Saturday, June 23, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me

It's a bit over a year since I began this blog.  When I started the blog I was on the road in the US and did the original set up and formatting in a hurry.  As you know, I have just recently changed the look of the blog (although I'm not happy with the grey background and will probably change it again shortly) so that it shows my work off a bit better and looks a little more like my website.

When I started this blog I had a couple of goals.  One was to share my work and the things that inspire me with a wider audience.  To date I have had nearly 7000 visitors.  This is not a lot in terms of internet traffic, but in terms of an art blog with such a specific focus I'm happy with it and am grateful for every reader who tunes in, particularly those of you who return on a regular basis.  From the beginning I knew that it would take perseverance, time and, most importantly, consistency to build a following.  My aim from the beginning was to write an average of 2 blog posts per week.  I am happy to say that I have achieved that goal and plan to continue doing so into the future.

Another of my goals was to try to build a sense of community amongst embroiderers and artists.  In this sense I think I have been far from successful.  While there are a few regulars who leave comments, by and large the majority of visitors to my blog don't stay to leave a comment and participate in a conversation.  I am by no means putting the onus on my readers.  I think my posts often present as "complete" leaving little for my readers to contribute.  I hope to develop a style that does more to invite participation in an ongoing dialogue.

What would you like to see or hear more of on my blog?  Are you happy with the frequency of blog posts?  Would you like more posts on my art process and the development of concepts?  Any and all ideas are welcome.

So, thanks for being with me in my first year.  I hope you'll be with me in the years to come! Pin It

New Work, New Direction

I have been promising for some time to post some images of my new work.  Progress has been slower than I would like due to having to wait weeks for my gold threads to arrive from Canada and the theft of my wood heater.  I didn't go to my studio for about 2 weeks after that, partly because it brought me down a bit, but also because winter has well and truly set in up here in the Tasmanian Central Highlands and it is absolutely freezing in my studio.  Despite that, I have braved the cold these last few days and with the help of an electric radiator, a hot water bottle and a knee blanket it is just bearable enough to be able to sit and work for 4 or 5 hours at a time.  I'm pretty sure this is not what is meant by suffering for your art!  Needless to say my usual lunch of fruit and yoghurt has been replaced with more warming fare such as soup and toasted sandwiches.

As you will see from the photos below I am trying something completely different. 

Lots of goldwork with bold flat colour to set it off.  Now if you're thinking that my goldwork doesn't look that flash please remember that you are looking at the work in detail and that the gaps you see are not overly apparent when viewing the work in person.  

The areas inside the orange and pink are worked using flatworm.  I love flatworm, but it is really difficult to work in such tiny areas.  So, while it may look a little rough here, it looks fine to scale and it has a fabulous 3 dimensional quality that makes this area look really lively.  I'm really quite happy with the result.

This area is worked with japanese gold thread on the diagonal with separate sections outlined with a line of medium pearl purl and fine grecian twist on the outside.  I'll probably get finicky and fill in the tiny areas where the satin stitching reveals some of the ground fabric.

Do you know what the symbol on the right represents and from whence it hails?  

Who's feet are these?

The feet belong to this guy.  Who is he and what is he doing there?

And who is this child?

So, there you have it.  Gold work, representational elements - what exactly is the story here.  Well there is a story and it's a complex one that will be revealed over the coming weeks as the work develops further.

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Thursday, June 7, 2012

New Look for my Blog

I haven't posted for a while.  I've been working on a piece with a completely new direction.  Honestly, I've been scared stiff.  I'm not sure if what I'm doing is going to work and I won't know until it's well along.  I have some early photos, but I'm not sure if I'm brave enough to share them yet.

I hadn't been to the studio for a couple of days as I needed some time out to just relax.  Then, yesterday, my husband went up there to get something he needed and discovered that someone had broken into my studio and stolen my wood heater!  This is no small task.  That heater weighed in excess of 200 kg.  It would have taken at least 4 strong young men to lift it out.  They came equipped with bolt cutters and crow bars to get through the gate and into the house, destroying 2 doors in the process.   The worst part is that the heater was an amazing custom made piece made from a really heavy old cast iron boiler.  It was the best wood heater ever.  It took nothing to light it and was capable of heating my often freezing cold studio in under half an hour.  I couldn't buy something like it if I wanted to.  Well, actually, today I did a bit of an internet search and discovered that there is a heater on the market that is comparable (although it is unlikely to light as easily), but even after I get the insurance money I will be about $2000 out of pocket.  Yikes!  Then there is all the expense of further ramping up the security on the property.  I can't tell you how violated I feel by this nasty calculated crime.

You may have notice that I have changed the look of my blog to bring it closer to the look of my web site.  The original design was done very hastily while I was on holidays in the US last year and it was overdue for a revamp.  I'm not sure it is 100 per cent the way I want it, but it is a start.

Here's hoping that all your creative endeavours are coming along nicely. Pin It