Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Watercolour landscapes and more .....

T This is the watercolour book I've recently bought by Paul Talbot-Greaves called 30-Minute Landscapes, and I've been having a play ........

Now don't be ridiculous........! Of course I didn't paint this - it is a photo my daughter took recently of the sunset over the church in her village of Roborough. I WILL have a go, but the reason I have shown you the picture is because I used the silouette for the one I did paint.

I followed one of the 30 minute exercises and finished up with this - I was quite pleased for a first effort, and will certainly do more. The colours used are cadmium red, cadmium yellow, cobalt blue, french ultramarine and permanent rose. Paper size is 9" x 6"
The instructions are very clear and easy to follow, and although my painting looks nothing like the one in the book, and took a bit longer than 30 minutes, all the elements are there to catch the mood of a sunset.

Another book I bought recently is this one, by Linda Ravenscroft. I am still very much into fairies (I also bought her How to draw and paint FAIRYLAND) Both of them are amazing. Linda uses all sorts of colouring media in the books, and the technique exercises, which is what I am doing here are all laid out step by step.
Here I've drawn leaf shapes (from the book) first, then added watercolour, but I didn't have the exact paints - it still looks okay though. This is the wet on wet technique, but I have a bit of wet on dry at the top left hand side - that's what comes of 'fiddling' after the paper has dried! Looks okay though......
Now I've added the colour for the leaves, and added the veins using paintbrush.

Had a go at painting just leaves onto the white paper (wet on wet) and added the veins with a brown pigma pen. I should be using 140lb cold press paper but this sketchbook is hot press paper and very smooth, so whatever I do it will look different anyway (you can imagine it looks nothing like Linda's in her book - but I am learning a lot!!)
Just finishing up the paint with these two leaves, but they look so different on that background - which is 140lb cold press paper which has already been painted with acrylic paint. Delighted with these, you can almost pick them off the paper! (I drew them from leaves from my garden)
Must do some more using watercolour on top of acrylic paint.
I'll post again as soon as I have had an opportunity to try out some more exercises.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Painterly Skies

I don't know if it has anything to do with this cold snap we are having at the moment, but over the last few days I can't stop taking pix of the sky - sunrise and sunset, and some in between.
Last night's sunset ... You can just see my house through those trees

Sorry about the telegraph wire ....!

View from my workroom window (you can just see the image of my camera bottom right!)

If only I could make my watercolours do this ......

Sunrise ....

and again...

I've joined a painting group, and ordered a book from Amazon. Watch this space!!

Monday, 14 December 2009

November & December Swaps

This is an Arthur Rackham drawing entitled Fairies in Hiding and was the inspiration suggested by Pat for the Calendar Girls in November.

I went with the title and decided to advertise for some fairies! I made this card for Carol McFee using my embellisher. The tree bark is made from painted crumpled brown paper.

This was the inspiration for December supplied for the Calendar Girls by Neki and is entitled Fractals.

Again, I used my embellisher, and meshed wool roving and silk waste into black felt until it loosly resembled the inspiration. This I made for Pat.

Unfortunately, the Calendar Girls will be disbanding at the end of the year, but if you want to see what the others did with these inspirations, do click on the Logo on the right hand side.

The theme for the Quiltie this month with Unlimited Textiles was Christmas (naturally) and this wonderful 5"x5" was made for me by Pam Jones in Wales.

She used the stitch and slash technique to make the tree, and has also beaded it - it really looks quite 3D, and is just delightful.

This is my interpretation of the Christmas theme, that I made for Linda Doughty.

My embellisher came out once again and I used wool roving onto white felt, then added a sequined sheer. I then free stitched the tree using a black and silver metallic thread. My idea of Christmas is going for walks in crispy weather and getting home to a lovely glass of mulled wine!! This is probably the only 'white Christmas' I will see .....!

Finally, a few Christmas Postcards for some friends .......

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and look forward to a happy healthy and creative New Year. Thanks for dropping by - see you in 2010!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

My October Swaps

This is the inspiration for Calendar Girls this month - artwork by Alphonse Mucha. Gorgeous lady, but just look at the beastie ........

This is the card Doreen made for me. She used a hand dyed fabric for the background, then added a circle of rusted fabric. The leaves are made on her embellisher using felt and scrim. She then added a paper flower with a button middle. Thanks again Doreen - I think you captured the essence of the inspiration beautifully.

This is my interpretation, which I made for Jenny. I had this gorgeous (fabric) lady, and fussy cut some other suitable fabric to complete the ensemble, then free machine stitched them onto a piece of felt.

You can see what the other Calendar Girls got up to by clicking on the Logo on the right.


Our theme for the 5" Quiltie this month was AFRICA
I had great fun sorting out my 'Africa' fabrics for this one, which I made for June (who unfortunately doesn't have a Blog!)

