Oops, the long, dry and hot summer days have made me rather lazy. All began well with BIAT, near Lyon, where I exhibited and met up with many textile artists, some old friends, others became new friends. It was a fun packed few days and great to be teaching and exhibiting again. Below is a piece that saw the light of day for the first time.
I then headed on across France to visit old haunts and stay with friends in the Chamonix valley, good company, mountains and sunshine are always a good mix. The drive back straight across the middle of France was long and hot although a break in Moulins to lunch with old friends was a very welcome break.
The last half of June was frustrating as I had bronchitis and the medicines made me very lethargic. Then came July, I have no idea where it went, but the Tour de France kept me busy and I was even more committed to the women’s tour last week. The heat and dry ground does nothing to entice me out to walk, the ground is solid and hot and there are few plants of interest, I did notice yesterday that the few ripe blackberries can be surprisingly good. In the middle of the month I had a visit from a couple of very old friends, or should I say friends I have known for ages. It was great to see them although they did choose the hottest few days of the year so they saw more of the interior of a darkened house than the surroundings.
I am not sure what I have achieved really, for the first time for a long time I spent hours on something, cutting, printing, dyeing and reflecting only for it to go nowhere….
I managed to meet the deadline and sent a 12″ x 12″ piece off to the States for the SAQA auction in the autumn. It is based by the shape of a rose window in Vernon cathedral which I visited in June. This mix of stonework and stained glass is a pleasing one although one doesn’t usually see the pale colour of the stonework against the colour of the glass. I worked with a commercial fabric, quilting it with black thread and then added black ribbon before appliquéing the stonework .
My last two journal quilts in the second series have been revealed as has my artist piece n° 4 for Fifteen by Fifteen.
This series of four journal quilts has given me the chance to play around with stitching and the difference it makes, the four cotton fabrics have the same de-colouration but each time the positioning of the colour changes as did the stitching. I like to use my journal quilts for sampling ideas for future use, or not as the case may be.
My fourth piece, of a series of six, in the style of Georges Seurat for Fifteen by Fifteen was extremely time consuming but the end result worked. Number three had been in the style of Seurat’s study for The Circus and this one has tried to be in the style of The Circus. There is very light crayon shading but most of the colour has come from my stitches, I am trying to keep the theme of water and reflections running through all six. I machine stitched the outlines then in filled with hand stitch using running stitch and back stitch to create more texture. At times I wonder what I have let myself in for but actually I am really enjoying working these pieces, they have made me dig deep and really think about how I am working.
This week I set off on another idea, I sorted the fabrics and the idea was in my head when I suddenly turned tail and set off on another track. The last two days revolved around drawing, cutting lino and printing, the stitching can now begin!
I have also made a start on the last four journal quilts. This last week I have tried to walk every day, 5/7 days is better than none but I do find that although it takes time away from my creative time I clear my head.