Posts Tagged ‘beach’

Holes: The Essence of Lace, I Believe

Friday, October 25th, 2013

I’ve just realized that I’ve had a love of ‘holes’ for some time, and of course they are the essence of ‘lace’ which I see as patterns of holes, though others might see ‘lace’ as patterns of threads.  

holes lace web


This morning I went back through my photos to find some I’ve loved and recorded in the past few years:

holes web 5

holes beach foam web

holes web 9


holes web 7

holes web 8

holes web 9

holes web 10

holes web 13

holes web10

holes web12


Anyway these samples and details show some of the ways I’ve used ‘holes’ in the past few years. 


holes web 1

holes web 2

holes web 3


holes web14


I think I can detect holes marshalling their forces to appear in my work again sometime soon – stay tuned!



From Visual Diary To Material Form

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Commenting today on the SAQA list on an issue we’ve been covering there, Laura Wasilowski’s comments reminded me I hadn’t dropped in on her blog in a while, and while I was diverted I found a thought provoking recent post on why an artist should have a sketchbook with her at all times.  Laura’s work is characterized by lots of lovely simple repeated shapes with crisp clean lines, and always in her signature wide-ranging colour palette of modern clear bright colours.  The few open pages of the sketchbook she photographed to illustrate her post show the firm decisive hand that graphically captures her favoured organic shapes and patterns.    Laura is a busy teacher across the USA, and commented that when she travels from home these days she regrets having to leave so much of her materials for creativity at home – we can no longer pack the kitchen sink to take with us on a plane!  However, creativity never really rests for an artist – despite what we might seem to be doing at any time, there’s always something going on up top, even if we are away from our own tools of trade.    Laura finds travel provides valuable time for sketching ideas in her book which she always has with her.

It set me thinking about my own process.  I thought I’d write a little about it, since I am always interested in what other artists do to get their ideas from brain to paper or fabric.  Lots of my ideas get to some note form on paper, a list, a sketch, an important word perhaps, and the majority of these jottings wait in limbo there for days, weeks,  months, years even, before taking on some form in fabric and thread.  As examples, take this collage of several pages from a blank page notebook I’ve been using on and off since my son gave it to me c. 1992    I  still use it sometimes – pencil diagrams are augmented with words, lists, quotations or a phrase of an idea, also in pencil – I keep my eraser handy but ideas no matter how inconsequential they seem at the time once jotted down tend to stay – its only diagrams that might be amended.

Collaged sketch book pages

All from typical pages, each group sums up the ideas in my head at the time. In the UL image, for example are diagrams exploring my ideas, and words suggesting approaches or possibilities which shortly after I put them on paper became the working diagram for ‘Ora Banda’ (1992)  my first quilt in Quilt National, 1993.  These diagrams are really as far as I ever go in making a’pattern’.  At that time I was using the ruler to cut shapes and precise 1/2″ strip inserts.  Some time I will explore the development of the curved wandering strips that appearted in much of my work 1993- 2002, when my strips became freehand, too.

Ora Banda

The LL photo was one called “Waterweave” which I think I only have on a slide back in Australia (note to self – get it scanned next time you’re there)   See the K1P1 annotation?  I don’t really need reminding of the image that set this one off, but in a very large ad across the bottom of the newspaper page there was a line drawing of one of our famous Antarctic explorers, Douglas Mawson I think, pictured wearing a really thick sweater with folded over ribbed collar/neck,  fisherman style – Knit 1, Pearl 1 ….  have I ever mentioned that to me a line means a potential seam?  These days that process also happens in digital form on my computer screen.  I don’t currently doodle with a Wacom tablet or anything – but I do manipulate photos I take, for even a ‘bad’ photo can be useful as an aide memoire – and I do a lot of deleting, too, once I have thought about what a pic actually says when I see it on screen.  Many saved ideas wait at that point, page or screen,  for some time, perhaps years,  before taking some form in fabric and thread.

Last year I blogged about a group of quilts based on the patterns of sand ripples.  It was for an exhibition for which entry was by proposal – my proposal included a couple of collages to show how the surface textures translated to image in  previous works:

Earth textures - golden textures submision, blog

I was proposing designs based on sand ripples – so here I collaged some of my photos


and then that collage was manipulated with an editing program to give the appearance of being pencil sketches:

sand-web pencil sketch

My point is that my visual diary, my sketch book in effect,  is in two parts – or perhaps it’s in transition from paper to digital form.  It really doesn’t matter – because as I wrote in a blog post last year  “Writing about photos I’ve taken….. helps ideas crystallise in my mind as well as provide a record, and so blogging regularly is probably the closest I’ll ever come to journalling.  Some artists put almost as much time into journalling as they do into their art and living itself.”    You can read that post in full  here .






SAQA 2013 Auction – 12″ Square Completed

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

I often get back into the swing of creating after the holidays by tackling my piece for the annual SAQA Benefit Auction – the 12″ squares that are auctioned online later in the year.

