Monday, 28 January 2008

I know I often moan about living in deepest suburbia but even here there are jewels on the doorstep and finally having a nice day prompted me to take a walk with the dogs in the country park located literally five minutes from my front door. This time of year it is beautiful as the wetlands are full encouraging the birds to come in off the Thames. This is all part of the Thames Chase (where Material Girls have been asked to showcase in the spring) and is such a great idea to allow those on the edge of London a place to breath. This particular section was the old Hornchurch Airfield which had such a prominent role in the Battle of Britain (we are so close to it that a bomb aimed at it actually removed the roof of the house I sit in to write this) and 60 years later it has all but disappeared back into nature- which is good in one way but a bit sad in another as there isn't even a memorial or sign to mark the spot of such heroism (isn't that disgusting? If you were new to this area you would never know, my dad who was in the RAF would have been outraged esp as he did his ATC training there).
Looking at the photos I took (not too wobbly since I was hanging onto dogs at the time) I am more determined than ever to do some work based around the Thames Chase - now there's a project for Material Girls!

Friday, 25 January 2008

Thursday, 24 January 2008

As promised a couple of images from my current work. The inspiration is taken from one of Monet's most popular works 'Nympheas bleus -ca 1916-1919'. First I zapped it in paintshop pro until I found an image I liked and then I translated it by thumbnail sketch to produce the image in different colours evoking the various times of year thus allowing me to emulate Monet's idea of exploring the same image in different lights or times of day or year. I then embellished a series of backgrounds with silk tops to give me a base to embroider and this is where I currently am - stitching furiously. Another instalment soon.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Having recovered from OPUS assessment day I am at last able to get on with my work for the next Material Girls exhibition. We have each been allotted a famous artist and we are producing work in response to their art. Mine is Monet and I am responding to the way he used colour and light and how he would work quickly on several canvasses at once to record the changing light resulting in the same scene produced again and again at different times of day or season. It is proving an interesting exercise. I will post some pictures of the work in progress later.
We have also been asked to showcase at the Thames Chase Centre so tomorrow I'm going down to liaise with the organiser , it will only be a small exhibition but that will bring us up to 3 exhibitions in 2008 I just hope the girls are still talking to me when we meet next!

Sunday, 13 January 2008

I am exhausted. I had to drag all the work for my last module up to London(near Regents Park) for 10 am yesterday and then amuse myself and more importantly my Sherpa (the husband) until 4.30pm when we were allowed to pick the work up. Now this may sound easy in London but as those of you will know who inhabit the suburbs of the metropolis and spend a lot of time there it isn't always as easy as you think.
Firstly the husband hates art in all its forms so the trip to visit the designer craftsmen exhibition at the mall galleries was fairly short although some of the work was stunning esp. the work of Jacky Russell and Ann Goddard.
Lunch was taken at Pontis in Covent Garden (a regular haunt) but he doesn't really do shopping and we visited the Transport Museum 2 weeks ago. Half the tube network was out so that prevented a quick trip to any of the South Ken. Museums so we ended up wandering around in the cold and finally fetched up at the National Gallery to get a coffee in the warm. Whilst there I thought I would just pop to look at a couple of Monets as I am working with his paintings for my next exhibition but by this time he had that 'why have you taken me to hell' look on his face so we walked back up to Great Portland street to pick up my work.
By the time we had managed to struggle home - hardly any trains, big crowds and West ham playing at home- we were both shattered. I'm not sure what's more exhausting- the physical effort of walking over half of London, the strain of assessment or the guilt for having to ask for his help to get the things there. So this afternoon I am going to shut myself in with the embellisher and a Johnny Depp film - provided I get time after sorting out the dinner, the daughter, the dogs,......

Friday, 11 January 2008

Where does the time go! every week I think I must blog at least every other day as I so enjoy reading other people's blogs but I spin round and a week has passed. I have spent the week finalising things for my degree module assessment tomorrow and aim to use the trip up to London to visit the designer Crafts show at the Mall and the scrummy beadshop in Tower Street while my work is being marked. My daughter has declared that she wants me to make her evening bag for her prom and although its a long way off If I gather together the ingredients now I can embroiderer it in between my other work whenever there's a lull (Ho,ho!). She brought her dream dress in the sales so I've told her shes got the make sure it still fits in a few months time.
Things are really getting busy now although we are in between semesters. I am working on a series of pieces inspired by Monet for the Material Girl's exhibition in October plus a piece inspired by Musical theatre for another show in May plus the pace has picked for the forum and we are getting interest from a lot of sources since we were featured in the Textile Directory -even Museums with Textile Collections- so I can see a lot of potential for some really interesting conferences in the future.
It really seems like a time for dreams and when they seem to be coming to fruition- that's when things get scary. You have to be very brave to reveal your dreams in case they vanish with the dawn. Lets hope the world is kinder to us when we awake and turn dreams into reality.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Normality returns but the dogs are finally all partied out esp.the older variety.
I have also finished my module with 'choices' -the domestic environment piece that metamorphosed into an image from my internal environment rather that my external domestic environment. It's all about making choices and in doing so regaining control. The most interesting thing was that as I stitched through the applied image (on abaca tissue) with the stitches I had gathered from my research from how my friends and family viewed me, as a person (I did say it had all got a bit esoteric!) the image of the 'weighed down' me disappeared-as if the real me was asserting itself again. Now all I have to do is keep it up.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Happy New Year to all! Christmas is finally over, the decorations can come down and normality can return, Yippee!!! I don't mean to sound like Scrooge but I always find Christmas goes on just too long which must be wonderful if you have a big close family or a wild and wonderful social life but for the rest of us it just means putting life on hold until all the fuss has died down. However, I stuck to my guns and took a complete 'textile break' and now I can't wait to get my hands covered in dye and my fingers pricked with needles again. Today I just have one more visit to make and tomorrow I can clear the decks in preparation for the husband to return to work and the daughter to return to school and then all systems go. Look out 2008- here I come.