A very few of my experiments are for sale on my website very cheaply if you're interested, as I hate to throw things away. However, selling is not what this blog is about - I'd have starved to death years ago if it was - it would make me happy if you just enjoy the processes.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

The words for Life 5

Currently stitching the words for Life 5 - Shall I Be Mother? 

This is not an explanation, it's a story.

Perhaps I should explain to non-Brits! The saying "Shall I be mother?" is often said when one takes charge of the teapot and helps everyone else to a cup of tea. So there is a double meaning on this quilt  and it's all to do with the tea ceremony.

So, there's this young woman who needs to work for a living as a geisha. She's not a prostitute but a respected member of a society which values things differently. She makes her living from singing and dancing and entertaining including
officiating at tea ceremonies. Illegally, her virginity has been bought and she now finds herself with child. She's doesn't know what to do. Her instincts as a prospective mother have to be weighed against her lifestyle and the years of training she's undertaken. Her life as a geisha would not be possible and she has to live somehow. She has an answer of course, but it's not simple. She doesn't know what to do. There's a rational argument, an instinctive human response, and a spiritual one as well.

Shall I be mother?  I don’t know, I really don’t know. In 2001 my mizuage was illegally sold for £20,000, which means I am now Geisha. For me the tea ceremony is a transformative practice and my belief is of wabi sabi and I can now be a host and earn my living. I do not believe in an afterlife. When I die, I disappear. But I am with child and my mortality will become my immortality.

No one should have the right to say what happens to my body, because I don’t belong to anyone else.  I was given the gift of life when I was born but I find I am not free. No one is. Governments and religions all dictate to us. They have given themselves the right to command what happens to our bodies and say when one person becomes two, and that one person must suffer because of the other.  What is soul? Consciousness is soul. Potential isn’t soul. I had the potential to pass exams but didn’t. A potential person isn’t a person. Thomas Aquinas said that boys had soul 40 days gestation and girls at 90 days, and the Catholic Church says soul exists from conception. How can that be?  How can you quantify the spiritual and justify your actions by promising me an afterlife if I believe.  I don’t believe in your God.  BUT..

At 1 month 0.5cms
Heart pumping since 18th day. The beginnings of eyes, spinal cord and nerves, lungs, stomach, intestines, liver and kidneys.

At 2 months 2.5 to 3.5 cms
Arms and legs become distinct and tiny fingers and toes appear. All internal organs of an adult, at various stages of development, are present. The first bone cells begin to be formed. Brain waves can be detected from about the sixth week.

At 3 months. 6-8 cms
Development continues. The mother may feel the foetus kicking as it flexes its muscles. The heartbeat can be detected. The foetus now looks clearly like a human baby and can suck its thumb.

At 4 months 12-18 cms
The head has distinct human features and may have hair. The skin is pink, and the bones are closing to form joints. A baby can now be a girl or a boy.

At 5 months 25-30cms
Developing rapidly and very active

At 6 months 28-34cms.
Eyes may now open. All systems are formed and are just growing in size

At 7-9months 36-56cms
Grows in size and fat is deposited to help survival at birth. Grows fingernails.

Shall I Be Mother?

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Shall I be Mother?

 "Keep Away From Fire"? Well you would, wouldn't you?

I've been collecting some pots for Life 6 - still life.  The model came on Tuesday and I'm ready to start as soon as Life 5 is painted.
The stitching apart from the words on the body is done.  I realized why I'm having problems with this, and would refer you back to photo 1!!

I'm also itching to get out the oil paints at some point quite soon and paint a portrait on canvas.  I haven't used oils now for nearly 2 years and I'm missing them. 

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Just a little taster of the exhibition!

Just a snippet to wet your appetite!  "Through Our Hands" at Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum until January.  There's a little more on Linda Kemshall's blog with a few photos of the crowds - it was a bit of a squash! 

Artists on show are: Laura Kemshall, Linda Kemshall, Sandra Meech, Eszter Bornemisza, Elizabeth Brimelow, Elizabeth Barton, Bethan Ash, Alicia Merrett, Annabel Rainbow, and Dijanne Cevaal.

Below is Laura Kemshall's Don't Go, and Elizabeth Barton's street scenes of York, and Alicia Merrett's map fragments. Don't they look fab?

Monday, 15 October 2012

Nearly ready to paint, and I get to fiddle around in a gallery store room!

