Sunday, 25 November 2012

Over the rainbow

Over the rainbow

 Ive been busy over the past few weeks so am pleased I have eventually managed to finish this mixed media canvas. The north west coast of Scotland is dotted with beautiful pastel painted villages. This is Portree on the Isle of Skye. I love when on a still day the pastel colours are reflected on the sea creating abstract rainbow patterns.
 The canvas was built up in layers of paint and paper. I even used strips of the west Highland Free press, if you look carefully under the sea you can see fragments! Sorry the image isn't clearer, because of the length of the canvas I had trouble photographing it so I've included some detail pictures.

Detail showing torn paper strips

Reflecting rainbows

The girls hair is created by using pebeo metallic copper gel liner on top of torn paper strips

Gesso and paper layers


Sunday, 11 November 2012

Constructing christmas

Only 43 days to Christmas I'm told, normally that would not fill me with a huge amount of excitement believing that Christmas should stay firmly in December... however..

whilst at the trafford centre  in Manchester yesterday I saw this!! At first glance a stylish looking minimalistic tree, but on closer inspection the whole thing was made from Lego!
Standing at nine metres tall the 2012 Lego Christmas tree is made from 350,000 bricks, featuring 108 branches and 450 special Lego baubles.
The tree was built by certified professional Lego builder Duncan Titmarsh, who started the project on October 20th. It was unveiled on November 1st.

I love It..Lego is hugely tactile  and reminds me of past childhood Christmas mornings, perhaps that's why I liked it so much.:)

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Liberty style

Long long ago before I grew up I wanted to be a textile designer, I love pattern and colour and growing up in the 60's and 70's there was no shortage of wild vibrant prints. Liberty and Sanderson were for me very inspirational and aspirational, I yearned after a liberty print maxi dress! The stylised flowing forms were a direct hark back to the work of the pre-raphaelites, my favourite art movement. William Morris being the leading light in both wallpaper and fabric design.

William Morris 1834-1836

Morris was a hugely influential designer, political theorist,environmental campaigner,writer and poet and under his direction Morris & co grew and flourished.

tulip and Willow 1879
Selection of liberty prints

 Liberty was the creation of Artur Lasenby Liberty.The first Liberty store was opened in 1875, a bazaar of eastern curiosities, later Liberty concentrated on fabric design enveloping the Arts and Craft ideals becoming linked with Sanderson in the 1940's. I remember In the 1970's being surrounded by a sea of Sanderson and liberty. The designs appearing on everything from curtains and soft furnishings to clothing.                                  

Recently I was sorting through some things for my Mother and in the depths of a dusty drawer found a collection of my A level fabric designs and prints.(She never throws anything away!) They seemed to me to be very evocative of the 1970's in their colour and forms, brown, green and orange shades, yet with a strong connection with the liberty styles that I loved. Some were frankly rather bad, yet interesting. As the years go by both taste and style change in Art as well as design. There is a design I found for kitchen curtains that I find hard to believe would ever work!

Very Liberty Style!

Finished fabric and repeat design.

When I was learning to silk screen print we handcut all the individual acetate stencils and drew and handpainted the repeat design on a grid . It was a time consuming business trying to get the pattern to repeat without obvious gaps or flaws, I guess it's now all done on the computer and ink jet printers now, what would William Morris have thought!!

A kitchen curtain design???!!!!!

Bathroom curtains??!!
Once at Art college I moved away from fabric printing, preferring to use more three dimensional forms of working, particularly wool and felt, however I still am very much in love with pattern and use it in my work today.