an artists' view

an artists' view

Thursday, 27 February 2014

playing with filters!

One of the samples I'm working on. Silk dyed with walnut, and woad; cotton dyed with the woad. Printed with the collography plate I made. Photographed using my camera-fone; on ordinary setting.
 Same sample; using the 'poster' setting on my camera-fone.
Same again; using the 'solarisation' setting on my camera-fone. Not a fantastic solarisation effect. Needs more contrast for that, really. How easy it is to make these effects; I remember forty years ago, trying to get the solarisation effect, using darkroom techniques. Messing about with the stinking chemicals. Getting my hands dirty; in the dark, trying to make sure every speck of light was blocked out. Using the college darkrooms. Buying developing equipment to set up a darkroom at home; at first under the stairs (a tight squeeze!) then getting it all up into the loft (much easier!). Looking at Man Ray's photos; his solarisation effects.
'Negative' effect on my camera-fone.
The technical skills we used to practice to try and get these effects. All done now, with a click on the mobile phone. Is it too easy nowadays? We're all photographers now, aren't we?
The ubiquity of camera's in our mobile phones has created a generation who records their every move and posts it online.
I keep my old photos in boxes. 
I sometimes wonder; what would Man Ray have done with this technology.?What would Bill Brandt have done? How would Lee Miller have used a camera-fone when she was photographing events of WW2, and the liberation of the camps? Well; they would've been able to travel light/er, wouldn't they?
But what effect would this technology have had upon their art? They would have used it, definitely. Artists use whatever technology is there. And I'm using some of the oldest, most basic technology in the world; dyeing with plants, needles and threads. Ancient technology. Going back millennia. I like that.

Sunday, 23 February 2014


Stitch on tweed.
Hell to photograph!
The patterns on the tweed play havoc with the pixilations of the digital camera-phone. In 'real-life' as opposed to digital-life, the scarlet stitching stands out much better.
I started this after the 14th of February, Valentine's Day; after seeing lots of images all over the web. And thinking about the samples I'm working on currently; how they're actually telling an oblique story. So I decided this would be less oblique, and more obvious. It's not completed; but it will tell a story that includes words, and it will make reference to recent life-events. All this work will go in an exhibition for Wakefield's November Artwalk. It feels quite uncomfortable to be making work which will (for me) be so revealing.
The heart in the stitches is whole. The work is about heartbreak. The tweed comes from my dad, who died 20 years ago. Passed onto me by Rob, after my mum died last July. Weaving connections.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

ceramic & glass

A mosaic project to be found in the ginnels of Wakefield, include this one;
a Hepworth sculpture and words.
 Mosaic sculpture found at Silkstone church, Barnsley.
Glass window/door in a bar in Wakefield.
It depicts the Town Hall clock.
Yesterday was Jon's mum's funeral. The time ran out................

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

'came in through the bathroom window......'

The twisted and distorted view out of the bathroom window at work! Overlooking the grounds of the Quaker meeting house. And beyond are the old Almshouses; with Morrison's the brick tower in the far distance.
The Quaker garden is full of clumps of snowdrops. Lovely to see.
The trees are bare now; but last May/June, here is how one of them looked. Thick hawthorn blossoms. I can hardly wait for the flowers to bloom this year! Though they might not return so thick; the trees have been hacked back, quite drastically.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

the mother-of-all-dye

Silk dyed with cow-parsley flowers, from last summer. A delicate yellow. Hard to remember the beautiful hot summer we had in 2013, when we're having such a wet, dreary winter.
I've printed onto it, using the collography plate I've made; I'm using it on a lot of the 'samples' I'm stitching currently. The darker area, has come from some bleeding through from a fabric I dyed with procian dye. I like the random-ness of it. It's just sitting there, waiting for the next idea. It's unknown; a mystery.
Dug out from the pile of detritus behind the compost bins.....a lovely post finial; at least I think that's what it is? I've nowt to attach it to, so it's sitting beside the door to my studio, looking pretty. It's ceramic, and a wee bit chipped at the top, but still looks nice.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Geta Bratescu

Geta Bratescu

Geta Bratescu

Geta Bratescu

I found this on Cynthia Korzekwa's blog;
'Artist Geta Br─âtescu is considered one of the most important figures in the Romanian avant-garde of the 1960s and 1970s.  She studied art and literature but was forced to quit her studies. Born in 1926, she made art for years before the international art world even knew of her existence.
In 1989, when the communist regime ended in Romania, Geta’s work began being exhibited beyond her geograhical boundaries.
Geta, initially, focused on drawing but eventually experimented with many art forms. Those which intrigue me the most are from the ‘Vestigii’  (Vestiges) series. She’s taken old clothes and  fabric scraps to make collages. Geta also makes sewing machine drawings.'

