Wednesday, 31 August 2016

What a memory and "the flower"

Today I made a piece of memory cloth.  These are my totally over the top, fabric and lace collages, lightly stitched together. I have called it "the flower".

I love making these. They are quick and so rewarding and I can daydream about the pieces.  Who used that doily and who crocheted that piece of lace and how come I ended up with them? What is their story?  They really do beckon -  tell me tell me.

My need to make this stemmed from a gift from my mum yesterday.  She gave me 2 hankies; the one with blue flowers was the last Christmas gift my Dad gave to her just before he died, 34 years ago. The second, was one of my Nan's.  I remember her as always crocheting her newest coat. Her hanky has a hand crocheted edge. I'll never know if she did crochet it, but am hopeful she did. It is so soft and must be nearly 100 years old now.  Then I went searching to find other hanky treasures.  I found a hand painted one from my dear friend Helen, which she gave me more than 15 years ago.  Then the 4th treasure is a daintily hand embroidered monogrammed one.  The embroidery is so neat and tiny with it's 'A'. Another treasure.

But can I cut them up for my memory cloths?  Not likely!  I would love to be a fly on the wall to see what my granddaughters do with them many moons from now. Especially my Gwenhwy who is a real kindred spirit.

enjoy and happy creating Ann

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Make art every day

I have been perusing my old cloth paper and scissors magazines and playing with mixed media.  Yeh!

Here is today's finished effort inspired by graffiti doodle houses in magazine #52 Jan/Feb 2014.  I must admit this is the second go as I painted over my first attempt. I am determined to use the paints I have so am quite limited.  I do love the jacquard textile yellow glaze on the background and the houses are glazed using this too.  It is quite glossy and a bit cutesy but it feels good to play again. The wonderful thing is I have no expectations of myself so can just play quickly using lots of techniques.

I have also been visiting all my old journals. It's like I have lost the last 4.5 years of my life.  Nothing done much at all after January 2012 when I restarted working in the health industry.  I can't say working in health was good for my creative health!  boo hoo!  It is time to start again!

But I did discover some wonderful drawings I did prior to this time of my imagined stump dolls.  All very gentle. I just love them and feel quite proud discovering these.  Working with mixed media and finding these drawings has opened up my heart to lots of possibilities for my art going forward.  I have direction if I dare!

I am determined to make art every day!   enjoy!  regards Ann

Saturday, 27 August 2016

A beautiful Sunday morning in Broke

Broke never ceases to amaze me.  This is what I woke to this morning looking out my west side window.  A yellow misty morn.

These guys weren't too sure when I opened the door to venture out to the studio.  He was only about 10m away.  They thought I wasn't too much of a threat so continued to graze which is always a delight.  I know it sounds really cheesy but the maggies were singing their beautiful song and then the kookaburra started laughing. I just soaked it all up, what a wonderful way to start the day.

It's going to be a beautiful day.  I love this view in any weather, it's one of my favourites.

I am not a gardener and these succulents are left to run riot under the pine tree.  How wonderful is mother nature to create these amazing flower colours.

A gentle walk around the house yard.  The day is looking so brilliantly wonderful.

Yesterday I played with some acrylic paint, stencils, stamps and gelipad printing with Marion at scrapneeds. It was fun to play again with a like minded soul.  Just getting colour and a figure onto paper felt so wonderful.  I didn't worry about it looking wonderful or getting it perfect, it was just play time with what was available and I had a wonderful time.

Today I really want to play some more. I just loved this and want to start to fill up my new journal.  It is a beautiful creative journal with heavyweight cardstock from ranger, so it can take all sorts of mixed media.

Let the playtime begin!  At long last I say.  Have a wonderful day and enjoy!

Monday, 11 July 2016

New Beginnings

New Beginnings

Last week, I retired from paid work after 40 years.  It is the most bizarre and strangest feeling. 
Where does one start to be retired with no more routine, no more having to do anything for anyone else, no more compliance and most importantly no one to talk to during the day?  During the final stages of my working life I have been constrained by compliance for accreditation, legislation, standards, risk management, oh&s and on it goes.  I was good at it and it was so necessary working in the health industry, but I must admit it did constrain my creativity.

Last week I felt a little lost.  Everyone says you have to give yourself time to recover when retiring.  When I reread the above I do need to recover; to recover my sense of play, my creativity, what and who I am again.  It was so easy to let work overtake!   I have struggled to write, to create, to make dolls over the last 5 years and when I realise how constrained by compliance I have been, is it no wonder!  So here I am, retired, and, I have made a doll in the first week.  Wow!

2 weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to do a class with Linda Misa. The amazingness was being surrounded by like-minded women who love to make dolls, who love to play, who I can talk to easily about anything, of whom I am in awe!  We played with gelli printing on fabric and paper and sculpted with creative paper clay to make a head which was painted using black gesso as a base. All fun and very interesting techniques. It was such a slow paced class where we all had time to enjoy the process and the company without stress and tension.  It was a lovely weekend and it just happened to be mine and Linda’s birthday weekend.

During class I also met a new dollmaker who has had a profound effect on me.  She is passionate, wants to learn so much, but struggles with health issues, so is having trouble completing her first doll.  She realises the healing effect of dollmaking already and has shared this with me.  This is my first doll in 2 years, which is a very sad state of affairs when I consider myself a dollmaker, but I can slowly feel the passion returning, the love of making a figure to represent my feelings, a way of healing, slowly returning.  

I have been very slow to finish, but I finally have.  I have called her "New Beginnings" which is such an apt title for a piece to represent the next stage of my life.  I love the way she is just hovering just above the ground:  about to take off?

Her hands are   cloth with a clay thumb; her face is clay; her upper arms, feet and legs and body, are all cloth.  Cloth is my passion and I have always been such a purist, but this class played with an interesting technique of ‘connecting’ clay to cloth or clay to clay which is an easy way to get the shape you want. I did struggle with making clay feet but decided to sculpt my own feet from cloth. 
Another interesting technique was painting a base of black gesso over clay or cloth, then using a flesh toned paint, criss crossing with a dry brush to achieve an antique look. I really like this look and it was an easy way to get shadows where you need them by using the black base.

I have used my gelli printed muslin and cotton to make cords and to use for her skirt. I have made marks on the skirt with running stitch using one strand of thread in similar colours. I like the look. I have used an A4 sheet of gelli printed paper for the hat which I have machine embroidered.  I like her hat and hats really are my signature.

So a wonderful start to my retirement and new beginning to the rest of my life.  I hope you like her.  Enjoy your creativity and have fun.  regards Ann