Sunday, 4 September 2016

Still Life now set up.

Through Our Hands - A Portrait. I've been busy setting up a couple of still life groupings. I think I like this one the best - all it lacks are crunchies, or possibly jaffa cakes!! Now I just have to make the thing.

IMG_2467-002 Save

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Monday, 21 March 2016

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Adding to the pile of monoprints

Today I decided to go down the Prussian Blue and orange route. I shall be whizzing over to the DMTV forum to see if anyone out there wants a chat about monoprinting.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

I forgot to eat anything.

Do you know, I had to check the dishwasher for a dirty plate, because I completely forgot whether or not I'd eaten anything. I'm always hungry so that's no guide really. That's what happens when you're having a day off and a couple of hours playing around with some paint.

I wanted a break from the latest life quilt, and I recently saw a huge clump of bullrushes and they inspired me to make some monoprints. Nothing resolved, just mucking about.

On paper

and on fabric. If you watch DMTV you'll probably guess what I'm going to do with these! If not, I'm going to do a spot of collage and stitch into them somehow.

 I like these which happened by chance - looks like mountains in a watery landscape. Fortuitous accident.

I then decided to do a spot of multi coloured monoprint using two pieces of paper one at a time, one to take the a positive and the other a negative. They look quite different.

Needless to say I much prefer the "negative" one. It's not really negative but I'm not sure how else to describe it. It's the print taken after the first one has had it's stencils lifted off.

 Love the vibrant red in this one.

And fabric again below. They might need chopping into to save the best bits!

Next, will be stamping. I decided I couldn't have had lunch after all as there isn't a dirty plate, so I'm off to trough some cake.

Monday, 14 March 2016


Poor Graham. You take some chains, and wrap him in them just so you can draw them realistically. Some squaring up do but it's the way they fall that makes them look real.

Thursday, 10 March 2016


Apologies if you've been trying to use the shop in the last couple of days - it's had a wobbly, but should be fine now. :)  Book and some tea towels are available - please leave me a comment if you get stuck!!

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Body outline stitched.

I'm finding it hard to manage the large size of this quilt. I didn't want a join in the middle of the life drawing so have decided to do this section as one piece and not quilt-as-you-go like the top bit. Phew.

I now have to go away and do more research and also buy some props so I can draw the chains, and other goodies I have planned.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Beginning the Life Drawing

Lots of pencil marks but putting in a pen outline to make stitching easier. (I've started to use Faber Castell Pitt Sanguine, which gives a flesh colour, a very fine line, and permanence)

I'm trying to decide on a hair style for the model, who's own hair was tied up out of the way - long/short/straight/wavy/hidden away/flowing?

Friday, 26 February 2016

Top left hand corner - progress.

To be honest, this is taking me as long to research as it is to stitch! I haven't even begun the main bit yet.

Mind you, spelling mistakes don't help.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Go Figure

I'm going to start work for the next Through Our Hands exhibition at Festival of Quilts 2017.  It's a chance for me to champion the figurative quilt and in particular portraiture.

This morning I took an old, unfinished piece from the junk pile, and decided to stretch it a bit over a canvas. I'd like to produce a wall of these - FaceWall - a slight pun on Facebook. It's something I can build over the next year and change styles and subjects for it as I go.

Here's the unfinished one from the junk bin for an idea. I'm fairly confident that with the process I have in mind, it will be wrinkle free - or as wrinkle free as a textile like this can ever be!

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Mappa Mundi

 A few years ago I collected all my Altered Books together and displayed them chained to a portable book shelf. I was trying to make them look a bit like a chained library, and had travelled to Lincoln Cathedral beforehand to see what one looked like. Unfortunately, we went all that way only to find the library was not accessible to us on that day, so I had to make my installation from imagination.

So, on a recent visit to Hereford Cathedral to see the Mappa Mundi (left) we were delighted to find they had one too, and it was open, and was wonderful!

 On the left, the larger book displayed is an original Wycliffe Bible on vellum. See how thick the pages are!

The books all had clasps (like the one on the right) originally, to help keep the pages flat.

These books are very old (medieval in some cases, very precious, and definitely not for altering!) but the urge to open one was overwhelming. Scholars can apparently access them, but not the likes of me!
 I thought the library must have been very popular as there are double benches and desks in front of each shelf, until it was pointed out to me that the books don't move, and if you want a different book, you have to do the moving, hence the long seats!

This is a modern stained glass window in a side chapel. Unfortunately, my image doesn't quite capture the vivid colours as the light streamed through the glass. They were very beautiful.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Need Inspiration, or want to know what's going on in the Textile Arts world?

Updated daily!

Laura Kemshall and I are now using our Through Our Hands Facebook page as a hub for inspirational images, videos, links, and much more, to help keep you in touch with some of the beautiful work that's out there. Of course it will include the work and latest news of all 27 Affiliate Artists, but much much more besides!

It's certainly one to bookmark and you don't need a Facebook account to view the page, anyone can drop by. Here's the link you'll need:

It would be great to have some new visitors to the page and we'd love it if you visited and liked the page.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Portrait 4 and Portrait 4.5

All the portraits are of the same person, and this is number 4. It's pen and acrylic wash.

This is portrait 4.5 and you may be able to guess why! It's not really a portrait is it, but just a depiction of one of the latest cosmetic surgery crazes....split tongues.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Painting technique - extreme close up!

Working a large wall hanging in sections means that you have to be careful to get the colours and tones balanced across the whole, and don't do each piece as a separate thing.

Much as I loved the vibrant colours of this one (something that surprised me btw!) it didn't sit harmoniously with the other section - it was too bright. I also wanted it to sit within the quilt without drawing masses of attention from the main subject. I either had to knock it back, or start again on the other piece.

 Knocking back usually involves over painting with a wash of colour -sometimes with the opposite of the one on the colour wheel, so for example, red on green. In this case I used 2/3 coats of neutral wash.

The results were surprizing and happened because the first coats of paint were unusually (for me anyway) quite thick. Although they had coloured the cloth, absorption wasn't uniform and the wash took in some places better than others. If you saw me painting at Festival of Quilts in the summer, you'll know that I use very watery paint.

To some this is a fail. To me it was enormous joy as it enables me to get texture and a painterly effect. It's something I will do again. Here it is in extreme close up - to me, it's thrilling! I shall be experimenting more to try and get better brush strokes.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

2nd portrait for The Fragility of Self Worth

The words I'll stitch around this small portrait insert will be along the lines of "What's not to love, long flowing hair, big boobs, tiny waist and fertile."

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Playing with portraits on the new quilt

OK, so absolutely, no, laughing.

I've had this little image in my files for ages and assume it's a Picasso painting, although it may just be in his style. I thought I'd have a go for a little spot on the next section (top left) of the quilt.

You can see where I'm coming from I think, but a little more symmetrical and a bit more obvious perhaps. I'll stitch it and paint it and see what it looks like before I insert it into the quilt....or maybe...I'll just go for it! :)

I've also done a little bit extra to the visual diary, by painting my granddaughter on the last page. (She was at MOSI in December, and gave a rendition of THAT Frozen Song on the mock up stage they have there.) It's the dropped waistline I love. You just know as she reached up and breathed in ready to give it the beans, her skirt fell down a bit.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

The eyes have it...process photos.

I'm making some progress with The Fragility of Self Worth. This part of the quilt is about looking and seeing and so of course features eyes quite a bit.

After piecing the white cloth into the middle of this section, I was able to add applique, stitch and then some paint.