Monday, November 29, 2010

Its the end of Novemeber but I have only just decided August is finished

I actually finished it at the end of October before I made a brief visit to the UK but I at the time, I wasn't convinced  as it was so unlike the calendar image I was using but when I got back, I just knew it was complete.

As usual I felted the ground of this image but instead of just using wool fibres, used some synthetic materials I had collected in my time, working at Joann's.  Some of them didn't work but it was simple enough to pull them out and try something else.  The bottom half of the piece is covered with shell pieces but the rocks on the right hand are some paper beads I made especially for this project.  I was pretty pleased with them :).  Below is the image I was working from and as you can see the rocks are probably the only thing that are similar. However, I like the feeling of depth I have managed to create in this work and would say its one of the more successful months.  The sky is pretty ominous with the lurex material peeping out like some alien arriving. I love the way the synthetic materials have managed to create some movement in the body of water.

I was going to add more beads to the cliff face but decided I loved the machine stitching too much to cover it up, so in the end, just added a few beads between the cliff and the sky. 

Image removed.- see this blogger's post on copyright -

Only 4 months left to do but then again only one month to go of the year.  I have felted the beginnings of the Sept, Oct and Nov but being realistic, know they wont be complete until at least the end of January.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

July - Finally!

Almost the end of October and finally I have decided July  is finished.  I actually finished all bar one bead and the edging  in August but I thought maybe it needed more.  However, I was unsure as I knew I didn't want to bead it other than the tree when I started but I was tempted to bead some of the background.

So I got into September and that is really where the creative block hit me slam bang in the the head. That story will be told in the next couple of days.  However, I due to that, all creative work came to a shuddering  halt  and I didn't  ever go into my work space for weeks - even the door made me nervous.  Finally on Friday, I entered the cave of fear and just looking at the July piece, I knew it was finished all bar the one right bead plus a sequin which had been selected before I had even started and the edging.

This afternoon, I hope to complete August  and  September started.  Now I am back into the swing of it, I know I will complete this journal by the end of December.

Edited after looking at my photo files and realising I was wrong - this is only July! So once I have finished August in the next couple of days - hopefully this afternoon, I will still have 4 more months to do.  However, its still doable but its not a race. However, I do want to start painting seriously come Jan 1st 2011!

Monday, August 23, 2010

JUNE Page at last

This was started way back in May and only now in last grasps of August has it been finished.   It was delayed mainly because I wasn't  sure how to approach the rock face of the waterfalls shown in the Calendar picture

Image removed see this bloggers post on copyright

I knew I didn't want to use beads as I figured that would make it very heavy and I really wasn't sure how they would compare to the sequins I knew I was going to use in this piece.

Embroidery seemed to the answer but which stitch?  I looked at my trusty stitch sampler by Lucinda Ganderton  and came across the Japanese daring stitch. I quickly set to task with making a sampler as I wanted to be confident (1) I could do it and (2) it would work. 


Even with this pass I could see the possibilities of this stitch and decided to stitch over it with more Japanese darning stitch but in a different colour  and it became even more dimensional.


With that little exercise out of the way I was able to concentrate on page and overall I am very satisfied with this page.

June BJP

July has been started whilst working out the ending of the last page and should be finished by the end of the week. August not started but will be started by the end of the week - so for a change I am feeling pretty much up to date with this project.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

May Journal Page

Well, I am not happy with it but figure I need to finish otherwise I will be here until the new year before I decide its 'finished'.  Always the hardest part of doing any art work is when is it finished and when that piece is not 'happy', it never seems to be finished.

The original calendar photograph on  first looking at it seems to be one mass of very orange stone  with a tree standing strong against the elements. Seeing on this page it doesn't look so orange and much more defined but the actual photograph I was working from, is much more densely orange.

Image removed. See this bloggers's post on copyright

Then you look closely at its really full of life with grasses and other small trees.  So I started out with the overall image but as I worked on I began to see all the other elements  which is where my problems started I think.  As I added to it the more muddy it got (just like a painting) and the heavier it got.(just weight it and it nearly ½lb!).

So I have decided to leave it where it is - for nowYes

Thursday, June 3, 2010

April 2010

This has been sitting waiting for a few weeks, whilst I settle with it.  Like previous months I have needle felted a background on to a piece of craft felt, then I  did some free machine embroidery to create the initial structure of the image.  Then I basically built up the texture with beads and embroidery using some fuzzy wool I pick up cheaply over the years. Its quite a heavy piece!

This is the image I started with . Image removed see this blogger's post on copy right
May is still a work in progress and given that I have decided to bead the whole surface of the piece it might well be a while before it is complete But here is a teaser

Sunday, May 16, 2010


 I have decided that this is the completed version for March for now.  That isn't to say that its finish but for now it is, much like a painting.  Sometime, you need to leave something for awhile and then decide if its finished, usually if you feel that way, there is something there that is nagging but its unclear what.  That is the way for this one.

This is the picture I started out with and there is no way I captured the luminosity of this scene but I tried.- Image removed  see this bloggers post on copyright

The process began with felting very broadly onto a piece of craft felt, then some embroidery and free machine stitching, finishing with the beading, followed by more embroidery. 

I think stretching it (the process has warped the base fabric) and providing a backing sheeting might make it clearer, we will see.

As a teaser, here is the beginning of April which is actually much further on and probably as close to being finished as this March is.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Well Its been a long long time between posts

but finally I feel ready to post about my progress.

