Saturday, 29 November 2014

out of time .. pics now, words Monday .. well OK Wednesday!

Totally run out of time but wanted to at least get these images put up. They are from session 6 of Make it Personal . I will add words and details on Monday xx
And here I am .. on Wednesday in fact ... not a bad effort really. Thank you for the lovely comments already left - I know the students will appreciate them. It is not so easy to be asked to work to access your own style and creativity, but without exception the girls have risen to that challenge and excelled. You would ever look at these images and assume they had all been on the same workshop would you? And that proves the point - each of them has gone out on that scary limp and resisted the temptation to work with my style .. and found their own. I am so proud of them.
First up is Alison - who I first met at the two day workshop 'Make it Personal' at Festival of Quilts 2013. Alison has a beautiful gentle way of making marks and pattern - quite unlike any one else. Very gestural and expressive, I also love her way of putting unusual colour combinations into her work. I really hope she will carry on and stitch into these pieces and continue to follow her won artists path 
Another student who has been with me all year is Dorothy. I shall not mention actual ages, but I know Dorothy would say herself she is into her '3rd age' and she constantly surprises and impresses me with her enthusiasm for new things and ideas, not to mention her technological capabilities, which far out weigh mine. Dorothy has a wicked collection of fabulous art journal type stencils and stamps, which are fabulous, but which she was banned from using in this particular course (she took this very well - on the chin!) - as I really wanted a more personal expression. She has kept to this, and produced these lovely pieces, which are also beautifully stitched (first two), plus some more ideas in her sketchbook to keep her going ... well done my 'duck head eater'!
Helen G has also been with me since January and I have loved watching her grow in both skill and confidence ... the last the hardest trip, but looking at these pieces, I reckon she should feel pretty pleased with herself. Helen started form a position of virtually no 'art quilting' knowledge and I know this has sometimes made her feel a little insecure alongside more experienced group members. Well firstly - well done for staying the course Helen - sticking with something that you find hard, when you feel unsure is not easy at all - it takes a person with tough mettle - and that is you. Secondly, it can actually be easier to develop your won style and processes when you are not already 'cluttered up' with lots of (often conflicting) knowledge. A good example would be that Helen told me in the last session that her favourite technique was screen printing, particularly breakdown printing (and she has stunning prints from her play days). Screen printing can be viewed with trepidation by even quite experienced contemporary quilters - and Helen only got two days of tuition - in which we did a dash through many many screen printing technique. But the point is - she never learnt that it could be complicated - so she doesn't think it is (and done in my rather irreverent way - it isn't). To me, that is perfect - and gives so much freedom. Anyway - I will stop shut up now and let you admire her work .. still to be stitched, but stunning
Another regular since the start of the year is Pat, who chose fruit and veg markets as her theme - which could last her for the rest of her life if she chooses - it is so rich in imagery and history. Pat does beautiful drawings and paintings and utilised many of these to work into images for linocuts. This is such a good way of moving from a beautiful set of vignettes .. such as these ..
to wonderful, vibrant cloth like this .. that is just begging to be made into work
some of these were worked into wonderful colourful collages (below) which may, or may not have the larger silhouette type images added
here Pat is playing with layering different sizes and chopped up images
and here with taking some crops out of those gorgeous sweet pea drawings. These are beautiful, both in colour and in B+W .. I so hope Pat goes on to make these as finished pieces - she did promise she would ..
Pat obviously loves her sketchbooks - we all ogled many of them over the year .. but this one, which is an altered book which she started in our re-cycling session is just stunning. Amazed she didn't get it snitched at some point.
I think Pat also had a canvas from the previous session, which she managed to sneak by me .. but I'll get it from last times photos for you to see in my next post.
Sitting opposite Pat for all six session was my other Helen - Helen M, who was working with a theme of flowers. Another sketchbook lover, she produced some beautiful pages over the course.
Many many possible designs here and Helen was planning to take some cropped portions of the above drawing for some more. Sadly she was poorly for one 'working into design' session - but still has plenty to go at .. and this is some of her beautiful pile of materials made - so plenty to go at it with too
And so the  last, but most definitely not least of my year long students, was Christine. What a glorious feel for colour and pattern she has. Working with w theme of rainforests and their foliage in particular, she printed, stamped and stencilled the most extraordinary collection of vibrant materials during the year. And lots - it was a real pleasure to watch her enthusiasm and joy in making patterns and colour. Christine wonders if she should tone it down a bit? add a bit of blanker space? Only she can know the answer to whether that is what she likes - but for me - it's a big NOOOOOOO ... we all need to celebrate who we are. Design principles are there to guide only - never be afraid to break them if that is what you like. A prolific worker - she made all of theses in the last two sessions ... many of which are fully stitched too. I can't wait to see where she goes in the future


