Tuesday 27 March 2018

Workshop with Sue de Vanny

Waverley Patchworkers ran a two day workshop with art quilter Sue de Vanny last weekend and I was lucky enough to be in the class.

On day one she gave us all a photo of an urchin and we had to trace the details and then make the urchin out of little bits of fabric. It looks as if I am nearly complete in the photo below.

Making my urchin

My colours are bright but these days I am going for more colour and artistic expression and less realism, if I wanted realism I could just have a photo.

It took everyone all day to complete their urchins, we were all tired but happy.

On the morning of day 2 we had lots of fun stamping and stenciling. Sue had brought lots of paints, stamps and stencils for us to try and we had such fun trying out as many as we wanted.

stamps and stencils

After lunch we started sewing our urchin onto our stamped background fabric. We were all sewing madly trying to get it done by the end of the day. I wish I could show you everyone's urchins; they all looked so different even though we started with the same picture.

The next day I quilted mine and had it ready for our meeting that night.

My urchin
When I got home from the workshop I actually added some orange paint to the urchin text because I needed some orange to balance the composition.

Everyone really enjoyed the class. Sue was such a fun and generous teacher. We were privileged to see many of her quilts up close and she told us how she made them. I would highly recommend a class with Sue de Vanny if you get a chance.

Bye for now,

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Helen Maudsley

In the Waverley Art Quilters this year we are studying female abstract artists and last month it was Australian artist Helen Maudsley.

Differences by Helen Maudsley

Helen Maudsley was born in 1927 and now in her 90's. She studied at the National Gallery of Victoria Art School from 1945 to 1947 and at the same time studied at the Conservatory of Music. She was married to well-known Australian artist John Brack whose painting Collins St -5pm is very famous in Australia.

There was an exhibition of her work from the last five years at the NGV Ian Potter gallery earlier this year. It was called Our Knowing and Not Knowing. The titles of her works were rather like essays and she says they are written thoughts; here is an example of one of the titles from the exhibition.

I've abbreviated her titles. Helen Maudsley is a meticulous planner and does many precise drawings before starting her painting

The Effort by Helen Maudsley

The Shoe by Helen Maudsley

Her colours were quite subdued and pastel-like which I found a little challenging. I decided that her painting called 'The Self' reminded me of patchwork and took my inspiration from it.

The Self by Helen Maudsley
I chose colours of purple and blue but made them stronger than the painting, even though she has a restricted colour palette there are a lot of different values of lights, mediums and darks.

I enjoyed making the quilt using the improv method. I cut and pieced many shapes without thought of where they would be in the quilt. After making them I started to try and put them together.

Top complete

I started to do detailed quilting at first and then I realised that it didn't need it, the interest is in the shapes and piecing, so I just did mainly ditch stitching and straight lines.

Finding my Way with Helen by Linda Steele
I did a slightly long title but nothing likes her epic poems. It measures 12" x 16".

Our next topic is Maps and I have absolutely no idea what I will do!

Bye for now,

Thursday 15 March 2018

Fabric Paint for Mono Printing

In my last post I wrote about printing with a gelatin plate on paper. After a while I thought I would change to printing on fabric because it is fabric that I enjoy working with the most.

I got out all the fabric paints that I had on hand.

Fabric Paints

I had done a lot of prints on paper but I knew that it was more difficult on fabric. I also knew that paint sits on the top of fabric and can make the fabric stiff, something I didn't want especially when it comes to quilting.

I decided to do some testing and kept everything the same. The same white fabric and the same stencil shapes. I did a lot of printing that day. Here they are drying

I used the paints straight out of the bottle, some were a very thin consistency and so they might have performed better if they had been thickened. Those tests will have to wait for another day.

I was looking for paint that kept the fabric soft and printed clearly. Here's how they worked out it order.

