Venice

I am in overwhelm! I have learned so much by visiting the Fortuny,  La Accademia, the Textile Musuem and the Peggy Guggenheim Gallery in Venice. My head is buzzing with ideas from the images I have collected and my sketchbook work.

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Organising April

This month has revolved around planning  and organising

I have been  busy working at my creative arts degree, getting my first assignment sent to my tutor Liz Smith in the UK. I have also been planning for my week in Knebworth in May, doing a workshop with Gwen Hedley at Artvango. We are also planning our trip to Venice for a week in June.  I am  away for the whole of August, so more planning!

My husband has also given me some workshop shelving, which has necessitated a lot of reorganising in my art room

I have posted some of the stitch work that has been developing whilst working on my first assignment:

My garden has also needed a lot of attention this month. The rains of March have made everything grow, including thousands of knee high weeds, enormous beetroots, cabbages and onions. My lovely pepper tree, which  I put in as a sapling 3 years ago, and which is very fast growing, has spread and spread almost reaching the height of our roof terrace. I have also bedded in some more colour amongst the plants, as the sun gets stronger during the year, many colourful plants die off and  it has taken me years to understand what grows well in Canarian climates and what doesn’t.

Magical March

My carnival mask

I love this time of year in the Canary Islands, it is Carnival time, and also the time when the island is carpeted in flowers and plants. Most of the year, after April, the sun burns and bleaches everything in its wake. I was inspired to create Field of Flowers in celebration of Spring, after looking at the work of Textile Artist Gilda Baron.

Field of flowers

On 11th 12th March I put on a workshop teaching the skills of placing ceramic mosaics into wall art. This is the work of one of my students, done over a 6 hour period and an overernight drying time. The second pic is work in progress of my own.

Students Work
Work in Progress
13 March
‘The world around me is alive and buzzing with possibility’
This is today’s quote from  Andrea Schroder’s Creative Dream Incubator: http://creative-dream-incubator.ning.com/
Yesterday I also listened to her Creative Visualization meditation  ‘ It makes things happen.  Magic things.‘ she says
try it out for yourself: She has certainly put magic into my life

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgQjW4v9tyk

29th March

A  pending trip to Venice with my husband in June has got me in a whirl of excitement.  We often take our holidays in rural settings, so this is a complete change. To calm me down and keep my feet on the ground I re-watched a video of Artist Fay Maxwell’s work, and then tested  some of her gorgeous ideas using  the slash and stitch techniques. What dedication she has, because it took hours of patience to do the machine sewing and cutting. I have hardly managed the embroidery yet.

Fabulous February

I am so enjoying the creativity generated by my OCA Creative Arts Degree that I don’t have a lot of spare time. My time has also been reduced  because I have a small job, managing 2 friends holiday Villas in the next village .

I have been reading The Divine Feminine Fire by Teri Degler. She examines the power of the creative drive throughout history, by describing the lives of some of the people changed by this mysterious power.  One  example describes Hildegard von Bingen, a 12 century nun, who at the age of 40 had a massive outpouring of creativity in music, illustrations, literature,  poetry, as well as writing scientific and medical literature. Teri  places her spot-light on some of the world’s greatest composers, also at people like  Carl Jung, as well as some of the world’s more famous mystics and saints. At the end of each chapter there are exercises for deepening your own creativity. Powerful reading.

Hildegard von Bingen

Another neglected area of life, is my dose of Andrea Schroder at ABC creativity. With amazing synchronicity,  she emailed me a link to her latest creative visualisation video on Youtube, she shows us other ways to tap into our creative drive.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgQjW4v9tyk.

