Friday, November 29, 2019

What about the Advent Blog?

Every year, every day during Advent, I post on my blog .... I have had a series about crazy Christmas trees, an expose about Christmas cake, Christmas firsts and a Christmas alphabet which have been the most popular in the last few years. This year I won;t have access to art materials until 9 December so the bad news is the advent blog WON'T begin until 9 December and the good news is that it WILL begin on 9 December.... watch out for some Christmas envelopes!  
Watch this space! 

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Fearless Flowers Support Funding Fairness for Ovarian Cancer Research

Since 9 May this year, the Wednesday Group - Fearless Flowers has been busily creating beautiful hand made textile flowers to thank donors who support the Pink Meets Teal campaign for ovarian cancer research in Australia, and advocacy for funding fairness and equity for ovarian cancer research and treatment advancement.  

We have received excellent media coverage on television, radio and in print and electronic media 

 From the ABC News 8 June 2019...
 The Fearless Flowers project, launched a month ago, is already gathering momentum, with national and international artists making a commitment to get on board.
Newcastle's Timeless Textiles gallery, Australia's only commercial textiles gallery, is home to the community art group, which is driving the national campaign.
Situated at the historic Newcastle Lock-Up building, in the former women's exercise yard, members of the group are working industriously every Wednesday.
Coordinator Wilma Simmons said the handmade flowers, made by members, would be sold on International Women's Day in 2020, to support ovarian cancer research at the Hunter Medical Research Institute via Pink Meets Teal.
"We have received flowers from international artists and we are hoping that people will gather in their own communities — get a small group of friends — and perhaps create flowers for Fearless Flowers as well," Ms Simmons said.

At the launch of Fearless Flowers in Newcastle on May 8, Ms Simmons said the group was motivated by a desire to give back to the community.
"We think, as a group, we're very fortunate," she said.
"Most of us have had very successful careers in the past and we also think that we need to give back to our community as well."
 Here is more of the ABC news video coverage of Fearless Flowers. 

We are often asked what an individual can do to help .... 
1. Come along to the Wednesday group at Timeless Textiles and create a flower (s)  - any week, 10.30am - 12.30pm 
2. Make a flower at home and either give it to someone who will donate to #Pink Meets Teal or send the flower to us. ( Timeless Textiles, 90 Hunter Street, Newcastle East NSW 2300 
3. Gather a group of friends and make some flowers together and hold you own fundraising and donate the proceeds to #Pink Meets Teal. 
4. Think of other innovative and creative fundraising events you can conduct in your own community. 
5. Sign the Petition  for funding fairness for ovarian cancer research. 

Friday, November 1, 2019

Flashback Friday- Wednesday's children & others


Here is flashback to a couple of  years ago - one of the most popular posts and one of my favourites... I hope you enjoy reading it again. I am soon to re photograph these dolls for a publication, so it was timely to republish this post. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Wednesday's Children and Others.

STITCHED UP is now in its third week of exhibition and breaking all records of visitors - such an overwhelming response - so it is inevitable that a few people have had their photos taken with Wednesday's children,  the stick doll installation.... First of all, Ben, a member of the amazing installation team at The Lock-Up. Thanks for taking such care installing 'the girls' - the digital laser level worked wonders and did I hear you talking to a few them? 
Ben from the  installation team The Lock-Up 

Wednesday's children up on the wall. 

Then, of course , my own family - not all positive critiques, but you can't win them all! 

 Many of my friends have been really supportive.... they have even visited a few times. Here are some of my Rotary friends on the opening night.

Members of the Rotary Club of Wallsend-Maryland - Clarice, Cia, Sandy, Wilma, Christine 
 Unexpected visitors even dropped by last weekend - the Treasure Hunter team from ABC 1233 Radio. On Saturday mornings, teams in the studio and on the road, solve cryptic clues to find special red envelopes hidden at various locations in and around Newcastle... Guess where one of the red envelopes was?
Anne Kempton, Co-Curator, Stitched Up, ABC Treasure Hunters, Jessi England,  Director, The Lock Up

Wednesday's children provide a good backdrop for photos and many visitors have taken the opportunity to have their photos taken in front of them. The installation may be broken up after this exhibition, so don't miss out on your  photo opportunity.... the exhibition is open until 6 August. 2017. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Art Dolls Only - Black and White Challenge

Here is a video of all the dolls in the Art Dolls Only Black and White Challenge... Just press on the image above to begin - only 2 and a half minutes of fantastic dolls! 
And here also are some images of the doll I submitted for the challenge. It has been created from fabric which was made by putting black and white cotton scraps  side by side and stitching over them in different directions with different stitches on my sewing machine.
The face is stitched free hand on the sewing machine.  To do this, lower the feed dogs on your machine, put your fabric tightly  in a hoop ( optional, but safe) and "draw" with your needle by moving the fabric in the hoop as you stitch. If you are a beginner, you might like to put some coloured pencil marks down to guide you, but I find by doing it freely, the faces are never the same and although they are not symmetrical, they do have some expression. 

