Friday, 26 August 2016

So long and hello again

'So long' to Heather who has been with us on this 7 year journey from the beginning.  You have contributed so much to the group with your work but also your insightful comments.  Thank you, Heather.  I am sure the others all join me in wishing you much success as you forge a new direction in your art.  Please stay in touch and let us know how you are getting on.

A message from Heather:
Since joining 12 by the dozen, a few months after the group began, I have been inspired by the challenges we have set for ourselves, and warmed by the friendships we have forged. My most recent series, almost five years running, began as a response to the challenges in our first set, including “Street Life”, “Steps” and “Fine Living”. At this point I would like to focus on finding a new path and a new series, and I need to give this my whole attention. Of course I will continue to follow the merry adventures of 12 by the dozen on the blog. Thanks to all of you for your always-kind encouragement and support. Having the chance to get to know each one of you, whether on-line or at our wonderful get-togethers, has meant a great deal to me. 

And 'Hello again' to Venetta.  Welcome back Venetta.  It is lovely to have you back and in such good health.  I see Linda F has posted her chosen artist so you will be able to jump right in with Charles Sheeler (must go and do some research as I haven't heard of him either).

For those of our group who are newish, Venetta was one of the founder members but left to recuperate after health problems and Venetta, you will see we have a few new members as well but you won't have met Patricia (Joburg, South Africa) and Rosemary her sister in New Zealand, Michele in Montreal and Jinnie who lives in Paris. 

So now I will have to go into the website and up the statistics again!



Thursday, 25 August 2016

Our next artist

I was totally unprepared for choosing the next artist as I've been so busy with other matters recently.  However, in the relative peace of being in France with only six others still here (seven have already left) I've spent some time googling possible artists.  I'm going to pick an artist I've never heard of before, purely on the basis of the images I found on Google - I hope you like my choice.

Our next artist will be Charles Sheeler (1883 - 1965), an American painter and photographer.


Thursday, 18 August 2016

A Reunion

Thanks to Hilary we are having a lovely reunion at the Upper Norton Property.  We miss the ones that weren't able to join us.  We had a show 'n tell of some of our challenge pieces and it was very nice to see them in person, and they do look so much better than in photos.

We've done a few exercises to play with colour,  test our eyes for line and design,  helped Colleen design quilting for a quilt and basically lots of talk, laughter with walks, drives and great food.  A glorious four days. 








the group in Pembridge

One of the lovely houses that we are staying in.

Hil and Phil having  a sketching session

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Colour issues

I have my design worked out for our Pierneef challenge and wanted to use his work as inspiration for my colour choices too but oh my is that difficult. Take a look at these two versions of his work 'Geloftekerk' las just one example:


I  suspect that the end result will reflect the fabrics that I have to hand as much as the colours of the landscape that he painted!

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Hudson Artists Spring Show

Though fewer artists than usual entered work in the AHA Spring show, 28 compared to an average of 33 or so, there was lots of energy at the opening night on Friday. I find that usually I can't take photos at the vernissage, because I am so busy chatting with visitors and other artists.

I went back at a quieter time to get these pix:

Heather's colour studies, acrylic paint on paper, mounted on birch cradleboard, 10" x 10"
and four mini-collages, 6" x 6"
My work was displayed back-to-back with Michele's:

Michele Meredith's compositions in raw silk,
the larger three framed under glass, the smaller on 6" x 6" stretched canvas
The event was well-attended, and Michele and I each sold a piece. A total of 18 works were sold, with net sales approaching $5000.

The group plans to paint the boards a dark grey for the next show, with the hope that the holes in the boards will visually recede, giving more prominence to the works on display. It seems that most community art groups have less than ideal venues to display their work: lighting, floorspace and methods of hanging are often compromised. Still, these local shows do add to the cultural life of the community.

Friday, 3 June 2016


  Ad Parnassum is one of my favourite paintings, so I had no difficulty making my choice. The more I looked at the painting, the more complex it seemed. What I find fascinating is the layering, first the coloured squares, then the white dots, followed by a second layer of diluted colour over the dots. I wanted to try to give an impression of complex layers of colour and  I spent a lot of time thinking about how I was going to approach it. I decided to overlay my fabric scraps with a sheer fabric and then add dots with  white markal which were then overstitched with stranded cotton. I was not sure whether it would work and found it difficult working out what colours of thread to put where as I could not see the overall picture until it was finished. The stitching shrank the piece rather more than I had anticipated and when it was finished it was less than 15 inches square. However I am going to solve this problem by mounting it on a sqaure of black felt (I do not have any at the moment so a square of ordinary black fabric has had to be a stand in in the photograph!). I actually prefer it with the black 'frame' as it makes it stand out and finishes it off better.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

A blast from the past!