One slow evening last week I knitted a pretty little daffodil in preparation for St David’s Day. It reminds me of Wales where I have spent much of my early life and where the daffodil is symbolic of this celebrated day on March 1st.  Later that week I knitted the Arum Lily.    See  http://naturalsuburbia.blogspot.com/2010/08/daffodil-flower-knitting-pattern.html

Knitted Arum Lily

Wallhangings and Faux finishes

Family of Hearts

Family of Hearts

OMG it is 23 January 2011 already! I have at last finished a 15 piece wall-hanging ‘A Family of Hearts’, the outside Faux stone arch in the courtyard, and a 9 piece wall-hanging ‘Autumn‘ .

small arch

I have also reworked 3 acrylic paintings ‘Urns‘ but they have not developed as expected. I have  struggled to reproduce some Celtic images onto canvas,  and tried out at 3-D embroidery, using household string. I am also in the midst of  planning a Ceramic Mosaic workshop for 4 people  to begin in  March.

String Embroidery

My inquiries into the BA Creative Arts Degree course with OCA have led me to work at finishing all outstanding projects (which number 17) so that I can start as soon as I  receive my first assignment in the post (5 days time).!

My journey with the OCA degree course are recorded in another blog http://minaret.blogspot.com/

Decorative December

This month is flying by faster than Santa’s reindeer’s! I have  been working on finishing a number of outstanding projects, this included a small outside faux stone arch and  also embellishing a wall-hanging Autumn.

Autumn 5

I have  added more appliquéd leaves, and  also used hand embroidery with woven roses and bullion knots. Then over Christmas I practised my stitches and using the theme of ‘Air’ from the Creative Every Day site I completed ‘My Bird’

My Bird

Xmas Candle

My creativity has also drifted like snow around the house with red and gold accents in nearly every room; out went the simple dough-made xmas decorations I bought in Mexico in 1998, that I used to I hang on my tree every year.

Through my  friend Julia, I met Aislinn Knight, who was on holiday on the island, she has a MA in Fine Arts from Aberystwyth university.

The Seven Seals Aislinn Knight

Our subsequent conversations has tugged at an idea. and one my mother has been nourishing. I have been researching the possibility of working on an on-line City & Guilds textile course. When I mentioned the idea to my husband he inquired ‘why not go for a higher qualification?’ Is there such a course available  online? So far I have not found anything. There is some appeal in working  towards a significant recognisable qualification.

Well, well well, I leafed through my July issue of The Artist magazine today and followed up an advert for the Open College of Arts based in the UK, and behold there is an online BA(Hons) Creative Arts degree that has textile components. I spent the next 3 hours reading everything I could and getting more and more excited about this idea, and then going so far as asking OCA how to matriculate!

Decorative December

Now that I have completed ART EVERY DAY OF NOVEMBER, I am wide open to the creativity right in front of me. I am  fascinated by Suminagashi ( or Japanese floating ink paintings) of which I watched a video clip on Cloth Paper Scissors.

sumnigashi

The patterns are the result of coloured inks  floating on  plain water, then  transferred to an absorbent surface like paper  or fabric.  I only have pink and purple ink.  Once the ink was floating on the water, I dipped some watercolour paper onto the surface, removed it, then left it aside to dry.

Suminagashi

A key element in Japanses art, which I find utterly compelling, is zakka, which indicates, anything that improves your everyday life. This especially concerns handmade objects. The ideas is to make everything,no matter how mundane or ordinary, into something beautiful. Zakka- style adds extra little special touches to things, from art journals, to crafts, canvases and clothing, walls and gardens, while still maintaining an elegant simplicity.

I have  signed up for the Art Every Day Challenge: The theme for December is AIR, and suggestions include:

  • Get outside and take pictures of the sky at different times of day.
  • *Use hot air in your work. Try blowing wet media with a blower or try encaustic.
  • *Capture the movement of wind in drawing or painting.
  • *Make clouds out of fabric.
  • *Focus on the air or negative space in your work.
  • *Write a poem about the way air feels on your skin.
  • *Turn on a fan and take some fun wind-blown self-portraits.
  • *Create more airspace around you, by clearing out some clutt

 

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