That is true of all the girls who I have had with me since January .. I feel I know them now and they all have huge talent and potential - I so look forward to seeing where they travel from now on.
Bernice had to miss the last session (gadding off on holiday - tut), but in my next post I will go through all the stuff made at the last MIP session, which was also working into design - so you can see her beautiful work then.
Not all students are able to come to every class and some dropped in and out during the year. Brenda is one of those - my Brenda ... another far too modest girl who makes some gorgeous work. Brenda bought back some of the materials made in earlier sessions, plus some she had added to the stash. Born and bred in Wales, she wanted to work using an image form near where she lives (wait till you see it - you will be jealous - I was). First of all, she worked to interpret this in a collage in her sketchbook ...
and then went to make this beautiful atmospheric collage on felt ...

this is already stunning and I cant wait to see it with stitch added
Brenda travels over form Wales with her friend Linda .. another hugely talented girl. Like me, Linda struggles to actually focus on any one thing, as the ideas just keep popping up. This can be great (never short of ideas) but also frustrating sometimes, if you don't learn to control it and make sure you see things through before leaping to a new idea (well sometimes anyway!) Another one with sketchbooks to die for, Linda focussed on staying OUT of them, and into some pieces for the two days - including this wonderful collage on to paper - which she intends to back and stitch
beautiful silhouettes over collage
and this glorious piece - which actually ended up with a large pot of ferns, in colour over the top. Dixter was just posed to see how things were working in the background. I'm so cross I didn't get the final piece photographed, as it was amazing. Please send it to me Linda ....
Linda also bought some work done using materials made in the previous session she attended
Kath attended the first two workshops and then returned for the last one as well. ON her first sessions she made some beautiful printed and stencilled fabrics in a wonderful range of blues. This time, she bought a collage with her, made using some of those materials - so delicate ...
In the final session. Kath decided to work using an image of some puffins, to make a background with silhouette foreground. Again, I put my camera away before the puffins arrived (some had to leave early so we took photos before the end) ... it is beautiful without them though and I hope Kath will send me an image of the piece when completed
And this time, Kath bought her sister, Pat , who was staying with her to come and play with us. Very brave, as she had not been to any previous sessions, so was jumping right in at the deep end. Pat had bought some gorgeous fabrics dyed during a day with Edwina Mackinnon and with the addition of a few of my papers, decided to make a collage on khadi paper, loosely based on a log cabin block. Both her fabric and my paper had spiral shapes in them, so she used this for some foreground shapes. I think this is amazing .. well done Pat and is going to look even more amazing when stitched.

So that was the last session for this year. I still have images to show you form previous sessions and will do that soon. Until then - here are two of my very camera shy girls - caught unawares - I shall miss them all - Hilary xx


Sunday, 26 October 2014

The old black bird again unfortuntely

Oh dear - not a cheery post I fear. Some of you may have guessed from my somewhat quiet few weeks that all was not too good.
Unfortunately, I have had to admit that I am in the throes of another bout of depression. I think you all know it is a constant bystander for me, and every now and then swoops. No doubt I will work out why and equally, experience tells me that rest and withdrawal for a while will return me to normal.
I have had  to cancel everything for the next few weeks. I hope to be recovered enough to be on my stand at the Harrogate K+S show … I will keep you all up to date.  
Its been a funny year - some really wonderful things, some really awful and sad things and some just difficult to deal with things. I have been struggling since FOQ really and need to get properly well in order to be able to engage positively in all these things.
In the meantime, please bear with me – I find any sort of communication incredibly hard whilst my score so high – it is not that I don’t care … more that my brain seems to just shut down. Emotion is also too hard to deal with. Those who live with depression will know exactly what I mean.
Sorry to any I am letting down in anyway and I hope to be back to my normal (ish) self soon.
Hilary x
PS - just seen post below and realise those not on facebook may not realise that the Gelli book is now available in my online shop and from Art van Go x

Friday, 3 October 2014

I know - long absence .. big catch up coming - starting with my last lot of talented studnts - oh ... and a book ...

Lovely long title - much needed after such an absence. So much to tell .. and where to start. Well just let me quickly mention the NEW BOOK .. which will be launched on Art van Go's stand at Ally Pally next week, and is the main reason for my enforced silence .. the deadline was tight as ever ( I may never now be able to write a book in a normal timespan) Hopefully it will be worth it - here's the cover ..

It grew in production - so many ways to play with our gelli plates ... so is actually now 132 happy pages. I will be at Ally Paly - teaching Thursday and Friday, then demonstrating with Art van Go on Saturday and Sunday. I think it is safe bet the gelli will appear- so do come and say hello and join in my playtime (sorry - work). As Stephen is not at Ally Pally, he can deal with any online sales whilst I'm away - so I will get it into the online shop on Monday/Tuesday ... so if you can't make the show, you can still get your paws on a copy. I'm biased (very) - but I think it is nice ...

Now - away from me, and onto more talented students. I have one or two workshops to catch up with, but I'll start with the most recent and work backwards I think. Earlier this week, I ran a three day summer school (the second one) at Redditch Needle Museum in Redditch. We were blessed with the best ever weather and if the students enjoyed it as much as me, then we had a good time. We were mono-printing using gelli plates and then mounting the prints onto canvas, which the girls had pre-textured using modelling paste.  A very talented group, despite a few early nerves (quite right - I am scary) .. and they produced a wonderful variety of work. So I'll shut up and show you that now...

These are coming in alphabetical order I think ... photo album must have done that - we all know I haven't!
So starting with Denise  - four beautiful and very varied canvas, using some leaf prints, some fruit prints, some stencil and stamp prints and some mono prints made using masks .. very thorough job Denise!!

These next three are by Helen - gorgeous curvy pears (and beautifully controlled fine appliglue application), some gorgeous ferns and some prints form  what remained in the bottom of my box of last years hogweed head ...

The next two are by Jacqui, - gorgeous colour interpretations of some leaf prints ...

Once she got the hang of where she was going, there was no stopping Jane - who made these next four beautifully graphic canvases

Jenny came all the way from the north of Scotland and now has a new group of friends to visit workshops with. They were all staying in the same place and went out on the town every night .. lovely when it just works out like that. I love theses dynamic swirls that Jenny worked with - the energy in this canvas is palpable


This gorgeous canvas featuring some leaf prints, is another of Jennys
We did quite a lot of mark making and drawing with the appliglue this session and Loretta shows complete mastery with these wonderful 'scribbles' over her textured and gelli papered canvas  

 This is another of Lorettas - a fabulous Japanese style canvas using leaf prints and some stencil based gelli prints - just so different ..
And different again are these beautiful and dynamic pieces by Olga - on canvas and in her sketchbook 

The next two vibrant canvas are by Sarah - glorious colour combinations and a mixture of leaf prints with some mono-printed patterns

Lovely Val (who took some merciless teasing about her love of black) proved her choice perfectly, with these two stunning canvas (both on black, of course)

Viv made some wonderfully fine prints using fruit, stamps and stencils, which she combined in these lovely canvas with some needle lace and trimmings from her own stash

And last, but absolutely not least - her are three quiet beautiful canvas from Yvonne - using lace and old needlework , some interesting wax made papers and some beautiful hosta prints - I just love these


I never fail to be impressed by students willingness to feel a bit of fear and still do it and produce such good results. I hope each time by the end of a class, I have gone at least a little way to convincing them that art is not scary, and is not about judgments. It's about tapping into the heart of who you are - and my girls did me proud on that front - well done all.
And I think we have at least one class ready for next year too!! - Hilary xx