Friday 31 October 2014

Photography this week: Wood

My 13 year old niece and I took these photos of this interesting wood she found on camp at Kawhia last week.  There were some amazing textures and patterns.

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Purple challenge quilt

The NZ quilting guild has a fantastic quilting challenge on at the moment.  The theme is PURPLE.  I grew up with a mum that didn't like purple.  To her purple reflected death and so I didn't really truly appreciate this colour until I was an adult.  

Purple is such a gorgeous colour from the Violets through to the indigos, puces to lilacs and the royal purples to the deep aubergines.  

My purple quilt is of a dragon eye.

Sketch of dragon eye

Painted of fabric

Today I am going to start the machine quilting, adding further textures and colour to the cloth.

Monday 27 October 2014

I'm getting a new studio!!!

Today something momentous is happening,  something amazing and wonderful......................My new studio is being started!!!!   I am so excited to be able to have my own studio space.  Somewhere separate from the house,  somewhere cosy and warm in the winter,  a place to display and sell my art work and a place to call my own. There is only two big challenges we have to do it all under $5,000 NZD dollars (for the renovation and furniture)  This may seem like quite a bit of money in some countries but in NZ it is quite a small amount.  The french doors alone are $2,000 new and sometimes not much cheaper second hand.  We also have to be finished with in 4 1/2 weeks (the date when my daughter is home from Canada). So we are going to have to be very creative, very frugal and call in a few favours to get this done.

My husband is converting the garage into an studio space.  
It is 4 1/2 m x 6  1/2 m.  My studio spaces before have been a corner of a room or a small bedroom so this space feels like a palace.

The floor is a concrete slab.  Phil is a decorative concrete specialist so I am getting a grind and polish.  This will be perfect for finding pins and needles and I won't need to be too worried about splashing a wee bit of paint here and there.

At the moment the space is a lovely pink and darker purply pink. Fine for a garage but not so good for a space to hang art work.  We are going to paint everything white so my art work can sing.

Once the space is completed I will have a shop and a teaching space and working space.

One window is in fairly good condition so we will just sand it back and paint it

The other one needs a little more TLC

But once the tree is taken out (it has been damaged in the last storm)  The views will be amazing.

The entrance into the room comes from the side of the house.  It is a good old sturdy farm door.  With a lick of white paint it should come up as good as new.

We are still deciding if we will keep the inside door between the 2 garages.  It needs a lot of work.

The lovely ceilings will be replaced by jib and track lighting.

The garage door will be replace by wooden French doors when we find them in the right size and at the right price.

So follow my blog over the next few weeks and I will keep you posted on how it is all going and to give you some tips and trick for creating your own space when you have limited money and time.

Friday 24 October 2014

Photography this week: Using a frame

There is real joy in taking photographs.  Seeing the world through the eye of a lens.  Being able to capture a moment in time or a precious memory. It is wonderful to look through a album and to remember, ponder and reflect on the moment.  

Putting a photo in a frame often has more impact than in an album. It changes how we view a photo.  It becomes something to look at from afar rather than in an intimate way. A frame finishes off photos too. Think about an assignment from when you were a child.  Without a frame it often looked incomplete and unfinished but as soon as a frame was added,  even a simple line,  the project suddenly looked finished.

When taking a photo it is nice sometimes to add a 'frame' to the shot.  It adds interest, a focal point and structure. There are a few ways that this can be done. It could be done by unseeing a man made structure ie  A building,  a window, an arbour or with a natural structures ie. a tree, leaves or gap in a hedge.  Using frames when composing a photo blocks other parts of the image taken and draws attention to the subject.

In this first photo the tunnel has been used to create the frame on the 2 subjects walking towards the light.

Trees are used for the frame on this picture.  The viewer wants to know what is going on around the photo it is intriguing to the eye.

Trees and foliage again create the frame.  It frames the subject which is an amazing view of the beach.

In this photo of the cliff are used loosely as a frame.  It draws the viewers eye down the river to what might be around the corner.

This climbing rope make a great frame for a portrait.

A window in a telephone box makes a vibrant a colourful frame

Using a frame helps the viewer see where the photos taken and gives the photo some context.  It can help create depth and layers.  It draws the eye to look at the focal point of the shot.

  So the next time you take your camera out consider using a frame for a simple but stunning composition idea.

Monday 20 October 2014

Waitomo Art society Exhibition.

The Waitomo Art Society annual exhibition was held this weekend. I was invited to be one of 3 guest artists as part of this event.  The weekend was wonderful.  I met some amazing artists with such passion for the work they create.  We were also treated to a singing group who performed on Friday evening who were absolutely amazing.  Being surrounded by creative and dynamic people is such a pleasure. It recharges batteries,  helps find new passions and can help determine new pathways or confirm the pathway you are on is a good one.

Although I didn't sell any work at the exhibition I was able to be part of a wonderful opportunity to discuss and talk about my art work, to have valuable marketing advice and to be able to get my creative juices flowing again. 

The exhibition was set up in set up in the Waitomo arts and cultural centre in Te Kuiti, NZ.  A wonderful venue in a lovely quiet little provincial town in New Zealand. 

I displayed my bright segment quilts and some of my other bright and beautiful quilts.

I had some amazing feedback about my work.  It was so lovely to walk around and chat with people  about my art work.  Talking about my work not only helps people understand how I work but also helps me to clarify my ideas as an artist.  We had some great discussions about how I make my work.  So many people thought my work was appliqu├ęd and were really surprised when I said they were all painted.

Helping people understand what the art work means and how it is made helps people appreciate it more because the more we understand the more we comprehend and the more we comprehend the more meaning the art work has to the viewer.

Friday 17 October 2014

Photography this week: Clouds


I was out in the evening with my camera and captured these amazing cloud formations.  The light was just perfect.  Isn't our world just amazing.  It was a good reminder to remember to look up and not to spend my time just focussing on what is at my feet or in front of me.  Look at what I would have missed if I hadn't looked up !!

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