This year for the first time, pieces submitted by Oceania SAQA members are being shown together as a collection once or twice before the actual auction.  So there’s that deadline anyway for us tall to get them done and in good and early.  But a few days ago. Lisa,  SAQA Rep for the Oceania region,  called for images of any finished squares for this year’s SAQA auction to submit to magazines as promotion for the organisation in the region and the auction in particular.  And that really galvanised me.  On monday morning I got out the stencil I’d  made some time ago – sprayed some of the shiny black with gold, machine embroidered with gold, then layered, machine quilted, bound and photographed it; and sent the image off before breakfast today  – its wednesday.

Sandlines - small

I’m calling this one ‘Sandlines’ – based of course on sand ripple patterns on the beach.


SAQA Benefit Auction Continues at Houston International Quilt Festival

Friday, October 12th, 2012

The hugely successful online portion has finished.  But 106 quilts including mine, were set aside to be auctioned by in-person bidding at the upcoming Houston International Quilt Festival, in a similarly structured reverse process over the 5 days of that festival.

Prices will follow the same pattern as the online Auction does, but note the shorter bidding intervals

Wednesday, October 31  7:00PM – 10:00PM – $750

Thursday, November 1  10:00AM – 2:00PM  –  $550

Thursday, November 1    2:00PM – 7:00PM   –  $350

Friday, November 2      10:00AM – 2:00PM   –  $250

Friday, November 2        2:00PM – 7:00PM   –  $150

Saturday, November 3  10:00AM – 2:00PM –   $100

Saturday, November 3    2:00PM – 7:00PM   –  $75

Sunday, November 4    10:00AM – 4:00PM   –  $75

WHAT IF YOU AREN’T GOING TO HOUSTON AND WANT TO BUY ONE?    There is also a proxy bidding system if you won’t be there.  If you would like to purchase one of the pieces, have another look on line at this group  – mine is on the first page there, scroll down several rows.   Then call Martha Seilman, director of SAQA, at (860-487-4199) with your credit card information, saying which piece(s) you’d like to purchase at which price(s).  Because it is intended to be an in-person bid process, she will wait 30 minutes after the price changes.  At that time, if no one else has purchased the piece, she will use your credit card information to purchase it for you.  You will then be charged the standard shipping rates that are used for the online portions of the Auction.

Inspiring Patterns

Saturday, June 30th, 2012

It’s a cold dank day here in Montevideo, and at 11-30am the fog still hasn’t lifted – it might not.  The airport is prolly closed- I haven’t heard any planes on what is usually a busy morning. Despite the fog many were out on the beach walking/jogging/running/fishing, and my own time on the beach today again led me to some interesting water drainage patterns on the sand.  In the collage above you see two pattern photos I manipulated in a program which made them look like pencil sketches, an interesting effect.  It’s not that I can’t draw, I can a bit, but I love how I can get this effect by moving the controls back and forth over the image and clicking into place when all’s done.  I first discovered it when just fiddling around, (as you do and should do, my son first reminded me years ago)  If you work on copies etc you can usually undo or at least do no harm if something doesn’t work out.  I have taken many pics on the beach, as my regulars know, and some of them I converted to pencil sketches like this:

which I included in a submission for an inaugural contemporary quilt exhibition being held in a gold mining district of Victoria, Australia, next year.  Full details later – its not till february next.  But having been accepted a few weeks ago, my attention has now turned to creating what I had in mind.    The title of the exhibition, “Golden Textures”, is hugely significant for me, and not just because I love a bit of glitter! My husband has spent a lot of his professional life looking for and finding gold deposits, which has meant I spent a lot of time in Kalgoorlie Western Australia in particular, but have visited and passed through many other gold mining centres, ancient and modern, too.  Since studying geomorphology at uni in the ’60’s I have been fascinated by the earth’s textures and those processes that shape them on large or small scales.  My first solo exhibition of original creative embroidery,  1987, I titled “Sunburnt Textures”,  was an early reflection of that ongoing fascination, and you’ll find a few pics from it in the first drop down gallery at the top of this page.  Any kind of earth texture, sunburnt or not, is a principal underlying theme in my textile art.

In addition to the resume and outline of my proposed entry,  the submission required images of previous works, and so along with full views of several relevant and important works, I made and included this collage showing some details of how my inspirations have translated into designs and my use of materials and techniques my work would include if I were selected :

So, the actual work began this week.  While in Colorado a few weeks ago, visiting with Boulder friend and colleague Judith Trager, we just happened to drop in to a fabric store, as you do, where I found this wonderful greyish-purplish-brown gabardine and bought it; and as it happened this was the day I later received notice of acceptance into “Golden Textures”.  What serendipity there – it’s perfect background fabric for what I outlined in my proposal.  The designs of each piece roughly correspond to shapes in the ‘pencil sketches’ and are starting with patches of gold leather attached to the background in arrangements suggested by each pattern.   I have chosen several very different patterns of sand ripples, but each piece will have materials and technique in common.  The completed size of each work will be 40cm x 60cm.

I don’t yet have any title for this multi-part work, but have plenty of thinking time available;  something just right will surface in due course.  Feel free to leave any suggestions below!

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