Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Sydney Long

I belong to a group called the Waverley Art Quilters and we meet once a month to study a different artist, theme or technique and in May we were studying Sydney Long.

Sydney Long was an Australian landscape artist who was born in Goulburn NSW on 20th August 1871 and died in London on the 23rd January 1955.

He became known for his lyrical and graceful Art Nouveau style landscapes and in his later years his work evolved into a decorative, symbolist style.
He won the Wynne Prize for Landscape in 1938 for The Approaching Storm and in 1940 for The Lake.

Sydney Long was also known as a master etcher but when the etching boom collapsed in the mid 1930s he went back into painting.

People loved his flamingo paintings and because they sold so well he painted many of them.

After much deliberation and attempts on two different quilt designs, I finally settled on making a Flamingo quilt. After I had made that decision it was amazing that I saw flamingos everywhere I looked.
Birthday Card

I saw birthday cards, perfume advertisements, baby clothes labels, even printer ink, there were flamingos everywhere, it is quite amazing what you notice when a subject is in your mind.

Because I am still interested in how to make successful reflections in a quilt I drew up a flamingo and his reflection and tried to crop it in an interesting manner.

Sydney's Flamingo ©2014 Linda Steele
I used batik fabrics because they fuse so well with no fraying which means I don't have to do any stitching on the edges, I can quilt over the entire piece to secure everything and it gives a more realistic appearance to the bird.

Here are a couple of close up photos of the flamingo and his reflection.

Sydney Long was known for his more subdued colours which is why I chose a background fabric that was a more muted blue than I would have normally chosen.

I also read that Sydney was thought to be an odd man who was jealous and envious of other people's success and he always thought that he deserved more recognition than he got.

Poor Sydney, that is a dangerous frame of mind and an easy trap to fall into. I decided a few years ago that we are all on our own path and there is room for all of us and the only person that I compete with is myself in my quest to improve.

Bye for now,

Saturday, 16 August 2014

World Quilt Show 2014

The World Quilt Show opened this week in Manchester, New Hampshire, USA. I received the wonderful news that my quilt Christmas Crazy won an Honourable Mention in the Traditional Category.

Christmas Crazy ©2013 Linda Steele
I was especially thrilled because it was in the same section as the applique quilts and although judges usually say how lovely my quilts are, they usually award the prizes to the appliqued ones.

Three other Australians won prizes and you can see all the list of winners and photos by clicking on this link, World Quilt Show 2014

After this show the quilts will tour the USA going to Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza in September, the Pacific International Quilt Festival in San Francisco, in October and the World Quilt Show in Florida in January 2015.

I won't see my quilt again until next year. My Christmas quilt won't be home for Christmas!

My quilts are definitely more travelled than me.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

David Hockney

It's been a busy year so far with the cruise and the Quilt Show and I have got a little behind in posting what I've been up to with the Waverley Art Quilters. In March this year we studied David Hockney.

David Hockney is considered to be one of the most influential artists of the 20th century and is known for his brightly coloured paintings.

He was born in Bradford, England on the 9th July 1937 and is still alive. He is very protective of the copyright of his paintings and if you go to his website by clicking the link on his name- David Hockney you will find that you have to agree not to copy his work in anyway. We had to be very careful when we were planning what we would do.

His paintings are beautiful and I love the bright colours, I wouldn't dare put any of the photos on my blog but if you go to Google Images you will see many of his paintings.

David Hockney studied at the Royal College of Art in London and after graduating in 1962 he moved to Los Angeles. He is famous for his swimming Pool paintings and is considered a pop artist although he doesn't like the term.

I borrowed a book from the library but the work I was drawn to was his later work that was not in the book.

I chose a photo I had taken on one of my morning walks but decided to reproduce it in the bright colours that David Hockney uses.

I cropped the photo in Photoshop and printed it out on an A3 printer and then traced the pattern. I fused the pieces with Vliesofix.

