Tag Archives: art

Something Fishy & All things Holy (T)!


Getting ready for tomorrow’s workshops- blanks cut and painted ready for participants to add their creativity! 

Some of the demonstration pieces will be for sale at the Holy T Art Fair – to raise funds for the project. See you there 23/24 September!!


And this view of Holy Isle should be framed and ready to go too! 

Great North Art Show

Tomorrow is delivery day for the Great North Art Show!! So my bank holiday is being spent adding mirror plates and searching for bubble wrap!

I’m taking five pieces to the show – but I think one of them is still in Edinburgh so there may have to be a last minute substitution….

I’m hoping  to take Glimpses of Summer

Glimpses of Summer

Sometimes the sun breaks through the clouds.

Arran Breeze

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Stonechat Lands

Stonechat cropped square

(I’ve just had this one re-framed and added in some sneaky extra details! Can you spot the difference?

There’ll be some more images soon of the show itself, I’m so looking forward to it!

 

 

The Last Shift – all done!

I have so enjoyed  this project, meeting and working with the children at the Primary School and using their designs to complete the banner.

Last Shift Finished

So now you can see how it has all fitted together, I’ll have to add a picture of the reverse but this is the front. There was a lovely ‘Oooh’ from the children and visitors when the banner was unveiled at school last Thursday.

It’s always nerve wracking to take in a finished piece – will they/ won’t they like it?? Its safe to say I was a bit anxious as I drove over to the school, luckily, I think this was a hit!

The central panel is created from those details I shared in my last post, making a stylised view of Greenside and it’s Colliery past. I wanted to use features of the traditional banners, so the children’s block prints form strong contrasting borders and the school name is on a scroll at the top. The panel that shows ‘Today’s Children’ reads ‘Tomorrow’s Future’ on the reverse – a phrase found on the reverse of the updated Greenside colliery banner.

The back is covered in the block prints made by Key Stage 3 classes, arranged in stripes that link to the striped brickwork in the Miners’ Cottages in the village.

All of the children’s prints have been included – if they are not on the main banner then they are stitched like prayer flags to the streamers that hang from the sides. This banner truly represents all of the children in school!

The banner will get its first official outing at The Last Shift Picnic next Saturday, 23rd July. I hope the rest of the village like it as much as the children and teachers!

Many thanks to the Banner Tales team and Greenside Primary School for giving me the opportunity to work on this lovely community project!

 

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 – storm clouds gathering!

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This is the first panel of the triptych under the needle! This is an upside down view of the storm clouds at the very edge of the piece.

It has been great to finally start stitching – definitely prefer this to all that measuring and crawling around on the floor!

To create the image, I select the colours from the spiral dyed and painted fabric, then tear them into small strips and place them in the right parts of the design. The plain white base fabric is covered with a fusible web – this means that I can see the outline of the design through it and, once the colour pieces are in place, I iron them so that they fix to the fusible web. this means they stay in position without the need for pinning or tacking.

I work on smallish sections because, otherwise, the manoeuvering  of fabric through the sewing machine can make some of the fused pieces fall off – very frustrating! (Can you tell I worked this out through experience?!) I  straight stitch with the machine set for freestyle embroidery, so I can go back and forth along the fabric pieces to secure them. Once they’re stitched in place I move on to the next section and repeat the process. Then, when an area is complete – the sky say, or the fields, I’ll work over it with more machine or hand stitching to add detail. On the clouds in the picture above you can see I’m starting to add some definition. I’m trying to create a squally shower effect at the bottom edge of the darker clouds.

So far I’ve included fabric from the pieces dyed by the following – Faye, Jill & Harry, Alie, Louise (mon), Prathiba, Rachel & Anna, Mumay, Emer & Harry, Louise (tues),Sarah W, Linda, Hannah & Reggie, Sue & Ted and two of the girls from Heaton Manor ! I’m not sure if you’ll be able to spot your colours but I’m going to try and keep a record of whose goes where!

I’m looking forward to starting the waves tomorrow – that will probably include some embroidery on soluble fabric to create the sea spray.

Be back soon!

Gallery 45 Coast Exhibition

What a lovely way to spend the day! We started with a trip to the lovely Gallery 45 in Felton, Northumberland, so I could drop off some of my work for the ‘Coast’ exhibition that starts tomorrow. There are several artists taking part –   Fiona Carvell , Sarah O’DowdPeter Davidson , Linda Mumba , Deirdre Foster  so there’s  a wide range of media (and prices!), go along and take a look!

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After that, we just had to go and try out the menu at the Running Fox Bakery just down the road on the edge of the Coquet River. It was a breakfast brunchy delight and kept us fuelled all day! (I’d recommend the Foxless Scone – eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes on a cheese scone – yum!)

