Well I am a bit behind in keeping you up to date with my ‘year of covid’ classes. I have been hanging on to try and get my new website online, but alas things are taking a little longer than expected. So I will try to catch up with a post here about a class I took in April. I signed up with Nicola Brown of “Clasheen” https://nicolabrown.ie I was first introduced to Nicola here in Vancouver a few years back. I took a one day workshop with her, ‘Nuno’ felting a scarf and eco printing onto it all in the same class.
It was the most successful piece I have ever done with ecoprinting. Here is the scarf from that first workshop.
Nicola is a great teacher and expects the best from her students. She is meticulous with detail and very patient . So the class was called ‘Eco-Print meets sculptural felt pods, vessels and three dimensional shapes.’ It lasted several weeks and I ended up making a large basket for my knitting projects.
Plus several small flat pieces during my trials.
I learned a lot about resists and 3D felting as well as eco printing. I would highly recommend her courses and if you can visit her in Ireland I’m sure that would be even better!
In May I registered with Bobby Britnell in the Uk for an online course…….Inspired by Tone & Line. It was all about drawing with tone and line and creating designs to develop into your work both with paper and textiles.
It was very thought provoking and made one think about stitch in a whole new way.
We worked through a series of exercises over the four weeks, progressing from simple graphite lines to tones and then colour. Gradually adding more complexity as we went. I really loved the course and having it presented to you in nice ‘bite sized’ pieces was really doable for me.
At the time I was in the middle of creating five pieces for a show “Shifting Landscapes” and it gave me an opportunity to add line to my pieces with hand and machine stitch to create more interest than just the marks I already had on the linen canvas .
I discovered several new artists from Bobby’s recommendations and several for myself doing more research. I think my favourite was Wilhelmina Barnes Graham…..a British artist 1912-2004
I was so inspired with what I learned with Bobby that I have signed up again for another class of hers…..”Inspired by Grids”……which started this week. I will post some of my images from the class at a later date.
Now is a very interesting time in many ways. Our lives will never be the same after this pandemic. But there have been many times in history when this phrase was uttered. All seem to be connected with adversity rather than good times. Giving the word ‘interesting’ a negative connotation.
But I did notice this Art Exhibition that took place in Vienna last year from May to November. Entitled “May you Live in Interesting Times”
Little did they know what was ahead………..I wish I could see what the 79 artists submitted for this intriguing topic. The website does give a few images of some of the work submitted. Maybe they should make it a virtual show now that it is over physically.
But it has been quite ‘interesting’ in my art practise in that it has freed up many more hours for me to go into the studio and just play. So the word “interesting” has had a positive spin for me regarding my art. I’m not saying it has all been positive, but I certainly have found advantages to these “interesting” times as well as disadvantages. What about you?
I registered for many online classes and have found it inspirational to connect with other international artists that I have long wanted to learn from. So I will go through the various classes I registered with to give you a flavour of what exciting inspiration I found out there. Each blog post will feature a different artist that I took online workshops with. I will not give away any secrets of the class that would compromise the artist……….but I will post images of my artistic process through the class. I hope you will find it inspirational and help you explore artists that you admire and see what they are offering in these ‘interesting’ times.
One of the first classes way back in March was with “The Pale Rook” Here are two of the dolls I made during the class.
This artist I have admired for a long time now. Not only her work but her way with words. Her blog posts are quite powerful and resonate with me on a deeper level than most blogs. So I took the class to gain insight into her artistic practice and to ‘play’ with something that I otherwise don’t do in my own work. It was a lot of fun and I got to see other people’s work evolve alongside my own………….check out Instagram with #palerookworkshop.
It took my mind off the pandemic for a little while, each of the six weeks was a little exercise into finding your own voice to be able to create something unique to you and not just a copy of her wonderful work.
Aside: The image at the top of the post is my only “COVID-19” piece and is entitled “We Are All Connected”…………..the rest of my work created during this ‘interesting time’ has nothing to do with the pandemic.
I have been waiting and waiting …and waiting…..to reveal to you my new version of my blog………transformed into a simple, understated, website to show my latest works, latest shows, and some works from the past.
It has taken a lot of hard work as well as patience to get this right……….and still is ongoing at this present time.
I thought I would make headway during this time of restricted movement, but alas the website took a back seat to all of the wonderful courses being offered online from teachers I had longed to take classes from. I have been so totally immersed in some amazing classes that the blog and website made little progress.
However, a breakthrough has occurred in this last month or two and I am on the final stretch to going ‘live’ with the site. It is more a case of the fine tuning of the ‘look & feel’ that I want to achieve at this final stage.
I held off writing on the blog…………why I don’t know really, it doesn’t make sense, as I have been exploring some amazing artists and techniques that I am so eager to share with you. So I am back in the saddle, ready to share and engage in a conversation about textiles art and all that it encompasses.
Here is a picture from the latest course that I am engrossed in for now….with Lorna Crane from Australia…(through Fiber Arts Take Two)
In the first module, we had to make our own brushes for ‘mark making’ onto paper and fabrics……..I loved this process and have been making several sets as gifts to friends and artists.
Next week I will post some of the marks I made with them!
I have not been idle during this long absence . In fact I have had several shows…………some of which were very successful in regards to sales. However I have been struggling with that same old question again!
Is this my true voice?
I have a few people I can call upon when times like these strike me. They are honest and sincere and know me and my art well.
Here’s the problem……………as you know, textile work is slow and time demanding…..so being ready to respond to CFE’s is quite the challenge. Either you have something already completed that fits perfectly into the exhibition’s narrative or you have to ‘scramble’ to produce something in the timeline to enter the call. This latter scenario often leads to one entering work that isn’t really true to your inner voice or even up to your standards.
I keep telling myself to not let this happen and to work ahead with nothing in mind than to enjoy what I am creating. But I am still struggling with this and (I feel) still not creating what is truly in my soul.
So I took this last year to search my inner self and question what it is that I love to do………..what really excites me……….what would I do if I had a solo show in which I could choose my subject matter and not have to adhere to a narrative set by a gallery. What techniques would I use? Would I still be focused in textiles? I have found ‘some’ answers and have been creating some very different work for me, although my ‘style’ is still visible through it all. It is a slow process but a very rewarding one. I’m not ready to expose my efforts to the world yet………..still working out the details……….but I am excited to be on this path to my inner voice.
I am interested to know if others have these struggles and do they ever get resolved?………..I would love to hear what others are struggling with……
So after distressing the front, I decided that I had lost a lot of the relief that the mosaic quilting stitching had produced……so I lightly brushed over a dull antique gold textile paint.
Then to give more of the narrative of ‘Women’s Work ‘ I added houses and home and children along with words alluding to the work of women in history.
The Flip Side
A contrast to the front this is light and bejeweled to depict the Empress and her attendants and show their privileged lives….being the recipients of the clothing sewn for them by the women on the other side of the piece ……..
I added gold/bronze/copper foils overall to give it some sense of richness. And hand stitching to the figures.