Monday, 24 August 2009

Stephanie Redfern at Festival of Quilts

Last week at the Festival of Quilts (Birmingham, UK) I had a great day gazing at some wonderful pieces of textile art. Such talented women -- I am so envious. In particular I was drawn to the work of Stephanie Redfern, who had created the most amazing book with art quilt pages. It was stunning, so imaginative with words and pictures yet she only won second prize in the Quilt Creations Category... the winner piece was a vase of fabric flowers, they looked good, were beautifully made but did not have the wow factor that was Stephanie's work.

for Amy

Following on from the Triptych I made a similar canvas for my stepdaughter -- she had asked me to make something for her bedroom. She was thrilled. The style is similar to my earlier work but what the hell... many a famous artist has returned to the same theme.

My first teaching workshop

Exciting news... Art Van Go have asked me to teach a workshop in November. It's a real honour as I still consider myself a learner in mixed media. However, in a former life I was an information specialist and have a great capacity for recalling useful, and sometimes useless, information, which I love to share. This includes mixed media techniques, inspirational books, and web based resources. The workshop will be about sharing things I have learnt. The papers that will be created can be used in collage, handmade books, scanned for developing in Photoshop; printed onto fabric as well as inspiration for other work.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Altered Books

I belong to a Yahoo Group, Altered Books... not been a great contributor more of a lurker. It is the 10th Anniversary of the group and one of the moderators, Corinne Stubson, is making 188 books comprising of individual pages that group members have submitted to celebrate the anniversary. Each of us that has a page in the book will be sent a copy. This is a labour of love by Corinne: I am really looking forward to seeing the book at the end of September.

Corinne's work can be viewed at

Monday, 10 August 2009

Image Transfer

At an Art Van Go workshop with Annette Morgan I made a fabric collage using image transfer. Firstly I tore up images from a non-glossy magazine (newsprint works as well), placed a piece of white nylon on top then brushed with acrylic matte medium. When it was dry the piece was soaked in warm water for 10 minutes or so and then the paper was rubbed off, leaving the ink adhered to the nylon.

I scanned the collage and, using Photoshop, copied a section and altered it using hue/saturation and the Cut-out filter. This image was printed onto T-shirt transfer paper and ironed to the collage. I then machine stitched it in place onto a backing of linen scrim. There was white nylon showing -- used the soldering iron to burn it back to the edges of the collage. Am quite pleased with my first attempt at this technique.


Took a challenging class in June with Bobby Britnell at Art Van Go -- 'Mixed Media Approaches to Abstract Design'. I ended up working on a pebble with white veins and abstracted it down to several images using different types of media. Chose one of the designs and developed it onto a rectangular canvas by sponging acrylic paint over paper string. Finally the string was rubbed with a gold Markal (Shiva) paintstick. Made two more with the colour moving from grey through blue to mauve. They have pride of place on our bedroom wall.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009


Using Citra-solv with National Geographic pages is a great technique for making collage papers. Paint Citra-solv to one side only of a National Geographic double-page spread, place the "wet" side face down on the the other page & rub the back a little. Use a heat gun to dry the back of the wet page and pages are ready in a minute or so. Peel the pages apart before they stick.

In the UK Citra-solv can be bought online from 21st Century Health - I get the large 32oz bottle, expensive but works out more economical in the long run.

National Geographic pages work the best because of the ink that is used in the printing process - possibly a base of gold?

Monday, 6 July 2009

Single Page Book

The final assessment piece for City & Guilds was to create a design for my chosen craft with Living Forms as the inspiration source. I decided on a handmade book from a single sheet of paper with seashells as the Living Forms (more like dead!). Photos of Tenby, Wales, were the image sources. My Canon printer can print on paper that is 21 x 56cm, which gave me scope for a book that was cut and folded to a page size of 10.5 x 14cm.

It took a few tries to get the layout correct but it worked! The images show the on-screen layout and the completed book. It was printed on thin card that had been coated with InkAid.

The quote is from the painter, Augustus John, who was born in Tenby: You may travel the world over, but you find nothing more beautiful. It is so restful, so colourful, so unspoilt.

Creative Computing

Hurrah! I've completed and passed City & Guilds Creative Computing. This was a great course for me, although I am competent in using Photoshop, I was not using it to full advantage as a design tool. I have learnt a lot of new tools... sometiems it was tricky as the course was written for Paintshop Pro users and I had to "translate" the terminology into Photoshop speak!

The montages are of Kiev, which Ivisited in April 2008. The background is pomegranates photographed in the market. In the image on the right a Ukranian newspaper was scanned and "clipped" to a large pomegranate, a cupola represents the stalk.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Must get into this blogging thing... & a killed catalogue

Long time since the first post. Obviously not totally taken with blogging. However, as Maggie Grey had posted a photo of my altered catalogue on her blog I feel encouraged to add the same photo here.

It was great fun killing the catalogue and then creating a rather nice 3D work from it. Maggie has such great ideas -- I'm a real fan.

Have a look at the Catalogue Killers group for more photos