an artists' view

an artists' view

Sunday, 26 February 2012


Another 'old' sketch...found in a sketchbook, that I'd forgotten all about! Inspired by the exhibition of Peter Randall-Page at Yorkshire Sculpture a few years back. Marina Warner gave the opening speech at the private view; I had no idea she was going to be there, but as a long time 'fan' of her writing, I had to go and say hello.
All I can say, is she was very friendly and approachable, and happily chatted away to me, and others. I'd just read Iain Sinclair's book about Hackney, and he'd quoted a conversation he had with Marina Warner. I spoke about this to her; and also I'd just seen the Jean Luc Goddard dvd 'Sympathy For The Devil', about 1968, and the Rolling Stones recording process. Marina Warner is involved in that film, and Iain Sinclair refers to this in his book. Interesting, these connections.....I think Iain Sinclair might find it quite amusing! I know I did!   

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Felt 3

Mosaic felt; the pink wavy sections were cut out of a second half-felted piece, and then inserted into the cut-out sections of the grey half-felted piece. I spent hours and hours stitching the pink and grey together.....extremely tedious! As I told Christine, the tutor, 'I'll never use the mosaic technique again!'
After then half-felting the two pieces of felt; then cutting out the sections to insert, and stitching them together; I then had to complete the felting process on the whole piece. 
It seems a very faffy way of inserting a second section of felt onto another piece. I think there are easier methods. And to add insult to injury, I have to re-felt this piece, as it's not completely felted. Ah well; steep learning curve and all that. 

Thursday, 9 February 2012


The 8th of February is Hari-Kuyo, the Japanese Festival of the Broken Needles. Broken needles are collected throughout the year, and then on the 8th of February, taken to the local shrine, and stuck into a piece of tofu; then thrown into the nearest water-course, or river, or sea, and the water God asked for blessings.
My needles aren't broken; or piercing tofu; but put out of harms' way, in a pincushion!  

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Isle of Islay; drawing with stitch

The snow has arrived! It began to fall yesterday afternoon, and just kept coming....
I'm guessing it will freeze tonight. Though there doesn't seem to be enough to cause major disruptions here in Wakefield. 
However, the days are starting to stretch out and we're enjoying lengthening daylight. Today has been bright and sunny, as the white snow has reflected the light. Cold, but lovely.

Looking back to last summer and a holiday spent on the Isle of Islay, here is the second 'sewn drawing' based on a pencil sketch I did in August 2011. It's from our visit to the nature reserve at Loch Gruinart, an RSPB site.
We had a walk round, through woods, and fields, and generally enjoyed ourselves. 
I'm enjoying the challenge of recreating a pencil drawing onto fabric, using thread as the 'line'. For these 2 sewn drawings, I've used sashiko thread; which is quite like embroidery thread, though slightly 'fluffier', and with a more matte quality.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Plant Dyed Fabric

Another of my dye-ing experiments.
I love how this has turned out. It's almost an abstract 'painting'! The colours are very sludgy and almost monochrome, the brown giving a subtle addition. I take no ownership of it; the whole dye-ing work I'm doing, is completely experimental. Things come out unexpectedly when I remove them from the dye-bath.
I've just taken out the organic cotton from the onion skin dyebath that's mentioned in an earlier post. Compared with some earlier dyed work, that piece is a very rich colour; which I'd hoped for. 
I think I'm still wrapping the bundles too tightly though. I'm getting a fading of colour of the fabric wrapped in the centre of the bundle, furthest away from the liquid. Haven't cracked that yet. 
Maybe the answer is to leave the fabric loose in the liquid? Hmmmm. That may be my next experiment? Got to save up onion skins again. The land is too bare to go out foraging for potential dye experiments. 

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