February and on track….

Well, I am updating but without much to say, last month I felt totally uninspired and the creative flow dried up. Recently I have been dyeing again but am not ready to show anything finished yet.

Pole wrapped silk noile.

I have signed up to do journal quilts for the UK Contemporary group of the Quilter’s Guild, January’s is almost finished just needs the finishing touches.

Last weekend I was at the show at Cholet, about an hour and a half from home. There were some very good and varied exhibitions and the number of visitors the first two days was good. Once people were in the show for the most part they wandered about aimlessly, I don’t have any photographs to show because I fell into a lighting black spot, at least a few contacts were made and it was good to see old friends again. My car had a very unexpected decoration for a few hours one evening, actually I rather fancy a car like this.

The one piece I do have to show is the first of my Fifteen by Fifteen pieces. This year we have all chosen an artist and are each working a series of six in the style of our chosen artist. I made a short list from a list of 101 best known artists and then I looked at each artist in detail to see how I could produce a series in their style. It is interesting to see how many of the others have chosen from my personal shortlist! It wasn’t an easy choice because I wanted to have a progression in my series but I finally settled on Georges Seurat 1859 – 1891 as my inspiration because A) I like his work and B) despite his short life he produced a large body of work from which to draw inspiration. I have begun by using his black and white drawings as a starting point.

For Seurat black and white drawing was a perfect medium, more than using just individual lines he rubbed rough paper with a greasy crayon, therefore creating tones of blackness. He wanted to be a painter of an instantaneous view of a single moment with no movement. As somebody who often works from photographs the instantaneous moment is totally apt and something I relate to totally. For this first piece I have used a photograph of the river Charente in flood in the town of Saintes which I took on December 25th 2019.

To recreate the heavily textured paper I have used old cotton sheeting. I have used black thread and black paint but I strayed slightly by using black vilene for the reflection of the tree trunk. I made a stencil and applied the main part of the tree then stitched the main lines and applied more paint before returning to stitching in more detail. Seurat has a way of leaving patches of the page totally white which I have tried to use to give more light and definition to the piece, I found that leaving the halo around strong sunlight very difficult to blend in the lines are a little too regular and angular. Onwards and upwards for the next piece. all the group’s work can be seen at fifteenquilts.com.

Tomorrow I am heading of for a week of snow-shoeing hoping that there will be some snow, not only for the snow-shoes but also because I have packed a snow dyeing kit! No point of going to the snow if I can’t dye with it!

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