1. Texcraft Dual Purpose
Texcraft Dual Purpose- soft hand and clear print

2. Setacolor Transparent
Pebeo Setacolor transparent- Soft hand and clear print

3. Sun Dyes
Sun Dyes- Very thin and runny but worked well with a soft hand and clear print

4. Gems
Texcraft Gems- medium hand a fuzzy print

5. Speedball
Speedball fabric paint- Fuzzy print and oil smell

6. Derivan Screen Ink
Derivan Screen Ink- Bubbly well rolling out and a lot of paint went through the fabric, fuzzy image

7.Tulip Fabric Paint
Tulip Fabric Paint, very runny, came through fabric, fuzzy print- rough feel

8. Derivan Fabric Paint
Derivan Fabric Paint- Came through the fabric, fuzzy image

9. Tsukineko Ink
Tsukineko Ink- very runny and thin, came through fabric

10. Setacolor Opaque
Setacolor opaque- Very pale print

To be fair some of these paints and inks were not meant for mono printing on a gelatin plate, but I wanted to find out what worked best for me so I didn't spend time or money in the future buying paints that didn't suit me.

When I found what I liked best I started to do some more prints, combining colours and using different stencils.

I still have a long way to go with this technique and not sure yet if it's something I will keep using. So time will tell. I really love making these prints though, it's very addictive.

Bye for now,

Tuesday 13 March 2018

Printing with a Gelatin Plate

I did an online mono printing class with Linda Germain recently because I've liked some of the images that she does and thought that it might be good to learn some techniques instead of just making mistakes myself.

We started from scratch and learnt how to make our own gelatin plate, in the past I have used a purchased Gelli Plate.

She posted many videos and I enjoyed the class although I did make many prints that I wasn't happy with as well as some OK ones. I printed onto the back of old printer paper so it didn't matter if they didn't work out.

My main problem was that I didn't have much paint to use. I hadn't used my paints for so long that they had dried out and were useless.

I had to make the best of what I had.

Here is a photo of some of my prints.

Mono Prints

I chose a simple vase shape and I quite liked the result but Linda suggested that I would have more room for interest if my vase shape was smaller.

Then I tried using some weeds from the garden and got an abstract like image.

I was starting to get a bit disillusioned and couldn't remember how I achieved some effects.

I decided to stop playing with paper because I am more interested in using fabric anyway.

When I switched to fabric I felt more at home and started to enjoy it more.

Mono printing on fabric

I decided to do things properly and test which paints worked better on fabric because it is a little more difficult than paper.

I'll post my test results in the next post.

Bye for now,

Tuesday 6 March 2018

NGV Triennial and Del Kathryn Barton

During the holiday I went into the city to see a couple of art exhibitions

The NGV (National Gallery of Victoria) are currently hosting their summer exhibition which is called NGV Triennial. It is a huge exhibition with paintings, sculpture and installations from artists all over the world. It's almost too much to see in one outing. Luckily it is on until April 15th so there is still plenty of time to re-visit.

The Triennial is free and so the gallery is even busier than usual. I didn't take many photos, I just wandered around from room to room trying to take it all in.

There is a massive sculpture to greet everyone in the foyer.

Eternity-Buddha in Nirvana by Xu Zhen

I think my favourite section was the gorgeous embellished gowns by Guo Pei. For some reason I only took one photo.

Gold Embroidered Gown by Guo Pei

Another popular installation was Mass by Ron Mueck. I had to crop the photo because there were so many people looking at it. It seems a bit gruesome but I found it oddly compelling. I am not sure of his message but I took it to mean that it's how we are all going to end up and so we'd better make use of the time we have.

Mass by Ron Mueck

I am looking forward to going back and seeing the Triennial again. Since I have been to the Triennial I have been reading articles in the Gallery magazine about the different exhibitions and it gives a new appreciation to the displays.

On the same day we also went to the Ian Potter Centre at Federation Square to see an exhibition by Australian female artist Del Kathryn Barton. She is a very well-known Australian artist and relatively young at 45 years old. She has won Australia's largest portrait prize, The Archibald prize twice in 2008 and 2013.

Del Kathryn Barton explores what it is like to be feminine and I must admit that I find her work to be a little confronting at times.
What I did enjoy was the detail in her paintings, it closely resembled embroidery to me. Here are some detail photos of some of her paintings.

It must take her a long time to include so much detail in her paintings. It's unusual these days, I suppose it is one of the things that sets her apart.

We also saw the Helen Maudsley exhibition because we are studying her in Art Quilters this month. I was doing research for my homework. I'll post those photos when I finish my project.

It was probably too much to go to two galleries in one day but we don't go into the city very often and we wanted to make the most of it. Well I did; my husband just follows along and doesn't complain much!

Bye for now,