Saturday, May 25, 2013

Drawing Workshop

On Friday I went to a drawing workshop, Drawing Large, at New Greenham Arts which is not far from where I live. The tutor was Sally Haynes and I like her experimental approach. There were only four of us there, and that was just as well as we really spread ourselves around the studio.

We started by doing some drawings of twigs and leaves using contour and blind drawing. We also did a drawing on a piece of overhead projector film. The drawings were torn up and collaged onto a large sheet of paper, together with some large drawings of the same objects made using the OHP to project them onto the studio wall. So lots of layers of drawings and the use of tracing paper.

 In the afternoon we made some rubbings in the studio, as it was too wet and windy to go outside, and repeated the process. Other exercises were suggested but as usual there is never enough time to try everything. I enjoy working large and this is not really possible for me at home so that it was good to have the opportunity to do so. One of the participants in particular produced some amazing work. I like it when I see some good work as it shows you what is possible. We also had the opportunity to view the exhibition for the Open Studio event which is at Greenham at the moment.

The above is A1 size and the the other piece is much bigger. The 'card' it is on is so strong that it was stapled to the studio wall and at the moment it refuses to lay flat in my little room.
One of my pieces was far from finished and the other rather messy, but I was encouraged to take photos of interesting parts and to develop these further. A busy day with plenty of stimulating ideas.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A little bit of everything (almost).

I posted these images on Flickr but not here. Even more playing with gelli prints, these were made with my own gelatine plate rather than the commercial one and most everything else included.

 Printed on old book pages with stencilling, modelling paste and last but not least some stitching on small embellished pieces. I then made the prints into a sort of fold book.

On Friday I went to Winchester and saw an exhibition called ‘What are You like’ it is based on a Victorian parlour game and forty-five personalities answer the question in a variety of artistic styles, including collage, instagram,paper cutting and much more. Really interesting and with a few laughs too.  As it is a travelling exhibition you may get a chance to see it if you are in the UK, here is a link to more details. I think this idea would be good to use with a group and I am storing it up for future use.
Don't forget to catch up with my post and the rest of the Sketchbook Challenge Team over on the blog, which is all about 'Bowls' this month.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Gelli print

Gelli print by stitchworks-jackie
Gelli print, a photo by stitchworks-jackie on Flickr.

Photographed and played with on the ipad.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Like most people playing with gelli print making I seem to have accumulated lots of printed paper. Quite a few years ago I went to a fascinating talk by Ruth Smith, the author of 'Miao Embroidery from South West China' and had the opportunity to see a Dong Thread booklet which she had brought back from China. This encouraged me to buy her pamphlet about how to make a replica of one of these booklets. When I looked at the instructions I sort of lost all interest in trying to have a go and in fact forgot all about it until I found a little folded experiment I had made when I first got the booklet. Needless to say it took me some time to find the actual pamphlet. I tried the basic fold with a number of papers, the paste papers I tried do not fold well but I suddenly had the idea of using some of the prints which I have about.

 I didn’t try the full instructions but used the two basic ‘pockets’ to make a card.

Unfortunately I cannot track down a link to Ruth Smiths instructions; it looks as if she is giving regular workshops and you can Google lots of images of people’s attempts.

 The two books she has written seem to be out of print. Here is a link to images of the actual Chinese Thread Booklets. They are beautiful items, as is the amazing work of the Miao; lots of intricate folding and polished indigo, so intricate that to me it seemed impossible to work out how it was done.I was lucky enough to see an exhibition of their work in Farnham some years ago. Skills which have been passed down over generations.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Gelli Prints and Stencils.

I bought myself three stencils from Crafters Workshop to use whilst playing with my gelli prints. I have made my own stencils in the past and always found it hard work, but I don’t really like using other peoples images, even if they are only circles, I would rather I had cut the circles. You Tube is such a good resource, sometimes I can’t stand some ones voice or they dither about too much for me and I quickly pass on, but there are some real nuggets of useful information. I realized after watching one such video that I could use my wood burning tool and plastic file inserts to cut my own stencils. Not as wonderful as the laser cut ones but good enough.

However, these ‘prints’ were made with the purchased stencils and modelling paste, which works nicely.

  I made the collages using ‘Pic Collage’ on the ipad which is a good resource and then I added frames using ‘Snapseed’.

Emma Powell has written an article in the current issue of ‘The Blue Notebook’ titled ‘What is the point of we love your books?’; in it she discusses the symbiotic relationship,fostered by the various exhibitions she and Melanie Bush have organized, between different groups of people making artists’ books, from the international specialist to the student, and including the ‘hobbyist’ of which I think I must be one. Whatever the label I am pleased to be included and to have a picture of my submission to the 2011 Crop exhibition included. ‘The Blue Notebook’ is edited by Sarah Bodman of the University of the West of England and is a journal for artists’ books, here is a link if you would like to know more.

The Sketchbook Challenge theme for May is Bowls so I shall have to get my thinking cap out as I am now part of the SC team, if you want to join us and have not visited before here is the link.
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