Thursday, September 14, 2017

Taking it a little bit further

Having done the very small curved piecing sample, I decided that I would try some more experimenting.
I also said that I would make a third piece for the upcoming Ebb and Flow exhibition. As there isn't all that much time left, I thought I would use the technique to make something ebbing or flowing.

I had a frame that I bought from Ikea, so that was my standard size. Not inspired by the actual work, just something to fit the frame. As good an inspiration as any at this stage.

The frame comes with a mount board that is quite wide.
At first, I thought to use the whole size of the frame and not have any mount board or to make a shallower one.

I chose some fabrics and laid them out in the colour sequence I thought I would use.

Then I sewed a piece that would fit in the frame.

However, I wasn't that thrilled with the design, so I took a couple of photos to help me decide if it would be better if I cropped the piece to fit the smaller space.





After much to-ing and fro-ing, I chose to do the smaller size.
It still didn't speak to me much. I turned to my favourite container of threads and yarns and got out my silk ropes - not sure what they were originally used for, I got them at some trade show or other. They have been wonderful to use.

It is very hard to photograph something once it is behind glass (or perspex in this case).


The piece is now framed and ready to take to the exhibition.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Inspired by ... Ainslie Roberts

Our latest artist to be inspired by was Ainslie Roberts.
I remember several of his books about Aboriginal legends, illustrated by him. I used them at school years ago.

I found some images online but didn't really want to use most of them, they were too distinctive and I didn't think I would be able to make the inspirations 'mine'. Then I came across a couple of images that appealed to me more. Birth of the Opal.

I used the colours as my inspiration, rather than trying to replicate the image.


I was also inspired by finding a video online that shows how to do curved piecing which has always been a challenge for me.
I am intrigued by the work of Ann Brauer and thought I would start small-time, trying to work out how she might do her work.
I haven't got very far with it but I did manage to combine the A5 challenge for the Machine Embroidery group and trying out the basic technique.


Sunday, September 3, 2017

Spring blossom

The blossom on the various fruit trees has been out for a little while. I have taken some photos, most of which are in focus. I just couldn't resist the gorgeous flowers in the garden.

The various trees flower at slightly different times, so I have a variety of just blossoming, full blossom and blossom almost gone.
Actually, this one is the plum tree. 




I am trying to come up with an idea for a couple of my groups and am hoping to be inspired by the blossom.

One is Transition. I am thinking of trying to incorporate the blossom to the fruit. But that is as far as the thinking has gone so far.

Another group is working on being inspired by an artist. I might use my blossom pictures and relate them to a Van Gogh blossom.  I have found pictures of his almond blossom and we have almond growing in the backyard. That is as far as that thinking has gone too.

I suppose I can be glad that some thinking is happening, even if it isn't developing an idea quite yet.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Finishing Off

Finishing off - not my favourite thing!

However, I need to put the hanging sleeve on the back of my banner quilt. I took it with me the other day when I was getting together with a couple of friends - and managed to sew it closed.
Note to self: pull the slack up before pinning.


Then I forgot to take it to my tapestry group meeting today. I haven't got a tapestry on the go at the moment, so thought I would do that instead. I remembered the pins, scissors, thread, etc. But when I went to start, no quilt!

Hopefully, it will get done tonight.

I also have a machine embroidered piece that needs to be mounted. I probably wouldn't have worried about it except that I am going to put it in the Ebb and Flow exhibition at the Embroiderers Guild, Victoria. So it needs to be framed.

I haven't done any of my own framing since Frame Co moved to Carrum Downs - not close to me! Yesterday I took the opportunity of a relatively free afternoon to go down there. They were most helpful, giving me advice on different ways to mount it, what frames would look good, how to put in spacers to hold the glass away from the textured surface, etc.
Now all I have to do is remember how to put the frame together, use the spacers and mount the embroidery properly. Something for another day, not too far in the future.

Then I can give my attention to the next project - of which there are several. One immediate necessity is to tidy the studio again.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Just trying to do the last thing

I was reminded that today's date is one I like: 17/8/17.

I have done my sewing for the quilt top and just have to put on a hanging sleeve. Do you think I can be bothered??
It is always the way when you do the creating, the bothersome finishing off is so much less interesting!