Basically, I came to the end of February and thought to my self - this is not going to work!  It is way too ambitious and I am letting myself fail again.  So I changed course :)

I am still working on the calendar idea and fortunately until this year we have had lots of pictorial calendars in the house.  As I was wondering what I was going to do with this project I spied another calendar just lying on my work desk from last year and so the project was renewed but on a must more modest level. 

this is the photo for January (Talbot Bay on the Buccaneer Archipelago)  and this is what I have created so far from it.- Image removed see this blogger's post on copyright

The base is a white felt rectangle bought from any craft shop.  On that I have needle felted the main colors and then I added embroidery and some beading. At the moment I am not sure if it is finished or not but the main components are there.

This is February, a wonderful photo of Thring Rock on the Canning Stock Route, Australia

Image removed - see this blogger's post on copyright

The based is exactly the same as the previous month  although a lot of this was felted on my felting machine (which I bought rather impetuously last year. Little did I know the needles are outrageously expensive and very fragile!)

Unlike my previous attempts at this project in January where I tried to make so sort of progression from idea to form, these works are purely reacting to what I see and feel about the images in front of me. There is no extensive drawing  or wondering what is going where. I just place the wool roving on the felt and punch away!  I think they are working so much better because of that

This is the one I am currently working on, Sunrise over the Thomas Rive, Cape Arid National Park.- Image removed - see this blogger's post on copyright

This is my is my progress so far.  Again the base is a white felt rectangle with wool roving needled felting.  Then I embroidered the top  and then free machined the middle bit.  This is a new technique for me and I am loving the texture it gives me. I have feeling this is about half way done.

I am feeling so much better about this project than I did just 2 weeks ago and know that this is the right direction for this year.   From last years failed attempt and this year's failed beginning, I am realising that much of my art is based purely on instinct and not on planning.  If I think too much about it, I freeze up and become overly concerned about what I am doing.

As for the previous work, I am still going to work on them as I have January and February started but now the pressure is off, maybe they will evolve and grow into something I want to share but but not at the moment.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Progress on January 2010

Well to be honest, I haven't made as much progress as I would have like and only today have I actually put some beads on the work and it's already 1/28/2010, only 3 days to the end of the month.

However, at least I have started and I think the biggest barrier to my progress is the lack of confidence that I can actually pull this off.

This is my initail drawing and based very much on the original painting. Its is approximately 18x24 and that will be the size of the finished piece.

This the first colour study I did on paper. Its not as abstract as I would like it be and the colour base that I have transferred to the linen canvas is still too reliant on the original painting.

As I worked on the drawing and under painting, I also created my own masks from paper clay. Working on these made me realise that I really need to do some more figure drawing work as I had no idea on how mold the face, even when looking at modelling books (I once thought I could do polymer clay figures but quickly realise I don't have the patience or inclination to do such detailed work) However I continued in my pursue and ended up with 8 masks that I might use in the final piece (they are a bit thick :( )

So now I have the painting on canvas (from a roll I bought several years ago, I am determine to use what supplies I already have), what do I do now? I rumaged through the fabric I had and rather tacked on a few pieces to see what it looked like. Unfortunately, in my rush to get them down, I wasn't really thinking and used glue on satin and brocade material . I have since replace the brocade material with another piece as the stain caused by the glue was too distracting. With the satin, I think I can remedy that with some embroidery.

As I said I am now on stage 5 and beginning to add embroidery and beads. Somehow I need to integrate all the parts into one to create a unified picture surface. I am beginning to like the top and bottom but the middle is just the middle at the moment. I think the white shape of the figure is going to be the key to resolving this problem.

Monday, January 4, 2010

This is going to be where I post all my BJP work for 2010

Up until today I had been undecided about what I wanted to do my project on this year. I know I want it to be big like a painting. I know I want it to include embroidery, fabric and other media. I want to be ambitious and I really don't want it to a theme as such.

I had been thinking along the lines of a carousel as I had seen few on our trip to France last summer and they have always had a strange fascination for me. In fact, I remember being scared of them, very scared. So up until recently I had been thinking and looking at carousels with the thought of Life's never ending cycle. It still an idea I want to pursue but I think it is just too ambitious for my level of experience and ability. I don't want a repeat of last year which was too much work really and I ended up giving up (much like the weight watch plan I was halfheartedly following).

So I have been searching my head for inspiration. One idea I thought about as I read the new Embroidery Magazine was exploring a famous work of art and abstracting from it. Trouble is which work...there is so much out of there. Maybe I could use the research I am doing for my docent training at the Blanton Museum of Art. Much as I like the Blanton, the idea didn't inspire me - too many distraction and too much choice- which 12 works of art and why?

Then this afternoon as I was halfheartedly(my fav word of the day!)tidying up and was about to throw away the calendar which had hung in the office, the idea just popped! Literally- why not used the 12 paintings. They are very different but have one comment theme- the reading woman, not that I am going to use the theme. It is in line with the above idea but neatly packaged- no distraction.Some famous, well known painters but others pretty obscure. One a month, ideal for the project.
 Image removed - see this blogger's post on copyright
That's decided then!

First month is a painting by Georges Croegaert called "la Liseuse"
It will be interesting to see how this develops as unlike last year I have no firm concepts of how this will work except it will be large (about 18x24) with Beads, embroidery, fabric and felt plus anything else I think will work!