I love going to exhibitions and galleries to see what's going on creatively, it often sparks ideas if you've hit a blank spot. We have just visited St. Jude's Gallery at Itteringham, a small village in north Norfolk. The artist, Penny Bhadresa, was there last Saturday at the opening of her solo show featuring linocut prints, quite beautiful.
Feeling peckish by now, we seemed to stumble upon the Old Workshop Gallery in Corpusty en route to Holt. It's amazing what you find tucked away, the velvet brooch came from there.
On to Holt, after feeding our faces, to Bircham Gallery, it has loads to see and I fell in love with a bright blue dichroic glass brooch, have to put in a hint for my birthday!
Some of the up and coming exhibitions at the Bircham Gallery.
Just thought that I'd show my efforts at lino printing on silk.
My good friend Tracey has a butterfly obsession, so spurred on by her enthusiasm (it's very catching!) I decided that butterflies would be my ongoing theme for this year. Butterflies are such a fantastic source of inspiration, they have it all, shape, colour, texture. Coupled with this and to keep the Norfolk theme going, the swallowtail butterfly is a native species so looking for a local connection is always a good starting point.. However decided to keep the swallowtail shape for later and began a project for a butterfly scarf.So sketchbook at the ready, here goes...
Played around with shapes cut from card.
Page for swallowtail shapes.
Playing about with a piece of painted silk.
My idea is to dye a length of silk using steam fix dyes, which give a lovely soft handle to the silk, and overprint using silk paints mixed with a thickener. I made my printing blocks from foam sheets, it's easy to cut, and stuck them onto some odd bits of wood that I had lying around. It was easier to paint the thickened colour onto the block with a brush which gave the added bonus of brush marks. This project is ongoing so I'll keep you posted!
I run Make and Take Workshops together with my very good friend and fellow crafter, Hazel. I teach silk painting and Hazel teaches pewter embossing (on different days!) The way we run them is for the tutor (me or Hazel) to take the workshop with the other doing the tea and biscuit runs and also to join in with the make with the rest of the students. This way we have a real feeling of each others craft and what it entails which helps when we are selling each others work at craft events. It also makes us realise why we do the craft we do and what draws us to it. I decided to take the idea of working from a photo into a workshop, so we booked a village hall, sent out details to our mailing list and geared up for the day ahead. Workshops are always fascinating to take part in, whether you're the tutor or student. I'm always amazed at the results, some from students that have never painted before. Here are a few photos of the students work taken on the day. The nice thing also was one student, Jenny, bringing her painted silk back to show us, framed up and saying that she was proud to hang it on her wall. That's a result!
After all that cake what better way to walk it off than with a trip to the coast? I mean the stark beauty of the north Norfolk coast, bracing in all it's glory. Every summer for the past four years I have exhibited at Blakeney for a month and like to take the opportunity to explore and take pics. Some I turn into photographic cards, sometimes I use the photos as a springboard for silk painting. This photo of Holme-next-the-Sea inspired one of my silk paintings...
After stretching and pinning the silk on a frame, I used a silver outliner to put in the definitions of the shapes that I wanted to create.
Using the photo as a guide (and with a lot of artistic license!) I painted the silk using iron fix paints, these are similar to a let-down acrylic and flow beautifully. The foreground was given some texture by adding salt to wet paint and letting the salt absorb the colour creating patterns on the silk.
The finished painting.
Notecard made using recycled card and a photograph of the silk painting.
I've found other Folksy sellers who are also inspired by Norfolk! Here they are -
Today I took part in a colour therapy workshop, run by a friend, in my lunchbreak at work. I hadn't done one before so didn't know what to expect. The hour was taken up with meditation using colour as the focal point. The hour passed so quickly and I came out feeling energised, with my brain eager to start on anything creative.
Sometimes we need to take time out just to clear a space for new ideas to take shape or sometimes we can get inspired by what we see and experience...
I took this photo in Harrogate at Bettys teashop last Easter after we had a fabulous late lunch consisting of a three tiered cake stand filled with yummy sandwiches, a cream scone and various cakes as well as a lovely pot of tea. As we couldn't finish the whole lot the rest was put in a box tied with ribbon for us to take away and eat later (we did!)
Even though we were stuffed, we still had to experience the shop full of even more delights. Out of this fab trip to Bettys my tea cosy designs came about, followed by cards and notebooks.