Monday, 21 October 2013

You have rather a lot of prints and stuff .. what next??

 And I really do mean rather a lot .. a very big shed loads. Never one to work in small quantities, recent demos mean that I have masses of material to work with .. not that I am complaining. So - taking a break from making materials, I have started to work some themes in to my sketchbooks. This has been a very happy couple of days. I have not made time in the last year for much of this sort of work, and I have missed it. All these pages are 'in progress' and can and will no doubt be altered and developed. But I'm pleased with the start ..
So I started with a page made whilst at Ally Pally and which features the willow leaves I was using on the gelli plate. These became so gorgeous, they just had to be preserved. So a quick background an plenty of matte medium later .. this is what we have .. roughly A3(ish)

The background is markal gold and both blending sticks, plus some matte medium and a colour wash of procion dyes. The leaves were covered in lumiere shimmering blue and copper and I have added some gold too. I've also added some neocolour 1 and 2 in to the background ...
and then a quick alteration in photo shop .. I could of course have any/all of these printed to fabric or use them as a basis for collage
Here is a cut out of one of the resist gelli prints (ie - the gap left by the leaves) I've added it to a sketchbook page, already coloured with gesso through stencils and dyes
Wanting the shimmer, I've added some of those yummy gold powders (bet you've got some somewhere!), mixed with matte medium around the leaf shapes
and also painted the resist leaf shapes left on the opposite page when I added matte medium to the back of the first leaf shapes .. are you keeping with me??
and trying out still more cut out leaf shapes on top
settling for this on (for now) - these are all still very much works in progress
bored of soft pink, I went in search of something a bit brighter .. and found these gorgeous red pages. I cut out more leaves from a photoshop altered image of a gelli print and tried them. They needed a bit of help to show, so I've sprayed through a stencil with a mix of water, golden fluid titanium white and golden fluid gold interference paint ... this white is light and shimmers gold when you move it .. impossible to show unfortunately on here .. but it does
Printed off stencil reverse on other side of sketchbook and started laying some leaves on there too - I love these colours
Decided I might try a split moonish sort of a thing
Like that, but decided to tone down the red a bit - using neocolour 2 (water soluble) crayons on background, and  bit of neocolour 1 on leaves to blue them up, as it were
Looks nice (better?) upside down
and on end -
off cuts working well too ...
Now bored of willow - so move on for a while - to pears. I printed bowls full of these at Ally Pally - they just worked so well with the gelli plate. So I've just cut out some of the prints and started placing them in to my new favourite sketchbook. This is a soft back, khadi book, roughly A3, with  thinner pages which are still very strong. Gorgeous deckle edges and a stitched spine to dye for. A joy. Anyway - this page had been brushed with some matte medium to show how it resists dye .. which it obligingly has! Two favourite colours here of teak and bottle green (and no doubt a bit of brush pollution) The pears are in a gorgeous shimmery copper - which isn't showing so well - but they are wonderful. I suspect (although don't know) that there is a bit of blue interference in them as they seem to change colour (should make notes ... never going to happen)
Working with neocolour 2 crayons to help the pears show and knock back the background a bit.
I've actually put neocolour 2 in pale blue all over the background and washed it in and I'm now adding more highlights with a huge lump of yummy white water-soluble graphite. This paper is just gobbling up the texture
Overexcited with the charcoal possibilities - I've added some grey around the pears and some writing .. not sure if I like this - might get covered up again. But that is the joy of collage and sketchbook work .. you can try things out and just cover what doesn't work. I shall give it a week or two first though.
New page - more cut out pears
neocolour 2 getting worked in
 and lots more - here before water added
and after water added
Love the colours on this one .. not sure about the composition ... but if I crop it ..
I'm really liking those. Then I felt the need to play more with those big fat water soluble charcoal and graphite sticks. I bought these at the ICHF show in the Spring, where Steph and I both fell for their charms on Derwent stand .. but have not really had much chance to try them out. So - I found a nice page with a background sprayed stencil .. but needing a bit of a lift and started just laying down some colour with the sticks
and added water
and more charcoal .. couldn't resit drawing and writing with it too
softened and smudged and then some markal gold highlight added - I will definitely be trying thses out some more .. they are such a joy to use. You know I say playing - and it is .. but not without a bit of purpose. My colleague and friend Jenny Rolfe and I are preparing an exhibition for a joint gallery we have at Fashion and Embroidery at the NEC next Spring. Our gallery title will be 'The Shape of Nature' .. so all this sketchbook work with fruits and leaves may well feed in to that .. I'll tell you more as it gets closer and I hope you will come and see us . it is a great show
but moving on from pears now .. I do like to work a few things at once - gives drying time and stops me getting bored .. I started working with some of the very many prints, stencils and rubbing I have made to use in making my pieces for the Art Textiles MIB 'Identity' exhibition.
Some images here just printed to page, and some collaged down .. this page is working towards a piece called 'Lost in the Crowd', which will be about the personas we adopt to survive and how that affects our identity
I used charcoal and neocolour 1 to blend the page
and tried darkening and distressing it a bit, via photoshop .. I like this
and other page - towards a piece called 'can you see me?' again about the effect of personas on the self
words too obvious I though, so I've added gesso, plus crayons, charcoal and some white markal
more ideas for 'can you see me?'
Crikey - long post, but I wanted to share how some of these pages are developed .. hope you haven't dropped off
and   just because  we all love it ... here is my table, mid process !... oh to be tidy
Lastly - but not at all leastly .. the new website for Art Textile: Made in Britain is now up and running - thank to the hard work of Stehanie Redfern. Here's the link - do please go and visit .. and maybe add us to your favourites? I hope so - talk again soon ... Hilary x

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Christmas silhouettes at the Bramble Patch .. wonderful student work

Last Friday I taught the first of two workshops, making Christmas collages, which can then be photographed and printed as cards. I had a lovely group of twelve women (one for each day of Christmas) and they produced some magnificent work. I was amazed at how they got stuck in, with some collages stitched and ready for embellishment by the end of the day .. a record I think. So here are a couple of shots of the girls at work
It was rather a dull day outside .. but all was very cheery in our room. And here are the pieces they made .. as ever, I am amazed and encouraged by the amount of talent there is floating around ..

and finally - this gorgeous piece, whose creator I can picture perfectly .. but whose name totally escapes my poor brain. It has also lost it's name badge .. so apologies - if you let me have the name .. I will add it in!!
I am so sorry not to have a picture of Alisons work .. but she unfortunately had to leave a little early, as she was unwell (I hasten to add that this predated meeting me - honest!) .. and so missed the photo session. If you send me an image Alison - I would love to post it on here.
So fabulous results - and thank you to all the girls - who worked so hard and behaved beautifully. Pleeeeease do send me images when you complete your pieces .. or a card of course!! - Hilary x