A blog about making art and other things using cloth, paper, paint, colour, stitch, and all sorts of exciting techniques, some of which I'm sure I still have to discover! I hope that the joy all this gives me is visible in what you can see here.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Print and paint.

The weekend collagraph workshop was so inspirational, I've become impatient to do more! I still need to buy the correct inks and paper, but decided to have a go anyway, with what I already have.

I've used relief ink instead of etching ink, and some mixed media paper instead of the recommended cartridge paper. However, I made a couple of plates using some fennel seed heads from the garden, foil and glue.

I made a ghost print of the full seed head, but all three prints needed some extra work. I have added  extra colour and detail with watercolour and gouache  paint, but have thoroughly enjoyed myself again, and feel reasonably happy with the results. 

Monday, 16 October 2017

Collagraph Workshop Weekend

This last weekend, I thoroughly enjoyed a Collagraph Workshop run by Birgitta Wilson. There were ten of us taking part, and we were amazed at how much we managed to achieve in just two days. Below is my very first attempt, and you can see the print above the plate.

We made our printing plates on a mount board base, and then used a variety of elements on the surface to create the different textures. These included sellotape, aluminium sticky backed tape, parcel tape, cling film, textured papers, thin dried plant materials and leaves, lace, scrim and a glue gun which we drew over the surface with. In fact, there are limitless materials that can be used, which helps to make this such an exciting way of producing a unique print. We also used a craft knife to score lines, and peel back areas of the mount board surface, which is then able to hold the ink, giving a darker area which contrasts with the lighter areas.

Above and below are example of the prints created by other members of the group. I can't remember who did what. so can't really give names.

Two plates on the left, (above), with the printed results on the right. I made another print of each which you can see below, and because the ink was applied slightly differently, the results are also different. I tried to introduce another colour on half of one of them.

The same with these two, both printed in blue/black, but I rolled some yellow ochre over one of them to see what would happen.

Sometimes, if there is enough ink left on a plate, it is possible to get two prints, although the second one is obviously much lighter, a ghost print.

Such an enjoyable workshop, and something that I would like to do more of. Birgitta is a brilliant and very generous tutor, and if you get the chance to take part in one of her workshops, I just know you will have a wonderful experience.

Finally, I'm finishing off with an image of a piece of work from my Wednesday art class last week. One of the backgrounds that I had created a few weeks ago, reminded me of a stormy sky, so I decided to work from my photo of those Gulls, and painted them in using gouache paint, which is opaque enough to cover the colours underneath.

It's been a very busy week, so I'm going to take it easy for a couple of days. I think I need to allow what I've been learning to get thoroughly embedded in my brain.

Thanks for reading yet again.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Some Stitching on the Horizon at Last!

At last I feel a textile piece is almost ready for the making! Above is my final plan for what I think will look good in cloth, paint and stitch. Two close-up views below.

It's an abstracted view, developed from my photo of the gulls on the beach a couple of weeks ago, you can read about process in the two previous posts.

I have taken inspiration for the background from the razor shell sketches, as I wanted to keep everything linked to the seashore, and I also feel that my simplified sketches of the gulls wings and tail feathers, relate very well to the shapes for the sea and sky.

My final stage now is to get out the cloth, paints and thread, give the sewing machine a good oiling, and fingers crossed I will soon have a piece of textile art to show you, the first for quite some time!

Thanks yet again, for reading my blog, and I hope you have also been inspired to get creating!

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Detail and Colour

 Just a bit more detail to add to yesterdays post. I decided to make some reduction/abstracted drawings from my razor shell work, and also thought it would be helpful to show the process in a bit more detail.

I placed my 'window' over one of the ink and wash sketches, isolating an area that I then sketched in pen. Result below.

This process was then repeated, and as you will see from the images below, each time there is less and less to draw, until just a few lines remain.

I wondered about using one of these abstracted images as a background for the gull in flight drawing, the result is shown below. I think this could work, but I need to explore the idea a bit more. I like the idea of keeping all the ideas for a finished piece inspired by beach finds.

Above, is my razor shell, and below are my concertina book sketches from yesterdays post, now with some added colour. I think my favourite image so far is the third one down from here, and one that I feel shows some promise for being a starting point for a textile piece.

I had a walk along the seafront this morning, and the sea really was quite wild, with white crested waves. So much inspiration all around, so plenty of ideas for this theme!

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Sketchbook Development Classes

 Before you get too far into this post, a warning! I've included more photos than usual, so will attempt to keep the written part as brief as possible. 

One of the art classes I'm enjoying at the moment is about sketchbook development. Lucy Dean, our tutor, has called the theme for this term 'Repetition and Time'. The image below, a photocopy of some seaweed that Lucy floated onto a canvas was our starting point for the first session.

We made a small frame so that we could isolate an area from the seaweed image, and draw it out. From each successive drawing, we isolated another part of the previous drawing,until we had just a few interesting lines to play around with.

I don't know why, but as I reduced my drawings, I thought they were beginning to resemble tonsils!!

Above is my final reduced image which I traced off,  allowing me to play around with four identical images. I arranged them into what you can see below. The middle section reminded me of two fish, and as this seemed to fit in with the seaweed theme, I drew two fun fish surrounded by some watery shapes.

I took a photo of this large flock of Gulls, and cropped it to get a closer view of the birds in flight.

Using the same frame, I reduced the images as before, until I was left with the fourth one below.

I repeated the drawings into two folded concertina books, one in a portrait orientation, and the second in landscape. The abstracted shapes of the birds I have left white, but decided to experiment with the backgrounds using line in various ways.

I also quite liked the two gull heads from the bottom right of the cropped photo, so had a play around with that too.

During our second lesson, Lucy gave us each a razor shell to sketch. We were also given an A4 sheet of paper that had been folded into four, giving us four elongated surfaces to draw the shell. Lucy then suggested that when we had completed all four sketches/paintings, we were to cut the paper through the middle, joining the two pieces, making a concertina book.

I decided to experiment with different media for each drawing, so used ink and wash, watercolour, collage and a textured background for another.

If you've managed to stay with this post to the end, well done, and I hope you have enjoyed it.
Still not much stitching going on, but the whole point of these classes is to give me a new perspective, which will, I'm sure eventually inspire any future textile work.
Fingers crossed!