last saturday (31st jan) I went along to Alex Falkiner‘s “Stitching off the Page (fancy edgings)” class in marrickville. it was a lovely afternoon learning new stitches and techniques for the edges of fabric. I really wanted to learn her “netting” stitch and just block out a few hours to spend stitching. great to speak to others too
some photos of the “in progress” parts of the stitches for future reference. I felt I was having a bad day stitching – extra slow and making lots of mistakes (which given my state that week after the recent surgery/recovery wasn’t too surprising), but I’ll try these again when feeling better.
the netting stitch is like blanket stitch but you stitch into the air / where the loops join instead of into the fabric
we went to life drawing class at 107 projects tonight. Syd Mead said that if you can draw people, you can pretty much draw anything (paraphrasing), so I’d like to practice more. I’m happy with a couple of these. I was trying rough outline of shapes and concentrating on shading the shadows. one lady asked about the other colours so I showed her the pastels. J’s lines are amazing – I need to practice looser lines, and seeing & drawing volumes. and find my line at all. these are 5mins, 10mins, 15min poses – I’d arrived late so missed the 1-2 min poses. my proportions are out most of the time so this needs improvement. the model walked around later and looked at everyone’s drawings. he said he thought my last one of him “everything is expanding”, so hopefully that’s a good thing?
adding them all here, so if I keep going throughout the year, I can look back and (hopefully) see improvements, and my line. these are charcoal (vine + thicker), white charcoal/pastel and coloured conte crayons
tonight I went to a drawing class with Daniel O’Toole aka Ears, a Sydney based painter and now video artist. Ears is one of my favourite Sydney artists and I’m lucky to have one of his paintings. now I can see how contour based his works are. the class was held at his studio called “Higher Ground Studio” in Leichardt & was lots of fun. we did some mark making exercises to different styles of music, drawing different words, blind contour drawings & contour drawings where we added shading/colours to the shapes, drawing by rubbing out the charcoal using putty rubber, making a variety of marks, drawing a landscape with our marks and we finished up with a collaborative painting of a brown, flattened box. I only had butchers paper instead of cartridge paper so some are a bit rough. we used mostly charcoal and ink with a touch of coloured house paint.
http://earstotheground.net is Ears’ website. apart from amazing paintings, he has also uploaded some of his sketchbook pages which are pretty inspiring. some of the line/contour drawings remind me of Carla Sonheim’s ones and class exercises where we try to draw animals. Ears draws faces — there’s a lot of portraits with masks/faces in his paintings
here’s some photos of the class — my work plus the collaborative painting in different stages
some paintings from Carla Sonheim’s flower crazy 5 week class. I’m learning a few new techniques for watercolour, gesso, and mixing colours and textures to create “imaginary flowers”.
layers of watercolour lines and pens/markers with some pencil shading
painted imaginary flowers in watercolour with gesso painted over the top
watercolour blobs in 3 colours, with gesso masking off interesting shapes to create flowers. scratched lines and textures in the gesso before it dried
plus one of the “2014 — year of the fairy tale” exercises — this is my “princess and the pea” mixed media painting. it’s gouche, gesso and pens. the paints are applied using a credit card instead of a brush. it leads to a “free-er” line. I liked the gouche — they dried very quickly
making some geometric fabric folds on cotton since my copy of “Shadowfolds” book by Jeffrey Rutzky and Chris K Palmer arrived. this one is called “Fujimoto’s twists” — it’s a mixture of stitched squares, triangles and lines, and is a bit like smocking. I need to iron the front side flatter, but happy with how it turned out. I’d drawn the pattern shapes freehand instead of tracing the pattern as the book suggested, so the shapes are slightly uneven compared to the examples in the book, but I’m OK with that. makes it a bit more organic.
they don’t take too long to make either — I made this sample over a couple of hours whilst watching tv.
back side: (actually I like this also as a front side — might do another)
I sat down again to my stitch noodling frame today to relax and play and tried some thinner cotton. this time double stranded sewing thread. tried some button hole stitch — still my favourite ever since discovering Junko Oki’s work — especially her circles, last year. the first row is a row of straight edged button hole stitch. for the second row, I noticed the thread was settling into the fabric in a more organic way, not wanting to stick to the straight line. so I let it go, and it made this really nice organic, jagged line which I really like. it’s a bit closer to an open (loose) cretan stitch, but also looks more like a heartbeat, or simple audio waveform. sometimes it’s worth letting go of your plans to find the better line.
I’ve started the “sketchbook now” class to practice more drawing techniques for my sketchbook, and in lesson one we need to do some tests of our materials. I’ve used some from previous class exercises, which I hadn’t added to the blog, so adding them here as part of this class’ notes. the watercolour washes tests were exercises from Fred Lisaius’ class “Fall Watercolours”. I’ll add more tests here as I work on them
these are the watercolours I’m using most often — a mixture of Schmincke and Winsor & Newton pans:
testing different lines & pen textures:
watercolour bead washes:
watercolour wet in wet wash:
watercolour double wet / flood wash with salt added for texture. I used table salt and since the paper was thick, it didn’t work too well
more watercolour washes, on thicker, handmade paper
watercolour pencils (texta zoom brand) and pens to see what they looked like with added water: