Saturday, 21 June 2014

Hilary B has not been talking and very much apologises .. plus stuff

I fear I have been quiet for several weeks - a rare occurrence, some might even say a blessing. I have (as always) been very busy .. but I've also had a few health issues to deal with .. which have pre-occupied my mind a smidge. Theses culminated last week in an appointment with a very nice Cardiologist and an  ECG. This story does not have any pretty pictures to go with it .. so we will have to just add random ones in .. like this .. some beautiful Gerbera I treated myself to ... as therapy ...
so back to the ECG .. well it turns out I have cardiac arrhythmias caused by Premature Ventricular Contractions. For anyone who wants to know more about those .. here's the Wikipedia link!
For the rest of us - enough to know that these could have been caused by many factors .. probably too much work and adrenaline .. but are not deadly .. so I shall be sensible and look after myself a bit better ... job done.
Thank you for all messages of love - all much appreciated - I am truly blessed with my friends.
This has meant I have had to cut back quite a lot of my workload - including some workshops. I am now fully booked until mid 2016 as far as workshops go .. and will be looking at what to do in the future. I shall continue teaching at the Bramble Patch, where I have a two day silhouette workshop coming up in October, which still has some spaces.  I am also re-running the full years worth of Make it \personal workshops next year at the bramble patch too.. These will be two days every two months again and are suitable for new students and beginners as well as those who have already done a year with me and might wish to continue developing their work. These are now on the Bramble Patch website for booking - here is a link ...
Time for another picture I think .. here are Dixter and Sean helping out with some dyeing in the garden and some of the resultant cloth ..
I am still running the summer schools at Redditch .. the first one is full, but there are a couple of places  come free on the second one, 29/30 September and 1 October. All the details are in an earlier blog - or in the website shop, together with booking .. another link
I am also teaching two one day workshops using gelli plates at both the Ally Pally and Harrogate Knitting and Stitching shows. Wendy Gardiner was very good in allowing me to have whole days for these - so I hope you will come! I know I already have one student en-route from New Zealand .. that is what I call loyalty! These will coincide with the publication of my next book 'The Gentle Art of Gelliping' ... this is a working title, but I love it so much, I think it may stay. This will be in conjunction with Art van Go and will hopefully encourage you to use your gelli plate in some very different ways, to maximise its potential and achieve unique and personal results. You will hear more about this no doubt in the next couple of months. I am very excited .. but then again .. what's new!!
Make it Personal Book 2 will be on a theme of Coast and I really hope to have it done for the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show .. I will report on progress.
Talking of beach - I have been a couple of times in the last weeks - no-where else revives in quite the way the sea does. And I have been collecting treasure (of course) ... these are in the utility sink

Got into trouble for that ... even when I am ILL .. so had to move them to a bucket

and I now intend to go and do some seaweed and shell gelliping .. both for the book and also for two other exhibitions I am preparing for ..
Art Textiles: Made in Britain are having their inaugural gallery at Festival of Quilts this year and our theme is 'Identity'. One of my pieces deals with how I have managed my long standing issue of chronic depression and worked out how to still live a full life alongside the beast. As the sea is so much part of this maintenance of health .. I want some small pieces and images for that. I am also preparing a large exhibition with Stephanie Redfern, which is called 'Sanctuary' and which will open at the Minerva gallery next summer. Again - the coast is an obvious tie in for me here .. so coastal gelliping is definitely in order.  Here are some previously printed cloths which will also be used - together with more treasures .. and you can bet some of them will also be getting involved too

Golly - I am rubbish at brief aren't I?? I do apologise of this seems a bit of a dull, serious post .. I just wanted to re-assure and bring up to date. I have let everybody know now, where I have had to cancel anything .. so if you haven't heard form me - don't worry, it is still happening!
I'm of to gellip in the sunshine now .. which will no doubt help restore my spirits .. and will be back soon with masses of student work and hopefully my usual bonhomie. Thank you for visiting - Hilary xx

