Friday, 30 April 2010

Being in the same room as your hero!

I have just returned from Claire's preview evening at Gallery 49 which was fabulous, she had some amazing new work which I find so inspiring, and so cheery are the colours they can't help but make you smile.

I can also hardly contain myself when I report that I have been in the same room as David Hockney, I remained calm whilst feeling unashamedly starstruck inside by this surreal situation of almost rubbing shoulders with the great man. It's very bizarre to come across your hero when you are not expecting it, although the times I visit Brid I always felt sure I'd see him one day and I have....  Yippeee!! 
He was admiring Claire's work, how fantastic for her, having DH visit your exhibition has got to be one of the greatest things for a local artist.

What an amazing evening!
Back to normality now.

Claire West preview at Gallery 49

Tonight I'm going to a fellow ERA friend's preview at Gallery 49 in Brid. Claire & Giuliana Lazzerini are having an exhibition throughout May & June which highlights their wonderful use of colour in their paintings.

If you like colourful paintings too this exhibition will be well worth a visit.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Art in the Garden - 2010

Gardens are being allocated to ERA members and when the lists of gardens come through it's first come first served. I've missed out on a couple I fancied but last night had an email saying Sledmere House was opening its doors if members would like to go and paint in the summer. What a wonderful opportunity so I have put my name down to go and do something creative on May 21st, I can't wait and hopefully the weather will be better than the howling gale I encountered when I did AIG at Hunmanby Grange last year.

Welsh tweed

I do sometimes stumble across interesting finds in the charity shops in Driffield and the other day was no exception, if you like fabric that is!
Found this lovely Welsh Tweed skirt piece and even has the zip still attached, not bad for a couple of quid.

First textile exam over, 2 to go.

I easily managed to complete my exam task on Monday. This was in part because I had been told from a few weeks back that the duration was 2 hrs, however when I got there they were giving us 3 hrs and I guess taking time off the next 2 slots. One of the annoying things throughout this course is that as I only go on a Monday and the others are there during the week, changes in information rarely to get to me if things change on the days I'm not there. If I'd known this exam slot was 3 hrs I could've had the more complex project with me. It's not on really when I've paid good money for the course and a 2 minute email would have let me know the times had changed. Whilst having a moan I don't think I'd recommend this course, it's pretty disorganised, I don't think it works as a part time course, there just isn't time to do things. There are things I've missed which the others have done during the week which I wanted to do, learn some new knitting skills, weaving and heat fusing fabrics, non of which I've done. Infact I've learnt very few new things.
So, having devised a project which would take me 2 hrs I dragged it out to 3 so as I wasn't twiddling my thumbs. Of course the knock on effect means I'll have to adapt my next 2 tasks for if there is less time. 

My project for this session was to make a poppy pod brooch from scratch. The only bit I pre-prepared was the main pod which is a felt ball I made and dyed green. I embellished the pod with a few beads on top for the seeds bursting from the pod effect.

The next exam projects will be a wristband, a neckpiece and if there's time a purse. I've designed some fabric and if the teacher can get it printed for me on some cotton then I will be able to use it in the purse.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Taking a break at the seaside!

Have managed a couple of brief breaks from the textile study and preparation.
Friday night went to Scarborough for a stroll, Roasters was open to get a takeaway so I tried a Nicaraguan coffee which was good but not as good as a Guatemalan I was very impressed with at Harlequin last week. I'm not sure the young girl serving quite knew how to do a ground coffee for takeaway purposes, she seemed to faff about with the cafetiere, plunging and then lifting it up again to add more water..... quite bizarre!

Anyway my other trip out was Brid yesterday morning. Had an early start as the weather was good and the day trippers would be piling in by 11 and I'd want to be back home by then. The plan was to try a new coffee shop, Coffee Coast on S. Marine Drive. It was nice inside and I felt confident that the coffee would be good as they had Coopers barista training certificates on the wall. Yes, the coffee was good and even better bumped into a couple of chums who were making their way to the same cafe. Good coffee and good company, a great way to start the day.

Here are some jolly pictures of the seaside with highly adjusted contrast to add to the drama! I love the opulent decoration & typefaces used on the old carousel horse rides.

Back to the textiles now!

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Prep for Textile Course exam

On Monday it is the first of 3 textile exams, the others being in May. We are able to do a certain amount of preparation in relation to our project beforehand, but making up the pieces and embellishing has to be done on the day.
I have decided to make a series of accessories which were going to be a brooch, neckpiece / collar and a wrist cuff type thing.

Have been trying to get the brooch idea to work in practise today but its all gone horribly wrong. I made a large scale version the other week which was ok but having scaled it down to brooch size it's not going to work. I had a plan B but that's gone splat too. Usually I leave things til last minute and that would make it my own fault but I've had loads of work pile in the last fortnight and simply lack of hours in the day has lead to lack of preparation time.

