantime amongst all the exhibition making, we have had time for a practical session, on making a felt ball....

It is fair to say that the pieces for The Girls include new to me techniques, I think its almost unrecognisable as mine when its compared to the work I've installed for Burnham Art Trail.
I set up my work in the space yesterday.  First time in a gallery/studio option. Most of this work is on a theme and in techniques which I enjoy.  I've gone back to Maps for the display.   Imagine my surprise when I finally opened an email to see that my image has been used to promote the Trail. (and credited)

This is in Venue magazine.  Its a free magazine for the Eastern Counties giving details of all kinds of arts events.  I've not been able to find a free copy yet, so not seen the article on paper.  However, I did collect a copy of the brochure, Essex Summer of Art, and another surprise when I came to this page and found.....

The images are from last year's Trail - the one on the bottom right is mine!  The piece is called Roundabout Rochford (well there are a few mini roundabouts in the town).  Its mono printed circles, with a hand stitched street plan on the top.

So with these major things now all resolved, its time to prep for the next Embroiderers' Guild meeting.  We are having a Skills Workshop and I'm showing the Members how to crochet.

14 June 2015

Sunday Share 14. 6.15

Today's post isn't about sketchbook keeping.... not in the manner usually considered.  But let's start with an image of mine.

This is a couple of pages of paint play.  Well a mix of paints, combined with embossing powders.

Right, as you know I don't do pretty sketchbooks, mentioned in previous posting.  Yesterday at my Embroiderers' Guild meeting, we had a guest speaker, Clive Barnett.  He took us through his work and inspiration, but importantly one of the first things he said was "I don't do sketchbooks" - there was an audible sigh of relief in the room.  This sketchbook lark has so many intimidated or just plain why?
Clive, has his ideas and inspiration and starting off point, but as he said he might record via photos, but he doesn't need to sketch as such or record in that manner because its all in his head and he's not trying to replicate what he's seen.  Big tick, liking this even more.  Although we didn't discuss, I expect he is a lot like me, in that what's in the head comes out in the fabric and threads, so why is there a need to trial it first in paints or drawings.

I think the biggest thing for me is someone actually out there saying this.  So much of college work or what you see at exhibition its almost a dirty word to say No, I don't do sketchbooks, with the imagery and pages of art in their own right.  At one time I felt a huge put down attitude because I didn't work like this, almost too embarrassed and scared to admit it.  So to have someone stand up in front of you and say they don't either, its such a relief and a welcome change, and proof you don't have to.  As Clive said, nothing wrong with lots of drawings and lovely pages, if that works for you.
I came away feeling really buoyed up by all of this.  Its also why I'm sharing my pages, because they are not pretty, they are information sheets, and importantly information for ME.  If they mean nothing to you, or are not exciting to you... well, sorry, that's the point, they are not actually for you!

But I wasn't done yet with Clive's thoughts.  He also spoke of mounting and framing work, and he had work mounted onto artist canvas.  Now I do this and have done so almost from the start. Sometimes I find it gets belittled.  For me however, very much as Clive said, its about expense. Why go to the expense of costly framing which would price it out of the market, or, as I've heard said... rather the frame/mount was a different colour.  Clive does mount in frames, behind glass, but buys from the nationwide outlets, as opposed to bespoke framers.  He said he carried out an experiment at his last exhibition, which would sell better, on canvas or behind glass.  Result, he sold an equal amount.
I've always felt that a purchaser can take my canvas mounts to their own framer and get it framed in colours/styles of their choice, but they are made as stand alone pieces.  Again, so nice to see someone else who thinks and works this way.

So... that's part of the reason for writing all of this, that may be someone, somewhere will realise the way they work is OK, they don't have to be something they are not, do it in a way which is not them. Obvious I know - but when all you see is people who work in a different way to you, or when you are studying and the tutor wants to see evidence all the time,  it can be hard to believe in yourself and go your own way.

I'm setting up my Art Trail work this week, and guess what - the wall pieces are on canvas!



07 June 2015

Sunday Share 7. 6.15

The pages this week are fairly recent, 2012, however the technique is not so new.  When I was at college we called it Counterchange.
Take a look.

About this.... its was inspired by a technique I saw by Alicia Merrett  - now I find myself continuously drawn to the world of quilters - but I have never ever made a quilt, was made to remake my quilting samples for City & Guilds Embroidery (yes I know Embroidery, but we had to do some quilting too) - my piecing was a smidge out and I had to do over.  Grrr.
I suspect its because I'm abstract minded, quilters like Alicia fit that concept,  the bright bold colours and shapes.

So I've done the above technique before, but this time I wanted to stitch it in a different way, using a twin needle, well if you can possibly look closer, you will see what a disaster that was.  I did not make a good job of the wiggles.  Perhaps I used the wrong size of needle - these days I have twin needles in many widths.

As you can see I have had better success with it, using other stitches.  Actually there is a blog post somewhere about this piece.  Essentially the handstitching was worked first, then it was cut up and joined together.  It was originally one long piece but I didn't like it, so chopped it up into "postcard" sizes.

Isn't it always the way, when working on one particular topic and method, the urge to do something else is a strong pull.  Another thing I ought to revisit, but not until end of June at the earliest.