Wetlands of Queensland

Today, as the big wet (compliments of ex Tropical Cyclone Debbie) drenches the southeast, I recieved notification that my latest artwork didn’t make the grade for the Moreton Bay Regional Art Awards – no matter! It was the very first time I have entered this competition. I’m not much given to entering competitions, but sometimes they pay off and often in the most splendid and unexpected ways! Just not this time, alas. I ought to have approached this piece with 4 intact sides perhaps, and no empty – literally!  – spaces…. but no, not me, who likes to make it complicated.

I made this to be

1) part of a series I am working on at the moment (Anfractuous Continuance)

2) as a possible entry in the Australasian Quilt Convention Challenge – Fauna and Flora of Australia –  but it transpired that by it’s very nature, it would not fold well, therefore would not travel well, and as a consequence I opted not to enter – clearly I didn’t think that one through…

3) it being not entered in AQC decided to give MBRAA a shot…. never mind, I think it looks good on my wall!!!

I have named it “Cooloola Flight”. Because it’s an aerial view of the Cooloola wetlands and it features a wonderful bird we saw there – a Black necked Stork. An Aussie would call it a Jabiru. We spotted it out in our canoe on Lake Cootharaba, and was the biggest thrill of all of our canoeing excursions. He was just sitting on a little island, minding his own business, then as we drifted closer, he casually got up and strolled away for a drink, and eventually flew off to feed around the corner.

In  this piece the lake and river systems of Cooloola Wetlands are depicted by the empty spaces….. it will be exhibited as one of my pieces at Pine Rivers Art Gallery along with the Reddy Arts Textile Group’s work in December and January…. until then here is a wee sneak peak because I’m too excited about it to save it for a few more months! But you will be able to see it in the cloth there.

Lots of you have seen my first piece in the series – see “Cudgera Creek”  and my previous post for photos. This quilt is now in Melbourne and can be seen at the Bernina   Best of Australia Awards at AQC 20-23rd April 2017.

I am currently working on my third piece, which is based around the Tinchi tamba wetlands, on the Pine River. Now I really must go and sew!!!

Art as a full time occupation

 

October 2016 was a heady month. That was when I won the Best of Show at Queensland Quilters Inc.s annual Quilt Show, with my art quilt Cudgera Creek.

cudgera-creek-montage-finished

I had spent the previous few months, and much of October and November, trying to perfect my ruler quilting ( a whole different thing altogether) because I pretty much suck at traditional quilting, both by hand and machine. Oh, I can do it, just not very well, and there are some amazing amazing quilters out there who make it look easy. (It isn’t). But after pulling off the big event with my art quilt, well, that’s clearly the direction I really ought to head in!

Besides, I LOVE making my art quilts. Thus, it’s been head down and tail up for the past 4 weeks (already!) since the holidays ended, and we all headed back to town and commitments….and I’ve so far loved every minute! This year, I said to myself, will be a year of ART. The thing is,  if I want to be an artist, then art has to be my new full time occupation.

Recent work:  a selection of drawings – I have a long way to go.

Textile pieces below: I have more, but I can’t reveal them yet… soon though! I have so far completed 3 textile pieces this year. The main one is this work in progress below, (35″ x 35″) which I intend to enter in an upcoming local art competition…. the Rosella in “Good Morning” is my donation piece for the planned Queensland Quilters Silent Auction – keep an eye on their website for further details. QQ website Dimensions are 8″ x 10″ and it is ready to hang, mounted on an art canvas.

There are more in my head! Also, I intend to take some classes…. I need more skills with composition, water colours, and landscape painting…what to put in, what to leave out, what to move  where, etc! Not to mention getting the bird shapes right.  If I can master these, I think they will be invaluable assets to have when designing my textile art pieces. I plan to immerse myself in art practice.

 

Amazing day

This was a day right up there with those pinnacle of your life days – you know the ones, high school and University graduations, Wedding day, Births of the babies days…. today was the day I won the Bernina Best of Show award at the Queensland Quilt Show!!  still on a high, can’t stop smiling!!

Thank you to the judges, Glad Howard, Lyn Hewitt, and Rachelle Denneny;  to  QQ President Judie Bellingham and the management committee of Queensland Quilters Inc; Bernina Australia; all the other many Queensland Quilt Show Sponsors, and Expertise Events –  wow what a day! Thanks to all my lovely friends and acquaintances and fellow quilters and all the ladies(and men!)  for your fabulous support and kind words and admiration today, it was a fantastic experience and you all contributed so much to my brilliant day!

Completely excited that my textile art piece won, and now we are off to Melbourne for AQC and Best of Australia awards early next year, so exciting to be a part of that!! Will be celebrating all week.

Many thanks to Bernina Australia for their wonderful and continuing support of the craft of patchwork and quilting, to Queensland Quilters Inc who organise the quilt show, (see the rest of the fantastic and beautiful winning quilts at the link) and their dedicated members who do the most amazing behind the scenes work for many months in the lead up to the show, and to Quilt and Craft Fair (Expertise Events) for hosting the show. It all takes a great deal of planning and plain hard work to bring it all together every year so that the rest of us can not only enjoy making our art but also sometimes reap the rewards, such as I have been blessed to do so, today. I am so happy, so grateful and just plain astounded. Thank you all.

 

Life is for the birds

Back to bird art…. just a little playtime after the serious business of making tetraspinners

Squat little oystercatcher… trying out a new (to me) embroidery pellon/batting under the single layer cotton background…. not entirely happy with the result, the stitching has pulled in I think in spite of hooping it to stitch, maybe the cotton shrank when I washed out the watersoluble stabiliser… hard to know. Note to self: wash all new materials and fabrics to find out if they shrink, and how much, and to remember to preshrink them before adding stitch….  Actually this bird is on a slight 3/4 angle anyway, but still, he looks squished up more than the original drawing I did….

