Monday, 28 January 2013

Ice Bird

Last week a cloak of snow and ice wrapped itself around the fields and hills.  Gone were the leaden skies and muddy lanes: we were rewarded with pristine white drifts and blinding sunshine.

The frozen puddles produced intricate patterns, ripples held in time, trapping bubbles and other treasures.  I spent the afternoon tracing lines onto silk with silver gutta and then painting delicate shades of purple.

"I like your bird" said my daughter as she breezed by.

"What bird?"  I didn't realise that my swirls and twirls had created hidden shapes!  What else was hiding beneath the ice?

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Making plans

This week was my first opportunity to meet up with my crafting friends after the Christmas holidays.  It was a time for making plans for what new projects we were going to tackle and new skills we could share over the coming year.

Just to keep our hands busy whilst we talked, we made these lovely fabric flowers following the instructions in Making magazine.  We found they worked best when using a riot of colours - don't be too prissy about matching and coordinating!  I stitched some bugle beads onto the centre so it looked a bit like a sunflower when I'd finished.  It was a great way to use up lots of bits from my stash.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

More practice needed!

I always feel a bit of a fraud when I describe myself as an artist because I'm never happy with my drawings or paintings - they never turn out quite how I imagine them in my head.  However one thing that my time at Bradford College taught me was the importance of visual research as a means of "getting into" a subject.

So many times I have started a project with one idea but by the time I have done my obligatory sketching and photos I'm off at a tangent.  Perhaps its the time that you allow yourself to truly think about your subject whilst drawing or painting that deepens your understanding and opens up new avenues.  Whatever thought processes are going on, I now embrace my rudimentary drawings and delight in seeing where they take me.

Just for the record, this is a pen and ink sketch of a bowl of peacan nuts and clementine leaves left over from Christmas.  They were sat in a hand carved wooden bowl brought back from a friend's holiday in Goa.  I liked the idea of gifts from afar which seems fitting for the season of Epiphany.


Sunday, 6 January 2013

50:50 Project

Its an old adage but I'm turning over a new leaf this year.  My goal is not only to blog on a weekly basis but I've also set myself the challenge of doing a new piece of art every week.

I have often admired artists who undertake such marathons and the discipline of doing something different and in a relatively quick period of time is quite engaging.

Last year, I was lucky to visit Farfield Mill and catch the 62 Group@50 exhibition where Hannah Streefker's work caught my eye.  She had mended the holes and imperfections in leaves with delicate and loving stitches and then mounted her specimens in individual frames covering an entire wall.  The effect was breathtaking! 

In my own homage to her work I collected some leaves from my garden:  holly and ivy for the season and sweet bay leaves for their aroma.  It wasn't difficult to find some that needed my care because the incessant wind has been ravaging my garden for months.  But stitching these delicate green clothes proved much more difficult than I imagined.  As the leaves dried, the stitches became loose and coarse. I don't think I enhanced Nature's own work but it was interesting to work with new materials.