Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Applique basics in.

It looks a little unpromising at this stage, but I hope to start with some stitch today.  I think I might swap the ostrich egg for a few hens eggs instead, and put a pair of glasses at the front too.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Draped quilt and background mostly done. Still life bit set up.

Miles? Well it seems like miles of washboard stitching on the wallpaper.

Below: Setting up a still life for the table top.

 I'm not sure if all or any of this will find a way into the quilt yet, but it's a start.  As you know from past posts, I'm basing the still life part on the old dutch paintings such as the Harmen Steenwyck's Still Life: An Allegory of the Vanities of Human Life.

The plastic bag in the photo obviously won't be there!!  It's standing in for a skull. Skulls are a universal symbol of death. There will be a clock and possibly a burnt candle. All these things will mark the length and passing of life.

The ostrich egg, is an object from distant lands - somewhat rare I suppose? It's a symbol of wealth but also of birth and fertility.

The books represent human knowledge. My sketchbook is there of course, as is a Germain Greer. The piece is about menopause so I felt "The Change" had earned a place!

The fabric is an expensive commercial piece. That and the teapot and cup and saucer represent life's luxuries and indulgencies.

There is a trug with flowers. Not sure which ones to put in yet. Research shows that sunflowers stand for faithfulness, divine love, and devotion.

The pearls are for femininity and the tablets for ageing and control.

There's also an electric hand held fan.  I expect you can work out the symbolism of that one yourself!!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Orientation at Weedon from 23rd March

The SixandFriends (link on sidebar) exhibition called Orientation is moving to Bramble Patch in Weedon (Northants) and will be at there from Saturday 23rd March until 6th April. It's £2 admission but proceeds go to Macmillan nursing - a really good cause.

There will be quilts by Linda Kemshall, Laura Kemshall, Hilary Beattie, Stephanie Redfern, Catherine Nicholls, Ineke Berlin, Edwina Mackinnon and yours truly. Work will also be on display by Marie Roper, who very sadly passed away last year.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Update on Life 8 - On The Shelf

A quick update on Life 8 for you!  I wanted the quilt the model is lying on to be pink, but couldn't face baby pink or barbie pink, so raided the stash for some magenta home dyes.  I'm getting low on fabric - I must do some dyeing sometime soon.

I've put Motherland on hold whilst I do the above. Working on two quilts at a time hasn't been successful as they're just isn't space for two work areas.  I was hoping to get Life 7 and 8 finished by the end of March so I could start another piece for an art competition, but it's not going to happen. Ah well, best of plans.

I shall start Life 9 as soon as possible which is for another exhibition in 2014.  I really must work faster as I'd like to get a minimum of 12 quilts done as soon as possible! 

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

I think it's time for a spot of Thanks.

I posted this image of Life 4 - "Hello Dear, What Did You Do Today" some while back.  It marked a big step forward in my work, and is the first attempt I'd made to put my own words onto one of my quilts.

Obviously putting  life models onto a quilt causes some reactions. Some people love them, and some hate them.  I'm aware that they can be challenging. Magazines have asked to do interviews about my work, but haven't wanted to publish pictures, Pinterest have the quilt image below widely splashed across their boards, and I've read deeply unpleasant and unkind remarks about it, but I've also read some very supportive and kind comments too.

All this had led me to moan a bit now and then.  In September the wonderful Laura and Linda Kemshall got in touch with me and asked me to do a video interview with them about my quilts for their stonking DMTV programmes.  I was delighted to be given a voice, and they produced two wonderful episodes.  I was thrilled and honoured and I felt it marked a turning point in my quilts' acceptance.

Also, this month, after interviewing me in October at the "Through Our Hands"  ( exhibition in Leamington Spa, the Quilters Guild have published an article about my work.  This also marks a huge step forward and puts art quilting - and life studies - to the fore.  It may cause a negative reaction too I suppose but I hope not. So a huge thank you to them to for being open minded and forward thinking.

Then just as all is going well, yesterday, 4 or 5 kind souls wrote to me to say that the images of this quilt had been removed from Pinterest.  They have a no nudity policy, but this is for photos I think, and art work is exempt, but not mine it appears!  Probably it's the result of a complaint. Can I just also say a thank you to the authors, and for all the others who have written to offer support.  All the comments are here but the relevant ones about Pinterest, I've copied out below:

Wow, I just got a notice from Pinterest that my pin of this work had been removed. At first I thought it was because you preferred not to have it up there, which I fully understand. But, no, it was taken down because the image involved nudity! I sent Pinterest a blistering e-mail, telling them it was a quilt and not a human body, and if they were going to ban it then they should also be banning a significant number of famous paintings throughout the centuries. Somehow I would be surprised if I hear back and even more surprised it they put it back up there! Heh, keep up the good work, it's getting somebody's attention. :-)
Pinterest have a bit in their terms and conditions that state No Nudity. It's obviously difficult to enforce and what I think has probably happened is that someone has complained and they've removed the image. It happens all the time. Some of the comments I've had from people who pin on pinterest have been truly wonderful, but some have been dreadful. I gave up worrying about it long ago as you simply can't please everyone all the time. Thank you for your support and going to all the trouble to write - it's appreciated - but I think, like you, that it will go unheeded. Sorry I couldn't reply directly to you but you didn't leave an email address.
Pinterest also removed my pin of this quilt too! I say we flood them with questions! I love how they are protecting us from the form of an old woman when where are so many, many other body images that I am certain will remain up. I was a bit nicer in my response to them:


I got a notice from you (Pinterest) today that you removed one of my art quilt pins.

Your email said:
"The pin was called "PAINTED QUILTS: Life 4 - Hello Dear, What Did You Do Today? - Read the text that's quilted into the woman's body." and it was on your board Quilts. "

Your policy says:
"Our no nudity policy applies to photographic images. It does not apply to illustrations, paintings, sculptures, etc. We do not allow nude photographic images that contain visible nipples, genitalia, and/or exposed buttocks."

This was an art quilt of an old woman sitting at her sewing machine. It was not a photographic image. I believe it falls into the "etc" category of what your policy does not apply to.

I don't see how the quilt could be considered a photographic image. Unless you are counting that it was a picture of a quilt. Which seems a wee bit legalistic.

Could you please advise?

Thank you

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Life 8 - Regency striped background

I really fancied some Regency striped wallpaper for this one.  The stripes will have symptoms and remedies for the menopause on them.