"I begin with an idea ... and then it becomes something else"
~ Picasso

Sunday, 19 February 2017

colours of the season and the tides of the sea

a fab day on Friday visiting some of my favourite places locally ...

at Godrevy ... the light is always amazing

this gorgeous rugged coastline and beautiful white sand beach
(owned by The National Trust) is one of my most favourite places ever

for quite a while I just sat on the headland and took in the salty sea breeze

I want more of these peaceful moments this year

the colours of the season in the winter landscape are very calming ...

back in St. Ives
I popped in to see friend Sharon McSwiney's exhibition
at St. Ives Arts Club

"Colours of the Season"
11 - 17 February 2017

Sharon was exhibiting her gorgeous metallic wall hangings, pictures and jewellery
with her friend Alison Dupernex, a textile designer who creates beautiful knitwear

their work complements each other beautifully
and a lot of thought goes into ensuring their pieces reflect their chosen theme

"Colours of the Season"

these gorgeous seaweed pieces were my especial favourites
in particular the shapes, textures and colours in the patinas

Sharon offers workshops at her Garden Studio to make a wall hanging
like these or smaller pieces of jewellery / art cards
so I'd really like to try and do a workshop with her this year
(I've thrown a photo in here that I took the same day on Long Rock beach
the colours complement very well, I think)

below are some of Alison Dupernex's textiles
I adore the tones and textures

Alison's work picks out the colour palette I associate with the beach and the winter season
(my photo centre of pebbles taken the same day at Long Rock beach)

Alison has attached to her knitwear some metal charms made by Sharon

all of the work at the show was gorgeous and very inspiring
but sadly the exhibition is finished now

if you would like to see more of Sharon's and Alison's work you can visit their websites
and Sharon has a shop at The Drill Hall in St. Ives with a good selection of all that she produces
as well as her private Garden Studio where she offers one to one workshops

for another chance to see their work at St. Ives Arts Club
Sharon and Alison will be exhibiting again in October 2017

following the show, and some lunch at Porthmeor beach,
I headed over to Long Rock beach in search of more beach inspiration
(I'm still looking for interesting pebbles and tangles of seaweed / beach string)
to work with for the "Cornwall" theme for St. Ives Textiles

I'm spreading out my collections and sketchbook samples at home
trying to narrow down my focus a bit as I've been feeling
rather overwhelmed by the amount of inspiration all around me
Cornwall is a very large theme ... but I must decide very soon and knuckle down

meanwhile ...
I'm just enjoying time to walk on the winter beaches and breathe ...

St. Michael's Mount through seaweed

Sharon's lovely sketchbooks

colours of the season ... on a winter beach

lichen at Long Rock

St. Michael's Mount ... always visible on the horizon
and beautiful winter colours ...

finally ... here are my stencil prints from week 2 of The Surface Texture Workshop

following the prompts ...


layering newspaper and taped text and stencilling over the top
(will probably work more into this one before sticking in my sketchbook)

New York London Paris


combining colours that "pop"
layering stencil prints over newspaper and taped text
the "pop" is gold metallic paint, heated to create texture, then gilded


stencilling with gold leaf

might try cutting this one up


seaweed and mussel shells
printed using a hand made stencil with metallic paints heated and gilded
painting and filling in around the edges of the print

a negative taken from the earlier print ... on tissue paper


dragging a ruler across the wet print for effect

"mark making"

scribing with a tool in white paint before layering with more stencil prints


"texture and bling"

stencilling, burnishing with a spoon, then stencilling again with texture paste
enhancing with metallic paint then gilding for extra bling


soft watery metallics in silver and gold with extra "bling"
well that's it for today
thank you for visiting and for all your very kind comments

I will be posting The Surface Treatment Workshop each Wednesday from now on
with textiles, catch ups and general updates on Saturdays

with love ♥

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

a perfect afternoon

yesterday ...
a beautiful afternoon on the beach at Marazion

in search of pebbles, seaweed and bits of beach string

nature throws the colours together perfectly ...

and the seaweed has amazing colours and textures ...

my camera seems to pick up colours and details that are hard to see by eye

I find nature's tones so relaxing and pretty inspiring

I found the beach string I was after ...
I need it for one of the projects in The Surface Treatment Workshop

you will see in a few weeks time ...

on valentine's day my hubby found a heart shaped pebble for me ...

