Monday, 23 May 2022

Thread Book and Cover

Some time ago, a friend made a really beautiful Chinese thread book for me.  It has a total of 19 compartments - amazing.  A real tour de force!  I did try to make a video of it being opened, but I kept getting lost and missing out some of its secret boxes, so instead I have included some stills here.

I have now made a fabric cover for it using some sheeting.  I coloured this with inks, then quilted it a bit wonkily (my early attempt at free motion machining), finishing by adding some hand embroidery.  I had intended to try and match the colours of the book, but that didn't quite work.

Friday, 20 May 2022

More arty outings

I have been very lax in keeping up to date with recent art outings, although in some cases time for sketching has been limited.

Exhibitions visited have included Kurt Jackson's "Biodiversity" at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History (followed by a hurried look round both the Pitt Rivers and Ashmolean Museums); works from the TV series "Portrait Artist of the Year" at Compton Verney, Warwickshire (on until 5th June, definitely worth a visit)  and masterly watercolours by David Curtis at the Windrush Gallery in the Cotswolds (open until May 27th).

An installation in the grounds of Compton Verney -
"The Village" by Morag Myerscough

Lunch in the garden of the Fox Inn after
visiting the Windrush Gallery

..... and a few quick scribbles ....

Here I used an A6 Hahnemuhle Toned watercolour book with
a Pilot G-Tec water soluble pen

A very quick sketch, resting my book on a
dustbin outside the Windrush Gallery

Saturday, 7 May 2022

Urban sketching

The venue for this month's sketch meeting was Queen's Park, in the centre of town.  A really glorious day and nice to be able to sit in the warm sun and sketch.

Thursday, 21 April 2022

Bluebells and barns

Our sketching trio had a great day out on Wednesday.  The weather was good and we set off for a walk in the bluebell woods at Badbury Clump where we were treated to a stunning display - they seem to have come into bloom much earlier this year.

From there a break for an al fresco lunch at the Carpenters Canteen in the village of Coleshill, then a visit to the nearby Great Coxwell Barn to enjoy a couple of hours sketching in the warm sun.

Thursday, 14 April 2022

Sketch outing

 A day out by the Thames at Radcot, Oxfordshire.  The weather was mild enough to sit outside Ye Olde Swan inn where our sketch trio enjoyed morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea, interspersed with sketching and a stroll along the river bank.  The area was beginning to get busy with holiday makers starting their Easter break, either on various river craft or setting up on the adjacent campsite in tents, teepees, and camping pods, etc.

Photo courtesy of PK

Sketches with a Pilot G-Tec-C4 pen

Monday, 11 April 2022

The same but different

These are two of my recent softcut blocks.  After doing some test prints with the first block I decided to use the same image, but cut away the background on the second.   I have tried both out on different backgrounds, adding more definition with coloured pencil and gel pens. (Print size approx 3.5" x 5")

White print on variegated colour background,
with coloured pencil and gel pen

Orange print over coloured background, then
off-registered overprint in white

White print on black paper, with coloured
pencil and gel pen

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

Teesha Moore style bag

I like the quirky, quilted bags inspired by Teesha Moore so had to have a go at making one myself.  Instead of designing my own embroidery for each quilted square, I used a piece of fabric printed with a variety of different motifs - birds, flowers, sea creatures etc. - outlining the images, mostly with simple running stitch.

I am not sure how practical this is going to prove.  I think perhaps a sturdier inner lining would have been better, but a fun project to while away dark, winter evenings.

Approx. 10" square with a 2" gusset