Friday, 31 May 2013

Life 8 - stitching finished and painting begun

Just a quick update to show you the first coats of paint.  I'm fond of the parchmenty colour with the blue but will have to work on the flesh tones now to bring them together.  Only a few more coats to do!!!   

I shan't show it again until it's finished, but I'm really excited about Life 9 which has a cracking pose, and can't wait to share with you.

Monday, 27 May 2013

An Update on Life 8 - Motherland

Apolgies for being blogless for so long! 

Here's the state of Life 8 - Motherland.  It's got a lot of the mapping in now (heaps of stopping and starting on the free machining of street names - and hundreds of ends to sort out which takes so much time doesn't it?)

 You can begin to see 5 distinct villages with welcome signs, called .... Happiness, twinned with Love, Worry twinned with Stress, Fear twinned with Mortality, Love twinned with Sacrifice, and Sacrifice twinned with Bondage.

Each village is made up of roads and doodly pictures to illustrate those feelings, and the whole is bound together by the figure - the Mother.

I've been experimenting with the colours, but have a fair bit of stitching left before I can start the painting.
 Here's a close up of the village Love which I hope to start on today. 
 This is a 20 minute sketch in compressed charcoal. Just working through some thoughts and ideas with no clear direction as yet.  I have another 5 quilts left to do before I add more to the list - but no doubt, this will percolate through at some point.
 I've also been making a few cards for family occasions.  I've been using leaves from the garden.

I can't share the process with you as it wouldn't be fair.  It's another DMTV idea after all. I can share the results though!

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Through Our Hands - update

Laura and I are busy giving the Through Our Hands website a little facelift. Now that we've been up and running for a while we are able to restyle the website to make an even better showcase for the quilts. It's going to take us a day or two to get everything looking shipshape so thank you for your patience in the meantime. We hope you'll enjoy browsing the new site very soon.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Underpainting the body on Life 8

I've decided to block in some colour on the body for this one before going further. It'll give me a better idea for background colours/focus.

I've been a bit distracted by the sunny weather and gardening. It's been so long since we've had sunshine in the UK, that you must forgive me for weakening!

It might not seem so, but I do try an alter the colouring of the flesh for each quilt.  For this one I've chosen prussian blue and raw umber. I'm undecided about the background for the map - could be parchment, or really pale blue.

In case you were wondering, and have noticed the paint spreading beyond the stitched lines, this is OK.  I don't like hard edges and this will help me to blend the background and the flesh together.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Time for play

I was reading on Laura's blog about the need to start something new now and then, and I really recognize the feeling!

I've been doing the Life Quilts now for 2 years (crikey) and apart from a short interlude making 3 pieces for the Orientation exhibitions with SixandFriends, I've been fairly single minded about them.

I have a total of 14 quilts planned and now have models I think for most of them.  I am looking for people with interesting feet and legs though for a piece called The Glass Ceiling- let me know if you have a male partner or friend brave enough to show this part of their body in a quilt!!

It'll take me a while to make all the series, but of course, my brain flits around with others ideas and plans too - it's so exciting to have ideas and be carried along with them into the making of new things.

Because the Life quilts will hang together at some point, (I hope!) I've been making them with that ultimate viewpoint, so, things like borders and painting style have been similar. I itch though to do quilts with drawing in them, or simpler more relaxed imagery.  I'm holding fast whilst I concentrate on my main aim, but might just have to work harder, and do some other stuff at the same time.

As you know, I always watch DMTV, and we've been taken through monoprinting and various techniques for the last couple of shows.  Such a pleasure to play with abandon at something unconnected to my job in hand.

As a result of this playing, I bought a gelli plate and have enjoyed using it.  I normally use a sheet of glass. The plate was expensive (about an A4 sized was £33 inc p&p) but worth it for the sheer fun I've had in the last couple of days. I haven't been able to sew as I overdid the gardening and my trowel hand was a bit swollen, so this has kept me amused and focused.

I've been able to draw too, and last night whilst something mindless was on the TV, I attempted the skull of Richard 111 - the one found recently under a car park in Leicester.

It's a fascinating story - they can tell so much from the bones. How he died, his wounds, his health etc. They found for example that Shakespeare was right after all, and he had a hunched back - his spine was quite twisted. 

More portraits

Do you remember Life 6 - Still Life (with an Orange) 

Well, that made me think of portraits and fruit juxtaposed, and led to a spot of silliness by DD.  Mind you, I think there's definitely something to be had in a series of silly portraits.

And just because she's gorgeous, here's an update on Evie :))  Over 6 months old - where did that time go?