Monday, 25 June 2018

MIDSUMMER BLUES

Summer has arrived, as I type my garden is filled with sunshine and 
it has been like this for a couple of weeks now.
As you have seen from my earlier posts it has been all about the sunshine, colour
and after seeing these wonderful examples of Cyanotypes in Bath I have been looking forward to the workshop at the yard:ARTspace
Lesley has a real passion for this fascinating process and I am thrilled to have her back at the yard teaching us all Cyanotype. The work room was darkened to allow us to coat paper and fabric.
And then the sun went in!!
After days of sunny weather, and further days after, 

we spent the weekend chasing the sun.
The locals wondered what exactly was going on in the yards, yard!
But with Lesley's enthusiastic guidance extraordinary results were achieved. 
There was a little more sun on the Sunday and we created toned versions using tea and bleach.
We just didn't give up and were rewarded for keeping the faith.

I am delighted to report that Lesley will be back at the yard:ARTspace in October to teach a Sewn Spine book making technique and July 2019 to make Cyanotypes again...fingers crossed for sunny weather.

Friday, 22 June 2018

ALL WRAPPED UP

I love June, my garden is at it's best, everything looks lush and colourful. How inspiring is that!
I have been trying out new techniques recently, have you noticed? 
So I thought I would give Eco dyeing a try. I have been in a really experimental mood this year and it surprises me how many techniques can be added seamlessly to my printmaking and uses resources from my other practices.
Here I am wrapping in paper and silk a piece of shaped steel that I have used in the past for enamel. Flowers and leaves have also been added.  
After an hours boiling these strange parcels are ready to unwrap. Now to be honest I was expecting to find lots of greyish, brownish stained paper and silk.
Gosh!! Every parcel is a joy to unwrap, 
the outcomes are varied, but often contain a printed treasure.
I suspect my neighbours think I have issues with stain removal or 
that I have a very sloppy washing technique.
I have created lots of samples on fabric, I am finding silk very successful
and have a collection of interesting papers to draw into. 
I have now got to the 'What If' stage...?
'What If' I eco dye onto collagraph and gum arabic transfer prints on silk. 
These samples are part of the work I am doing for an Autumn exhibition at 
the Museum in the Park, Stroud. 
And yes, there is the eco dyeing, rust, leaves and garden flowers.
The oil based ink acts as a resist, the eco dyed elements can be 
over printed when everything is dry.
I just love the worn look I am getting and the way images are appearing out of the gloom. I find the colours I am achieving a real surprise. It is good to learn new things. 

If you would like to learn the technique of creating eco dyed fabrics and develop a set of samples to work into, Claire Cawte is running a 2 day workshop at the yard:ARTspace. 
www.theyardartspace.com for details and booking.

CUTTING, CUTTING!

the yard:ARTspace has been busy this term with workshops and courses.
I have been very lucky to get Sarah Morpeth to come all the way from Cumbria to facilitate a paper cut book workshop here in Cheltenham.
Sarah is one of the most innovative artists using paper cut and book forms in my humble opinion and a very generous tutor.
The weekend was full of creativity and enthusiasm.
The resulting books were complex and varied.
Here is Sarah looking on with pride at the results of a weekends hard work.
Everyone went away clutching a successful book thanks to Sarah's patient guidance.
  The good news is that Sarah has agreed to come back to the yard:ARTspace next year, so keep an eye on the website as places fill quickly. 

Thursday, 21 June 2018

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO MMMMM!

Every now and then I can be found out and about, looking for inspiration and recharging my artistic batteries. I recently took the opportunity to have an outing to Bath with chums.
We made a 'B' line for the Victoria Art Gallery and the exhibition, 
I don't think it matters if you like quilts, tapestry or mosaic or not, the  exhibition was a riot of 
colour and texture. Glaringly bright and cheerful.
Lots of fun and completely spirit lifting.
After filling our heads with all that saturated colour we poped upstairs. It is well worth looking around the permanent collection, there are lots of surprising treasures, spot the Grayson Perry and the John Piper. 
Enjoy the collection of Staffordshire dogs.
While wandering around Bath we came across a community project exhibtion of Cyanotypes.
It was a collection of beautifully laid out place settings and very inspiring as coincidentally, me and my chums are booked onto a Cyanotype weekend workshop at the yard:ARTspace later in the month. 
Watch this space for those results?