Sunday, October 6, 2019

October Collage Challenge #2 - realism to abstract

Continuing  the series of collages for my October challenge...
Collage #65 was taken from a photo taken in Kritipur in Nepal at a temple. I was immediately attracted by the splash of orange-red colour of the tikka on the statue in the image. I cropped the photo to make that the focal point and intensified the colour to give me some more defined shapes to abstract. Here is the result with torn paper and small scraps of cotton fabric which happened to be similar to the colour. 

This is a short  ( 4 minutes) video of an artist  creating an abstract design from realistic drawing . I think it shows a great way of creating lines in an abstract design. 

Saturday, October 5, 2019

October Collage Challenge #1 - The Beginning

I love a monthly challenge which requires a daily art practice for a few weeks. Recently, I completed #The 100 Day Project. I enjoyed it but I'm not ready to tackle such a long distance activity again yet. Last month, I attempted #29 Faces, and am still completing them (only a few more to go). There are lots of really great challenges for October advertised on social media , but I thought, "Why not set my own challenge and then I own it completely!"  Thinking of the most relaxing creative activity, I have set myself at least 20 torn paper and fabric collages for October.  I am also trying to make "abstract" interpretations of things I see while walking in my neighbourhood or as in some of these,  something experienced whilst on a recent trip to Nepal. I must emphasise that these are very loose interpretations and are not meant to look in the least like the photos of the real scene. 

Inspired by a gymea lily .... I really love this plant, and enjoy photographing it and manipulating the images. This collage  is another interpretation, taken from the sepia image with a colour focus. 

Sunsets and sunrises are great subjects for collages and while I have taken liberal licence with the blues , hopefully you can see how the photo of this soft sunset informed the  lines of the collaged pieces.  

 Another interpretation of the rich culture of Kathmandu ... I chose the colours and some simplification of the shapes rather than try to include much detail or form. 

Looking in my box of  "walk treasures" , I extracted some of the shapes of gumnuts and repeated them in a simpler outline form in this collage. While there were no oranges and yellows in my view, that's what I thought of rummaging through these sticks, leaves and seedpods. 

 I hope you can now appreciate the way I begin the process of creating these collages with torn paper and fabric and a little stitching. Watch this space please for more of these and more explanation as we proceed throughout October. 

Note: I will be teaching a short collage workshop at Charlestown Library on 4 February 2020. Bookings  at the library 02 4921 0792

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Newcastle China Week

 It's great to celebrate your heritage right where you live ... 

Newcastle China week 2019 showcased  a 2-day program consisting of a Wine and Tourism Business Forum on Friday 6th September and a free Cultural Festival on Saturday 7th September.

The Cultural Festival took place in the beautiful bush campus in Callaghan at the University of Newcastle, only about five minutes from where I live. 

It's a  celebration of  the contemporary and traditional Chinese culture, food, art, lion and dragon dances with interactive displays, food markets, wine tasting and demonstrations. The food offerings were many and varied from traditional Chinese snacks to all sorts of Asian and fusion inspired treats, as well as ubiquitous festival food like fairy floss! 

The Festival aims to celebrate cultural diversity and inclusiveness while offering a fun-filled day to engage with students and welcome the community to the campus.

Friday, July 12, 2019

"Here comes the sun" for Tag Tuesday

At Tag Tuesday  design team member, Michele is celebrating the summer sun in the northern hemisphere. Here in Australia, the winter sun is milder  but still shines brightly on clear crisp days.  Lately we have been experiencing quite grey days with heavy cloud cover, but the sun seems to peek out from behind for at least some of the day - my inspiration for this tag. 

My tag for this theme is paper collaged and then stitched by machine. The papers include magazine pages, prints of my own photos, gelli plate prints and mono prints with wax . I stitch paper collages with a very old Bernina Nova ( free form stitching with the feed dogs lowered) 

I am also including in this post some of the collaged envelopes I made for #The100 Day Project  - these envelopes were based on scenes or experiences I had while out walking each day for 100 days, so it is no surprise that  sunshine and sunsets were featured. 

All 100 collaged envelopes can be seen  on my Instagram  or Facebook 

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Wings and Red Cheeks

I have missed Tag Tuesday...  When the theme chosen by Sandie was "Wings" , I thought I could add to one of my series as well as practise my machine stitching skills for #The 100 Day Project which seems to be monopolising my time currently. For my "wings" tags, I created two on the theme of butterflies. Both are free motion stitched on my trusty Bernina sewing machine . I then applied "heat and bond", a double sided fabric adhesive and cut around the stitched "portraits". The cut outs were then applied to prepared tags made from cardboard,  covered with  book text and painted with white gesso. The red cheeks are coloured with Inktense pencil. 

Here are the first two in the Red Cheeks series ... and they fit the "wings" theme too.