Wednesday, 12 October 2011

More fun on a Saturday!

On Saturday we gathered at Barbara’s again, and did more fun stuff, but Mindful fun. Looking with as much care as possible at what we are doing, during the session, but also taking that careful looking out into life; seeing in terms of the balance of shape, colour, form; aware that we live in a designed world.

We spent the morning learning about shape, balance, pattern, looking at work by artists like Klee, Matisse, Klimt, amongst others. Barbara talked with us about form, colour, symmetry, positive and negative space, and how they all play a part in shaping our response to visual things. Also about how we can use these ways of representing as part of the design process.

Then we spent some time cutting, tearing, looking, balancing, arranging and sticking bits of this and that. We took shapes, three things, square, triangle and circle, and arranged them in the boxes we’d drawn - the colours here are rather more vivid than they are in reality

We also drew lines  horizontal, vertical, repeating pattern, crossing in different directions. The words express what was in my mind when I was drawing them

We tore paper into bits and arranged them on a painted background, using the papers we'd sploshed paint on since the previous session. I missed this, being in the Lakes, so sploshed my bits of paper unsupervised. Here are what remains after the tearing of bits to arrange! 

Now I have to translate a bit of this final arrangement into stitch, to be worked with compund stitches that have exotic names like raised chain band, guilloche, whipped stem. Hmmmm … this needs thought!
the final collage

Then somehow, all of this activity, must be described, transcribed, presented as a body of work in which we present what we’ve learned and the skills and materials we’ve explored. There are some talented women in this group, and we are being taught well. I have lots to learn. Most brought much more to the session, beautiful stitching, beautifully presented, and fledgeling portfolios of analysis an demonstration; I was inspired!  I have an almost empty book and a few ideas bubbling very gently, I have to be careful not to scare them away, I’m not used to his concept of “Me” time.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Samplers Finished

This wasn't the stitching I did whilst away, there were too many bits and bobs to fit in amongst luggage for three people, one of whom was going back to University at the end of the week. There's only so much one car can take! However, I have finished the second sampler since our return, jut in time for the next workshop tomorrow! I'm also required to create some coloured papers for collage, so now it's out with the wax crayons and gouache paints for the next bit of fun!

Hot, jazzy, fruity, sunny
and cool, cloudy and stormy
Such enjoyment to be had from a few bits of cloth and thread!

home again

No, I've not really been away for two whole weeks and a bit, though that would really be a treat! I've simply been catching up a bit on life and work.

We had the best week ever in the Lakes, with glorious sunshine and warm balmy days. We stop off in Matlock Bath on our way there as it breaks the journey. It is a delightful place, nestled in a valley -  almost Coleridge's "deep romantic chasm", beside the river Derwent. This time my dear one did a Very Brave Thing. We took the cable car all the way up to the Heights of Abraham, which for someone who has vertigo, was pretty daring! The views from there are magnificent
over the valley to Riber Castle, a Victorian Folly
and down to Matlock Bath

There are some remarkable wood sculptures there. Made in 2000 by Andrew Frost, they represent the sprits of the woodland and have weathered to a gentle silver grey.

After a night there, at the very fine Hodgkinson's Hotel, we went on to Langdale where we spent the week relaxing, walking, looking, sitting, reading, stitching, eating and generally being on holiday. It is a beautiful place, nestling alongside Langdale Beck, which runs beneath the lodge, giving us the benefit of its rushing energy and soothing sounds, lulling us to sleep and greeting us when we wake

The Beck is controlled by a weir, which was being rebuilt last year when we were there by these very fine chaps. We spent some time watching them hard at work, admiring their expertise and hoping the job would be done by the time we came back this year.

You can see how they went about it here 

This year, all was restored, bringing back the wonderful reflections and giving water back to the Estate where the Lodge is located.

And here is the most delightful video taken in the 1940's. The spirit of the place is the same, the Britannia still provides fine refreshments to weary walkers, but the accommodation is distinctly improved!

A few more pictures, to share a little bit of the pleasure we had
Sunset above the Langdale Pikes
Roses round the windows at Dove Cottage
Reflections on Windermere

Falling leaves patterning the lake
The rhythms of wooden boats by the shoreline
Stone, shadow and light

Autumn colours

and Grasmere, home to Wordsworth's daffodils
A beautiful place to restore energy and soothe the busy soul.