Talking heads - an update

Here's a couple more pieces of fabric which I've overprinted.


This one was done with a very old Indian print block that was almost worn smooth - it did a great job considering!

This makes 4 prints.
I have begun to piece the fabrics into the background, adding a little colour here and there.


One of my Talking Heads (there are 5) will have the phrase "A Little Bird Told Me" stitched onto it, and I've made a body for the head by cutting holes in a piece of bondawebbed fabric. A little bird yet to be drawn, will sit on the shoulder of the body and be moulting feathers. The idea was to put pieced cloth under the holes, but I've decided that looks too fussy, so will go with something plainer.  My inner trypophobe is much happier with the pieces that cut out to be honest, so I might change my mind about which I use at some point!




Talking Heads - Printing 2 of 4 fabrics for new work

I need to take some portrait photos before I can progress with The Last Vision, and in the meantime am making something which will involve a great deal of piecing. The background will be fairly neutral and I have decided to print some fabrics for it. I need 4 pieces altogether in the light to mid ranges of grey.

The first piece is printed onto white so that it will fit in the light range I hope. Below - preparing the print table. To do this I put a sheet of wadding on the table before covering with my cloth. This cushions the stamps as they print ensuring a good contact.



Using the Messy Mats to keep my space clean but also to mix the Open Acrylics that I'm going to use for printing. The mats are wonderful - one of my 2017 best buys!


Dab a sponge into the paint to get an even covering but ensure it's not too heavy or lumpy. Cover the stamp with paint using the sponge - gently. To print, press firmly but not too hard onto the cloth and lift off. My fabrics are going to be cut into slices so I didn't line up my printed leaves, and chose to print at random.





For the second piece of cloth, I used high flow acrylics. You can buy these empty "felt tip" type pens to put the paint into, so I filled mine with black and white and swished around the pen to mix (you can just see ball bearings in the tube).


Again, the text needed to be random as this cloth is being cut up, and I didn't want identifiable text. Guess what the piece is going to be called?!!


So for today, I have one light and one light/medium fabric.


Christmas Pudding


I'm a bit late this year with the Christmas Puds but here's the recipe I always use.

4 oz shredded veggy suet
2 oz self raising flour
4 oz breadcrumbs
1 tsp mixed spice,
1/2 tsp each of cinnamon and grated nutmeg
Grated rind and juice of a lemon
Grated rind of an orange
8oz soft brown sugar (muscovado)
14 oz of sultanas, currants and raisins - in a mix that pleases you.
1 oz of candied peel, chopped
1 oz ground almonds
1 bramley apple, chopped small
5 fl oz of guinness or similar stout
2 large eggs

Measure all the ingredients into a bowl and mix. Cover and leave overnight. This makes 1 large pudding but you can divide into 2 smaller ones - adjust the steaming times - and make sure you fill the bowls nearly to the top. Grease the bowls with butter and cover with greaseproof paper and foil before cooking.

Steam or boil (put a saucer or similar in the bottom of the pan so it takes the bowl off the base). Keep the pan filled with boiling water during cooking (it should come to about half way up the bowl)  Steam for 4 hours for small puddings and 6 for a large one. Allow to cool and wrap in clean paper. On the day of eating, steam again for about 1/2 hours to heat through.

Geometric overpainting of a monoprint - style of Robert Kushner.

Quite a long while ago I did some digital drawings from a photo of heleniums in my garden. I was really pleased with the results despite forgetting to put in the stems!!

 
Since doing this, I've used this and similar images countless times in sketchbooks as a motif, and as something I can go to when I wish to experiment with various new techniques but don't want to spend ages finding a new subject. They are always there for the spur of the moment ideas!

Here they are again on a collaged backgroud and behind an acrylic pour.


And as a monoprint with printing ink on paper.

I'm a fan of the work of Robert Kushner who I occasionally come across when posting on the Through Our Hands Facebook page. Click here to see some of his work with Camellias.

I thought I'd use the monoprint above to see if I could get a feel for some of his work. I divided my paper with the monoprint into 4 vertical sections. I used watercolour to make a rough painting filling in with colour, but more or less keeping to the straight dividing lines. To make it interesting, I swapped the colours in each strip. I used yellow, grey, blue, black and green.

The monoprint bled a little as I guess the ink wasn't completely dry, but I liked the effect. I decided to go over the outlines again to make them stronger.


New Work - The Last Vision

As soon as studio space is cleared and everything is back where I can find it, I want to start work on a new quilt.

I've been recharging the batteries for a bit since March, probably having done too much, or too many things all at once. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should, especially if you're on the wrong side of 60 and a bit poorly. I'm better now but it's taken a few months to regain my energy.

But you can't switch ideas off, and if your brain has a ping-moment, there's nothing you can do to ignore it! As I seem to think in quilts naturally rather than any other medium, I'm looking forward to starting again on a new large piece which will be part of the Life Story series but moving forward a bit.

I like a title. It's often a starting point and if it isn't, I'm not comfortable until I've found it. - this piece will probably have the title of The Last Vision, or simply, Vision. It'll be portraits but not sure yet how the technicalities of the rest will be - I'm not sure if I want to make this a huge piecing thing, or if I'm brave enough to forget the technical side in favour of seams and loose threads.

I have an image library (2 images below) but unfortunately don't have the artists names for these pieces which have inspired me.