Jun 28, 2015

Flashback ! Look What I Found !

Once upon a time ... 50 yrs. ago ... there was a young woman who loved art. 
She painted in oils ! 
A portrait of George Bernard Shaw over the lockers near the English dept., a painting of the Stratford Shakespearean Festival (Ontario) over another section of lockers at her highschool, John F. Ross C.V. I.  
She was sought after by many friends of her parents (what great support !) for her work. 
A painting of the old covered bridge at West Mountrose, Ontario, for Jane Ann Armstrong, was so well liked by her art teacher, Ken Stroble, that he commissioned her to do a second one for the school (I wonder where that got to ?) Those were a few busy years and she enjoyed every minute. But before all of that she had done a portrait of her mother, using the upright piano as an easel ! 
She was encouraged by all who knew her. 
What a very lucky young woman !

Below is a picture of yours truly,  being photographed by the Guelph Mercury for a newspaper article in front of a commissioned 'Spanish Street Scene', 50 years ago ! The original owners are long gone and I wonder whatever became of this painting ? 
I was musing some aspects of my past today when I went searching for my baby picture of my mother & I and came across this forgotten photo. You can see that my Rheumatoid Arthritis had already done its number on my hands :(
I had spent 9 weeks in hospital the year before, where physical therapy was second to the eye-opener of what I could become if I didn't get a handle on my disease and not let it beat me down. And here I am, still 'arting', still replacing joints with new improved versions when the need arises ... lol ! 

I also found this long forgotten piece from my felting teaching days ;) There is so much forgotten 'stuff'.
'Eden' - felted shawl with free-motion machine embroidery - sold

Jun 27, 2015

My Goodness, Agnes ...

.... it's been awhile since you posted anything ! ! !
Hi everyone ! 
Sometimes there's just not much to say or show !
I have been house-sitting again and took the opportunity to continue with my little panels of 'Some Of This And A Bit Of That ;)', taking my sweet time, painting & re-painting some swatches of fabric, trying for the right 'foggy' colours ... watched a lot of movies ... listened to some good jazz and generally, just lazed about. 
I am now well rested and revved up for the 'show' jobs ahead of me for the next few months (Connections Fibre Art show proposals and '18Square' show in Sept.)

But one panel is complete ...

I have no idea what I will ever do with these panels, but for now, they are keeping me relaxed and inspired.
 ... and I have a new canvas ready for the stitching ! ;)
will be approx. 19"x22"

The 'fog' was difficult to paint ... so many swatches, so many variations of shades, but cutting and joining gave me a gradual transition from wet granite to fog, where the horizon is almost indistinguishable ... stitching and threads will blend these layers even more. I am very happy with it. 
I will be trying to think of ways to indicate wetness and shine in the foreground slabs of granite. Of course, bright green beach grass will form a line on the left, up through the cracks in the granite. Should be appropriately moody/serene when done if I am successful ;) I am also eager to define each rock of the Inukshuk.
Talk & show soon !

Jun 10, 2015

Following On The Coat Tails ...

... of Arlee at  albedo  and Judy at Judy's Journal, I HAVE to share this wonderful post by Johanna Flanagan at The Paler Rook
I would have liked to copy & paste the whole article here but you really must go to Johanna's blog and read for yourself ... believe me, it's worth it ! Please go there now and read what we all know, what we all feel, and you will come away a stronger woman/artist !

I have been reading your blogs, may not have responded, but I am keeping in touch with you. I, personally, do not have anything much on the go right now, but when I read this post, an hr. ago, I knew I wanted to share that with as many of you as possible ... getting me started.

News: I am waiting with bated breath, to hear whether or not I am accepted into a local art show. I am very nervous as I have never entered a drawing before, never been judged on my drawing ability. (Here is exactly where that blog by Johanna fits into a niche in my head.) 
Entered in INSIGHTS ... matted & framed 8x10, pen & ink, stippled
I know that being accepted depends largely on the jurors and on their particular taste in art. Who knows better than me ? ... when a fibre piece, turfed from this same local art show last June, was entered and accepted in another in Aug, 2014, where it won an award AND sold !? So, you just never know ! I know this, yet I am still nervous ;)

On Sat, I will begin another house-sitting job, where I intend to paint a lot of fabric for future use and I hope to start this there ... built by my s-i-l several years ago on a wet foggy morning. He took the picture and has given me (only) permission to use. I took a shot of it, whilst full screen on my computer, with my iPad, so that I will have it house-sitting to check for colour (of which there are many that aren't immediately noticeable).

Since the Grow Your Blog event in January, I have made a number of new blogger friends and have won some ' give away's'. A CD of the beautiful singing voice of Fil Campbell and a cute pincushion by Susan Leschke.
Today I received a beautiful pendant, with sterling silver wire and fresh water pearls from Lindi.  Thank you again, ladies.

May 30, 2015

Some Of This And A Bit Of That ;)

Lovely rain 'bursts' today and rolling thunder all around ... no lightening, tho'.
Hot and humid ... but I'm not complaining ... it's my mid-year resolution to stop the constant moaning about the weather :)

Not much fibre work being done, but I am busy photographing a whole fibre show (24pcs) for proposal purposes and I have just sent another proposal to a local gallery for our other travelling show, 'Celebrate The Seven'. 
And of course I have emails to answer for Threadworks.

