Friday, 31 August 2018

Gabriele Münter - Mother with Child

When I chose Gabriele Münter as the artist for this challenge, I had not yet decided on which picture I would use as inspiration. I love her work, and I wanted the challenges to become more feminine - but when I looked at her paintings I was a bit at a loss at first. Luckily we had the chance to see an exhibition of hers in Munich earlier this year, and I bought a book of postcards. In this I found a picture that got me going.

Münter, Mother with sleeping Child, 1934, oil on carton

I decided to concentrate on a detail - and by enlarging it from a trace off the postcard I actually worked with it in a larger version than the original.

A copy-machine is a handy tool indeed...
I took a pieced piece from some earlier project that had not been used, copied the lines of the contours onto it with a single line of stitch and added a few other materials.

Then I went on vacation and had taken the piece with me because I thought I could work on my mother's sewing machine. However, while she was still gone I could not find her mending/quilting foot and quickly aborted the attempt. That, of course, threw me back in my time plan.

Working without a foot is just not a very inspirational mode of stitching.

When she returned from China, she did retrieve the foot from wherever it had been hidden and I got to work on the project for a little bit. However, I did not get as far as I had hoped, and yesterday we were traveling home. I started working on it in the evening, and a bit more today, but I am not finished.

Partly because I slept very badly last night and am very tired now I am not going to push myself and perhaps ruin the whole thing. I have revealed what I have made and will finish in the next few days, and then post a full picture of it. Apologies, Ladies. Life ...


Firstly apologies for the delay. My computer froze on me after being away for so long and I have just got it up and running again.

I have gone for a take on her Lino cuts as I have already done a still life and a portrait.
I have a metal stamp of a fish which I have never used so I have incorporated it in with the 'waves' she has used.

The stamp.

My inspiration.

My Piece.

My background is a piece of my own indigo dyed fabric and I traced an enlarged shape of the fish and sketched the waves in.  I then used black paint and pens to create my own patterns within the fish and to outline the waves. 

I would have loved to have done a proper lino cut but time just was not on my side. Maybe one day!

Blue Conical Mountain

Blue Conical Mountain

Blauer Kegelberg 1930

I had just read an article in a Danish newspaper about a new exhibition at Louisiana, Museum of Modern Art introducing Gabrielle Münter and decided to go, when Uta announced her choice of artist - what luck. The museum is just a 45 minutes drive from our house and the exhibition was a celebration of her first solo exhibition in 1918 in Copenhagen.

I have chosen the first out of three versions as my piece. I only made one quilt, but I was brave enough to ad markal oil stick, and after that acrylic paint. I don't like version two and three, although version three looks more like the painting, I prefer version ones simpler form.

With Markal Stick

With Markal Stick and Acrylic Paint

Fused layers, black felt tip pen, quilted and painted.

I have used the fused layers before in various quilts, this example is from 2007 inspired by British watercolour artist Michael Moore.

And black felt tip fen in this Cezanne inspired quilt from 1990

PS. I don't know why I'm coming up as Blogger, rather than Mai-Britt Axelsen, in the e-mails?


I was very priviledged to be invited by friends of mine to join them during June at their private lodge in Madikwe Game Reserve which is situated in South Africa right on the eastern border of Botswana.  We had our own game ranger and open game viewing vehicle at our disposal and the reserve is 87000 hectares of bush, which is also malaria free, which is an added bonus.  Amongst the vast area and game of every description they also have the Big Five, of which we were fortunate enough to see four - unfortunately not a Leopard in sight!  What a treat, and whilst there, Phil sent me the name of the next artist (the wif-fi was almost non-existent) but I had a window and got her message.  On returning home I went through our artist's works and then the many photographs that I took and was inspired to combine the two.
Munter's work struck me as being very serene and on going through her landscapes (very different to Africa) I tried to capture the serenity of her work and hopefully I have done it justice.

This first picture is our artist's piece that I chose as my inspiration.

This is my photograph at a water hole featuring a dead African Leadwood tree set in the middle of the water.

This is my piece which hopefully captures what I set out to do.  I used hand dyed fabric but drew the tree onto calico and appliqued it onto the background (minus the bird's nests) and then painted the tree, outlining it in black thread.  I also tried to get some variation of colour onto the water and used dry inktense paint blocks.  I did not quilt the sky as I thought the piece needed to be kept free of stitching.

Gabriele Munter was totally unknown to me before Uta introduced her work to us . Her subject matter is varied so there was lots to choose from ..I chose the same piece that Alison chose but took only elements from the painting rather then trying to interpret the whole piece. The important thing for me was to show her expressionist style and I think I achieved this to a certain extent . It was a good challenge for me and a style I have never attempted before .


                                            Gabriele's  Still Life

                                            My interpretation
Lino Print: 'Street Boy'
Lino print on cotton fabric with oil based ink and coloured with fibre reactive dye
'Street Boy' Inspired by Gabriele Münter's piece,  'Aurelie'.

Thanks Uta for your inspired choice of Gabriele Münter. Once again, another artist new to me. I was so pleased to find Münter also created work with coloured woodcut prints - one of my favourite things to do, so I really enjoyed making the printing block and the quilt.

I chose Münter's print of 'Aurelie', (1906), in rose, orange, yellow, red and black on Japan paper. It is only small at 18.5cm by 16cm.

Gabriele Münter, Aurelie, 1906, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies, © 2013 Gabriele Münter/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, photo © 2013 Museum Associates/ LACMA

For my interpretation I decided to use a small drawing of a boy - I am also working on a series of work about child labour, so I have a lot of drawings to chose from). This is the one I picked.

and then carved a block from a piece of vinyl.