One of the pieces I hope I'm still on track with, the wrist cuff, has involved some fabric weaving which I have pictures of here. This woven fabric I've made will form part of the design, it will also feature some felt I've made with some embellishing.

I have also to document all this preparation and to write evaluations on why the things that are going splat are going splat. Unfortunately this only adds to the diminishing hours left until the exam on Monday.
All I can say is the pleasure seems to have gone out of the course at the moment and roll on Tuesday when I've got the first stage over with!

Monday, 19 April 2010

Hornsea Pottery AGM

Yesterday was the AGM at Hornsea, the weather was lovely for a spin out to the coast and it was quite a good turnout.

On the auction table was an Aphrodite vase which is one of those items I'd desperately like for my collection but they often go for about £50 on Ebay. I went in the bidding for it but I only had a certain amount of cash with me so I lost out. Oh well, I'm sure there is one out there somewhere with my name on it!
I did however secure a set of Contrast dinner plates in the auction in excellent condition and a plant pot with sunflowers which is very groovy from 1965, I thought I was going to lose out on that too but I was lucky to get it.

I did come away with arms full of pots because a man had a stall with everything £1 on it so I stocked up on some bits I hadn't got and some additions to collections, seen here in the pics.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

York, coffee and a purse

Went to York this morning, had 4 hrs parking to do some errands and see as many open studios as possible. Time soon disappeared walking between one studio to another and the one I saved til last was the most difficult one to find and I nearly gave up but pleased I didn't (the map wasn't very accurate).

I saw about half a dozen artists, first on the list was Mark Hearld as he is always busy (people were waiting to get in and it was not long after opening), I got to see some of his fabric designs on this visit which was great. Saw a few other people in the centre and the one I had trouble finding but I really loved her work was Petra Bradley

Petra was doing print work and textiles, she uses lots of recycled and vintage fabric which was wonderful. I purchased this purse which she had screen printed and made up. The other spooky thing, she is a collector of Hornsea Pottery which is strange as tomorrow I am going to the Hornsea AGM.

The trip was completed by a visit to the Coffee Emporium and I've got some El Salvador & Guatemalan to try.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Greeting cards & York Open Studios

I had a delivery of printing this morning. some promotional stuff for myself. Postcards advertising my textile crafts and then a few greeting cards with a recent image of one of my drawings combined with a textile piece.

York Open Studios kicks off tonight for the full weekend so I need to work out a route to take in as many textile people as possible, and of course I want to visit Mark Hearld's amazing studio crammed full of inspiring things.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Presents from Burton Agnes

I visited an artist friend today who is on the red bus again at Burton Agnes Hall doing her animal portraits. Wonderful paintings as usual and absolutely glorious weather, I think she orders it to coincide with her residency!

Had a lovely surprise when my friend presented me with a bag of fabric remnants with some rather groovy batik material in there too.
The shops at BA have some lovely stuff in, I had to restrain myself and bought something practical. Take a look at the wonderful vintage wrapper on this soap, it smells absolutely divine, if you like that sort of disinfectanty smell.

Moth in my air vent!

For quite some weeks there has been a dead and nicely preserved moth in my car air vent. I have been meaning to take a photo of its beautiful markings and have only got round to it today as the light was good outside. (Anyone know what type of moth it is?).

I feel reluctant to get him out as he's become a familiar face and like a little friend to me so maybe he will stay there some time longer.

Malcolm McLaren - gone but not forgotten

Since Malcolm's death, announced last night, many words and tributes have been written so there is little to add from such as myself who never knew the man.
All I can say is, I thank this man for shaking up music, fashion and art when I was growing up. For making the late 70's & early 80's an exciting time, when being different & creative was de rigueur. Times which I don't think have been seen since, youth culture today is so wet and bland in this country, where has all the creativity gone!

I will finish with a great quote from Malcolm:

"It is better to be a flamboyant failure than any kind of benign success"


Saturday, 3 April 2010

Easter treats

It's a bit chilly and not exactly spring like for Easter. Good excuse then for a comforting cake!
As I didn't get round to making a Christmas cake, I put that effort into a Simnel Cake for Easter, I love almond paste (didn't have time to make any) and found some nice natural paste to use. It has come out rather tasty although might be better for keeping.

Also due to the lack of Easter eggs you receive as an adult, I have treated myself to this little Thorntons egg which wasn't from Thorntons but in the bargain basement of Yorkshire Trader in Driffield. Really liked the packaging on the box.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Paper Button Flowers

I'm trying to create flowers at the moment in fabric and paper. These may well evolve into a textile project although so far the paper ones are turning out better. I found these jolly and quirky paper flowers to make from newsprint via the blog below:

Made a collection of them and will try to do a fabric version later.
The pipecleaner stalks were one of my last ever purchases from Woolworths!