So, then we thought we’d go and seek inspiration – and burn off some calories – with a walk on the beach. There was a glimmer of light and a sliver of blue in the sky and we hit lucky – I’m beginning to believe that the sun always  shines on Alnmouth!

I love the way the long grasses frame the views on Northumbrian beaches. It was a bit too breezy to hang about, or paddle (!) but a brisk walk on a Northern beach in a Northerly wind does clear the head!

We only saw a few other folks, along with a lot of oyster catchers, a beautiful sight on a fabulous Friday.

Seaton Sluice Surprise

Sometimes you find something surprising almost on the doorstep! Often walking across the beach at Seaton Sluice, I’d look up to the headland and think ‘That looks almost like Brittany – whitewashed buildings on the headland, seas all round’ and wonder whether it was worth exploring. One evening early last Summer, we finally went along for a look – it was fabulous – the sun was setting over the hills as we followed footpaths over the grassy headland, stumbling across crazy driftwood and flotsam sculptures and discovering the tiny Watch Tower museum. We walked around the headland and back along the riverside before a well earned (!) pint at the pub (the biggest white building).

Inside the pub we found information about the history of the area – 13th century salt manufacture and 18th century bottle works, and learnt that what we thought was a river passage was man made! The Cut had been blasted out in the 18th century to make a better entry to the harbour for bigger boats to take coal and salt, south to London.

It was so lovely that we went back the next morning with a breakfast picnic of hot (veggie) sausage sarnies, a flask of tea and the children! Then we discovered the next bay along  Collywell Bay, with fantastic rock structures standing proud on the beach.

This weekend adventure inspired me to get sketching, and the first result can be seen above. It is created with hand dyed fabric, appliqued and stitched to capture the texture and detail of the scenery. I’ve called it Spring Tide – Seaton and it’ll be on view at Gallery 45 in Felton from this Saturday, 5th March. I’ll be at the gallery the following Saturday for their Meet the Maker event when I’m promised there’ll be tea and cake!

In the meantime, I’ll be getting on with that commission…..

My Journey continues

Well, that was a busy month of workshops. There is now a huge stash of gorgeously coloured fabric in my work room, awaiting transformation into the triptych for the church.

The Lab Youth Group got to try fabric painting. The aim was the same as for the spiral dyeing workshops – using colour to represent ideas and emotions linked to each participant’s ‘Journey’ to and with the group. By working with thickened dye they could also use shapes and mark making to further explore their ideas.

All in one short session so there was time to make (and eat) pancakes too!

 

Young people from Heaton Manor also got to try their skills at fabric painting. Beautiful mark making and very thoughtful comments about how colour could show our moods and emotions. Such a wide variety of images emerging during the afternoon session.

Since the workshops finished I’ve been busy thinking about the writing from all the groups and the colours created in the fabric workshops. Now I’ve got ideas in my sketchbook so its time for me to get creating….

Staithes Art Festival 2014

Somehow I’ve got the urge to up sticks and settle down in a little seaside cottage…could it be the after effects of a lovely day in Staithes?

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The annual art festival took place this weekend, with 80 pop up galleries featuring over 100 artists. Then there’s the buskers, pop up cafés and the beach, littered with fossils! We strolled around in (almost) sunshine, along Ginnels strewn with bunting, finding artists in all media, happy to talk about their work, and life in general!

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The streets were thronged and smelt temptingly of fresh cooked seafood, cakes and coffee. One of the pop up cafés even specialises in gluten free cakes!

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There were things to do and lots of talks and demo’s – a perfect arty weekend:) it’ll definitely be on the calendar for next year!

All the Fun of the Fair

I love funfairs; the colour,the noise, the excitement. The way an open space gets transformed into a magic environment when the fair moves into town. That’s the mood I’m trying to capture in my Fun Fair pieces. I like the idea of aeroplanes that only fly in circles, of Fun Houses with moving walkways and spinning floors, dodgem cars that spark and zoom. So I want the pieces to be bright and colourful, full of energy and a sense of movement.

Helter Skelter – This is another of my reclaimed tin pieces under construction – I hope to have it completed by the weekend! It’s constructed around a large mackerel tin:)

Stitching the side panels

Stitching the side panels

Making the slides
Making the slides

Positioning the slides

Positioning the slides

I have tried several versions of the slides, I was trying to find a method that was flexible enough to fit around the sloping curves of the tower structure. Eventually I settled on using a needle felted base and covering it with free machine embroidery.

Nearing completion, the slides are stitched into position and the tower is pinned to the background

Nearing completion, the slides are stitched into position and the tower is pinned to the background