Friday, 19 December 2014

Flavour of the year

It has seemed this year that certain colours came in certain months for me so here is a small taster of the last few months for me - not as wide and varied as I would have liked as my recent computer problems are still not resolved and I don't have access to my large library of photos ... or indeed any before September.

There was much red in Utah in September ...


 ... and terracotta, of course terracotta, everywhere we looked ...


... Then teasels in Gloucestershire in October ...


... and then rich reds ...


... and surprising greens in November in Gloucestershire ...



...then soft brown in a wonderful 16th century ceiling ...



... and black and white, both in Cheshire in December (and in every other month come to that ...)


Now, here's to next year and another search for colour. It's been a pleasure.


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Paper folding and Christmas cards

Every year, I make my own Christmas cards. This is always a pleasure but there is also always a stage at the beginning of the process when I'm planning what do. Sometimes, I begin with one thought, try things out and then abandon the whole thing for a different approach.

This was definitely the case this time. I make over 100 cards and things have to be simple and quick and with as much impact as I can muster so I began by getting out my embellisher (needle felting machine) to do something strictly textile. I couldn't get things right, and time pressing, I turned to paper with teabag folding. 

Here you will find some of the results, all using commercially produced paper (time an issue, remember) - three different colour ways and two different basic folds. 

(Hopefully) sophisticated silver ...


Bold blue ...


And that traditional British symbol of winter and Christmas, the robin ...


Both these folds, along with several other more time-consuming ones, can be found in Teabag Folded Greetings Cards by Kim Reygate 




Sunday, 30 November 2014

Stitching bridges

In the last week or so, I've been trying out stitching on a bridge shadows photo I took in the US in September. This time my aim was to accentuate and develop the graphic qualities of the image - black and white contrast, shape and simplicity - rather than to interrupt it and mask it a little as I've tried before.

Small sections are shown here.



I'm planning to do something larger - perhaps a composite piece - once I've tried out a few more ideas. Maybe it will contain both approaches or something different again. Time will tell ...


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Blind drawing and talking

Last night, I talked to a local art group about the keeping of sketch books. It was a most enjoyable evening ... and I gleaned some useful information on the use of Adobe Photoshop into the bargain. It just shows how you can learn information as well as imparting it when you give a talk. There is also something about standing up and talking in front of an audience to sort out what you really think about a subject.

Towards the end of the evening, I demonstrated the use of blind drawing, a technique I always enjoy, and then cropped the resulting images with various windows to show some possibilities. Because of the need to talk and explain what I was doing while I worked, I found this surprisingly tricky. Still there were some interesting results (for me at least!) and I've added these to this post.

It has to be said that I'm not sure I convinced all my audience that this was a useful drawing technique but three people asked for full details of the book I recommended (Drawing Projects by Nick Maslin and Jack Southern - mentioned here before) so I count this as a definite success!



The whole still life I set up with some overlaying ...


A snippet cropped from the image ...


And another turned through 90* ...


And a seed head done with sneaky peeks ...


That second one may generate a small print block, perhaps. Time will tell ...