Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Angels everywhere .......

Christmas is coming......  it always creeps up on me too quickly and I am rushing about, trying to get things finished (that I thought I had plenty of time to do!!!).  But I do LOVE Christmas.
Each year lately I have been doing a painting/drawing to make my own Christmas Cards.  This year I did this Angel in watercolours and gouache (you can click for a closer look) .... she will grace my cards this year and I have had her framed for a Christmas exhibition my local art group are having during December.
There seem to be Angels everywhere at this time of year.  Pop over to Dee Mallons blog and see her latest cloth and the wonderful Angel that has appeared......

Last month I did a pastel portrait workshop with Agata Lelek.....I felt very challenged as I dont work with pastel and I am definately not a portrait painter/artist.  I love naive, folk style art. 
I really enjoyed this workshop .  We chose a picture/photo from a group that Agata supplied and then she taught us her technique of putting down the pastel with a cloth and lifting off with a kneadable eraser to make the picture appear.
Believe it or not,  the portrait below was from a picture of Charlotte Johansen in the movie "Girl with a Pearl Earring".  I know there's not much a resemblance,  but I was pleased with my picture and would love to do more with Agata...she's a wonderful teacher.
Talk about a Jack of all trades and master of none......  next..... below is a cloth I began a couple of years ago with Jude Hill.  I never completed it,  wasnt happy with certain elements, especially the little houses.  But, after seeing some of Dee's  cloths,  I thought I might get it out again,  pin it up for a while and get some ideas brewing as to where I might go with this cloth.

A page from my daily journal (which as you know I dont do daily entries....I'm not disciplined enough,  but I still call it my daily journal???).  I do love to record quotes I come across,  words of wisdom, little anecdotes etc.  from blogs I read and I love to have a play around with my little travel watercolour set.  I never work on pages in a chronological order....often randomly stick something down or paint so that I come across it further into my this little owl.  Elements of him were used for a linocut I did earlier this year.  And now here we are in November I came across him again...that made me smile.  I might even do come more work on him?

Some days when I look out my kitchen window I just have to grab my camera and capture the colours, the wedges of colour.... paddock, trees, sunlight, mountain range, sky ... this was after a storm recently and the sunlight on the land behind the trees looked amazing,  was just glowing.  The photo doesnt do it justice,  but it reminds me of that warm glow.


Take care of yourself in this weeks coming up to Christmas.

Jacky xox

Sunday, November 11, 2012

eco friendly fun .....

We had glorious spring weather on Sunday ... a perfect day for some eco-dyeing with friends.  Dot, Ro, Nat and I spent the day at the Belgrave studio of Jude Craig...doing an eco-dyeing workshop. Fun, fun, fun and less than an hour from home .... and lots of fabric to take home.  Jude has been a passionate eco-dyer for many years .   She has done workshops with India Flint  years ago and was inspired and influenced by her teachings and books. 
 Two of our gorgeous dye pots....the concoctions:  tumeric at the back and red cabbage at the front ... our bundles had simmered and we were waiting for them to cool so we could take a peek.  Normally we would leave our bundles for at least a week (if possible,, even longer Jude advises...but I'm always a tad impatient).  But, as this was a workshop we wanted to share our experiments with each other.  The results were still wonderful.

The grey colours came from a eucalyptus dye bath in an iron pot (see the perle thread below from that same pot!!!  Beautiful strong colour).  The purple/blue colours were from the red cabbage and purple carrots and those yellowy/mustards from the tumeric...thanks to Nat for bring along the tumeric root and sharing with us all.
I love to tie my bundles with white DMC or perle thread... after the dye pot you get some wonderful threads to use for stitching your cloths .  This time I also put in a few buttons that I wanted the colour *tempered* a little.  I was really happy with the outcome.  Even got a few variegated threads!

The velvet on the left shows colouring from the purple carrots (Ro and Dot loved the purple carrots).  The second from the right shows some strong yellow/mustard from the tumeric.  I am looking forward to dyeing more with the tumeric.  I have been trying to get a muted mustard colour...thus far trying euphorbia and wattle...nothing to exciting yet.  Thinking a mix of a few might work.  Need to *play* more in the dyepot.

I think all photos are clickable for a closer look...some great effects from the bundling/tieing.  I love the serendipity of just never know what you are going to end up with when you untie your bundles.

My little indigo seeds are struggling....BUGS  have been eating them as quick as they appear.  They have a special cover, but still the bugs gets in.  Luckily they appear quite sturdy and keep coming back... a couple are still in tact.  I have my fingers crossed that I will have a few healthy plants come summer to try some indigo dyeing and to seed so I can have a crop again next year.  I might transplant them next weekend and see how they go in a bigger pot.

My sweet friend Dot recently gifted me these two beautiful fabric pieces.  A lovely burnt orange cushion...kimono fabrics, wools, cottons....fabric weaving, buttons.  It is gorgeous.  I have only one problem with dear old dog Oakey thinks it's his "special" cushion and loves to snooze with his head on it (he's so old he sleeps most of the day these days).  Dot is an animal lover.  I think he knows that and that is why he prefers this cushion to any other on my couches.
The beautiful greens are a lovely tote bag Dot made tote my lunch and other goodies to work each day.  The Kaffe Fassett fabric is one of my favourites.  Lucky me to get two such beautiful, colourful gifts.

Jacky xox