Tuesday 22 October 2013

TTF Exhibition - Nearly there!

I have finished the last two pieces for the TTF exhibition at Art Van Go in November. Hurrah! Here is my cotton reels in the landscape piece, which I hope will be the first in a series of pieces depicting cotton reels in the landscape. I'm really quite excited about developing this theme. 

From the first in a series to the last in my gridy series. This piece has been on the stocks for some time, partly because of it's size which makes it less portable. It can be too easy to have your head (or fingers?) turned by your latest ideas and to leave older pieces in a corner but this exhibition has encouraged me to finish it. And I'm glad I have, The more I have stitched it, the fonder I have grown of it. 

Not everything is finished, I still have to add hanging devices and to write my personal statement and a few other bits & pieces.  Not to mention bake a cake for the 'Meet the Artists' event which is on 2nd November (2-4pm) and I hope to see some of you there. And never before as anyone needed to sort her threads and put them back to their rightful place as I do at the moment!

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Knitting & Stitch Show 2013

Another year on and another enjoyable trip to the Knitting & Stitch show. As usual I visited on the Sunday, mainly because I think it's going to be quieter than on any other day. The trains in my area were disrupted due to engineering works and the weather was horrible so I was hoping for a particularly quiet day but it wasn't to be. It seemed very busy to me and more so around the traders than the exhibitions. 

My impression was that there were less galleries this year but maybe there were just less that 'wowed' me?  There was another thing there seemed to be less of and that was the 'No Photography' signs, so that was pleasing. Now I can show my pics to my friend who wasn't able to go and of course I can show some here.  In no particular order, here is some of the work I photographed. 

As always  Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn gallery was full of inspiring work. I would have loved to take Jan's 'A Magical evening' home.

I also really liked the simplicity of this piece, also by Jan. This is what I would like to achieve more of in my dyeing, a 'complex' build up of colour and texture within a simple structure.

I really liked the way the jar emerges in Jean's 'Ginger Jar' piece.....

....and here's a detail of the work. Again lots of interesting layers and detail to look at when you get up close.

This work is by Bobby Britnell. I really liked the bark cloth and the colours she used but then knowing it had an African theme is a winner with me to start with.
It was nice to be able to get the opportunity to see Dorothy Caldwell's work displayed in a gallery of it's own, with both small and large pieces side by side.
James Hunting told me that he never has a vision of his finished piece when he starts but rather he starts with an idea of the mood he wants to create. I never think of the mood of the piece I'm creating but I'm going to try and think about that for my next piece even if I couple that with a vision of the end piece I want to create.
I enjoyed talking to Susan Syddall in the Graduate Showcase and would have loved to find out more about how she developed her landscape work during her course. I'll be watching her blog to see how her work progresses in the next year.
It was great to see and get close to Margaret Nicholson's work in the exhibition stage by her daughter Anthea Godfrey and to see Art of Embroidery Exhibition. Although I had seen some of these pieces previously in magazines and books it is so much better to see the real things and to the marvel at the detail rarely visible in photographs.
Purchases? Not too many really. I bought this Rectangular embroidery frame, this Book by Jean Draper a few threads for dyeing and some dress fabric. I was just about to say that I was quite restrained really but actually apart from the some textile art there wasn't anything else I really wanted...and I think that is largely down to the fact I have so much already!

Monday 7 October 2013

Pink Landscape I

In last month's post  Gearing Up for my Next Landscape , I showed some of the photographs and drawings that I had done in what I'm calling my pink landscape series. Or at least I like to think of it becoming a series because I have a few ideas that I would like to develop and I have picked this section of a photograph as inspiration for my first piece.

On Saturday I went to C2C and worked on the background for the piece. It has now had two layers of dye on it, or perhaps more accurately I should say I have had two sessions of printing because I do layer the dyes in each printing session. The picture was taken in the salubrious surroundings of my garage because that's one place where I can hang up the full length of the fabric.  

I'm much happier after the second session of printing, probably because the design now has some structure and the textures are starting to build up. I plan explore design options for the tree using paper before I commit any dyes to it. It may just turn out to be a shape that I add, rather that something that is instantly recognisable as a tree.  But even before I add the tree, I reckon there's at least two more dyeing sessions to go before I am happy with the depth of colour and texture in the background. It all takes time.
Just because I was printing on Saturday, it doesn't mean that I have abandoned my stitching for the exhibition. In fact my reel piece is almost finished and I should have that to show you soon. Just to prove that my stitching fingers have been busy, here's the current state of them!

If it looks a dodgy colour in the cracks and under the nail, it's just green dye from Saturday - honest!

This weekend my fingers will get a rest whilst I visit the Knitting and Stitch Show at Alexandra Palace and hopefully I'll come back with even more inspiration - I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday 1 October 2013

Reelin' down the Rhine

I'm just back from a lovely week cruising down the Rhine and we had lovely weather.

There was mile after mile of vineyards and they created some very interesting patterns which reminded me of a very large patchwork quilt.


I still found time to do some stitching, which is just as well, as I would like to finish this 'reels in the landscape' piece in time for the exhibition in November. There's still quite a lot of work to be done and (unfortunately) I'm not sure about one or two of the colours and may even unpick some of the stitching which won't help me get it finished but I probably won't be happy with the piece unless I do. 
Taking this photograph reminded me how much more difficult it is to take a decent photograph when there is less light around and the colours of this piece are deeper than they appear here.

You can see where my idea for this piece came from in my previous post . Hopefully, it won't be too long before I have the finished piece to show you....maybe!