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.









Saturday, 9 January 2016

Video leafing through my sketchbook challenge

In September the wonderful Linda Kemshall issued a challenge (DMTV) The idea was to try and keep a visual diary for 3 months, with guidance and encouragement.

I liked the idea because not only was it a way of recording life so I could look back in future years and enjoy remembering what went on, but because each page was created without a specific theme, I was able to make each one without the pressure of doing something artistically valid and worthwhile! (If you know what I mean) I just let it all hang out :)

Apart from 1 page about gourds, it's finished and here is a video of it. (If we wait for me to finish the painting of the gourds we might be here some time! Suffice it to say I need to do about 4 more and put them on a luscious green rumpled cloth)

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Beginning the new Life Story quilt

A very happy New Year to everyone - I hope it will be happy, healthy and peaceful for you...and creative of course!

Now that the dust of celebrating has settled, I've started on a new Life Story quilt. I've drawn it out onto paper, but it's huge (about 8 foot by 5 foot) so is difficult to stand back and look at it properly. I've divided it into pieces (approximately 9) in order to piece, applique, stitch and paint in sections.


Here's the first little bit which will be in the top right hand corner. It's American piecing - straight and curved - and the lines are supposed to be slightly wobbly as I purposely didn't use a ruler.

The centre piece is white cotton as it will have applique on top of it along with stitch and paint.

It's called the Futility of Self Worth, but I'm trying not to make it autobiographical...or at least only in passing.

It's a vehicle for some portrait and figurative work.

Portrait in parts

For this portrait I'm starting off by using some stencils and stamps to make a background. I especially like the stencil with the jumble...