yes ... it was a perfect afternoon

St. Michael's Mount from the beach at Marazion

I'm almost there with my stencil samples for Week 2 of The Surface Treatment Workshop
but I just want to work into them a little bit more so will share in the next post

thanks to you all for following along and for all kind comments
hope you enjoyed a little taste of the beach today

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

happy valentine's day 2017

today we have a gorgeous day filled with blue sky and the promise of spring

my love and I are heading over to the beach at Long Rock and Marazion
to look for pebbles, seaweed and beach string

I hope your day brings you simple pleasures ♥

Monday, 13 February 2017

texture in art

I've been thinking about texture in art and textiles
and why I think it's important for texture to be an intrinsic part of my work

rusty peeling paint on a St. Ives boat

personally, I am drawn to texture I find in the harbours of Cornwall
and on considering this recently I realised that it is
because of the layers of colour and the tactile nature of these layers

these photos of rusty peeling paint found on a boat in St. Ives harbour
help me to explain how the layers themselves tell a story or journey

built up over years, layers have worn away to reveal a past and a history

years of paint layers at Porthmeor Studios

the same applies to these photos I took at Porthmeor Studios
so many artists over the years have worked on these boards
so ... how exciting to wonder who they were and what they produced

what famous works of art were created by artists leaning on these boards ...

it's quite breath-taking to consider that many different St. Ives artists
have, over the decades, added their painterly marks and paint spills

yellow blob

I believe texture gives an extra dimension to a piece of work
and can add expression, feeling and mood

white circle
years of paint layers at Porthmeor Studios 

"in the visual arts, texture is the perceived surface quality of a work of art

it is an element of two-dimensional and three-dimensional designs
and is distinguished by its perceived visual and physical properties

use of texture, along with other elements of design,
can convey a variety of messages and emotions"

- a brief description of texture from wiki -

so ... whether I am painting, creating a collage or working with textiles
I almost always consider the dimension of my work as well as the colour and composition

I've recently transferred a lot of my textile work to canvas
and have been experimenting with stitching on a cotton, linen or a canvas base
where I have previously painted the background and considered the texture of the surface

in my work here ...
some of the texture was created using texture paste or other textured mediums
and I've been experimenting with using a heat gun to manipulate that texture
I do this before and after I have painted the canvas

Porthmeor surf II

on these canvases I have used both acrylics and silk paints to colour the canvas
watered down and neat ... with brushes and sponges to work the colour

so straight away there is another element to the work before I begin to stitch

and then begin to consider where I will might place my stitches
and I let the design on the canvas speak to me
the little stitches will add more texture

I usually favour lots of french knots as they are my favourite stitch
but I also like running stitches, fly stitches
found objects and other embellishments

above ... I added "jewels" for a bit of beach sparkle
as it's a detail of a beachcombing piece ... a sand and surf study
Porthmeor surf  I

when it comes to collage ... I apply the same considerations
and love to use found objects and things from nature to enhance the work
fabrics add lovely texture to a paper based collage or canvas
and helps make the paper or card flexible but strong enough for stitch

on this collage I've used watered down acrylics and oil pastels with silk
I rubbed real pieces of lichen into the wax to add a bit of texture to it

after painting and heating to create the texture
I added some shells to this piece called "on the shore"

on the shore

I was pleased with the texture on this piece below
where I was trying to achieve the effect of surf
inspired by the surf and spray on Porthmeor beach

finished framed work ...
I actually love the part where I'm adding texture to my work
especially considering the layers and colours

here I've used hand dyed scrim with metal scrim couched down on top
the orange stitches contrast

in this one below I've used the texture paste and acrylics on top of the fabric
it's on a calico base so that I can stitch into it

so then ... it's rather hard to describe layers of print as having "texture"
since it's not usually a tactile texture unless it's in "relief"

instead I think it's because the layers do still provide a depth
so that a print can have visual texture

visual texture refers to an implied sense of texture
created through the use of various artistic elements
such as line, shading and colour

actual texture refers to real surface qualities
we can notice by touching an object

these are the rest of my prints from week 1
of "the surface treatment workshop" project I'm doing with my sister
we are turning the exercises into a 52 week project

you can see I've tried to add depth or "texture" wherever possible

looking forward to week 2 - using stencils

thank you for reading ♥