I have recently started the Foundation Diploma in Tapestry Weaving at West Dean College as I wanted to bring together my extensive research into colour, through painting and my many years of working with textiles, mostly through making and using yarn.
I have much to learn and am trying not to be too frustrated with this. Choosing the correct warp thickness and size of weft bundle (I didn’t even know that you could have a weft bundle!) has been quite challenging, but slowly I think I am getting there.
I am interested in how artists such as Kirsten Glasbrook use borders in their work and so I tried some ideas out here.
The image below also introduces the use of borders and a central motif with a variegated background to the motif. I was pleased with the colour scheme but I found that the ‘sett’ of the warp was too close for the thickness of the warp. This resulted in a rather congested tapestry that didn’t lie entirely flat. I’m still learning.
This small tapestry is an interpretation of my drawing of a radiator cover in Stansted House. I wanted to try out icon colours, but also to practise graduating the colour of both background and image from dark at the bottom to light at the top.
This is the first of a series of tapestries where the source material is one of my paintings. I am taking fragments of the original (unfinished) painting and interpreting them into tapestry weavings. They are approximately 10cm wide. This first fragment is made on a moderately thick warp (15s) with 2.5 ends to the centimetre. The bottom part is a bit ‘clunky’ but as my hatching improved the imagery improved towards the top. The colours worked for me.
These photos are the best I can offer, sadly as I was admitted to hospital following on from my back injury in July. I missed my arranged slots to steward the exhibition, when I had planned to take some better shots. I felt proud to be part of this exhibition and we had good footfall throughout. Some more sales would have been welcome, but some members certainly did see some work.
Sixteen artists from the Artel Group will be exhibiting their work in the Oxmarket, Chichester from 14 August to 26 August excluding Mondays. The exhibition is promising to be both interesting and intriguing, each artist having a completely different approach to our subject, Elemental. Several disciplines of art will be displayed and I am looking forward to curating the show as part of a small team from Artel.
My own work will take the form of an installation of paintings and (space permitting) some 2 dimensional paintings on the same subject.
Finally, I have a permanent studio space. I have had ‘the spare room’, a shared studio space at Unity Studios in Chichester, a fabulous (but rather expensive) studio in Lavant all to myself and the most grotty space on a smallholding in Almodington. Finally I have a dedicated studio space at home. It is wonderful.
Dry studio space
At one end I have my capacious plan chest, which has been with me for nearly thirty years and indeed was my studio for many years. This is the ‘dry studio’, where I do clean work like mount cutting or any of my spinning or textile work.
I’m researching a way of painting using a rule of making just one mark within any painting. This is an extension of the repetition work I did in 2015. For the time being I will work on paper, as I intend to make a large number of paintings and storage issues alone will not allow for me to use canvases. I have used watercolour, heavy cartridge and khadi papers. Most papers have been primed, but not all.
This is Mark 4 on primed watercolour paper
and Mark 5 – on unprimed cartridge paper, and was started as a warm-up exercise
I’ve had an excellent week at West Dean College on Matthew Collings’ course ‘Colour, tone and division: thinking visually about painting’
I felt quite challenged to be working with the figure, which is not my usual territory. Making the exercises 3 minute or 6 minute drawings was helpful because you have to grab the essence of the person visually and find a fast way of expressing it.
3 minute drawing Judy
3 minute drawing Judy
3 minute drawing Judy
Restraint was very much the mood of the week, with only line being allowed for some drawings and then only a rubber on pre-charcoaled paper, for example. When it came to paintings, we were only allowed 3 colours and white. I chose yellow ochre for one of my first colours as I find the colour difficult to work with. It seemed like a good opportunity to try it out again, with the knowledge that help was around.
This was my final painting, expressing how alone the artist actually is in front of their work amidst the mess that surrounds the making process.
I have been working on a new body of work during 2017. It is informed by my previous studies of interiors: in particular, Oaklands Park House, Turner’s House and Pallant House.
I have deconstructed drawings of the hallways and reassembled them in abstract paintings. Repetition comes through the work, picking up another theme, which has been evident in my abstract paintings.
One of the hazards of modern life is being subject to random attacks of various kinds. My site was hacked this week and some of my recent blogs (2017) have been lost – note to self – back up your own blog material. I consider myself lucky – no-one was hurt – just irritated at the inconvenience.
I shall aim to re-populate some of the material to show up to date work – meanwhile the gallery will give some clues there.