30 November 2019

Not exactly a Studio Saturday

Out of the studio and into the advent fair! In addition to the ready-to-go leftovers from the MSF benefit sale in April, I made a few small, inexpensive items - microwaveable handwarmers and little notebooks.

Setting up at All Saints, Highgate -
 Ready to go, thanks to the transport (and company) provided by Gill Harding -
Six hours later, taking down -
Lovely venue - the sun shone, what a bonus! - with food and coffee and live music -
The Georgian Choir sometimes has concerts in the church, I'll be looking out for those - love the harmonies (the Georgian scale is based on the fifth rather than the octave).

My only purchase was a lovely blue jug, made by Alastair McKay -

On arriving home I was so jazzed up from the day that I immediately tackled The Back Wall, which has long since needed a sort-out. It took a mere three hours to rearrange the piles of books and magazines and the vases and those "saved for best" bottles of wine, and to bring the rickety bamboo shelf down from upstairs, and hoover and dust, and discover things that needed "throw or keep, and if so, where" decisions....
... and to clear the coffee table!

But OH MY, the difference it makes to sit in a room with (mostly) cleared surfaces! (It all started with the desk, which has been an oasis of calm for a few months now.)
These times and places of calmness come and go, but - do yourself a favour - clear a surface ...  

28 November 2019

Advent Fair, north London, 30 November

On my table will be textile collages, travel-lines bags, tool rolls (aka Binders Keepers and Sewing Companions), and other smaller items, such as pairs of microwaveable hand warmers.

A few of the abstract landscapes, A4 size, mounted on A3 -

A selection of Travel Lines tote bags -

Microwaveable hand warmers -
 Little books -
There will also be Very Little Books, and needlebooks.

27 November 2019

Woodblock Wednesday - trying out papers

Week 1 of the advanced woodblock printing course. First task, print on different papers, keeping the variables as much the same as possible.

The usual Hosho, from sheets and pad -
Plentiful papers of various sorts -
 ... and a lot of single-sheet samples from John Purcell, ranging from 9gsm to 89gsm -

Another factor is the watercolour paint;  Holbein watercolour paints are commonly used in Japan -

First off, I needed a back-to-basics for consistency of nori and pigment -
 ... and tried to be uniform in the amount of each used each time -

 ... with these results (Mission Gold paint, cerulean) -
 Laying out our prints -
I tried some Holbein paints too, crimson lake (not right with cerulean!) and a yellow that got contaminated by blue that was still in the brush -
Consensus was that the "top three" were Shoji Natural, Atsukuchi (both 39 and 57gsm), and Bunkoshi white. Bibtenguyo (12gsm), Inbe, and (for me) Tosa Washi were also good.

Two more weeks of the advanced course are to come; next week I'll talk about the Chinese woodblock printing course I attended in the summer.

26 November 2019

Drawing Tuesday - Tate Britain

At a previous visit to Tate Britain I grappled with Henry Scott Tuke's "boys in a boat" and would gladly have had another go, but it was nowhere to be found!

In the Duveen Galleries, however, were lots of boys (and girls), visiting Steve McQueen's "Year 3 project", and looking for their class portrait and themselves in it. Great stuff.
Drifting through the chronological display, I got drawn to this 1962 work by Anthea Alley -

 and fantasized drawing it "in context" -
But after close attention I still had a long way to go at the end of the session -
Non-dominant hand - looking through the layers

Negative space
Welds making surface texture
Lots of looking was involved. Hoping for some quiet time to take these further.

In others' sketchbooks -
Jo drew while on the bus, including the amazing old lady dressed all in
black, with various textures in her clothing, including furs

Sue concentrated on sculpture made in 1931 - the Javanese Head by Dora Gordine

... and John Skeaping's Akua-Ba

Carol considered Henry Moore

... as did Joyce ...

... and Janet B,

... from various angles,

... and at varying scales

Mags picked up on the wood grain in "Johanaan", 1936, by Ronald Moody

Helen enjoyed looking at "the Cholmondeley Sisters", a portrait (or perhaps a memorial)
whose identies are unknown. The story goes that they were born on the same day,
but this doesn't necessarily make them twins.
(Apologies for the bad lighting in the photo - the lace is splendid)

Extra-curricular activities
Sue's hat is based on a traditional Afghan shape

Joyce's seed pods

Mags reconsidered her "delicate" work from last week...

... and used it as part of her daily drawing project ...

... which also included some stitching over leaves