I decided not to do any surface stitching and basted the three layers together ready for quilting.

I didn't like the shape of the path and so I added some more shrubs on the side to make it not so wide.

I liked it a bit better and I love the blue trees and I looked at it for a couple of months until I realised what was bothering me. The horizon line is in the centre of the quilt and that is a no-no in pictorial art design.

I put the photo of the quilt into Photoshop and cropped off the bottom and liked it a lot better.

That is one of the good things about belonging to this group, I get a chance to experiment on a small scale and the only way to truly learn and improve is to actually do the work.

I have to take more care in the initial designing stage to make sure I don't fall for the same trap in the future.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Round Robin-Alison's block

I am managing to keep up to date with the Southern Cross Crazies Round Robin. Last month I had Alison's blocks to choose from. Everyone in the Round Robin  made 8 base blocks and then they picked a theme for the embroidery. Alison had chosen an underwater theme, just like Helen had a couple of months ago.

I picked one of the blocks that would suit the sort of stitching that I do.

Alison had chosen silk fabrics in blues and greens but the dark fabric in the centre that looks a bit woven had a lot of texture, it felt like a cross between micro-fibre and velvet.

Here's what it looked like when it was finished.

This time I remembered to take photos of the other blocks that people had already made.

Don't they look beautiful? I am sure Alison will be pleased when her blocks finally make there way back to her.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Bundoora Homestead Excusion

Every year the Waverley Art Quilters go on an excursion and last week we went to Bundoora Homestead to see the Reflections exhibition. It was a collection of paintings from the Castlemaine Art Gallery and it chronicled the journey of landscape and still life painting in Australia.

There were paintings from some of Australia's most well-known artists both old and modern; there were paintings for all tastes.

We have studied Fred Williams and Margaret Preston in previous years and we are going to study Jeffrey Smart later on this year. Some of the other artists that were on display were Rick Amor, Rupert Bunny, Ian Fairweather, Fred McCubbin, Ethel Carrick Fox, John Longstaff and Walter Withers.

It was a wonderful exhibition but unfortunately we weren't allowed to take any photos of the paintings but we were allowed to take photos of the beautiful Bundoora Homestead.

Here is the beautifully ornate fireplace.
 All the ceilings were decorated and everyone inspirational.

There were some beautiful stained glass windows as well.

After admiring the paintings we all sat down for a very welcome coffee. We asked a lady at another table to take our photo. What a lovely, encouraging and creative group, I feel privileged to be one of them. Unfortunately not everyone was available for the excursion, so there are four of us missing.

Bye for now,

Monday, 21 July 2014

Crazy Quilted Journal Cover

I received a lovely surprise email last week. Joy had done my Crazy Quilted Journal Cover class at the Bay Quilters Retreat a couple of weeks ago and she has already finished hers.

Obviously Joy is no beginner embroiderer, her work is beautiful and she added some of her own touches as well.

I especially love to get a photo of finished class pieces because I love to see the different colours that people use. Hopefully some other people will send me some photos when they have finished.

Thank you for sharing your lovely work, Joy.

Bye for now,

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Round Robin-Arlene's Block

I am participating in a Round Robin with the Southern Cross Crazies and last month I had Arlene's block to work on. The blocks measure 6 inches square and Arlene wanted a garden theme.

She had made blocks in green, blue and pink and I chose a pink block to work on.

I have worked on a block by Arlene before and I always find them a challenge because she uses busy fabrics in her blocks. It is hard to see the embroidery against the busy prints which is why I usually use plain or tone on tone fabrics.

Here is the block when I had finished it.

I used the pink lace butterfly motif for some texture and the pansy buttons to try and take the eye away from the long straight seam in the middle of the block.

Unfortunately I forgot to take photos of the blocks that other people in the group had done.

I have already sent these blocks off to the next person n the list and have a new set to work on. The next set to do has another underwater theme.

Bye for now,