I'm very much behind with my news as I've been so busy for the last month.
That time of year came round again, when I emptied the boot of my car to maximise space, and took myself off to one of my favourite festivals...............that is Wonderwool Wales!
I mean look at this heap of gorgeousness! I simply can't understand how anyone could possibly fail to have a fluttering heart at the sight of so much loveliness under one enormous roof. Alas my daughter starts to glaze over when I talk about it, so I have to post it here if I want to share!
Wonderwool is just chock full of stalls run by fibre traders around the country. From hemp products to sewing, embroidery, spinning, weaving and dyeing notions and tools.......and a host of fabulous skeins of wool, silk, cotton, linen and alpaca.
I met this rather impressive beast in one of the stalls. I had no idea how small alpacas were, though I've long appreciated the amazing softness of their wool. They're like long-necked goats and stand at around the same height as me (um that's short by the way).
I'm not sure what gender this splendid animal is, but s/he came right up close to me and stared right into my soul; sighing and making barely audible groaning noises. I think s/he was saying 'you look like you'd make a great alpaca breeder; take me out of here and feed me daisy sandwiches and lemonade for the rest of my days'. I think I may have to sell up and buy a field somewhere!
And so onto a bit of news and why I've been so very busy.
An artist acquaintance of mine (Sean Donovan) invited me to collaborate with him and three other artists in an exhibiting collective here. We met up a few weeks ago, and since then we've decided on a name, booked space to exhibit as a group at the Oriel Washington Gallery in Penarth and I've made us a website. So without further ado, put your hands together and give a big welcome to Cardiff Arts Collective!
We just have artist pages with images of our art on the website so far, but do come and visit (it boosts our google search criteria if you visit the website) and leave a comment if you feel the urge! We plan to put up a list of exhibitions and maybe a blog in time, but for now at least we're up and running.
Wish us luck! ;-)
I had a request from HeARTS for Healing to exhibit in their forthcoming show in the Blue Mountains in Australia:
I re-shot a photograph of one of my Artist Books for the show and I've been asked if they can use it as the main image for an editorial in a local newspaper.
So for those of you who can't nip over to see the show (!) here's my photograph of Freudian Art Fags, which I shot against my Lichen print:
I wish I could jump on a plane to go see this show!
I've had a month of fun, some travel and lot of art!
Starting with a trip to London, I stayed at a hotel near the British Museum and spent a couple of days wandering alone around galleries and shops in Covent Garden with no plan and no-one else's agenda but my own.
I did take a trip a bit further afield to Cabbages & Roses where I bought some sweet floral fabric which will be perfect for making a bed set for the main bedroom at Ty Cariad. But the bulk of my time was spent wandering aimlessly around galleries with bouts of drinking Belgian chocolate whilst listening to classical buskers at the market.
Then I was off to Berkshire to spend a night with Toby's sister Julia (always a pleasure) then on to another weekend workshop on experimental digital print-making at South Hill Arts Centre with Janet Curley Cannon.
We spent the time creating collaged substrates for printing directly onto, and doing some more transfer work. As always, it was fun and informative.
This digital image of lichen was printed onto carrot paper that I'd collaged with burnt tissue.
And this is a digital image of hogweed printed onto an old pillowcase that I'd previously dyed and printed with plantstuff (wrapped with leaves and flung in the alkanet dye jar). This was a tricky one to get through the printer due to the decorative seams of the pillowcase.
Then I went with Toby and Dandy Doggins to Ty Cariad and we had guests up to stay with us for the first time since it's been finished. We had a party on the weekend (for my birthday) and the weather was glorious so we got plenty of fresh air, relaxing in the garden, walking in the Hafod ............
................and picnics by the river.
Then it was back to work for a couple of weeks, and it started raining again. I spent a very wet hour walking in the cemetary:
So looking ahead, I'm off again to Wonderwool tomorrow in Builth Wells (yip yip!) for a weekend of fibre lust and yarn inspiration.........or pornography for knitters!) and on to Ty Cariad for a few days for some art making.
I'm also planning a weekend workshop in May in Kirkcudbright (Scotland) in the studio of one of the my favourite textile artists Maggie Ayres.
I can't say too much about it yet, but I've been meeting up with a group of artists in Cardiff and we're planning to rent the upper gallery space in the Oriel Washington Gallery (Penarth) for an exhibition in August. I've been ordering materials for a new series of works I'm planning for this event; more on this soon!
And that's about it for now............a happy Spring season to you all!
Here is the experimental encaustic work I have at Art Central in the Women's Arts Association exhibiton which is on until 26th March.
I started with a background of brown paper and gold leaf, then I burnt the edges of rice paper and layered over the gold. I printed the leaves onto rice paper and cut them out and collaged them. I enhanced the raindrops with graphite then added some gesso, painted on the pomegranate, layered some seeds petals and feathers, drew the branches to the left with ink and finally, gave it all a coat of encaustic wax.
We're off to Ty Cariad tomorrow for a ten-day break. Time to relax, take in some nature walks, and also have a bit of a party bash for my birthday. I'm really excited to be having lots of friends come and visit our beloved cottage for the first time, and I've bought a big canvas tent on Ebay because we can only squeeze around seven of us indoors. Hope the weather stays fine!
I have two pieces of work in exhibitions at the moment; both organised by the Women's Arts Association and on until March 23rd. One is in Art Central in Barry and I went to the opening earlier to get a photo to blog, but it had closed early (doh!) I'll visit it next week and do another post. The other is at The Gate in Roath (Cardiff). It's another work from my Terrenaquea series and here are some photos of it that I took a couple of days ago.
The weather is glorious today, so hope everyone is enjoying the weekend sunshine!
When gathering artists work for his forthcoming book 'The Pulse of Mixed Media: Secrets and Passions of 100 Artists' Seth Apter posed the question "If you could take a class from one artist from anytime in history, including the present, who would it be and why?"
He's been posting our answers his Altered Page blog and mine is included this week.
It's been a great series to browse and in addition to many old favourites I nearly chose myself I've discovered many new artists along the way.
I'm laid up with Labyrinthitis of all things! I haven't been up to any art-making as it's surprising how much of my process involves putting my head on one side. When I do that I just start spinning out and staggering around like a drunken floozy!
So here's a photographic work I prepared earlier.
It's one of my digital photographs of hogweed seedheads; printed onto vellum, and hand-processed by sprinkling with powdered iron and walnut husks. I then wrapped it up with a square of cotton in a bundle and soaked for two days. The resulting image was dried out, then scanned back to digital from both front and back of vellum, and edited in photoshop. Very much made up as I went along!