Life 5 is nearly ready to paint, but I have to stitch some words on the body first....in between setting up a new exhibition at Leamington Art Gallery, and being a new Granny!

New baby is still in hospital as she's a bit sleepy and everyone wants to see her feed heartily before she can come home.

I spent the morning at the Gallery, delivering quilts, and unpacking others.  I have to say en masse, the exhibition is going to be wonderul - the quilts are truly amazing.  Do come and see if you can!

Details here. (opening times, etc)  Don't forget Friday 19th October is the meet the artist day, with lots of talks and demos from 1 to 4pm. There's a free catalogue and teas and coffee.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Granny Rainbow!

Evelyn, born 10.30pm on the 13th October.  5lbs 11oz. All very well and wonderful xx I shall endeavour to be an exquisite Granny.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Still waiting

No news yet.

 However, one has already purchased baby's first pumpkin.

And, I've been after a bronze teapot like the one below for some time.  I found it in Waddeston Manor tearooms on Wednesday, and asked to buy one.  It holds 2 large mugs of tea, which is surprizing.

All the mess on the table above, was to make these decorated panels in my GALS diary.  It's PVA drizzled in shapes on the edges of the page.  Then a touch of oil pastel in yellow ochre, brown, and orange.  Black gesso covers it all, and it was scraped back when dry to reveal the colours. They'll be a spot of text in the centre. I like the effect - never used black gesso before.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Hello again - 2 postings in one day??  Things are happening thick and fast in Chez Rainbow!

First of all, details for the talks and demonstrations for the exhibition Through Our Hands, which has it's opening event in Leamington Spa on Friday 19th October (it actually opens on Thursday 18th October) is on the posting underneath this one.

I would like to let you know about something else too.  On Friday last week, I went to visit Laura and Linda Kemshall (and new baby, Amelie, who by the way, is absolutely gorgeous!), and they talked to me about my quilts and some of the controversy surrounding my subject choice.

You can see the results here:
Laura and Linda Kemshall on DMTV
They took some amazing photos of them too with closeups that are much much better than mine.

So, if you'd like to join us, please press the link and log in!

Thirdly, my lovely daughter is expecting our first grandchild at the end of October, but it looks like she may be putting in an appearance a little earlier than planned. It's so very very exciting. What a year 2012 has turned out to be!

Talks and demo timetable for Through Our Hands

Leamington Spa Art Gallery  & Museum presents
Through Our Hands
Exhibition Opening

Programme for the Day

Friday 19th October

1pm  Alice Swatton  - An introduction to the Through Our Hands exhibition

1.30pm   Linda Kemshall  - Demonstration and Talk
2pm   Elizabeth Brimelow – Talk
2.30pm  Sandra Meech  - Talk
3pm   Alicia Merrett  -  Demonstration and Talk
4pm Event finishes

Meet a selection of the exhibiting artists
Visit the exhibition
Tea and Coffee will be served

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Collecting things.

 I'm fairly sure that there is someone out there who can explain the psychology of "collecting".  It seems to be part of being human.  Occasionally it gets out of hand (I've heard of people who literally can't get inside their houses because they are full of magazines, and old bottles, dirty plates, and things rescued from the street.)

For most of us it's about having lovely things around us.  I love small things and just lately have been adding slowly to my stock!

When my mother-in-law died, we had to clear out her house, and were appalled at the amount of rubbish stored in drawers and cupboards - bags full of, well, more bags!  Small amounts of money stashed in old chocolate boxes, and enough sheets to keep a small hospital going for a couple of weeks.

Both DH and I said that we would never get like that, and so, have gone through our stuff and donated hoards to charity shops and sold bits through auction houses.  We had nothing, literally, left except what we needed to live life comfortably.  But slowly, slowly, starting with a display table, and then a display cupboard, we've been adding again. There's simply no hope!! I'm worse than DH - cannot live in a vacuum it seems, however nice it looks in the property and interior magazines.

So I publicly apologize to my family who may need to do a bit of sorting when I've passed on. All I can say in my defence is that I'm trying to keep it small, ok??

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Exhibition catalogue etc.

There's a free catalogue waiting for you when you visit the exhibition in Leamington. 

There's also classes by Alicia Merrett (sorry now full) and me (no idea if mine are full or not!) They are £10 for the whole afternoon and include use of new pfaff machines and with all materials provided for free as well.

On Friday 19th October, there will be free talks and demonstrations throughout the afternoon.