And here is the print on white fabric...

I coloured the print with thickened fibre reactive dye and ink, then added multiple layers of wadding to different parts of the image and used different densities of stitch stitch to create dimension to the finished piece. 

Thanks Uta!


Old Harry

This time I have tried to loosen up and abstract the content - maybe I went too far but Old Harry has gone to South Africa so I can't fiddle with it as I was tempted!  I have been intrigued by how some artists put down a base colour before painting over the top and that the base colour often shows through.  I wondered if this was what Gabriele did with her paintings that had black outlines. I have seen orange used very effectively.  So I decided to try this out and chose a lime green fabric.  Overall I am happy with the piece but I realize that using a plain white for the cliffs was wrong and it stands out amongst the other fabrics which are 'mottled'.  I was tempted to go and add some mottling to the white (I feel I should have and I may still do that when it gets back).  Anyway, it is the most abstracted piece I think I have done - the temptation to add detail was almost overpowering.


Old Harry

Jawlensky and Werefkin by Munter

Old Harry Rocks, Dorset, UK

Gabriele Munter and Cat

I had great plans for a Gabriele Munter-inspired portrait of my beloved dog Chloe, because I really admire her portraits, but time constraints prevented me from getting it done. Instead, I relied on my fall-back of thread sketching and this is what I came up with. It is black thread on vintage damask that may not show up well in the photo, but it adds a very nice vintage look to the piece. I may still do some quilting in the background - or maybe not.


This is based on a selfie that my daughter Rebecca took and I was inspired by the portraits that Münter used with the black outlining.  I confess that I haven't quilted the background.  But I'm not sure I want to or have to.  It's on an iron on batting so doesn't need it for stability. 

Vase of flowers

Gabriele Munter's vase of flowers

My interpretation of Gabriele's work

Some of Gabriele Munter’s work looks like naive art and so I tried to portray that style. Her still-life painting appealed to me because I have never done one before. The background was a self-dyed piece of poly-cotton; at the end I added a little bit of embroidery here and there to make it more interesting. The vase was done using a Japanese scarf I had and I tacked a variegated sashiko thread on the table cloth. It was difficult to control myself and not put frills, sequins or beads onto the flowers! Because I wanted to ‘bring in’ the borders, I used a red piping.

I wonder if Patricia has been inspired by the same artwork – that will be something if we have done similar pieces again!


Saturday, 18 August 2018

Hello Everyone ,
What a wonderful response from all of you re the exhibition next year . Thanks to Hilary and the idea of the form I now will have a piece ( unfortunately only one piece each) from everyone  covering all the artists we have so far done . The convener will be delighted and what an interesting exhibition it will be .
Regarding the hanging of them you will not need to put a sleeve on . I will work this out at a later stage once I know what type of stands I will have on which to display them . Our convener will help out with this aspect . So just send them as they are but please make sure that your name and address is on the label at the back of the quilt . I am so looking forward to receiving them and seeing them in reality. I promise to take a video and lots of photos once it is all set up .
Thank you all.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

'Morning everyone,
Hilary will be sending a form to everyone to give preferences to what you would like exhibited at our 'Blog It 'exhibition so I can get a reasonable spread through the artists . Those who have recently joined could wait until you have done pieces for a couple more artists but I would like to have all submissions by mid June next year as everything will need to have  labels done and I would need time to have the information about the artists and pictures of all our quilts put on to the cards.
I think it will be a quilt exhibition with a difference and really interesting for the public .
So thanks for coming on board.
Hello again everyone ,
I have spoken to the Exhibitions Convener of the National Symposium again and our ' Blog Exhibition' has been chosen as one of eight really interesting exhibitions for next year . I really hope that each of you will manage to send one of your Artist Series quilts to me either via Hilary,Phil and Patricia or couriering one to me . Helena , I think your Klimt, Lucy in Gold,would be great for Klimt . Patricia is giving her Barnes -Graham piece  so if you could all indicate which one of your pieces you would like to exhibit I shall try and even it out amongst the chosen artists . I will just fill in a gap wherever. Our newest members will not have as much choice but do send whichever you think appropriate. I am excited about his for all of us as it gives the general public an idea of how the digital age is opening up possibilities for us textile artists to show our work .
Hope you are all as excited as I am .

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Hi everyone,
Thanks to all of you who have replied enthusiastically to my previous posting.
I thought I should clarify what the "Blog It" exhibition is all about .It involves ONLY the "Artist Series "of quilts . This is an example of what was displayed :
As you can see I was only able to display my own 'real' quilts .What the exhibition person has suggested, if this exhibition is chosen for the NZ National Symposium, is to have ONE 'real' quilt from each of us members of the blog displayed .( I would be grateful if you could each indicate which quilt you would like to exhibit  - so that I don't have several for one artist and none for another! ). I think this is a great idea and have outlined it all with my previous posting . Phil has offered to collect a piece from all of you in the UK and Patricia ,who is visiting us in NZ in December, will bring them all over here including hers ,Phils and Allisons quilts. The remaining  members will need to rely on courier post directly to me at:
1 Helvetia Drive ,
Browns Bay,
Auckland, 0630,
New Zealand .
I will phone the exhibition convenor ASAP ,give her all these details , and see whether she is still interested . I will curate the exhibition .
 If there are any questions please ask and ,as I have stated, if anyone is unwilling do let me know.