Monday, August 20, 2018

In the heat

I've never been good in heat - and yet I could never be doing with an idle siesta time.  In my youth I used to read at the very least.  I'm not one for falling asleep during the day.
Hot novel
Recently we have had too much prolonged heat when I have not been able to stitch - so instead I decided to re-do my website.  It is at the same address, but I have used clikpic to provide a template.
I have put more of my work on, in more categories, and will be able to manipulate the design and content much more easily now.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Simply exquisite

I have not been to the Crafts Study Centre in a while and was just checking up on what is on there at present.  They hold designs, blocks, and printed samples by Phyllis Barron and Dorothy Larcher, and my wanderings today found that Christopher Farr Cloth is reviving some of their designs.
Already a fan of his rugs, I now admire his choice of fabric designs.
All the images in this post are from the Christopher Farr Cloth website.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Chilling delights

Barbara Rae: Light at Jacobshavn (image from here)
In today's post came a catalogue I've eagerly been awaiting: Barbara Rae, The Northwest Passage from the exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy.  I have flicked through it, and it does not disappoint at all.  I shall devote this afternoon to reading what looks like a most interesting text about the artist's journeys to northern Canada, and about the explorer himself.  John Rae was not an ancestor of Barbara Rae, but did inspire her.
Barbara Rae: Distant White Berg (image from here)
Here is a review with photos of the exhibition

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Summer winding down?

Plantlife
I am relieved that the great heat has diminished - so much that I have closed the greenhouse door after over a month of it being permanently open.  The fruit, tomatoes and aubergines, are ripening.  The batch cooking will soon be in full swing.
I am able to stitch again, and have resumed my great clear-out.  The sewing and quilting hoops which I have had for decades but never used have all gone to the hospice charity shop, as has much other stuff.  More yet to be redistributed hither thither and yon - with much relief, and increasing eagerness.
Different days
This year I was asked to be one of the judges for SAQA's Wide Horizons VI exhibition which will take place in September and then tour.  As a judge one of my pieces will be in the show.  I have also been invited to include three pieces in Wisconsin's Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts exhibition Fiber Arts in the Digital Age.
This has been the year of the big think about what I'm doing, and I now am ready to face the upcoming Autumn with new vigour.  I have written a post about it in my work blog.  During the hottest days of the past weeks I stayed cool in the shade designing a new website which I hope will be active soon. 
I don't know what kind of work I shall be making next - my energies will be mostly devoted to organisation for a wee while - but as ever ideas will doubtless push their way through before long.
Hello, Goodbye

Saturday, August 11, 2018

A good read

I am thoroughly enjoying reading Modernists and Mavericks: Bacon, Freud, Hockney and the London Painters by Martin Gayford.  It is well written, straightforwardly, using the words of the painters themselves - an enthralling tale, developing from the immediately post war years.  Although I thought I knew quite a lot about Bacon, for instance, I have learned so much more, and I can put him in a fuller context now.  I am so enjoying thinking about the development of artists, what they believe is important despite critics, galleries, and collectors/market.  It is fascinating reading about what motivates the search for artistic achievement - and what in society at large can make the changes within or between artists over time. 

Friday, August 03, 2018

A long hot summer

I particularly enjoy a copper beech in the summer because it stands out magnificently from the ubiquity of green.  It also seems to look cooler in days of burning sun.
(image from here)
The last time I remember us having such a long hot summer was in the extraordinary year of 1976.  I was fortunate to be working at Oxford University Press in Oxford, in a building that has enormously thick walls, and so arriving early and leaving late I avoided much of the heat.
(image above from Bing maps showing the replacement tree today-ish)
Also, in the quadrangle there was a giant copper beech, taller than the building, which created a delightful shade under which to eat lunch if there was a wee breeze.  Unfortunately I learned some years ago that the tree died; but has been replaced by a youngster, who has a hundred years or so to go to catch up with its predecessor.
Another memory from that summer is receiving a phone call from an artist who was always coming up with excuses for late delivery - this time it was that the extreme heat had caused his mother-in-law's garden shed to explode!