I know I have a very good pattern for making the sleeve. I also know how to do it without the pattern. But I just can't bring myself to do it until I have found the pattern, which isn't anywhere I can think of to look.

Make myself just DO IT, as the famous football coach said. (John Kennedy?)

However ... I have also looked at the image of the piece with a border and noticed it has a major fault! No wonder it was in the UFO drawer.

The upcoming exhibition at the Embroiderers Guild is Ebb and Flow, so I can pretend that the skewif rectangle in the centre is ebbing and/or flowing. Or something.

I THINK I will put it in the exhibition, but I may change my mind.


 I'm still deciding which way up is better. I thought I knew, then I saw the distortion, so that will have an impact.

Friday, August 11, 2017

New from Old

The Embroiderers Guild, Victoria, is having a members' exhibition in October.
I thought I would try to come up with something for it. We are allowed to put in three pieces, plus another for the challenge.
The challenge theme is Take a Shell ...  I am not to sure about this one, might have a go, closer to the time. But, so far, it is not speaking to me. I did try something a while ago but am not that thrilled with it.

However, Ebb and Flow is the theme for the main exhibition.
I have looked at Pinterest (what a wonderful site!!) and seen all sorts of images that have inspired me. But I have come back to a piece that I started for the Living Colour theme, in 2014/15. I didn't finish it but didn't throw it out either.

I have resurrected it, in light of some of the ideas I have found online, and have spent quite a few hours refining the idea.
It started off as a simple patchwork piece, using the colour illusion idea that I tried before.

Now I have sewn it a lot! The idea is that the colour awareness ebbs and flows as we look at it. Or something like that.
I have added some random pieces of fabric, on top of the patchwork. Then I have heavily sewn it free motion.



I have finished the sewing, now I have to carefully measure and cut it, so I can put on some binding. That is for another day. Not far in the future though, I want to have it done and dusted.

I still have to decide which way up looks better. It is currently hanging on a bookshelf so I can see it as I pass by, then I will put it the other way up and see which appeals to me more.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Another day, another gallery opening

Last night the Hatch Gallery, in Banyule, had its opening of the exhibition, States of Being, the Elemental Importance of Water. 
It is a lovely space and has amazing exhibitions.
Last night's was very well attended with a lot of commitment to the problem of water in Australia - we are a very dry continent, liable to the largest extremes of weather of any continent.

Works were from various visual arts techniques and were inspiring.



Of course, my favourites were the tapestries.







Rosemary Crossthwaite had a selection of 6 tapestries, all depicting aspects of water in the centre of Australia, notably, Lake Eyre. They were wonderful.

Due to the large crowd, I will have to go again to see all the works properly. But, not to worry, the exhibition is on until September 9th.


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Kate Derum Award, 2017

I was fortunate to be able to attend the announcement of the Kate Derum Tapestry Weaving Award, and the Irene Davis Emerging Artist Award tonight, at the Australian Tapestry Workshop.
The exhibition was of a very high quality. It seems to get better every time!
Irene Davis Emerging Artist pieces.

It was great to catch up with some of my weaving friends who had pieces accepted (as well as my weaving friends who either didn't get accepted or didn't enter). We had a lovely night.
The atmosphere was of joy and excitement.




The range of tapestries was wonderful, as were the interpretations of the guidelines. Congratulations to anyone who did get their work in the exhibition, there were more applications than were shown.


It was also great to see some tapestries of people I have only come across online. It is soo much better to see the works 'in the flesh' than as images online.


The opening speeches were interesting. One thing I found quite fascinating was the idea that works from the USA, Europe and Australia/New Zealand have different features that identify where they were woven or where the weaver was taught. This was apparent to the judges, not to me!!



I didn't get great photos, it was too crowded! But I am sure the website and/or Facebook site will have wonderful images up soon.

The winning tapestry. 

We also got to see the tapestries on the loom in the main workroom, as well as many of the absolutely gorgeous samples.

The exhibition is on till September 29th and is well worth the visit. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Inspired by ... the date! And Mondrian

As the header says, the date got me going - 27/7/17.

This month's artist is Piet Mondrian, about whom I knew nothing. I still don't know much, have just done a very lightweight search.

I have seen his work, and similar artists, around the place without knowing who did it.

It was hard to come up with something that wasn't just a copy. I'm not sure I've succeeded, even though it is my own interpretation.

