Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Tea ceremony in England and a visit to Brighton

 We've just had a short break in Brighton.

The Brighton Pavillion was turned from a farmhouse into this wonderous palace by the Prince Regent, son of George111 (that's the one they made the film Mad King George about)

A strange man, who once he was made Regent, had access to large amounts of money and who spent an awful lot of it decorating the pavillion in chinoisery style.

The Chinese and Japanese influences are everywhere and are amazing.
The building itself is built in Indian style, and the outside appearance makes it look bigger than it actually is.

Queen Victoria is supposed to have disliked it, and it's furnishings, but it's more likely that she chose to get rid of it simply because it was too small for her large family, and was in the centre of the town and there was little privacy.

She actually removed much of the furniture and put it in her other Palaces, so must have liked it I think.
I can't tell you how wonderful the interior is even though much of the furniture has gone. The wallpapers, curtains, and chandeliers are worth the entry money on their own.  Do go.  No photos were allowed of the interior I'm afraid.

And, in the shop on the way out, I came across a wonderful little book called Tea and Conversation.  I have been struggling with finding the right words for Life 5 - "shall I be mother."  The original plan was to make the piece about life as a geisha, and filling the models body with information about the restrictions of being a geisha, and the importance of the tea ceremony to Japanese culture.

However, I've been amazed by the gems in the book and have been finding out about the Afternoon Tea ceremony in England.  Here's some snippets which may make you laugh, but may surprise you too.

"Draw up a menu of conversation" 
As the hostess takes so long attending to the table decorations, the food, the choice of guests and her appearance, she should also be aware of shaping the conversation.  In order that the guests can quickly be in touch with each other, the hostess could also draw up a menu of conversation. This could be placed on each person's plate.

At a formal tea party it is wrong to consider the art of conversation unimportant.  It is one's duty to try and make others happy.

Advice for young men's conversation at tea parties
The finest compliment that can be paid to a woman of refinement and esprit is to lead the conversation into such a channel as may mark you appreciation of her superior attainments.  Let your conversation be adapted as skilfully as may be to your company.

Never lower the intellectual standard of your conversation in addressing ladies. Pay them the compliment of seeming to consider them capable of an equal understanding with gentlemen  (nb, note the "seeming" as opposed to really considering them capable!!)

Do not use a classical quotation without apologising for or translating it.  Whether in the presence of ladies or gentlemen, much display of learning is out of place.

Teatime in springtime (all seasons are considered separately)
Springtime offers great scope for the enthusiastic hostess. The isolation of winter months ensures plenty of guests, an eagerness for new conversation and the latest styles.

For those who have wintered abroad, afternoon tea is the perfect showcase for their European fashions and for those who have spent cosy days at home dressmaking the fruits of their work could be paraded.

The awakening of the flowerbeds will inspire the astute hostess in spring and Easter. She will plan her afternoon tea to be at one with the countryside, to echo nature all around her. The hostess will collect garden and wild flowers to adorn her table; she will make a vivid table decoration to be a visual masterpiece which will stimulate conversation and put guest at their ease.

A theme should be chosen and the able cloth, napkins, tea equipage, china, doilies, table runners and all trimmings will be coordinated in accordance with the theme. The cloth might be embroidered with crocus and tulips and the corner of the napkins decorated with matching imagery. Where possible the crockery should match one of the colours, as would the tray cloth.


AND SO ON AND ON.  Wonderfully appropriate isn't it??  Can you see why I leapt at paying £3.99 for this treasure?!

Monday, 27 August 2012

Paper piecing for Life 5



It's a bit tricky but I'm getting there.  Even with an enlarged photocopy, you only get a rough idea of what goes where, and you end up having to invent quite a bit.







Quite often, the folds and turns, don't become obvious until I've painted in the shadows.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Yay! A naked lady quilt hits the press.

http://www.visitheartofengland.co.uk/news/article/?id=1022


I hate having my photo taken, but look, I got to wear my Palace frock and shoes again!!

Mind you, they've got some funny ideas about where some of the artists live. Oh well, much of the rest is as I said so that's fabulous.

 Could I, ahem, just point out ..... naked woman....in the main stream press....no problems....come on quilty world, get with it.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Painted quilts need their own place

Just a quickie as I have to rush off today and won't be back for a bit, but it occurred to me, following previous postings and FB comments, that maybe painted quilts now need their own category at shows.  The idea of an Art Quilt, Pictorial Quilt, etc cover the basics but don't allow for proper judging.

If there was a Painted Quilt section, then quilts that are painted, would be judged fairly and by specialists in painting perhaps.  Just a thought.  Comment/email/facebook/ etc if you think it's a good idea - even if you don't paint!

I'm planning on asking Twisted Thread about it, and even if it doesn't get anywhere, it would be interesting for me to hear your views. I think this would be something new and untried, certainly at foq, but it would make me happy for one!!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Exhibtion of SixandFriends coming soon!

