Saturday, 9 June 2018

And the next artist as inspiration is...

I have been determined to name a female artist as inspiration since I understood the principle of how we are doing it. But I keep changing my mind as to whom to choose... There are so many fabulous women making art that it is indeed very hard to decide on one single person. Only this morning I debated with myself whether I should name 'the women of the Bauhaus School', but as they are a number of women I wasn't sure whether that was allowed. Plus I wasn't sure as to how much information and literature would be available in English, although there has been quite a renaissance for them in Germany lately. Then there are so many others - Georgia O'Keeffe, of course, or Ana Mendietta. Or Nancy Holt. Or or or.
But I went back to a painter (and photographer) after all.
This is a photo of her, taken from a postcard I bought when I went to see one of her exhibitions:

This is a photo of two of her drawings as presented in a catalogue:

She was a student and then fiancée of Kandinsky who deposited a number of paintings in her basement before he went back to Russia (and returned with a different woman for a wife). These paintings then were legally pronounced hers as renumeration, and it was these paintings that were the foundation for one of Munich's famous museums, the Lenbachhaus, a must-see-address if you are interested in expressionist art. She was one of the few women members of the painter group Blaue Reiter, for a while, before she went her own way and settled in Murnau, south of Munich, in a small house that today is a museum in her name. Although there are not that many paintings on display.

Some may have recognized her by now - her name is Gabriele Münter, and I hope you will enjoy letting yourself be inspired by her work.

Cover of a catalogue

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Hi all
It is fabulous to see all your work. Unfortunately I am still not able to get comments of any sort to post on each of your quilts. I have tried everything I can think of, but no success. BUT I can write a new post! So here we go.........

Dianne: A really beautiful and gentle piece, and I like that you used your own image to interpret in her style.

Helena: I love all that rich colour and texture you have created.

Rosemary: Brilliant! I like them both, but I think I prefer the squares too - the stamp made some great marks.

Patricia: I agree Patricia - it was difficult to decide which of her pieces to use - and I did like this one too!I love your interpretation.

Phil: Eish indeed! Gosh - your piece makes me feel so homesick - that was my view every day when I lived in Blouberg and I miss it so. Thanks for the lovely reminder. Why didn't I think of that??

Jinnie: What a great find. All those layers have made a great 'sea'. Glad you put the closeup on the blog for us to enjoy.

Linda: I like how you took the very essence of her lines then used that to create something else. Isn't that what this is all about? I also like your question - I dwell on that a lot. Love the way you were able to develop your idea for another project too.

Allison: I love your interpretation and use of different textiles to achieve the look you were after.

Hilary: I love your interpretation of the same image I chose - how cool that our pieces are SO different! All that dense free motion stitch on the rock surface is perfect. Love it.

Thanks for all the lovely comments on 'Old Man'. He is a drawing of a homeless man named Paul that I used to see every day. I don't know how old he really was (he didn't know himself!) but he used to tell me he was just an 'old man'. I loved making him and yes, I am pleased. :-)))

So Uta........... who will it be???? 

Best wishes to everyone


Friday, 1 June 2018

And the next person to choose is .....

..... Uta!

Looking forward to see who you choose Uta.

The Dragon Sleeps

Sorry, I'm late - partly because I knew early on what I wanted to do and partly that I got carried away and it grew like Topsy.

I loved your choice, Linda.  So much to choose from but the line drawings spoke to me right from the beginning.  Her seas...all those lines.  How could I resist?!

So following on from being inspired by an artist's style and interpreting something local or familiar, I have chosen to base my piece on a well known feature of the Jurassic Coast (a World Heritage Site) on my doorstep - Durdle Door.

Durdle Door dragon
Durdle Door

Linear Meditation 2

Lots of stitching, changing of threads, tying off and losing threads and Inktense painting.  It is a whole-cloth piece.  I wasn't able to paint as I wanted because of the quilting and potential bleeding but I'm reasonably happy.

Now, what's next?


Line Series

I loved the choice of Wilhlemina - so many different avenues to explore.
I finally settled on her very simple exploration of line.

 These are from her Line series. I love the feeling of movement she portrays with just simple lines.

I thought I would use the same idea to draw another portrait. Could this be a recurring theme???

I stitched the lines with thick black thread then added more to the background. Dilute acrylic paint and Markal oilstick were used to add soft colour. I am most pleased with his ear!

'Old Man' 16" x 16" Stitched monoprint on fabric by Claire Passmore

I am absolutely loving being in this group. I have tried so many times to post comments about the posts everyone adds, but I have no idea where they end up as they never seem to show on the blog postings. I will try again this month and see if I can get anything to 'stick'!


Thursday, 31 May 2018

Ice Shards

Ice Shards

Here is my first posting. 