I decided to do reverse appliqué, seeing I was reminded recently of how often I have used it in the past.

I also just used pieces of fabric I already had. They are not totally flat colours but I have stuck to the three primary colours, and black and white.

I remembered that when I was doing the Design for Stitch course, a while back, we did a session on lines and shapes.  I got out my folder and came across an image that I quite liked.

But when I tried to make it on an A5 sized piece of paper, it wasn't going to work. And the black was not quite what I was looking for.

I used it to come up with a new design.  Then I realised that I was going to have to be cutting out some very small pieces if I put in all those shapes.

New design needed.

Here it is, all sewn and ready to be cut.


The fraying is always a bother with reverse appliqué, I'll have to see if I can get rid of all those little threads.

The finished item. I haven't put my initials on it yet because it is a bit hard to say which way up looks best. I'll have to give that some thought. 
I think I liked it better with the white border but too late now!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Inspired by ... Andy Warhol

Well, I dragged myself out of my sickbed today (not that ill, a cough and not feeling great) and finished off the small piece I cut out ages ago, inspired by Andy Warhol.

I decided to just sew the pieces down, not try to do any thread painting. The main reason for this was that the images I was inspired by are screen printed and don't have much depth or shading in them, they appear quite flat to me.

Having recently worked with Kathryn Harmer Fox and learning to embed the fabric with random stitching, I decided to just try that. There wasn't much embedding to do, the fabric really has the image, the stitching is holding it down and that is about all.

The pieces were traced onto Vliesofix and then ironed onto the fabric and cut out. It is all rather fiddly as the finished size is only A5 - that has been one of the main challenges of this series, the small size! It makes it achievable as it is small but it also makes the design choices different, to manage to get the effect in such a small piece.

I decided to cut out the hair under my chin, especially as it didn't seem right when I cropped the picture. Then the chin looked rather strange. I added some shadow but I think it is a bit straight.


Not to worry, I have done another of my machine embroidery group's challenges, despite not making the relevant meeting.

Now I just have to try to be inspired by Piet Mondrian. Not getting any great inspiration at this stage. Still, if I start looking, I may come up with some new idea to try.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Travelling tapestry exhibition 2017

The online group challenge has come to Melbourne! We put it up today, at the Handspinners and Weavers gallery, in Carlton North.

Every time I looked at it, I saw a new tapestry to exclaim over.
The interpretations are so varied and there are 53 small tapestries, so there is plenty to look at.

My piece probably would have benefited from a written explanation, but that is not part of this challenge. I noticed that the corner that had curled, due to the exposure to the elements, had a pin in it. But it is not supposed to be pinned. Luckily, I was there for the hanging, so I could make my point, so to speak.

It is not as dark now, I did wash it thoroughly as it was going to travel with other people's precious pieces. But the curled corner is still there.

Our local group also took the opportunity to hang our Leaves challenge. One piece is missing as the maker is overseas at the moment. But she will be back soon and will come in and complete the image.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Next artist to inspire us

I missed the last machine embroidery group meeting, so didn't do the next challenge. It was Andy Warhol. I looked at some of the images online and thought that maybe I could do some screen printing. But that seemed a lot of trouble just to get an A5 image that I am not particularly interested in.

I let it go and did a couple of other things. Then I looked online again.
I even went back to search for free online photo changing sites. Nothing appealed to me, mainly because I didn't have an inspirational image to begin with.

I don't usually put my image online, in fact, I don't have that many photos of me, I usually take photos of scenes and other people.

I chose to do a face rather than some of the other types of images he did.

I eventually found a picture of me from (ahem) years ago. That will do, I thought to myself.


Then I looked around online again, for a tutorial on how to use Photoshop to do my image in the genre. I found a couple but they didn't seem to be using the same edition of Photoshop that I have.
I then decided to play around with what I know how to do and came up with some samples.


They are not great but they have given me some practice on Photoshop (much needed).  As you can see, the shadow under my chin gave me some problems and I eventually cropped the image quite a bit too.
I'll have to see if I can meld the best aspects of the various images and come up with something. Or not.

I can now think about how I might go about doing this in textile. So the challenge, although not immediately interesting to me, has given me some creative thinking and problem solving, something I enjoy.

It may go no further than this, but it has been useful to this point.