Monday, 5 May 2014

Fabulously messy studio, plus the show that caused it

I have one of our favourite treats here .. messy studio pictures .. so get a cuppa and settle down to gloat and relish ..
SO here we are .. just inside the door and looking right.. to the 'wet' area
 .. can I even get in?
I've managed to get about 2 ft .. and the view is not improving ...
another couple of feet .. and still deteriorating ..
am ashamed ..
poor Thelma .. abused as ever .. no wonder she sometimes smokes on the job ..
storage system breakdown .... (and yummy driftwood)
got to the table .. it is under there and turned round .. oh ...
 this is my washing up system .. I put them in to 'soak' and then to 'drain' .... several days ago - fortunately we have a dishwasher in the main house .. fear I am a slut
 right .. back out of wet area and turning right into collage and stitch area ..
not much of either is going to get done on here ..( a plus side here is I have been looking for that green spray bottle for AGES .. obviously it is only visible on photos)
or on my Janome .. hiding under here ...
or indeed on my HQ16 .. buried under here ..
and round to the right .. into the 'office area .. honest .. that is what it is .. there are 3 printers under there somewhere
useful sitting area with pathetic attempt at organising list .. I suspect I lost it after item 3 ...
desk .. and facebook on in the background .. I do tend to forget and leave it on like this .. so if I appear to be there but ignoring you .. this will be what is going on. What a bad desk .. must have majorly untidy mind then ..
Hope that was enjoyable. It isn't for poor Stephen, who is a very tidy man (weird) - I know it makes him physically traumatised having to even look .. poor soul. But it just always happens when I am manically busy running up to a show, exhibition etc. So lets have a few pictures of the exhibition. This was at the British Quilt and Stitch Village at Uttoxeter, where Traplet very kindly gave me a HUGE space to show a gallery of work .. these are first thing, before the punters arrived
and here is Stephen .. happier and keeping the shop area organised and tidy. Shows are a real eye opener for him .. he is always surprised how much people know about him (he doesn't do Facebook and so has no idea!) He does a great job and I couldn't manage without him ..  
 and here are a few images of the latest pieces I have completed .. some very last minute!!
A Feminine Touch .. 1 to 4
Beauty Matters 4 to 7 
Shape of Nature 1 & 2 
Beauty Matters 8 to 11: Willow 1 - 4
 Jugs 9: The Artists Jug
As you can see - it was a great opportunity to get some good photos whilst they were all hung up on white backgrounds .. thank you Angela. So I now have some good images for the website, where I will be updating all the galleries very soon with new work and pieces for sale.
I have been so busy this year and seriously have not had a day off since Christmas .. so after the show, I had a lovely day at Harlow Carr gardens, with a good friend. It was bliss to just potter in the sunshine, chat, eat buns and not work .. although of course I took a lot of photos, which will no doubt make their way into future work. I will post lots of those .. but for now .. here is a favourite .. some beautiful anemones. Thank you for visiting .. talk soon - Hilary x


Sunday, 13 April 2014

Gelliping at Art van Go

Lets start with a definition:  'gelliping' - a verb, meaning to play with, paint on, obsess over and generally have a jolly good time with a gelli plate.
And that was the essence of the workshop I taught at gorgeous Art van Go last week. We were working with canvas and started by putting molding paste through stencils on to paper and then subsequently cutting or tearing these papers up and re-arranging (you can see my patchwork roots here!). These bits were arranged and then stuck down with gel matte medium (aka 'sticky under' )  onto a blank stretched canvas. Areas were also worked with appliglue to write and draw dimensional lines. We were blessed with sunshine and so were able to put these outside to dry .. hence the rather gorgeous shadows on some of these ...

this shadow is so beautiful that I suspect this image will get repurposed somewhere along the line

While these were drying, we got down to some gelliping, using a variety of green stuff snitched from the AVG garden, together with stencils, stamps and textured rollers. As is my favoured method, we printed using opaque fabric paints and then washed over those prints using dye. We also used markal blender and  neocolour 1 to add some resist in the 'negative' prints. If all that sounds like gobbledygook .. scroll back through the blog posts for more information.
Then - whilst gelli prints drying, the girls painted their now textured canvas, using a mixture of acrylics, fabric paint and metallic powders .. I didn't manage to catch many before they got prints added .. but here are a few .. yum
you can see we worked in several layers .. adding glazes and metallic highlights as we went .. brilliant fun
many of the canvas could stand as pieces in and of themselves at this point and in fact one student (my wild child Christine) did just that .. just adding huge dimensional glops of appliglue and many many layers of glazes rubbed back to produce these two beautiful pieces ..
We also looked in between times (when I thought they looked as though they might think they were going to relax) on getting rid of blank sketchbooks and using those gorgeous beasts to actually serve their purpose .. we dyed, glued, pasted and scribbled in out sketchbooks .. realising that we can do exactly as we like .. they are ours ..
and also started mounting our treasured gelli prints on to the canvases


what I find so exciting is that the pieces evolving are all so very different and nothing like mine .. I can see the artist in each of the students finding a safe place to have a voice and that makes me a very happy girl
we looked at using neocolour 1 crayons, appliglue and glazes again to add definition, contrast and detail to the pieces .. it can make an amazing difference  .
Obviously the girls didn't finish completely in two days - especially as they were all working on at least two separate canvas and their sketchbooks .. but they got an amazingly large amount done






I think you have to agree these are quite stunning .. and I am certain all the girls will finish them by adding stitch .. and then send images to me!! - please .. I would hang any of these on my wall, with immense pride. All the class worked incredibly hard and were no doubt exhausted  .. but what brilliant results and what a lovely group .. thank you all.
I promised I would go through how I alter images on the computer to get further leverage from my prints .. and that will be the next post. For now though .. thank you for joining me ...  Hilary xx