Sunday, 28 July 2013

Making a mount for On the Edge

I know! - here I am again ... I've been mounting pieces to go the Bramble Patch tomorrow for Steph and I's August exhibition and I'm now boiling. So I thought a bit of a blog (under the air-con unit) would be a good plan. And I thought you might like to see a few process shots of making the mount for On the Edge - which will be in  the Art Quilts competition at Festival of Quilts in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS NOW .... arghhhhhhh
Sorry - was overcome with pre-festival 'I've got massively too much to do' nerves ... back to the quilt now. You may (or may not) remember the piece 'On the Edge' which I made earlier this year. It was always destined to be mounted on a collaged board, and last week, after THE BOOK was sorted, it came to the top of my 'desperately needs doing NOW list'. I think all the capitals here are representative of my state of mind ... lots of IMPORATNT things to remember. So here we are, trying out materials on the board, with the quilt laid on top.

I want that red/orange there, to suggest that it may not be all as tranquil as it seems, but I don't want it in that big chunk. So I cut up the strips and re-arranged a bit - much better I think:

These fabrics had heat n bond on them, so they were ironed in place and then I started auditioning some paper elements to add detail and movement .. I don't want all the straight lines:

I like those first pieces, so I collage them done using matte medium

You do really need to see a piece this size  vertically to be able to fine tune the design. so I propped the board up with the quilt pinned on top and auditioned more papers, further up the sides and in the sky area - these are again collaged down with matte medium

I'm starting to really like this now, but felt the sky needed more elements to give it the same depth as the sea below - so yet more papers

Laid back done, I'm now trying out the positioning of a line of 'sticks' that I want to represent either a fence (safety) or a broken ladder(danger), depending on how you want to view the piece. You may remember my saying about this piece when I made the collage, that it can be viewed as a simple seaside pastiche of houses on the cliff, or as a more allegorical piece about security and safety. The sticks are in adhesive backed fabric so they will be ironed down.

I realise I need to see them vertically before I finally iron them down - so I get on my stool to see (those are my toes)

Happy with those, so they are ironed in place with some horizontal fence bars/ladder sides added, and another assessment made

And again - some balance and connection is needed in the sky - so I carry the birds out of the quilt into the surround. I've also added some high and low lights to the fence/ladder to give it more impact. At this stage I am happy, so I cover the whole mount with matte medium to seal and protect.

You can see how carrying elements of shape and colour from the quilt to the surround connects them  and lets this work as a whole piece

I can't use stitch to add line on the mount as it is collaged on to the board. In this situation I like to use fine lines of appliglue to mimic stitch and add dimensional line where I want it .. here on the fence posts/ladder rungs

and here on the birds
I've also added it in places on the quilt, again to tie the two together. The red here is stitch, the black, appliglue

Finished and stood up to check .. I'm happy (if you look hard in the background you can see other work stacked up ready to go to the Bramble Patch)

'On the Edge' 41" x 41"

fingers crossed the judges like it. Thank you for visiting - talk again soon .. Hilary x

Friday, 26 July 2013

Never mind all this Prince George stuff .. look what I just gave birth to ...

OK - so it is quite exciting having a new heir to the heir to the heir to the throne .. think I got that right ... but be honest, which would you rather have .. a new prince or a new book? ... exactly. So with no more ado, here is a preview of front and back covers .. and a typically restrained page ... this is my version of 'look inside'

I am so proud of having done this.. the learning curve has been frankly horrifying, and I have worked some enormously long days - but when I held the proof copy in my hands it was all hugely worth it. I very much hope you are all going to like it too - I think it is a bit different, probably because it has no input from any 'professional' other than the printer (God bless the printers). So it is not so much different to my blog - just me telling you about things I find exciting and with LOTS of pictures and colour. I should receive them from the printers next week, just in time for Festival of Quilts the following week. Might even be a day or two before - so early really.
Not much else has managed to get in my brain recently, but last Sunday I travelled with Steph to Wales for the Meet the Artist session at the Minerva gallery. It was a gorgeous day and a beautiful if very long drive. The gallery is a total gem - wish it was in Lincoln - and all of SiX & Friends apart from Catherine in Canady (poor excuse to my mind) were there, talking about and sharing work. And eating a scrummy lunch provide by Jean, Doreen and Georgina at the gallery... thank you again girls. I am ashamed to say I forgot to take any photos, which is a real shame as the team had hung the work beautifully. But Steph has some great images on her blog, as does Linda,  and Laura has put some on the SiX blog. My excuse is that I was distracted doing a demo of ways to make a collage base for a silhouette or other image. I think this was interesting - if it wasn't, then they were all very polite and stayed put .. and we had a happy hour delving in my fabric and papers pile. I am always surprised when a demo piece works out .. I am nervous and that makes it harder than normal .. but this one did and I really like it. It is based on a picture of Dixter sniffing some enormous salmon Stephen caught, and the background used an image of some trees in the garden for help with the composition. Here it is with the fabrics laid out before bonding. The black silhouettes are paper and I use them whilst designing the background to make sure everything works together, They will be cut from fabric eventually
Obviously not tree colours .. just fairly random selections, but it still has the tree feel I think. These sort of pieces are just good fun to make and the design element is much easier than you would think. I am teaching a two day workshop at the Bramble Patch in November on just this technique - if you can come, we will definitely be having a good two days ... and evening at the pub too if you are staying over.When I downloaded the images from my camera, I was very surprised to discover I had taken  picture of myself .. crikey I am very clever,. Handy too - as I can post it here
Holding up the now bonded background for the girls (and boys) to see. This photo was really well taken - I noticed that when editing, and now I think about it, my camera had rather oddly got itself in to a selected mode .. not auto which is what I always use. These things point the finger at my friend Steph - who is rapidly becoming a bit of a camera clever thing. So thanks Stephers - could you follow me round all the time and record my life on my camera for my blog? If you don't mind?
I have barely had an hour off for the last few week, but I did manage  a coffee at the garden centre (I was writing book script on my ipad mind) and couldn't resist purchasing a gorgeous statue of a little hound - not at all unlike my boy. I was struck driving  home by how pretty he looked in the rear view mirror, sitting amongst some dahlias that also fell into my trolley. So before I unloaded the car, I took a photo for you to see