Watch for more to come! I have to do some fish as well, so there are busy days ahead for me. Keeps me out of mischief while I wait for the tetraspinner fabric to show up…

 

 

Art Market adventures

Somehow, it didn’t occur to me to take photos… Not of the lead up, nor the setting up, nor the activity…. But Brenda did!  so there are a couple here:

We were at the Pine Rivers Community Centre (next door to the Pine Rivers Art Gallery) in Strathpine for the day with a bunch of other artists, surrounded by all the amazing and wonderful entries in the Moreton Bay Regional Council’s annual Art Award exhibition.  We met lots of lovely people who expressed interest in our work and it was lovely to chat to fellow artists and meet some of the other stall holders, as well as meeting the general public. Thanks to our customers too, it’s always such a buzz to sell our work! For those of you asking about the thread sketching technique, you can find a little information in my post of May 2015, here: Thread Sketching and a You tube video of the pelican stitching is here. The pelican pattern can be purchased as an instant download from our Etsy shop, 2SewTextiles. or you may like a hard copy through snail mail, also available via the Etsy store.

 

2015 – how productive were you?

Do you reach the end of the year and wonder: whatever happened to it? Where did the time go? Did you spend it well? How do you assess it?

An interesting exercise was to take a look at how little or how much I achieved in 2015 in the textile art world. My feeling was that I maybe had not accomplished a great deal particularly in the area of actual textile ART, even though I seemed to be constantly busy, juggling part time work, home duties, designing and sewing.

To find out, I made up a Timeline.

There was some time out in November , and a holiday in January, apparently, but for the most part, it was a pretty steady year… on analysis, I found there was a very real relapse into traditional style quilt making, part of my designing and writing patterns , and some experimentation with the new movement of Modern quilting. I guess the alphabet  can be counted as art….  and true art work was completed (although commenced in 2014) for the two exhibitions, and there were little forays into thread sketching  and quilting… example: my quilt for the Queensland Quilt Show 2015

What next?  The timeline proved just how much I did accomplish, and encourages me to tackle the new year ahead with 12 whole months in which to draw,  paint,dye, stitch, applique, and quilt.  My aspiration for 2016 is to set aside traditional quilting, and to create a number of landscape and seascape textile artworks, with the intention to  exhibit in 2017. And a new timeline at the end!

Threads of Survival

 “Threads of Survival” is a tetratych in fabric, made as part of the Reddy Arts Textile Group’s exhibition “Nature’s Threads”held at Pine Rivers Art Gallery, Strathpine, Queensland, in April and May 2015. This is the culmination of all the work and progress photos shown in previous posts of the construction of the tree. It was also shown at Aspire Gallery, Paddington, Qld in September 2015

I have used mainly cotton, and utilised raw edge applique, dye, thread sketching and quilting.

I wrote this poem to accompany the work:

“THREADS OF SURVIVAL”

Tangled threads. Roots, twined together.

These life-giving fibres, stitched to the cliff…

Holding, but barely.

How long?

Dying limbs reaching. Sticks, interwoven.

This nest, of wood-woven threads…

Holding, but barely.

How long?

Ribbons of rain; and leaves, sunlight-threaded.

This tree surviving, is fledglings’ safe haven…

Holding, but barely.

How long?

Queensland Quilt Show

That’s the show over for another year! It was a fabulous show with many wonderful quilts executed exquisitely and beautifully – great to see an interesting collection of modern quilts there, my latest enthuse! (more in another blog) I managed to take out the 2nd prize for Professional – Mixed techniques with this quilt, so you can imagine that was an exciting day!

Aitanga-a-tiki-kapakapa o Aotearoa

Aitanga-a-tiki-kapakapa o Aotearoa

and my good friend Brenda Wood of  2Sew Textiles won two first prizes! Amateur Art: “Dune View”

Brenda and Dune View

and Amateur Pictorial!!! this one named “Bellbirds Too” was her remake (in a different design)  of her Bellbirds quilt that was stolen from the show in 2013! Brenda and Bellbirds tooBellbirds Too

We both went back to the Show yesterday to see all the quilts again – and the ones that we had not had time to see on our first visit. Such a good show, congratulations to all the wonderful hard working Committee and helpers who made it possible! Many many thanks, Ladies. You can see all the winning quilts here: Queensland Quilt Show.

Also a huge thank you to the sponsors of my prizes: Wabi Sabi Designs Find their website here, and Schoolhouse QuIlters here is their facebook page.

Exploring 3Dimensions

A friend of mine is a felter. She is starting a new project and sent out a call for donations of flowers…. felted or fabric…. so rising to the challenge and combining it with my Day 18 Play Every day in May project, I spent all of yesterday constructing a hibiscus for Judith…. Materials: Fabric, wire, yarn. Techniques: applique and thread sketchingIMG_9452IMG_9449

I have also posted a new gallery to Play Every Day in May for 2015 – currently a work in progress.

Thread Sketching

Here is a sequence of photos of an exercise in thread sketching – a simple applique design which I then  thread sketched to bring it to life.

For those ladies who attended my workshop at the Pine Rivers Art Gallery, a ten minute video “Introduction to Thread Sketching” is now available for viewing – see it here on You Tube:

https://youtu.be/1hubR8BmFTM

The frog and pelican patterns will soon be listed  for instant download purchase through our  Etsy shop 2Sew Textiles.