In looking at the pictures under 'images' for Pierneef a couple stuck out that reminded me of a piece I have in the back of my cupboard.

The medium used is dyed tissue paper glued onto a board, paint added and then sealed with a water based varnish. This is the result from a workshop I did many years ago called 'Mark Making' run by Sue Physick, a local textile artist.  It was 2 days a month over nearly 6 months and took me to places I had never been before and also boosted my confidence into making 'marks' on my cloth in ways I would never of dreamt of. Hence this piece takes me back and reminds me of where I have been and come from. It does one good to look back every now and again !!

Paul Klee - 'Inventions'

Paul's work during his Weimar period often depicted the serene, light-hearted side of his nature. The title 'Inventions' was given to these drawings, which are often purely of a graphic quality.

The twittering machine, 1922.

The invention of its themes and figures always start from an idea of a technical or compositive kind: from elements that produce forms.

This is the one i used for my inspiration / interpretation and I think it is called 'The tight-rope walker'.  Sorry everyone, hope this gives some info behind my piece.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

And our next artist is...

Pier Neef

I'm glad I waited until after the first reveal to make my decision of an artist because I wanted to see the kind of results that came in.  Klee used a wide variety of styles and techniques over his life time but many were abstract/abstracted.    

I wanted to introduce you to an artist most of you may not have come across and have chosen a very different painter - his style is pictorial, South African and distinctive.   I hope this provides enough of a challenge to inspire you all.  Good luck.  Reveal date:  31st August.


At Sea

At Sea I was for a while as I had changed my idea of what to do and found it very hard to come up with something that I was happy with .  Why does Inspiration always ride on the coattails of Procrastination!! 

Before this started I didn't know much about Klee, but now I know his work better and more fully enjoy it's complexity.  So thank you for choosing him - it was a lot of fun to work with.

I came up with the idea of using Ad Parnassum and using a "sea" theme background fairly quickly.  One of my daughters was sailing across the Pacific (she works for Jubilee Sailing Trust which has 2 tall ships and is equipped to handle all sorts of disabilities) and was at sea for almost 3 months.  They landed at a few islands that were quite mountainous and so I had a sense that I wanted to put something about that in too.  Of course the sunrises and sunsets could be quite glorious. 

So this is what I finally finished (an hour ago!!) and I am reasonably pleased with it.  It helped when my husband recognised that these were jib sails.  The background squares are covered in dyed cheesecloth.  It was my way of replicating Klee's tiny grid. 

Coincidentally this also was a good piece (one of two) that I am using for my Elizabeth Barton masterclass whose theme for May was layers. 

Below was my first attempt - just thought I'd show you how I had moved on! 

Kwela Africa




This painting of Paul Klee caught my attention and I kept going back to it so I guess this was the one I felt I wanted to put my own interpretation onto.  I liked the colours and the shapes but decided I wanted to put an African twist into my piece.  Klee loved music and painting in equal parts and was in fact an accomplished violinist and when creating a lot of his work he interpreted pieces of music into his work.  He is quoted as saying, that “It’s terrible to marry when you are wildly in love with someone else.  That’s the truth.  My mistress is and was music, and I embrace the goddess of the paintbrush, smelling of oil, who is also my wife.’

I have called my piece:


I wanted the shapes to dance, in homage to his love of music, and therefore have called this piece as above.  For those of you who don’t know what Kwela is I suggest you go onto Youtube and listen to some of Africa’s greatest musicians who play this and where this music originated, back in the day.  When listening to African music you can hear this theme running through some of their modern music even today.  In the shaded areas above the tiangles I used masking tape and oil paint sticks and I also used the paint sticks to give the 'shadows' on the left of the shapes.

Mystic Rose

I dithered for so long and changed my mind so often because much of his work can be expressed in textiles.  Too much choice.  In the end I have gone for a piece that has hints of several pieces.

Mystic Rose
I read that Klee added lots of mythological symbols and numbers to some of his paintings.  I kept the bird but because of the format I had to limit the number of other symbols.
Flower Myth, Paul Klee
My version has the four triangles pointing inwards that you see in Ad Parnassum. It also has the coloured dots which are outlined in black (I couldn't resist having some of the dots)..
Ad Parnassum, Paul Klee
The trees are influenced by the simple shapes in The Red Bridge.
Die Rote Bruecke, Paul Klee
I have thoroughly enjoyed this first challenge in the new series.  The background is a beautiful hand-dye from South Africa.  The tree shapes are fused.  The dots are acrylic paint.  The bird was machine embroidered (my experiment with a mono print failed!).  The rose is a thermofax I already had with a bit of touch-up paint.  Grey texture is also a thermofax.