Monthly Archives: April 2016

Day Trippers

I’ve been adding to the Day Trippers series for a couple of years now. You might remember I wrote an article for Cloth Paper Scissors about them last Summer.

I’ve got a couple of ideas for new pieces to add to the series, moving my focus inland for one and back to the coast for another. I’ll keep you posted on progress but I’m hoping to get them finished in time for the Newcastle Art Spring Fest.

The first is going to be subtitled  ‘High Strung Hills’ and is inspired by all those lovely Northumbrian landscapes. I’ve got this one all planned out as you can see – thats the blue sky I was working on when I heard the news about the Craft & Design Selected Maker Awards!

I think the next will be inspired by the crazy April weather and will be about how stormy days can be the most exciting  – so long as you’re prepared for it!

More to follow on these!

 

Oh My Giddy Aunt!

Well, there I was collaging a new bit of sky…bluer than it is outside at the moment, when I paused to check my emails only to find this…

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I know it doesn’t take much to distract me but…!

So, a great big thank you to everyone who voted for me and to the judges for appreciating the importance of personal and community making in my work.

You can read the Judge’s comments about my work HERE

And now I’m in need of a celebratory cup of tea!

(Then I’ll go and finish that sky – got to be ready with new work for the LoveArtNorthEast Spring Art Fest at the end of May!)

Just a few ideas…

After my little jaunt up the coast, I’ve been trying out ideas in my sketchbook – I brought a kelp root back from the beach and I must get it sketched because to be honest its a bit stinky!

One reason I’m not doing so many markets at the moment is because I want to develop some new work (the other reason being the My Journey project I’m also documenting in this blog.) I have a feeling that these new pieces might get quite big, in comparison to other work I’ve been doing recently. So, I’m trying out compositions, colours and processes in my sketchbook. I’m trying to practice what I preach – don’t settle for the first idea, do get out and draw on location, play and experiment. Often, I find, that deadlines mean I skimp on some of these – so I’m giving myself a bit of time to get really stuck in to the research. I’ve got two new boards on my Pinterest site Joan Eardley and Anne Redpath. I’m fascinated by how they use paint and want to try their sort of approach but with  fabric and stitch.

(c) Anne Morrison; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Summer Grasses & Barley on the Clifftop Joan Eardley c1962

There’s so much life and energy in this painting. I love the layers, the marks and the use of colour. I think that I’m moving towards this in my own work as I develop themes and ideas.

Yesterday was such a beautiful Spring day, sunshine with some warmth! (Quite rare in the North of England at the moment!) so I treated myself to an afternoon in the garden with my sketch book. Just working on capturing the flowers that are starting to bloom. There are Bluebells still tightly clenched in buds and Magnolia Stellata starting to unfurl. Beautiful shapes and colour changes that are so subtle. I found out the Bluebells are also known as Endymion, after the youth put into an eternal sleep by the Greek Moon goddess Selene. I love these stories of how names arise, I store them in the ideas cupboard in my brain ready to use when I’m trying to think of interesting titles for my work. But is ‘Land of Endymion’ a bit too romantic for a scene from my garden or the local park?!

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Silk Painting Spring Theme

A different sort of project! Working on the theme of insects, the group I work with on Wednesday have been using silk paints to create beautifully coloured insects in circular motifs. Why circles? Well, I’m doing a bit of up-cycling…a certain Swedish store  sells a scarf tidy, I found one in a charity shop and disassembled it. This gave me a lot of string and a whole load of plastic rings. Haven’t thought of a use for the string… yet, but the rings are going to be used to frame these insects – are you with me so far?

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Wise birds Wise Words 2016

Remember these guts? The Wise Birds I posted about a little while ago? Well, there’s another window next to them that’s looking a little bare. So the insect display is going to go up there.  The idea is that the insects will all be flying around a central panel (see below) showing a Spring time garden. The panel is all ready for the colour to be applied. It’s a relaxing way to pass the time whilst receiving treatment – and as several people can work around the table at once its a good way to encourage peer support.

I’ll post more images when it’s all finished.

It’s been a nice change from stitching for me too! Although, you know what…I am almost ready to get back on the machine – maybe I’ll  just keep drawing ’til the sunny spell we’re having here is over though!

My Journey – Unveiled

Today saw the first unveiling of the triptych. It was such a lovely event. As the work was unveiled a very strong ‘Ooh’ echoed around the room. Everyone seemed to be delighted with how the work had developed and it was great to be able to talk with people about their responses to the work – and to share in person the ideas and processes behind its development.

So now I have to think about what to do next! I have plans (of course!) and I’m itching to start some new work. After the glories of the morning, the afternoon has been spent doing admin’. I’ve applied to the Great North Art Show that takes place in Ripon Cathedral in September. Four and a half months away – but seeing how fast the first few months of 2016 have slipped by…I’d better get motoring on that machine again!

I’m going to be doing a short talk about the importance of colour in my work later this week too – Jesmond Library is the venue, this Thursday from 6pm. I’ll be joined by two lovely talented artists Ailsa Miller and Cath Hodson. The evening will be hosted by the fabulous Lesley McNish the mastermind behind the Loveartnortheast Art Markets. So pop along if you would like to find out more about colour in art!

Time to dig out those sketchbooks now!

My Journey – Journey’s End

That’s it. I have stitched my last stitch, ends tied in, loose threads trimmed. Photos taken.

All of a sudden it’s done…and I feel quite bereft.

(Then I remember the aching arms and the workroom that really needs tidying.)

My last job is to take it to the framer’s tomorrow. Anxious thoughts..will it stretch well over the frames. Will the three pieces ‘marry up’ as I intend them to? Will there be any last minute ‘touch up’ jobs to do?

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There’s been some choppy waters – broken needles, manipulating large pieces of fabric through the small space of a sewing machine, time speeding by…aching limbs after stitching for hours on end, sometimes I felt it would overcome me but I kept on going

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Until finally, this week has seen me speeding towards the conclusion of more than three months of workshops, planning, drawing and stitching.

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And then all of a sudden, the harbour is in sight, Journey’s End indeed.

I’ve learnt so much through this project, stretching myself as an artist , working around issues of size and scale, incorporating other people’s stories into one theme, planning and delivering everything to a deadline. It has been a joyous task to work on, thank you everyone for the opportunity.

But now its time to move on, the April showers are holding back and I’m off to enjoy the sunshine. The triptych will be unveiled later this month and then I’ll write about the meaning behind the imagery, with photos of it in situ at Heaton Baptist Church.

Now, I think I left my family somewhere under a pile of fabric! Better go and find them!

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My Journey – some final details

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Oops more casualties!! Good job I got all those extra needles delivered – I haven’t quite got through them all today but the soil in the garden  section was definitely in need of some fine raking!

I said I was going to only let you see small sections now until its all complete – but I thought I’d give you a sneak peek…

…of the backs!

It’s an opportunity to see all the different stitch marks anyway! That’s the right hand panel on the left (!) and the centre panel on the right!

There is a tiny amount of machine stitching left to do – I want to add some shading to the houses in the central panel and I’ve got to add in the bunting , tonight I’ll be tying off all the threads I’ve not done so far and adding a little bit of hand stitch to the garden on the right hand panel.

Better get the daylight lamp ready for action!