Saturday, 30 November 2019

St John river, NB

I enjoyed the colours in Derric's paintings so it was easy to use him as inspiration. 

At the end of September I went to New Brunswick, a province in eastern Canada, to take a week long course with Freeman Patterson and Andre Gallant.  Freeman's other "home" is in South Africa, in Namaqualand so some of you may have heard of him.  In fact it was during my time in SA that I did learn about him and his courses - a good 20 years ago! 

He has a property on Shamper's Bluff which overlooks the St John river and we spent a day roaming around taking pictures there. 

This is my original picture, and then the one I enhanced in Photoshop to resemble Derric's colours. 

and this is what I made but I haven't bound  it.  I can't decide whether to face it or bind it.  Always a dilemma. 

Gathering Storm

Derric Van Rensberg

Gathering Storm
A moment captured in this scene of wheat fields in the Western Cape where the still, drowsy, late afternoon is suddenly disturbed by distant thunder rumbling in the mountains. On cue, the day begins to cool and the sun bathes the surrounding country side in an eerie lingering brightness before it finally sinks into the crags on the horizon and the curtain slowly falls on another day in Africa.

Derric Van Reenen is a well known South African painter.
I was not familiar with his work until another artist I know, suggested Derric as my choice of artist for the 12 bythedozen blog. I looked up his paintings on the net, but it was when I visited a cousin in a distant town who had one of Derric’s paintings on his wall and a signed book of most of his paintings that I was really happy with my choice. Visiting a gallery in this town, I fortuitously came across an exhibition of a dozen paintings by Derric. I was then sure I had chosen the right artist!



South Island

I took a photo somewhere on South Island in New Zealand on our 2015 trip, but the colours were washed out and grey.  Interpreting the photo in the colours from Derric Van Rensburg's work seemed a way of bringing the subject to life.  So I looked at a number of images of his paintings, pulled various fabrics from my stash, then didn't look at his work again until I had finished. 

I tried doing fused applique slightly differently from normal, applying the Steam a Seam to the background, then gradually adding the fabrics.  I now know why this is not a good way of working,  as the Steam a Seam didn't reach the edges of all the pieces of fabric I had lots of problems with the edges fraying.  I tried it in an effort to be more improvisational in the placing of the fabrics, rather than having the entire picture meticulously drawn out beforehand. Back to the old way of working  I guess.

When I travelled over to the UK in September I had made my daughter a very big wall hanging depicting three elephants and bordered by an Ndbele (a South African African tribe who decorate and paint their homes with wonderful graphic designs) design.  So I guess you could say that at that time I was totally into elephants.  I must add that they are notoriously difficult to draw - they look so easy but this is not the case.  However I decided to use the idea of an elephant which is completely different to the ones I made for my daughter and tried to depict Derric's style and colours.  I used a lot of paint and very little stitching, which was a fun exercise for me.  I attach his works as well as my own.  I must say that initially I thought this would be a breeze but when I actually got down to it, it was not as easy as I thought it would be and I am not altogether happy with what I have produced.

The artist's work below.

My interpretation/inspiration.


Initially my thoughts were great, when I read who Allison had given us for this last challenge in the series. The bold, rich colours should suit those of use who live south of the equator. As the months, weeks and days past me by, I realized this was taking me into a colour palette that I was not too comfortable with, but, as you are told growing up and developing in the creative field, don't limit yourself by staying in your comfort zone!

Living in a household which has a love of birds and as Derric tends to hide a little white heron somewhere in his landscapes /animal pics I decided to use one of his landscapes as a painted whole cloth and then brought in our national bird, the blue crane, in silhouette  form.  

This was his landscape.

...... and this is the result.

Painted whole cloth and Machine embroidered/quilted.  This was not what my initial vision was and I found myself moving in a very different route with a very different result.  The large ratio of bold orange is definitely a first for me and overall I am quite pleased with the result. The binding  stumped me initially and then I remembered my small stash of local schwe schwe fabric and found two perfect options.

Dreamscape inspired by Derric Van Rensburg

As Hilary explained yesterday, this is my last posting as a member of 12 by the Dozen. It has been a wonderful adventure from the very start of the group, and it has been a joy (for the most part!), especially the opportunity to meet as a group in Birmingham a few years ago, and to spend time together in Shropshire. I feel that I can't devote enough time and energy to the group now, as I feel under the gun to prepare work for a solo show next year. And I have also started an intensive yoga teacher training program which I love! I may not become a teacher, but I am certainly learning a lot. And that is my intention.
So I wish you all well and will certainly keep a close eye on developments in the future as you all strive to interpret new architectural challenges. All the very best, Helena

Friday, 29 November 2019

Hello everyone ,
Just to let you all know that the Auckland Quilt Symposium committee refunded me for all the costs incurred in setting up the 'Blog It 'exhibition . Thanks to everyone who suggested helping me out with the costs . Everything has been paid for .
Derric van Rensburg appealed to me mainly because I enjoyed his use of certain colours . I also liked the way he portrayed the animals in his pieces , slightly hidden but again with similar colours in his backgrounds . Many of his pieces are landscapes so I ended up doing 2 pieces in the end ( as I often seem to do !!)
These are the pieces I interpreted :

Here are my interpretations :

With the eagles head I first painted the background and then thread painted over it . Then I appliqued the eagles head on . The darker areas on the feathers was done with Derwent Inktense Pencils but I have not added moisture to the intense because I liked it as it is .
Hello all,
To start the next series, I nominate Ginnie Robbison from my hat draw.


More than just the beginning of a new series...

Tomorrow brings Series 3 to a close with the final reveal day on work inspired by artists.  I thank everyone for coming up with some wonderful artists and such a variety.  It has been enlightening to be introduced to so many new names and their work.

But it is with sadness that we say goodbye to Helena who has been with us from Day 1.  Helena is about to start on a new and exciting phase in her life with a solo gallery exhibition next year.  Her work has been inspired and I have looked forward every reveal day to see what she has come up with.  I will miss her but she has promised to stay in touch and keep an eye on what we get up to.

Apart from everything else in her life she is about to embark on an intensive yoga training course.  Best wishes for the future, Helena.  Thank you for your friendship and support.

So, as one door closes another must open.  I am hoping to be able to introduce you all to a new member soon - watch this space!


Friday, 1 November 2019

Time To Talk.........inspired by the work of Derric van Rensberg

Imagine my surprise when Allison anounced that our next artist is Derric Van Rensberg. As a wonderful parting gift when I left South Africa 12 years ago I was gifted a painting by Derric which now hangs on my bedroom wall. It is so very special to me for a few reasons. The person who gave it to me is a very dear and sadly missed friend. I am welling up as I write..........
It is the view from my kitchen window - Bloubergstrand across to Table Mountain. I love it. The colours are softer, unlike his usual vibrant style but they capture my emotions and memories perfectly.

View of Table Mountain - Derric van Rensberg

My dear friend is also an artist and together we planned to each create a scene with the two of us walking into the distance among the spring flowers, out on the Westcoast.  She was going to create hers in oils and mine would be a textile piece. We intended call our dual pieces 'Time to Talk', which captured a precious time between friends with no distractions.   Unfortunately we never got around to it.

So for this final challenge in this series it was an easy choice for me. I have decided to finally create 'Time To Talk' using van Rensberg's work as my inspiration.

Farmscape - Derric van Rensberg

Time To Talk  Claire Passmore 2019

Hope you like it!