Month: August 2013


Painting & Sketching in Cornwall UK For Two Weeks – I Must Have Been In Heaven

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For those of you who noticed I haven’t updated my blog for a couple of weeks I have been on holiday in Cornwall. I have returned with a tinge of sadness to leave the things that inspire me, but energized, refreshed & excited with all the artwork I have produced while away. If you want to see images of some of the paintings & sketches I produced they are on my Facebook pages, I will be putting some of them up on my website but want to frame them first, I will keep you updated.

Today I want to share some of my photographs I took while in Polzeath, Cornwall, UK, I will be sharing them over a few blogs as there are so many.

While strolling along the beaches there are many wonders and things of beauty to be found – Beautiful striationsĀ  on rock faces and cliffs, Vibrant green seaweed contrasting with bright grey rocks – Stunning, Jellyfish, upside down in a rock pool….Beauty in Death, wet seaweed dripping as the tide recedes, wonderful patterns created on the sand by seaweed. Sometimes it was difficult to know where to look first, I felt like an excited child let loose in a sweet shop. Click on images to view in full

On the second day I came across a rusting ship wreck, it looked incredibly old, but it is hard to determine age of an object when it is constantly bombarded by all the elements. Such vibrancy in decay was a pleasure to observe, I would love to go back & wrap strips of cotton around the metal, leave it for a week, then use in my artwork.

While sat on the Harbour Beach in St Ives, eating fish & chips, a necessary activity at the seaside, a young seagull decided it might be in with a chance of free grub. What was amusing was how polite it was, it kept making the high-pitched call when asking for food & constantly chased away any adult, but other than come very close, right by my side, it just waited patiently for food. Sadly for the seagull it wasted its time as I ate every morsel.

Very Polite Young Seagull

Very Polite Young Seagull

While walking out to The Rumps, Near Polzeath there were masses of butterflies, beautiful, but the most stunning sight was a resting dragonfly that allowed me to take lots of close up photographs, thank you Mr Dragonfly. Please do click on the images, as they look beautiful enlarged.

The weather was pretty good, only one very wet & windy day. This fortunately led to some stunning sunsets & a fantastic night led outside the tent watching the meteor storm with hardly any light pollution.

Keep checking for updates to see more images of Cornwall or subscribe to my blog to get email notification when I post an update

Dyeing Fabrics For The Next Textile Art Project

I’ve spent time planning colours to use in my next textile project. I’m going to devlop a piece that works with an acrylic painting I’ve started. Some of you may have seen the prep image I’ve done using oil pastels, for those who haven’t, see image below.

Girl on Beach (3) - Oil Pastel on Paper

Girl on Beach (3) – Oil Pastel on Paper

I decided to carry out a number of colour graduation tests and some space dyeing, but before I could dye any of the fabric I needed to soak them all in a soda wash, then wait patiently for the pieces to dry.

Soda washed fabric drying

Soda washed fabric drying

I certainly found my experience of planning, testing and documenting glazes from my time at Bath Spa University came in useful when thinking about the steps I needed to take. During those glaze test there were occasions when I skipped a step usually the documentation, much to my regret, as when I tried to remake the glaze I couldn’t remember.

I decided to carry out two colour graduation tests, firstly turquoise, once mixed I painted swatches in my recipe book, then put 12 inch square of fabric in each cup. I used small cups & left the fabric dry as I wanted to create a two-tone effect, cramming the fabric into the cup means the absorption of the dye will vary.

I love the shadows created from the top view of the tests, even the numbers can be seen.
The results for this test were almost as I expected, although I did expect slightly more variation.

Secondly a bright green made by mixing acid yellow and turquoise together in equal quantities & following the steps from above, the only difference I decided to use a linen fabric and not cotton.

Again the results were more or less as expected, I really like the vividness of the green.

I then decided to carry out two colour graduation mix test (there’s a mouthful). The first test was a mix of buttercup yellow & royal blue. The results of this test were interesting as the outcome was nothing like the painted sample.

The second was bright red & royal blue, again the results did not correspond with the painted samples.

Last but not least I completed one space dyeing using royal blue, turquoise & the mid tones for the last two mixes. I used two different fabrics a tight weave & loose weave cotton (similar to muslin), I wanted a fabric that had a slight transparency to it.

Very pleased with the results from the space dyeing, especially the loose weave. I have to dye some more fabrics to get a full complement of the colours I will need. My biggest concern is creating the colour of sand, still cross that bridge when I come to it.