So, it's 'in between projects time'. I tend to venture into the hand-stitching realm in these times, read a book, clean up the 'stuff' on my computer, do a little housework. Cleaning windows is not my strong suit, but, hey, someone's gotta do it, right  
I started this wee piece a few weeks ago and it has been calling me ever since. The fabric is hand-painted.
The couched threads here are actually thread ends from the factory floor that have been machine-twisted into a cord/rope  ... I have had it for years and every once in a while it proves itself very useful
little scraps of organza are folded and held down with French Knots in a variegated, hand-painted perle cotton
This colour is off.... it is actually more red than fuchsia ... my camera is having difficulty reading the red, getting old I guess (the camera ;)).
It is 4"x10" approx. and I am attaching all kinds of odds & sods, that I have collected for years ... bits of organza, funky threads, lime green threads from a broken tassel, etc., etc.  ... with no end result in mind other than tp keep adding until I am satisfied ... 'cept, my sister's birthday is coming up ;)

As a fibre artist there are so many lovely little bits that are so hard to throw away ! Like some purple raffia that was wrapped around a journal, a string of pink hearts that I have taken from a mother's day card and a pretty, baby blue cord with tassel ... all good colours to add to this.
This 'stash' is something that I take whenever there is a wk.shop, house-sit or camping trip. I even collect clothing tags ! You just never know when those will come in handy !

What do you save ? Do you have a plan for them? Have you started and/or is it still waiting for your attention ?

May 19, 2015

One More Done !

'Tangled Rose'


My zentangle in thread is done  I painted a grey/pink background (doesn't really show here) and simply echo quilted the background. 18"x18" square and is destined for a show in Sept.

I just can't pass up yet one more comment on the weather here ... the whole holiday weekend was warm with the chance of rain, not, and yesterday was so warm and humid. 
Today, there are brief flashes of sun but windy and cold - 12C ! Geeze ! 
There was just a brief moment where these lilacs weren't flipping around in the wind ... but they are beautiful !
Sure sign of Spring 

May 17, 2015

Recent Work Update

Time I settled down to post something ! 
I have been 'finishing' my commissioned piece and taking my time about it. Mainly because there are a lot of other things that have been occupying this tiny brain, lately. But, I have been reading your blogs and trying to comment when ever possible ... love your blogs !! ;)

Anyway, normally I stretch my work around a stretcher frame with 2 rows of staples and mitred corners to the best of my ability. With my fibre work being of 3 layers, it gets a little thick on the corners. A friend helped me once and steamed the corners with an iron and it looked crisp and clean. My regular, lazy self just finger presses those corners ;(

I decided that this piece should look a little more finished by hiding those 2 rows of staples. I went to Fabricland to search for a nice, inexpensive trim and found a webbing that was soft and pliable and almost the same colour as the wood of the stretcher frame. Boy ! how hard it was to hand stitch one side to the fabric of my work ! It was, after all 'wonder-sundered to the fabric below, as well as being stretched pretty tight ! My poor fingers were bleeding before I had gotten 3 inches stitched and when I used a thumbnail to push the needle through, it pushed straight through my thumbnail instead !! That's when I got the needle-nose pliers out !  Work progressed rather quickly and by the time I was done I felt like a surgeon !! ;)) The remaining edge was stapled down ... so just one row of the tiny steel stitches showing.

Along this particular journey I discovered another helpful tool that I can't work without ... a pair of tweezers from an old lab kit ... with teeth that grab onto tiny bits of thread and enable me to clip quite closely ... and, they hold my needle when I am putting a new one in place ! My first tool, besides my sewing machine, is my awl.
Below is Greg Meyer ... an old man, a town postman his whole life, looks a bit tired. I have feelers out to exactly how old he was. He would have been the age of my grandfather, probably born in the last years of the 1890's. I keep looking at this drawing and have added at least a thousand more dots since I posted him last ;) He is absolutely finished now !

please excuse the *pp*photography (pardon my french) no disrespect to the French ;)

May 8, 2015

Calling all Canadian Fibre Artists !!

Threadworks is a Tri-annual, Juried, Traveling Exhibit of Exceptional Creative Needlework, stitched by artists from across Canada.

The theme for 2016 is .... ' FLASHBACK '

What does that word bring to your imagination ? 
Just how far does it take you back ? Yesterday ? Last  year ? Yesteryear ?
Your wedding/your mother's/grandmother's or maybe your great grandmother's ? 
How about your youth ? 
Your ancestor's or your ancient history ?
Anything other than this minute or tomorrow qualifies !!!
A few more suggestions; fashion, art deco, architecture, the environment/nature/fossils, summer camp, holidays, war, hippies, home, death. life/birth ... you name it ! 
There is something in your past that has been waiting to be stitched and recorded !

There are some new changes to this wonderful fibre art exhibit that has been in existence since 1987.

We now have  a website ! 

AND ... the jurying process will be on-line ! ...  in 2 phases; 
- a preliminary selection online 
- and a final jurying, on site, by our 3 jurors; 
Jane Dams, Dick Marvin and Lorraine Roy
Read about our jurors on the website.

Go to the website now to view/download your copy of the Call For Entry and for all the other pertinent information that you will need to know. 
As well, you can view a few past shows.