SixandFriends Exhibition is happening very soon!!

Read all about the museum here,
and follow the links.


Time is flying past, and I'm going off-blog for a few days, so wanted to leave you with the details.  There will be a "Meet The Artist" on Saturday 8th September between 1 and 3pm.  Do come if you can! It would be lovely to see you :)



From the Needle Museum's website:

Fri 7 Sep to Sun 21 Oct 2012
ORIENTATION
This year for our textile exhibition we thought it would be fun to set a bit of a challenge to our friends Linda and Laura Kemshall. We asked them "Could they create a new exhibition that would complement our Last Samurai exhibition? Could they produce a quilt exhibition that was totally inspired by the rich and exquisite culture of the Far East? Would they have enough time to research the techniques, delicate patterns, intricate symbols and motifs used in oriental textile work? And put it all together?"

"Yes!" they said, "we can do it! But we might need a little help from our friends."
So they have invited Hilary Beattie, Ineke Berlyn, Edwina Mackinnon, Catherine Nicholls, Annabel Rainbow, Stephanie Redfern and Marie Roper to join with them on this exciting and challenging quilt journey.

You can follow their progress on their blog  as well as Linda and Laura's own website .

There are workshops and demonstrations to accompany the exhibition.

Orientation Textile Exhibition

Friday, 17 August 2012

The evils of censorship

"Delenda est Carthago" Cato the Censor, used these words to conclude every speech he made in the Senate. It means Carthage Must Be Destroyed.


I'm unbelievably hacked off.  I've had yet another request from a quilting magazine asking me if they can do a piece about my work, but yet again they want the story and the techniques but don't want to publish any pictures.

You cannot print an article about what I do without including pictures. No, you REALLY can't.  I have already turned down 3 other magazines for this very reason.

AND why do they not want to print the pictures?  Because of some of you dear readers.  "The Public" don't like naked people.  It's not done. It's not Christian. It's not nice. It's not ethical. It's not tasteful. It's not homely. It's not something we want to see. It's not The American Way. Apparently.

So have my lovely ladies been confused with porn?  Are they in some way unknown to me deeply erotic?   I doubt it.  Are they shocking?  Well perhaps they are and perhaps in the circumstances that's a good thing.  We came into this world naked, and when we take a bath or change our clothes we are still naked. Some of us even take our clothes off to procreate. Since when did that become something to be ashamed of?

The wider art world accepts and welcomes life drawing and painting as a difficult, challenging, rewarding and valid genre of art.  As I've said before, the walls of the Vatican, most of the Churches in Rome and indeed Europe, as well as every decent art gallery, has nudes portrayed in one form or another.  At a recent exhibition I went to about flying and early planes, nearly half the images on show contained nudes. A FLYING exhibition.

So why, in heavens upon earth, can't you portray real life people with no clothes on, on a quilt?

To be fair, you can in some places. England for example is very happily sensible and takes a wider viewpoint at least in it's Galleries and public spaces, and I know this is true of other European countries, but I wonder if any of the quilting magazines would print images of my quilts??   Is this a quilters censorship only?

"If you want to change a whole people, then you start with the girls. It stands to reason: they learn faster, and they pass on what they learn to their children"

I'm baffled. Some people obviously could do with a few more diagrams of human bodies to help them sort their arse out from their elbow.

My quilts are about emotional response.  Lots of beautiful, beautiful quilts are art and depict  many easier subjects, perhaps playing with colour combinations, dealing with techniques that show a new way forward, of abstracting and altering images, and shapes to define and highlight certain attributes. They win prizes and adoration.  My art however, is about what I feel, what I want to say literally as well as pictorally.

I've had thousands of hits on the posting I did about the words on Life 4, and they can't all have been from idignant people. The comments would suggest that the quilt was thought refreshing and to the point.

If you don't want to print my quilts, then please leave me alone. You deny me a voice and the opportunity of reaching a wider audience.  You suck.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Idiot!

Last week I decided to have a clearout of the old linens in the airing cupboard. We've got a new boiler and it's taking up space where the linens used to be and I needed to trim down the stock!

I had two similar patchwork quilts; (you've seen them in the Life Series of quilts - blue, pink, and cream) a single, and a double.  4 days ago, I decided to take the double down to the charity shop thinking I'd still have the single. But when I came to look for it yesterday, to put in Life 5 it wasn't to be seen. I spent two hours hunting high and low; I even turned the shed out. Then I remembered, I'd had a similar clear out about 6 months ago and obviously had the same idea and got rid of the single, keeping the double.  This left me with NO QUILTS at all. Oh crikey. I'm such a plum.



























Fortunately after a good scouring of the unfinished pile heap, I came across an old Wedding Ring quilt top that somehow never got finished, and I've managed to use that instead, so the expense of buying a new quilt or making one, has been avoided.  It's also very appropriate given the theme of Life 5!