After looking through Wilhelmina’s vast collection of artworks, I settled on this one to interpret.

For my piece, I started by dying a square of canvas and used it as my base.  The splintering ice shards had to be angular and yet delicate, so I used a scrap of lace curtaining.  The shock waves were created using the confetti technique with lots of embellishment to give the piece sparkle.

 Shards of ice splintering in shock waves from a galaxy’s frozen orbiting satellite.

How did that happen?

Wilhelmina Barnes Graham worked in a variety of styles, re-visiting old favourites on many occasions but of all her pieces it is her line series that I like most. This piece in particular - the use of space, the colours, the intersection of the lines all say gorgeous to me:

And then with this in mind I wandered off and created something without the colour or the intersections and my own take on the space:

And what was in my mind, rather than the work itself,  also lead to this 9" x 7" stitched Journal Quilt for our Quilters' Guild CQ challenge:

What I really need is the confidence to produce something as sparse as this:

but this then begs the question why fabric?????

Sea Sketch

  I had never heard of Wilhelmina Barnes Graham and enjoyed discovering an artist I knew nothing about. I particularly liked her line drawings, and wanted to try something similar. Originally I planned to use a yellow and grey colour scheme and had chosen all my fabrics and threads, but whilst I was searching for something else entirely unrelated to this challenge, I came across a piece of Bondaweb which I had painted several years ago, and which I had stuck to a piece of butter muslin. It seemed perfect for this. I covered it with a layer of sheer fabric before quilting as the bondaweb was coming away in places.

   I'm not sure how well it shows up in the photo, so I am also including a close up.


A popular exclamation in South Africa is 'Eish!' and that is how I felt with this challenge. I found her work strangely interesting but nothing jumped out at me initially.  After staring at an array of her work I had a light bulb moment and all I could see was the forever popular pics of our iconic Table Mountain in Cape Town taken from across the bay from Bloubergstrand beach.

There are two pics that probably sent me down this route and they are ......

I have very loosely based my subject matter on the shape of Table Mountain but I have allowed the quilting to flow as it dictated hence the title 'My Way".

The whole cloth was dyed and then I went in with Derwent blocks/pencils.
This piece is quite simplistic for me however I did enjoy doing it.


It was yet another hard decision as to what piece of work to choose to interpret/be inspired by.  Our chosen artist's work was very varied and I really liked her lines depicting the sea and waves but decided in the end to use the one below.  I liked the colours and perhaps as winter has reached our part of the world it felt apt that I use this one.  I drew the design and it evolved as I went along as it looked a bit flat, so layered quite a few pieces of net in different shapes to compliment the design, which definitely added a lot of depth to my piece.  
I really enjoyed working on this and I think I can safely say it is one of my favourites.

Wilhelmina Barnes-Graham
Another  previously unknown artist to me . She led an interesting life amongst groups of other artists but had a variety of styles of her own . She was varied in her work and I found it difficult to choose a particular painting or even a particular style . In the end I interpreted 2 of her paintings trying out different techniques . Here are the 2 paintings I selected :

The styles were very different from one another . Here are my interpretations :

I think I prefer the one on the right which is somehow gentler. For this I took a sawn off 2inch square piece of wood and used it as a stamp. The one on the left I used wool and free motion couched the lines of colour between the circles.I had good fun with both . Rosemary

Fuschia - inspired by Pink and Flame, 1958

I was absolutely delighted to discover Wilhelmina Barnes-Graham's work and to read about her life. There were so many of her paintings that I found inspiring but the one that captured my heart was this one, Pink and Flame, gouache on paper, from 1958.
Mine is also inspired by the dazzling colours of the fuschia flowers that are in bloom now. After an extremely long winter, colour is what I need right now!

Matsue Jo

Wilhelmina certainly had a variety of styles.  It was hard to choose between the really contemporary modern work or the more traditional style.  I wanted to incorporate one of my pictures from my latest trip to Japan and I have enjoyed looking at the work of Rosie James and our own Helena Scheffer and also Gillian Travis.  So when I saw some of Wilhelmina's sketches, some of which were brushed with a hint of colour, I thought I would give it a try. 

Here is a picture that I used for influence: 

And mine.  This is based on a photo of a castle in Matsue, with, as you can see, the cherry trees in bloom.  It is all "drawn" in black thread and then I did a bit of colour wash using water colour crayons. 

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

De Musei Fabrica

De musei fabrica

Cloth and Stitch inspired by the Maude Abbott Museum at McGill University in Montreal.

By happenstance Heather Dubreuil talked to Dr Rick Fraser who is in charge of the museum and somehow came away with the idea that our group - Text’Art - would do an exhibit based on artifacts in the museum.  It didn’t take long for us all to say “yes” when she presented the idea.  It was quite exciting, and a bit daunting but by the time all the pieces were hung we were all delighted with our output. 

