Faces and Cold Wax

IMG_9515Not working at the day job today so had time to relax, breakfast on the Pantiles then back for painting and trying out a new medium, new to me anyway.  Gamblin’s cold wax, its a mix of pure refined Beeswax and Gamsol, odourless mineral spirits.  Wonderful stuff and it makes the oil paint a thick butter consistency.  Thought I would try painting the South American woman’s face I tried a couple of week or so back and this time I am much happier.  It  has colour, the paints rich texture makes wonderful marks, using long flats and egbert brushes I managed to make  really nice painterly strokes,  even painting alla prima I could still, with a light touch flick a different colour over the first layer and create wonderful colour mixes and movement to the strokes.  Blending the colour to create a blurred outline is something I am always trying, this medium it just happened without really trying.  I used Rosemary Ivory brushes, long flats in sizes 6,10 and 12

The creative mind

Not sure what is going on with my mind at the moment, its kind of all over the place, one minute creating a patchwork of colour, sewing, sewing, sewing, with blocks coming out of my ears……………  Then wanting to sketch with a mapping pen, all inky blots and scratchy lines

Then after the orange spurt on Monday, partly prompted by bitter orange library scheme I am creating for my next project in my day job, like luscious tangy marmalade all juicy and ripe.  Partly inspired by the wonderful parrot tulips I treated myself to.  But now its purple, the wonderful pinky purple colour that hot beetroot makes when doused in sour cream swirls……..  Deep magenta,  oozing damson liquor when baked in a pie.  I cooked myself beetroot and courgette with warm lemon yoghurt dressing tonight, the taste was just sublime.  As I  rubbed the warm skin from the cooked beetroot just couldn’t resist taking a photo of it,  Hey presto it turned into a humble beet to kind of Beet Mandala !

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Beet Mandalabeet mandala 2

 

 

My new year starts today

two weeks of rest and relaxation and I am ready to face the world again.  Its been an amazingly fruitful time, as being away from my own environment have felt free of the normal daily burdens that can sometimes reign in the creative process.  Towards the end of last year and rather by accident I stumbled into the area of quilt making: making several as christmas presents was quite enthralling. The colour mixes one can achieve is so magical.  Being a complete novice and going totally solo with it I seemed to be making it up as I go along !   The quilts so far have just been throw size, but larger bed quilts beckon,  although at the moment they do feel rather daunting, not from the piecing side of things, but from the quilting aspect.    I can see that I may end up with lots of quilted top pieces and not attempting the quilting.  Guess I could always send them away to be quilted

I would like to share this video which I have found  on the Contemporary fabrics blog.  It’s a catwalk show with designers piecing together patterned fabrics.  I found this really inspiring, hope you do too…………………..

So much to say but have to get on with the day job,  adios folks, have a great day

 

sewing and singing, hemming and humming

The big presentation is over, have been tying up all the loose ends, putting all the samples, together,  double checking codes etc in readiness for admin to start ordering, There are several hundred different items to purchase, some items have to be made up, ie window treatments, cushions etc, furniture has to be placed and with one manufacturer alone there are 140 items, this is one of many suppliers who will be making bespoke items to IDC exacting standards.  Then there is all the artwork to sort out, visiting museums, choosing images to be framed and selecting photography from all the great images from Yao and purchasing all the objet d’art that bring the interiors to life.  With this design hot of the press I am now ready to start detailing up the next one, an amazing tudor gothic pile in Leamington spa.  Have already finalised the layouts, worked on the lighting etc, now I will be detailing all the separate items for the various rooms.  The best bit really !

In between all this I have found some soothing time sewing and making quilts, none are totally finished yet, although I am working on it, caught a sneeky few hours before I trottted off down to the studio this morning.  Its so nice, sitting and sewing, sometimes singing along, sometimes just humming, something very magical about quilt making.  I am a mere novice and can see how one can get hooked , already I have sketches in my art books,  little swatches of fabric to record colour combinations,  tufts of crewel wool, ideas for crewel work patches, intertwined branches bearing fruit, and some just plains with a real graphic style with huge blocks of colour.  There is something really enriching in seeing all the colours build, and amazing when unexpected colour combinations appear as one pieces the blocks together.    Magic happens.

I will post some pictures soon, cant let the cat out of the bag yet because there might be spies around,  After christmas  watch this space.

In the meantime here are some more quilts that  have caught my attention

 

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inspired by trees

drawing, painting, walking, reading, my spare time is taken up with these things.  My days are spend creating interiors, all good stuff, but its not freedom, a lot of constraints.  Drawing allows me to express what I sense and just lately its something about the spirit and energy that abounds when I walk in the woods.

My studio has been littered with ideas, written descriptions, and little sketches.  my first sketch I would like to capture as a tiny miniature with raised gilding and jewel like colours like a medieval illumination.  then through a series of sketches I came up with another tree spirit this time in oils and much biger.  Its not finished yet and I am sure will go through many transformative colour changes.  But here is where I am for now…………..

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Wow, where did all the time go?

I cannot believe I have not posted in such a long time……..  It wasn’t conscious decision however not to post, but it has been a time of  being with me, processing life.  With my move to my new office, life has taken on a different pace, my old routine has gone out of the window and a new “place” is taking residence within. Been busy finding “homes” for everything, keeping it streamlined and creating a light inspiring space within to provide an environment that doesn’t feel like the normal” going to work” .    I think its working…………….  My day starts sitting here

 

 

Having a coffee, checking to see if there is anything that I need to know before I start to answer emails and get down to business here

 

Afternoon tea, is sitting here,

 

or perhaps sharing on our large central table here

A wonderful end to a busy week

Last week was full on busy, head full of rooms, plans, colours, I have this kind of virtual reality thing that goes into overdrive when I am creating.  I have to vision very clearly and in minute detail, for me to be able to attract in what I need to complete each stage of the projects in hand.  So posting here sadly, has been neglected

However enough of all that, just had to tell you about the start of my weekend, this is the second time I have tried to see this film and this time succeeded.  Coco and Igor, some of write ups and have not been that wonderful, but I was enthralled, not only by the brooding emotions that pull you through the film, the interiors and the graceful image that Coco herself imparts, but IGOR STRAVINSKY and his music it made my hair stand on end…………….   the delicate notes that start the Rites of Spring, oh how I would love to have been and the premier in 1913, the mayhem that ensued.  Its so difficult to put this piece and the dancing into the context of that time, the savage freedom of movement I guess must have seemed so shocking then, but today sadly, so tame.  His music lives on, as does Chanel, although I cannot help think that their “romance” was maybe not as momentous as the film would have us believe. Undeniably though, their passion poured through influencing their work and elevating it to a higher level.    Coco , with her early childhood issues obviously had great difficulty in forming relationships and this was born out in both films, I think to her, Igore was one of many of her conquests of unobtainable men, and when she conquered  them it became all to threatening and she withdrew into her world of fashion, a real ice queen, maintaining her independence and the need to be “Free”  .  She died having never having married, living in her ivory tower a very successful but lonely woman.

Stravinsky’s music is full on emotional roller coaster, his gift of imparting his passion into every note lives on,  I have posted  a trailer to the film, and also a piece from Disneys’ film Fantasia which is accompanied by a piece from Firebird, a ballet which sealed the union between Diaghlev and Stravinsky aged 28, premiered in Paris in 1910.  Three years before The Rite of Spring.