Tuesday, 28 August 2007

More Nina knots and Found objects

I've been busy catching up on some jewellery orders for Antipodes gallery in Sorrento. These are a couple that I sent off today.
I sometimes make the complete necklace using the knots Nina
taught in the workshop when she was here in February.
On the ones that have lots of 'drops' I tend to use 'tiger tail' as this makes the necklace lighter.
Earlier this year I went to the local Art Truck garbage recyle centre and amongst my 'treaure' were these cardboard rings, cut from heavy duty cardboard rolls. I've been painting and sealing them for added strength and incorporating them into my necklaces. They are very strong when they've been sealed with a heavy duty varnish.
We keep rushing outside as it's a total eclipse of the moon happening right now, but unfortunately it's cloudy and we only catch glimpses of it. Oh well better go and check again.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Kaffe Fassett influences

People often ask me how I first got interested in colour. I think I've always been influenced by colour in my art, the great Van Gogh, Gaugin, Frida, Australian artists John Rigby, Margaret Olley and Mirka Mora, but the one person who made me see colour like never before was the colour guru himself Kaffe Fassett
I did a two day workshop, with him about twelve years ago involving knitting, or as Kaffe refers to it, 'painting with yarn' and needlepoint. The exercises involved taking everyday things, like a patterned milk jug or teapot, a piece of fabric or a card, a magazine image, anything with colour and pattern and then turn that into a piece of knitting or needlepoint.
We were even seeing colours in the bricks and paving stones, the idea was to actually stop and look into the image and see how many colours you could find and their combinations. When knitting a garment Kaffe's philosophy is 'if in doubt add twenty more colours'. I've never been in such a frenzied workshop, we all came away totally exhausted at the end of the second day, but so enthusiastic and exhilirated.
We worked our butts off in class, everyone took bags of yarn and different fibres and we spread them out on the floor, then we each took small pieces from everyone's pile, by the time we'd finished we all had at least 100 colours of different coloured and textured yarn. We each chose a card, photo or magazine image and turned that into a piece of knitting or needlepoint.

The photos above are the results of my endeavours, not all made in class. I made the coat about ten years ago and it comes out every winter. The second photo shows a painting I did years ago from the piece of knitting and the pottery objects that sit on the cupboard below it. The fourth photo is a cushion that is a work in progress, three years to be exact, it goes on holiday with me and gets a few more rows added to it each time, I used a card by artist Annabel Nellist for the starting point. The fifth photo is a cushion I made using the fabric from one of my skirts as the basis for the design.
The last photo is two needlepoint cushions designed as I went along and a knitted cushion using Kaffe's Persian poppy pattern. It just uses two balls of wool that you make up yourself from scraps of wool and, voila, this is the result, no two colourways are ever the same.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Chris Rea - All summer long

This months Crusade 11 challenge on Michelle Ward's Street Team blog is to upload a piece of your favourite music from Youtube. This is one of mine, except for the abrupt ending.

Altered book pages

Just a couple more pages from my book. I think the last two books I've worked on in our ABRR have been influencing my use of colour. These pages appear quite toned down to the usual, things will change however, as I can let my hair down on my current book.
The top pages have writing from a Chinese newspaper on them. I have no idea what the text says, I just love the letters, so if anyone can read this, please don't be offended if it doesn't make sense or says something it shouldn't.
The backgrounds to the bottom pages were made by tearing up strips of the yellow pages phone book, then sticking them down at random. When the glue's dry you use sticky tape to stick down and pull off some of the paper, this gives a dappled effect when you paint a thin wash over the top, it's quite a good background when you use lots of layers.

Friday, 17 August 2007

An award and a prize

I received two lovely surprises this week. The first was a 'nice matters award' from the lovely Judy of Red velvet fame. The words on Judy's blog say "This award will be awarded to those that are just nice people , good blog friends and those that inspire good feelings and inspiration! Those that care about others that are there to lend support or those that are just a positive influence in our blogging world!"
It was an honour to receive this from Judy, as she would have been one of my recipients.
There are many people I would love to give this award to, some are already on Judy's list, Marie, Julie, Megan and Karen, so I will choose 7 other people.
Ursula , Judy , Katie , Nina , Michelle , Jo and Sharon .
These are all people who have given me so much inspiration in one form or other along the way. There are so many more I would love to include, but I have to leave some for the other people on my list to nominate.

The second surprise was this lovely package I received from Ursula . I won the competition on her blog. Ursula very generously gave away three packages of goodies she bought on her recent overseas trip. Ursula is the organizer of our ABRR and is doing a magnificent job of co-ordinating everything, so far the RR is going like clockwork. The quality of work being produced by the participants is phenomenal. Unfortunately we can't show you until the end of next year when all our books return to their homes.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Altered book workshop students

What a very talented group of students attended my workshop. Some came not knowing what they were going to create. They had never heard of an altered book until now and wow did they take it on board. The work they all created was fabulous, they, like my previous class were so eager to learn. We covered the decorating of paper using paper towels, adding detergent to paint to create bubble paper and making stamps from foam meat trays. We used old phone books, painted tea bags, chocolate wrappers, paper serviettes, doilies, magazine images, as many things that could be recyled as possible. They all came up with some great pages, all individual and very colourful. I believe most of them are hoping to attend our Thursday night group so we should have some fun.

Friday, 10 August 2007

Altered book workshop

I'm teaching another altered book workshop this weekend, so I'm busily preparing kits for the class. I've also taken a few shots of my studio. I collect books like I collect most things, never in moderation. I love this little corner, I often sit with a coffee just to look something up and find two hours later I'm still there and have forgotten what I went to search for.
I have another section to the left where I have all my textiles, fibres and computer set up, I'll show photos on another day, when I've had a clean up.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Sharon's surprise

What a fantastic surprise awaited me when I arrived home tonight. A beautifully decorated box with this gorgeous painting from Sharon. We organised a swap last month and this was my lovely surprise. It now has pride of place, for all to see, on the shelf above my computer.
I couldn't write a post without a piece of art so here's my latest journal page, back to the colour.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Judy's challenge

Never one to turn down an art challenge, Judy has presented me with two this month. The first is her altered book which is similar to her Of Elephants and Dreams anthology on Judy's blog. Now we all know how I LOVE colour, Judy's book was quite a challenge. It's a magnificent piece of art that I was honoured to be a part of, I'll be very sad to see it go to it's next artist tomorrow. I've thoroughly enjoyed this challenge and I hope have been successful. I won't be able to show any of my art in Judy's book until late next year, after it's done the rounds of Australia and US.
The second challenge was a comment she left on my blog in the previous post. Judy said she wanted to see me do a black and white page. Well Judy here it is. But I couldn't resist taking it into photoshop just to let her see what a touch of colour will do.
On another note Beate has nominated me for a Rockin Blogger award. Thanks Beate, you should all pay a visit to her site and see her wonderful textile art. I nominate anyone who wishes to rock.