It was hung in an ante room to the William Osler Medical Library and the cabinets that are there were filled with items to complement our pieces.  A vertebra , some 100 year old hearts in their glass jars, surgical instruments, books from the library…..  It was very special. 

Here are a few pictures that Heather took.  I would like to send you the booklet, but will have to do it by email as it is a PDF file and it won't work here. 






Monday, 7 May 2018

Hello again everyone,
Can't seem to post the video . Probably another skill I have to learn!

Hello everyone,
The past weekend was the weekend of my group, Auckland Quiltmaker's  exhibition and market . As you know I was asked to have a mini exhibition within the main exhibition . There is a small side room which i was given and I found that I needed 4 drops (I chose black) on which to present all our work . I had information sheets made describing each artist and all our interpretations . It was very well received and engendered a lot of interest. We may have a few more followers of our blog ! I called it"BLOG IT".  Here are some pictures and a not very good video.
The quilt under Wilhelmina was fun to do (and very quick) and based on her work but won't be my posted work at the end of the month -so watch the space!


Tuesday, 1 May 2018

The Series 'Play of Lines' and how it came about

Hilary has asked my to write something about the quilt featured in the SAQA Journal. In fact, I haven't seen the journal itself yet, somebody only sent me a scan. I hope I will eventually receive a copy... but of course I did give input to the article.
The quilt shown is this one:

Play of Lines IV

It is one of the early pieces in my series 'Play of Lines' (you can see more pieces from the series here), which, as the article states, was inspired by my son's early drawings. It continued up to no. 40, although not all of these quilts were made from his drawings. 
In the series I was working on exploring the relationship between lines and their contexts, changing the original inspiration, working on color combinations, different arrangements - basically doing the 'working in a series' exercises that one does when one is trying to develop an own voice. One quilt would frequently lead to another idea, and I worked on that series for several years.
I used only hand-dyed fabrics, mostly my own, only very few from other dyers, and that was when I also started my business with hand-dyed fabrics. (Which I recently discontinued.)  
This particular quilt was the first attempt at using a particular drawing by my son, and I was still struggling to find my bearings, but I was determined to use yellow, which is my favorite color. Because I ran into quite a few problems along the way while making this piece, I then started developing a technique of individually crafted paper templates that made it easier to achieve proper joinings of seams because I did not really like the effect I arrived at with this one. However, come to think of it, perhaps I should try again. Make this one over, in different colors, certainly it would turn out differently... As I often said to the students who were taking the class that was based on this technique: you never know when a series is finished, there might still be a piece waiting down the line that belongs into this particular sequence!

Friday, 27 April 2018

Uta in the spotlight - SAQA Journal Vol 28 no 1

I was eating my breakfast this morning and reading my new SAQA journal that had just arrived in the mail and there was an article about Uta and her work on p. 29. No time now to include a photo as I am running out the door. Uta, maybe you can tell us more about it and share a link! Congratulations! Great article and beautiful quilt....

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Results in exhibition

Last week I spent four long and interesting days at the Biennale International d'Art Textile in France, presenting a small show of my series 'text messages'. As two of the pieces I have made for the challenges in this group belong in this series, they, too, were included in the exhibition. And they made a very nice pair:

top: text messages 16,
below: text messages 15
Thank you to the group for the inspirations for these pieces. I am looking forward to working on other challenges when the art symposium is over in May and I can think of other things again.

Here is a view of some more of the exhibition:

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Dear Bloggers ,

The day of the blog exhibition with my Auckland Quiltmakers group is fast approaching (5th and 6th May). I have compiled notes on each artist which have so far  been chosen by members and then gathered all our interpretations from our postings on the blog. I have carefully labelled everyones piece of work with first names and decided that the format will look like the enclosed photo. The first part is about the artist and I have shown samples of works. The second part shows everyones labelled  piece of work and the third part is my completed quilt.   Each artist and our interpretations will have a similar format .

 If any of you are unhappy about having your work shown in this way please let me know ASAP and I can delete you from the information sheets.

I think it could be a very interesting exhibition and I hope will be enjoyed by everyone who sees it. I am very excited by it all . When the exhibition is up and running I will send you further pictures.
Please email me at if you wish to contact me directly.

(The second picture is a close up of the information sheets .)

Cheers .


Sunday, 25 March 2018

Exciting exhibition news

Exciting news! "Moon Dance" has been selected for SAQA's upcoming juried exhibition, Dusk to Dawn. A collection of abstract nightscapes, animal portraits, and other nighttime observations, these pieces offer a glimpse of the mysterious world that emerges when darkness arrives.
Dusk to Dawn premieres in 2018 at Quilt Festival Houston featuring quilts by artists from Canada, across the US and around the world. I am thrilled to be in such talented company.