Saturday, December 17, 2016

Master Class with Elizabeth Barton 2016

This year, starting January 1st, my course with Elizabeth Barton began with her mandate to strengthen our art quilt skills.  Which I think she accomplished with her organized topics and her insightful comments as our work progressed.  Each lesson had a specific goal, with examples and references to a multitude of artists, and musicians to help us out.

This was a lesson in value and how it adds interest to the work.
This is based on a picture I took of the chapel on Lykovitas hill in Athens. I originally did it in white with gray but it was too stark so I overpainted it with the light blue, giving a moonlight feel.


The lesson was on movement to bring the art to life and help the viewer's eye move around.
 I've had numerous interpretations of this piece.  It was originally meant as a ski slope and the blue I had used as sky didn't work.  Yellow was EB's suggestion, and I think it really inspired it.  However it has given some the sense of sand and waves.  Let me know at the end how you see it!

Line.  And how it influences the viewer - movement, contrast, mood.  
This is based on a stairwell at the Tate.  One valuable lesson I've learned is to crop - there is more interest in a small section than trying to recreate the whole photo.


Landscape.  Less is more - take out and rearrange the items in a photo.  That is our liberty as an artist - to make the piece our own.
This is based on a scene outside the window at the Hermitage Retreat which many of my fellow quilters will recognize.  And yes, there were more trees,  poles for bird feeders etc.  This is still a work in progress - a little more apricot paint is in order I think.


A lesson on layers and transparency. 
I did two pieces for this as it was also the deadline for my 12 by the dozen art group and Paul Klee was our theme.  Hence the piece below - a pieced background overlayed with dyed cheesecloth and appliqué on top.


 The second piece was created by playing with sticks and seeing how their shadows fell.  Perhaps not much transparency, but well layered. 


 June was a month for us to critique - using what we'd learnt in the lessons above, and an opportunity to re-do one of the exercises.  Hmm, didn't do it!  

Rhythm.  It creates unity and involves repetition.  We listened to some excellent music suggestions for this.  My piece is based on the rivulets that one sees in the sand on a beach. 


And another month that didn't get done.  Not a subject that appeals to me and, I discovered in the sketching phase, that I know how to play with.  Something for another day.  And August was simply a very busy travelling month.  That's my excuse! 

Lost and Found edges
To create illusion and again, interest.
So these are my birches in the snow.   


Dominant colour, dominant mood.

The overall intent of this piece was to create a mood of spring, with soft calm colours.  But just a burst of bright sunrise colour.  

Working from a photo.  The trick was that we all worked from the same three photos provided by EB and they weren't particularly great ones.  What she didn't want was a photographic interpretation, but an abstract of something we saw in the photos.  One of them was Central Park NYC with banners by Christo so this is how I saw it.  Not quite finished, and probably needs cropping. 


a review and catch up month.  So no photos.

Along with the technical lessons I have grown in confidence and feel that I will be able to better assess my own work as I go along.  I have also learned to work bigger!  
If you have thoughts about this I would love to hear from you.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Alex's Quilt

Below is a quilt that I made for my nephew Alex who has graduated as a Doctor of Pharmacy as well as a Doctor of Medicine and I thought it was about time he had a tribute from me to celebrate these achievements.  Proud aunt or what!

The top

and some of the quilting detail

Well done Alex!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Brome Lake Quilt Retreat Nov 2016

Our annual retreat at the inn on Brome Lake (now called Hôtel Suites Lac-Brome) was a great success as always.  Our  numbers were down - just 12 of us,  but hopefully next year we'll be back up to our usual complement.  We arrive on Sunday and get set up in a lovely room overlooking the lake and are spoiled by the staff from then on with excellent meals, fresh coffee during the day and lovely lunches served in our work room. 

I'm sorry I didn't take more quilt pictures.  The people ones were on the last day just as we were beginning to pack up. 











Lynda and her lovely hand done quilt

my quilt made for my nephew on his becoming a doctor. 

the back

a small piece I made for my Elizabeth Barton masterclass

Below are some photos taken on walks in the area.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

River Brink museum

River Brink Museum is a lovely gem on the Niagara Parkway, a short bike ride from Niagara on the Lake.  It was originally built as the home of Sam Weir, a King's Counsel, who all along had intended to bequeath it as an art gallery.  The land was purchased on the bank of the Niagara river in 1943 and the house finally finished in 1970.

Right now there is an exhibit of work by Campbell Scott, a Scot who trained in Scotland as a cabinet maker.  After he came to Canada he trained as a teacher and taught at the Ste Catherine Collegiate.  He pursued his art in sculpture, pottery, painting and printing, travelling to many countries including Japan to better his art. 

Below is a plate for printing

and this is one of the prints produced from it.

 and more of his work.  Do click on them to make them bigger-  they look so much better.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

A Bike and Sail trip in Scotland

We spent a week traveling in Scotland  with Island Hopping, a bicycle tour company, on the ship below - a two masted schooner from the Netherlands.  Despite the tiny rooms, the whole experience was great - staff went out of their way to make us comfortable and the lounge area was big enough to hang around in after a day's cycling.

We started the tour in Oban which you can see in the three pictures below. 

On our first day out the sails were hoisted - here's Robbie helping out!

our first castle sighting from the ship - Duarte, home of the Maclean clan

Some of the "wildlife" on the route-  a few Highland cattle.

Typical scenery along the trail on the Isle of Mull
The heather was in full bloom throughout

A buzzard perched in a handy spot.

Note the phonebox

We did lots of riding along the coast

the beach at Calgary bay

Below is Tobermory, a charming little town with lots of brightly painted houses, shops and good restaurants. 

And this was our ship out in the harbour

And this is how they got the bikes (and us) from shore to ship.

In the lock at Corpach leading into Neptune's Staircase and Loch Lochy.  This was the only day we had rain, lots of it!  and then about 3pm it stopped and we went for a 2 hour ride up the canal and back

Back in Oban where we climbed the hill to visit McQuaig's tower
and on the way found this cute cottage and lovely garden and some yarn bombing

It was a great trip and I thoroughly enjoyed my electric bicycle.  I think the highlands would have been a wee dram too much.

The last point on our cycling-  at the end of the canal.
I hope you've enjoyed seeing the pictures and places.  I love to hear if you've travelled here too.