I wish the view in the rear view mirror was always that nice. And here he is in the garden - nestling amongst the hostas (spello suggest hostages here - you have to love it don't you!)

I wondered if Dix would take exception to him, but all is well .. he hasn't even noticed.
You know I have barely mentioned at all that Steph and I are having a joint exhibition at the Bramble Patch in Weedon for the whole of August. We are taking many quilts in on Monday for Anne to hang beautifully, as she does. Jan Hassard is also exhibiting, so it should be a good eye candy show. And Steph and I will be there for the last three days of the month, having an Open Studio, so do come along and see us. Steph sometimes makes yummy flapjack too. Have a look at the Bramble Patch website, as they have several Open Studios in August, including Catherine and Edwin from SiX, so lots of reasons to visit.
Next for me is a manic preparation for Festival of Quilts. Master class to sort(nearly done) and stand to plan ... hmmmm . It will be great on the day .. but I'll be glad to get there now. I'll try really hard to post here before I go - but if I don't mange it - I hope to see lots of you at the show and please do come and see me .. it's my first time! - Hilary x


Thursday, 4 July 2013

Failing (not easy): SiX and THE BOOK

Last week I heard that I had not been juried into the Fine Art Quilt Masters at FOQ. This is the first time I have put my work in for this sort of selected gallery, and failing hurt. I am very bad at getting failure in perspective (sound familiar to anyone??) - I find it hard to deal with and for much of my life have avoided putting myself in to positions where I risk it. But that has changed in the last few years and I am now aiming to stop limiting my life that way by learning to deal with failure as well as I  deal with success! Not easy and the first hour after I heard, I confess to feeling gutted and a few tears. I know I know - it's only a quilt, but it matters to me and it was a personal one. Anyway, a few conversations with good friends and a bit of time to readjust my initial 'I'll never bother again' reaction, and I think I have got it into it's correct perspective. And I will try again next year .. different judges and a different piece .. who knows? The up side is I can now show you the whole piece, which I am now back to both loving and feeling very proud of. If you remember, it is called 'Self 1: On Edge' and is the first in what will be a long running series of personal works, examining my life, my feelings and how those are affected by my depression. This one has a sub-title of 'March 2013: Score 43'. All the pieces will have this basic subtitle which refers obviously to the date, but also to the way I track my illness, so I can manage it better. This first one looks at insecurity, fear, worry, pressure, stability and sanity. It has a lot of imagery relating to these issues, some personal, some universal. This imagery will no doubt be repeated as the series grows and become more clear.
Self 1: On Edge
41" x 41"
Right - enough of being serious .. what about THE BOOK?? Well it is moving on a pace (just as well - due out in less than 5 weeks) and I've been making rubbings:

and screen prints (these on both a sunny and windy day in the garden .. you want to try doing and photographing that all by yourself!!

That is the last of the photography done I think (hope .. pray) and now it is just (JUST????) getting it on the pages. It has struck me that the proofing is going to be a little curtailed if I am to have it ready for FOQ (and I am still aiming for that). Sooooo ... I have decided that I might have a little competition whereby the first person to spot each spello I miss will win a little prize .. probably some handpainted papers and fabric. That way I can pretend they are planned? I am loving doing the whole thing myself and it allows me to be totally in control and the book certainly doesn't look like anyone elses, but right now I would love a big team of proofers and setters and etceteras. Never mind - it will be worth it and you know you are getting the real time thing. No set up shots here. Just me and the camera .. you should see the poor thing, he is covered in paint now. And I must get back to work .. but first a couple of images of the new pieces just gone off to Minerva .. I'll only post two of four in case you want a surprise .. but look away mow if you don't want to see any yet.

I will post the other two on the SiX blog if you want to visit and have a look
Hope to see many of you at the Meet the Artist day on 21st July. Oh and I nearly forgot - there is apparently just one place left on my Masterclass at FOQ - Tuesday and Wednesday. We will be looking at many of the printing techniques I've been blogging about on here and ways into design too. PLUS - and this must surely be a temptation .. you will be the first people other than me and Stephen to see the BOOK!!!! .. can you resist?? Here's the link:

Talk again soon - thank you for visiting - Hilary x