So the long process of piecing a quilt top together has started.  I think this is going to be quite difficult - which will mean that I'll probably enjoy it!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Life 5 begins (Shall I Be Mother?)

There's been a bit of a delay in things quilty at chez Rainbow because of visitors, and gardening, and the countless little hiccups that make up my days. This just won't do! I have quilts to make.

However, I had some time to myself today and decided to get cracking on another piece for the Orientation exhibition.  Now, you have to look carefully, but you can just see the outline of my model. (That outstretched hand will have a teapot in it.)



And here's a close up of the face.  Still doing the hair.  I haven't decided whether to make it messy or to give it a bit of a Japanese look with manicured perfection and lots of combs and pretty things in it.  Perhaps I will put some chopsticks through the bun at the back (my DD's used to use chopsticks to hold their hair in place when they were younger - it was a bit of a thing - that and knitting needles)

I haven't worked out what to say on the body yet; one option being a bit about the life of a geisha and the restrictions necessary (ie not having children) I've got masses of reading material but haven't written anything yet - best get cracking as I like to do the text before I work out the rest of the picture.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Through Our Hands

Link here

Through our Hands
18 October 2012 – 13 January 2013

Work from ten textile artists, national and international, who approach quilting as a contemporary art form. Featuring Bethan Ash, Elizabeth Barton (USA), Eszter Bornemisza,(Hungary), Elizabeth Brimelow, Dijanne Cevaal (Australia), Linda Kemshall, Laura Kemshall, Sandra Meech, Alicia Merrett, Annabel Rainbow (UK).

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

3 more altered book pages

 Stitched pages. Pleated pink tissue paper. Gesso. Pen and ink shapes.
 Right and below...washes of dye paint.  Wax crayon. More paint.

Left page: Stitched pages. Crumpled brown envelope glued into place. Gesso
Right page: cut out made smaller and stitched back into place. 1/4 inch masking tape. Pen and ink.
Wax crayon. Washes of acrylic paint. Gel medium.
 Acrylic paint, and gold antiquing wax.




Below: Sitched pages. Gesso. PVA glue left to dry and then dye paints.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

If you liked Life 4, you might love this!!

My DD posted this on my facebook page.  If you've read Life 4, you'll appreciate the connection. Made me hoot.


A man came home from work and found his 5 children outside, still in their pyjamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn around garden, The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house and no sign of the dog, walking in the door, he found ...an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, the throw rug was against one wall, In the front room the TV was on loudly with the cartoon channel, the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door. He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls. As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pyjamas, reading a novel... She looked up at him, smiled and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, 'What happened here today?' She again smiled and answered, 'You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world do I do all day?...
''Yes," was his incredulous reply..
She answered, 'Well, today I didn't do it.’

Picture from: "Heath Robbins Photography”

Photo: Repost...  A man came home from work and found his 5 children outside, still in their pyjamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn around garden, The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house and no sign of the dog, walking in the door, he found ...an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, the throw rug was against one wall, In the front room the TV was on loudly with the cartoon channel, the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door. He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls. As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pyjamas, reading a novel... She looked up at him, smiled and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, 'What happened here today?' She again smiled and answered, 'You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world do I do all day?... ''Yes," was his incredulous reply.. She answered, 'Well, today I didn't do it.’  Picture from: "Heath Robbins Photography”

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Ticking over

I had a new life model come around last week to do a few yoga poses for me for "Still Life."

I'm not entirely sure I've managed to get what I need yet, and am going to do Life 5 "Shall I Be Mother?" next whilst I think.

I've drawn the body, and am waiting to start the stitching, but I have a very important visitor at the moment (DD2 home from Hong Kong for a couple of weeks - hurrah and deep joy...although it does mean the work table becomes the dining table temporarily!)  We're having such fun catching up and eating out and shopping and giggling etc etc

I have however, been pootling in the altered books again.  It's been a while.  I bought that tiny terracotta tile in the first photo this morning, to put into a sketchbook somewhere. It's from Mexico and is a Day Of The Dead artefact - a hugely important celebration over there.

I now have an altered book under construction, just dedicated to kettles and teapots, and it's a great place to store all the little sketches of bronze pots and ceramic kettles that I've been doing to get "Orientation-ed" up. The first venue for Orientation is from 7th September to 21st October at Redditch Needle Museum.  Details here.  The link gives details of the Meet The Artists Day on 8th September, and it would be wonderful to see any of you if you're in the area, so do come along and say hello. Edwina Mackinnon is doing a Pojagi workshop (details here)    I know from first hand experience what a great teacher she is - no idea if there's any spaces left mind you; I think you'll have to email or ring.                                                                      





The pages aren't nearly finished of course. I shall keep adding layers until they feel right. The thing about doing these that I love is the total freedom to make an unmitigated mess if necessary.  It absolutely isn't about making something beautiful (for me anyway) but about doodling away and allowing a free flow of ideas.

It always surprises me what pops out of the brain if you let it loose!!