Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Beware the Protea

What was that I said yesterday, "might try the protea again"? I became obsessed with getting those stamens. I was using so many layers of watercolours, I even had to move onto some canvas paper (4) and some water colour paper (11 & 12) rather than my (rather cheap) sketchbook. I even remembered I had some inktense blocks to use. The first set of photos are part way through ...

... and these are the same 4 pictures after I called a truce ... (with the Protea stamens).

My brain was exhausted. With my reading of Betty Edwards "Drawing on the right side of the Brain" book, I finally realised that the task of "playing" with the effects of different media (with my science background this became "experimenting" with layers and effects) was being controlled by my left brain, and the drawing was right brain. I became very frustrated and confused, and it turned out to be not such an enjoyable session. I think I even started to lose sight of it being a flower.
A flower sits up in the air - why did this one end up needing to sit on a surface?

Anyway, I learnt that it was good to start with a dark ground layer. Dark inktense blocks on wet paper did this well. Once it is dry, the ink is permanent & doesn't bleed any more. Then the red went on in sharp strokes onto dry paper - mix the reds up, and brush over each stroke with a wet brush to dissolve the ink onto the page. Lastly the pale colours for the highlights. Inktense pencils would have been better than the blocks for this. I have a white chinagraph pencil, and its great for drawing a white line over all sorts of surfaces, & worked well here. The layers and variety of colour and stroke thickness seemed to provide the keys for "success". These wouldn't win any prizes for Botanical illustration - but thats not what I set out to do.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Day 11 - colouring

I rejected my aqua theme, as I wanted to do a capsicum, so its an orange/red theme. I have some red fabric for the ground, a protea flower, a capsicum and an ornate red frame dont want to do the frame just now tho' - so I need 1 more item. Now that I've finished for the day I realise I could get a nastursium flower. Do that tomorrow.

(It's a very wonky capsicum)
I want to practice drawing and painting the capsicum and the flower before starting on the project task (gosh I'm glad I'm not already enrolled in a course - I have a lot of skills to learn and techniques to get the hang of first). Here is a page of capsicum sketch paintings using some different mediums.

Clockwise from top left : watercolour pencil (Derwent), watercolour crayons, watercolour pencils (Micador) on tea bag stuck down with golden matte medium, watercolour pencils (Micador) and Kohinoor watercolours - round white palatte - the ink ones. My attentiveness to detail peaked with the bottom right one.

Then I started on the protea flower - in the Kokinoor watercolours. Had a bit of trouble trying to get all the flower stamens - I think my left brain had taken over and it all seemed a lot of trouble. Might try that again tomorrow.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

NEW from epocktextiles

I haven't done any quilting for a long while now, as I concentrate on the artistic side of my creativity. I've spent some time with my sewing machine producing these lovely "electronic pockets". Perfect for a phone or music player. The beautifully embroidered doileys would never have seen the light of day if not for me ... and maybe you ... You can purchase them by contacting me directly

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

from the stitching ladies in India

I love the contact with my quilting friends. We recently made a quilt for Janet using sitched squares from Fiona Wright in India - see Our Pukka Place. The quilt doesn't have a right or a wrong side - they are both as beautiful as each other. The pieced stripey blocks on the first side are finely stitched with running stitch (kantha stitching) by the ladies of the stitching project.
the first side

the other side

Here, the black blocks with the kantha stitch are the other side of the stitching project blocks. The "wonky" pieced blocks are ours - foundation pieced onto the plain fabrics showing on the first side.
The whole quilt was constructed as "quilt as you go" with the black tram lines on the back stitched by hand on both edges.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

the Princess and the Pea

Do you know the story of the Princess and the pea
... was the princess well enough bred to be able to feel a pea under 20 feather mattresses? ...
... well, here is Princess Amber ...

Monday, 17 October 2011

For Claire - fingers crossed for tonight

My friend Claire has a big function on tonight, so I have my fingers crossed that everything will be smooth sailing and successful.

I think there is a little bit of "gestalt" here.

A step on from "pure contour drawing"

Time flies by, and I am determined to continue drawing. Here, I am really concentrating on the edges and the spaces in between. Betty Edwards speaks of these as the "perception of edges - line or contour drawings" and "perception of spaces - negative spaces".

I kept 1 eye closed here - this is meant to put it into 1 plane, or 2 dimensional, and didn't rub anything out.
This just gave me a stiff neck as I tried not to move & change my focus!

There is also "perception of relationships - perspective and proportion".
Both eyes open here.

and luckily I have extra glasses

Then there is the "perception of light and shadows - shading" and my favourite  - the "perception of the gestalt - the 'thingness' of the thing"! I've got a lot of work to do on these last 2.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

.. and on another tangent

Last week I went to a 1 day workshop with Pam de Groot organised by ATASDA. We made this amazingly fine felt - I had fun adding a fragment from here to there and a fragment from there to here.

Now it just needs some delicate stitching

Carving it up

Yesterday we carved at an ATASDA Social Day. I managed to leave everything at the front door at home, so I did my carving at home last night. Stamp carving - into softish lino type stuff.

I made 2 stamps - carved the opposite pieces away - just to see what sort of difference is created. I do love my banksia imagery, & I like the idea of using my own stamps to personalise my artwork in every way.

I have also wanted to make my own stencil for a while, using a different banksia image. I got to and did it this morning.

quite dramatic I think!

Why epocktextiles?

I have been making little bags/pouches/pockets like this for a little while now. Hopefully I will find somewhere to sell them. I need to make some mony to feed my voracious textile art obsession. I have these lovely sandwich tray covers, & I enjoy giving them a second life. Just think of the time that went into their creation. So this is just one ePOCK - it is an electronicPOCKET, or maybe an essentialsPOCKET. There is a cord to wear it over the shoulder or to tie around the waist, or the loop on the back is large enough to thread a belt through.

.....  a very vintage look  .....

.....  teamed with some eye poppping fabric on the back & inside  .....

 opened to the outside on the left ... and the inside on the right