This Quiltie was made for me by Jill, who says 'I painted a face of sorts meaning it to be either human or animal, using wax resist and layers of paint'. Look at all that hand stitching .... I just love it! Thanks again Jill.

Monday, 5 October 2009

My swaps for September ...

This is Pat's choice for inspiration for September Calendar Girls swap of postcards - it is by the artist Hundertwasser.
Susan made this postcard for me, and apparently she used a pleating machine to create the background. Do visit her blog here where she tells how she made it. I must admit I haven't seen it yet as it won't be in the post until tomorrow, but I wanted to blog it so I 'pinched' her picture - I do hope she doesn't mind. Can't wait to get touchy feely with it! I love the Shisha mirrors representing the trees.

I am a proud new owner of a Pfaff Embellisher, and I used it to work my interpretation of Hundertwasser for Neki
It is hard to believe, but there are two layers of felt meshed together - one pea green and the other lime green - to form the background. The 'lines' are silk strips and the blue colour in the middle is also silk, both of which are worked from the back. The back is covered with a black chiffon and the trees are also worked from the back. I have worked some free machine stitching on the trees and I added a thick blue and pink thread in the bobbin. Neki was delighted so that was fine.
If you would like to see the other interpretations of Hundertwasser for this month, just click on the Calendar Girls Logo at the side of my Blog.
The September Swap for Unlimited Textiles was a 5" square Quiltie using a favourite photograph belonging to your partner as inspiration.
I was partnered with Linda and this was her photograph.

Again, using my embellisher I meshed a piece of hand dyed silk to a piece of white felt, then added some hand dyed muslin to create the sandy look! I then embellished the scaffolding poles from the back(a lot), pushing the white felt to the front, added a bit of green and brown each side for the moss and rust, and a touch of black marker pen for the shadows, and it was done. Linda was delighted.

This was my photograph as inspiration for my partner, and is a sunrise taken in my garden last November.

I was partnered with Pam Jones of Port Talbot, who doesn't seem to have a blog unfortunately. Pam made me this beautiful interpretation of my photo, which I think again she has worked on the embellisher, using hand dyed silk, although she hasn't said! I can see she has then added free machine stitching to represent the trees. The colours of the sunrise are just gorgeous - thankyou again Pam.

Now to get busy on the swaps for October ......

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Another wrapped wire doll

I adapted one of the patterns from Ray Slater's Cloth Dolls Book ......
to make a doll about 11" high - Ray's pattern is for a doll around 23" high.
I wrapped the wire with wadding, but this time I gave her a much more rounded body, so that hopefully there was enough to 'hang' a dress on. I then wrapped it all with strips of white silk.
Then came the dress - this I made by layering very thin ulled out pieces of wool and various threads between two layers of cold water soluble stuff, and stitching like made all over to form a new piece of 'fabric'. When I'd washed away the soluble stuff and dried the piece, I then added the lace 'bodice'. I found some feathers in the garden and just laid them around the bottom, for the scan. I haven't made up my mind whether to stitch them around the bottom of the dress, or not. I rather like the ragged edge.........
She isn't finished yet, as I want to make some exotic head dress, and some form of covering for her arms, but other more urgent things are calling, so I just tied some goat's hair around her head, to take the pic. It looks better than leaving her bald!

Dig those boots though ..............!

Monday, 24 August 2009

Kindred Spirits at the Festival of Quilts

As some of you may remember, Kindred Spirits launched our first Exhibition - Myths & Legends - here in Devon last May at RHS Rosemoor in Great Torrington. Much to our delight we were invited to the Festival of Quilts, at the NEC in Birmingham, which really was 'the icing on the cake'! Well the four of us have just about come back down to earth, after a wonderful four days, meeting old friends and of course new blogging friends. The pictures below are of our Gallery F25, and for those of you who dropped by, many thanks, it was brilliant to see you!
Front Entrance .... you can just see our Banner on the far right.

Back Entrance - our pieces for our 2010 Calendar are on the outside. The small section of a black and white quilt you can see on the right belongs to Pauline Burbidge! Yes - our Gallery was next to Pauline .........

Some of Vinnie's and Sarah's pieces......

Some of Carol's (left) and my pieces (right). Quite a few of our visitors found the chairs extremely welcome.....! Sarah is in the background and Vinnie in the foreground.
Now for the bestest ever news.... Vinnie entered a Quilt (inspired by Ricki Tims)
into the Contemporary Quilts section and guess what .............

she won a Bronze. As you can see, it is a beautiful quilt and extremely well executed, and the prize is really well deserved. She hasn't stopped bouncing since Thursday morning, and we are all extremely proud of her!!
Kindred Spirits are now five - Vinnie Cable, Sarah O'Hora, Carol Rowland and me, and Dot Carter has now joined us. Vinnie and Sarah do not blog, but you will find a link to Carol and to Dot if you check on the list of links on the right hand side.
The five of us are now busy working on our next Exhibition with a theme 'Skimming the Surface' - so I will keep you posted!