A Line of Flight

Finding it impossible to take it easy over the summer.  I was so inspired by the theme of the September TRAC exhibition that I decided to take part after all.  The exhibition is going to take place in Gallery Art Space Portsmouth, which is situated in a beautiful old building filled with artists studios.  It is not going to be a sales opportunity, which suits me. The theme to move away from what you usually do gives me the perfect opportunity to really try out something I’ve been inspired to do for a long time.  I love the work of weaver, Sheila Hicks, and some years ago my husband made me a pin weaving frame just like hers.  It has sat in the  corner of my room with its nails catching on my leg every now and again, reminding me of its presence.  So using some sketches and photographs taken in Portsmouth on a TRAC painting day out, I started to weave.

Weave 1My line of flight was to attempt to work with the man made, architectural forms.  I thought about working without colour too, but that was just a flutter too far.  The piece here is inspired by some flats across the water in Gosport.  I see them everyday on my way to work and watch the ever-changing sky surrounding them.  The handmade felt used to frame the piece is also woven and is reminiscent of the sky on a stormy day, that kind of light you get at the seaside when the sun is bright but the clouds are dark.  If you look closely, you will see the sun filling the room behind one of the windows.

Postcard from The Needles

Originally, I planned to take it easy over the summer, a time to catch up with things I’d promised to do around the house. Then I was introduced to the postcard art submission for Fareham Arts Festival, so I thought that won’t take me too long and it is in aid of a good cause…. So I had an idea to make a postcard of ‘The Needles’, but to use sewing needles as my design – a little bit of fun.  I had enough of the patched and pieced fabric left over from the previous projects to set the piece within a frame. For the central design I went back to a technique I had used for my Abandoned Pier, just one stitch, picture which won the runner’s up prize in a Stitch Magazine competition some years ago.  I painted the calico, using a picture of the real Needles as a guide, then used some bonding powder to fix some translucent organza over the sky.  It was quite hard to get the powder to bond without melting the organza – it took a couple of attempts!  Best done by ironing the back of the calico and not the organza!  Hand-stitching the design took longer than I anticipated, but then it usually does.  To keep true to the postcard idea I decided to transform the vilene backing into the card by machine stitching some lines and ‘The Needles’.  The lovely person who buys the card in the auction, may want to send it and transform it into mail art!  I’m sure it will survive.  I hope it finds a happy home.

The Needles (f)The Needles (b)