22 October 2014

Elizabeth's Workshop with Anuck Naumann

North Yorkshire was a wonderful setting for the three day workshop with Polish artist Anuck Naumann.  Starting with an A2 piece of white cartridge paper the students were encouraged to 'play' with a variety of art materials like water based inks, matt medium, bleach and the use of found objects for mark making.  These are all materials we know and have used but sometimes we need to use them in a free way to be reminded of their full potential.

The lively patterned papers were folded and cut into the most beautiful little books which encouraged further working into with collage and oil pastels.  The second project was to apply the knowledge and skills to a 'painting' and to introduce acrylic paint.  Developing the ideas further with layers of texture, colour and peeling back (tonking I hear is the correct terminology!) Elizabeth's expertise and love of textiles shone through.  

It was a real treat to hear Elizabeth's detailed talk about the workshop and see her beautiful samples.  She inspired us so much we wanted to rush home and get out our art materials! Three days is very exhausting but to have this time to totally devote to art with no interruption must have been absolute luxury!  Thank you Elizabeth.                                                                                                 Jen

4 September 2014

project 3 DRAWING

Project 3 Drawing

Sue, Elizabeth and Jean

The 3rd challenge was a drawing project based on Little Moreton Hall where we had spent a very enjoyable sunny day sketching, taking photographs and absorbing the beautiful building.  I set the challenge to encourage further investigation and possibly new ways of thinking. One drawing was to be monotone, the second a change of scale and the third to was to use non typical drawing materials and avoid a paper background.  

As with all the challenges we have done, it was a delight to see the results and how we had all explored the subject in our own way.  Sometimes we need to be pushed out of our comfort zones and encouraged to challenge ourselves. 

Bridget, Shirley, Shosh and Grazyna

It was a good challenge, everyone enjoyed it and hopefully some of the ideas will be carried further.
Sue has set the next one called 'Construction' .......now what can be done with the collection of items in the plastic wallet???  Jen

17 June 2014

Val's visit to India


A special treat for us today when Val showed us some of the lovely textiles she had collected during her travels around central India earlier this year. India must be an absolute feast for anyone like us who love cloth, colour and pattern and as Val explained she found it difficult to select, there was so much choice.  One good thing is obliging shopkeepers will ship your purchases home.  With an eye for fabric decoration and local handicrafts Val showed us examples of block printing, tie dying, hand stitching and patchwork, some of which had been made into garments and bags.

An important part of the trip was a visit to The Calico Museum in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, home to five centuries of textiles and regarded as one of the finest in the world. Sadly photography is forbidden, even of the buildings and there are no postcards to buy.  A great disappointment for those who will probably never get the chance to visit.

What is Val going to do with her collection?  Maybe they will inspire her next body of work or maybe she will treasure them as reminders of a wonderful holiday.  Thank you Val, if only we could all go!   Jen                                                                                                                                          

1 May 2014

The Garden Museum

A little gem of a place in a converted church, next to Lambeth Palace on the South Bank, London.

Flowers and gardens have always been a source of inspiration but I was particularly interested in a special exhibition curated by Nicola Shulman, writer, historian and Trustee of the Garden Museum, titled 'Fashion and Gardens'.  Exploring the relationship between fashion and garden design from the age of Elizabeth I to London Fashion week this year, the exhibition had beautiful examples of heavily embroidered royal court costume and household items. Philip Treacy, contemporary miliner had loaned a quirky orchid shaped hat and Valentino's evening cape, inspired by wrought iron gates took centre stage.  

Unfortunately no photos of the exhibition but the ones I have included show the museum and the fabulous ceiling of flowers suspended from wires.  Upstairs provides a resource of historical garden equipment and images illustrating social change and how this has affected the garden 

Must mention the fabulous vegetarian cafe and the delightful garden, a little oasis in busy London!  Jen

20 March 2014

The Metre Piece Challenge

 There is nothing like a challenge to take you out of your comfort zone and get the creative juices flowing,
Back in Spetember Grazyna presented each of us with a beautifully rolled square metre of linen fabric. Attached was a hand written label bearing our name and two simple instructions, 'All the fabric to be used' and 'Stitching to be used'.

Bombarded with thoughts and ideas, strangely the rolls remained tied ......linen can be a difficult fabric to work with, a metre square is  an intimidating size for those who like to work small and the off white colour is like a blank canvas .....where do we start?

Using the offcuts, we experimented and sampled guided by intuition and experience.  Confidence was not high and many a moan and groan could be heard.

Mid March and all was revealed ....what a fabulous surprise.  The metre pieces of linen had been transformed into a delightful mix of hangings and 3D.  Familiar traits could be seen but there were also explorations into new territory and a whole host of ideas for further development. 

 A copy of the magazine 'Selvedge' is the starting point for our next challenge put forward by Elizabeth.  I hope the outcome is as exciting as the 1st challenge.                                     

19 January 2014

Grayson Perry, The Vanity of Small Differences

Grayson Perry

The Vanity of Small Differences

Manchester Art Gallery

ends 2nd February 2014

Wish I could post some images form this exhibition but copyright prevents me from doing so, however many will have seen the TV documentaries on Chananel 4 'All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry'  From his investigations into social class and how taste defines the classes, Perry gathered enough visual images to design 6 fabulous tapestries.  They were woven in Belgium.

The tapestries based on Hogarth's 'A Rake's Progress' are full of symbolism and colour making them a delight on different levels.  There are references to religious paintings and do try and spot the hidden logo in each one.  The interactive Ipads support the thought processes and if you have 45 minutes to spare at the end, the  programme is worth a watch.  It made me realise how carefully Perry had observed daily life. 

An important social comment which must be treasured!                               Jen