These are so beautiful! Thank you Cynthia for showing me these artworks, and allowing me to meet Geta!

ice cold!!!!!!

Last Saturday, whilst out with Pauline, we called at Charlottes Ice-Cream Parlour. We've made a new year's resolution to eat our way through the delicious home-made ice-cream combos! This was my first one; I couldn't resist the 'artist palette', and wished I could've brought the lovely ceramic plate home with me. Well, it would have got sludged up with paint, so maybe not.
Above, is another bleached black cotton strip. Folded in a concertina, then dribbled domestos bleach on the edges. No holes burnt through yet.....that's still to come.

Friday, 14 February 2014

rend again

The fabric above is not quite that livid pink! It's cotton dyed using walnuts; the blue is the 'sig vat', cotton dyed with woad.
Both have been printed using a collagraphy plate.
Close-up; and the colour is more faded in this photo; and more 'real' to the actual fabric. Am still on with seed stitching. It's what I'm working on currently, along with another 'sampler', maybe I should call them? All these pieces are quite small. Manageable to handle. Pieced together.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

heart stitched

 On such a dreach day as today, all it's fit for is to stay home and stitch!
This rain; rain; rain. Flooding in the south of England; dreary wet here in Yorkshire.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

hives & homes

Hives in the darkening dusk.
Out with Pauline, I visited her friend who keeps bees. His garden is a large rambling Victorian one, with lots of overgrown corners...trees, and bushes. Perfect bee country. Though currently they're (sensibly!) tucked up in their hives, overwintering. Pauline has invited me over when the bees are out and about, making honey, living their bee lives. She has a bee-suit (!) she says she'll lend me. I am fascinated by bees. Like many other creatures they are increasingly under threat. I've never come near hives. The bees I've met have all been those in my garden, or the gardens of other people.
A single hive; a single birdbox.
Homes for our fellow creatures with whom we share the planet. I've got 2 birdboxes up here at home; one outside my living-room window (better than the telly!) and one I've moved from beside the compost bins (too accessible for the cats!) to hang outside the studio. This third one, fell out of the tree last year. It needs fixing onto the tree more securely; so my job is to put it up again, out of cat-range, and with no worry about it falling off.  
With this!
My new drill! I've drilled some holes in the back of the birdbox, so I can slip some wire/rubber ties through, then attach it to the tree.
I came to the conclusion that being without a drill was a poor imitation of an artist! I've borrowed power tools before, seen them used, and used them, but never had my own.
I want to complete a piece, 'WoodBook', I've had hanging around for ages now, but I need a drill for that. About time I had my own, at my age. So; I'm acquiring technology.
Beware middle aged women with power tools!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

weaving #4

Over the xmas holidays I managed to get some more work done on this weaving.....that has been going on for 12+ months!
It's almost complete now. But I have to consult with Tracey as to how to tie it off, and cut it from the frame/loom. Once I have her advice, I can give her the frame back, and work with a framer to get the weaving framed up.  

Sunday, 2 February 2014

winter nights like these

On dreary winter evenings like these, when you're fulla cold, all you can do is switch on the slow-cooker and prepare a hot, filling meal of veggy stew! I keep expecting to wake up and open the curtains to that blue-whiteness of snowfall. But none here so far.
Having spent most of the last few days dosed up with paracetamol, and sleeping and sleeping the time away, I've been living on the slow-cooked veggy's. It's got me through the worst, I hope. I must say, it smells lovely with the scent of cooking drifting through the house.
Stitching has slowed down. Hoping to be up and about more now.
Happy Imbolc!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

broken; mended

 close up
further along

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