My tapestry has won an Award 
It was announced on Friday last week that I was announced the winner of this year's Kate Derum Award for small Tapestries. The Kate Derum Award is open to Australian and International artist at any stage in their career, for handwoven tapestries with a maximum size of 30x30cm. My tapestry 'Doll' was selected from a short list of 41 original works including Australian artists Chris Cochius and Cheryl Thornton, who both received high commendations from the judges. The only other New Zealand entrant Sue Weir was also highly commended for her tapestry 'Amongst the Folds, 2013'

Awarded every two years, the Award continues to capture the attention of some of the world's most accomplished tapestry artists. This year 75 entries were received from 12 countries: United Kingdom, France, Latvia, Canada, Argentina, Hungary, Denmark, Mexico, India, United States, New Zealand and Australlia. The judging panel comprised former Head of School, school of Art, Architecture and Design, Universithy of SA, Professor Kay Lawrence AM: founding Director of Chrischurch Art Gallery, Mr Tony Preston: and Head of Textiles, Australian National University, Ms Valerie Kirk.

The judges were excited to have the challenge in selecting a winner from the calibre of internationally acclaimed textile artists. In selecting Marilyn's work as the winner, the judges were impressed by the tapestry's pprofound visual impact and extraordinary technical artistry with an astonishing palette creating a tension between the precise andmeasured process of tapestry weaving and the immediacy of modern day digital imaging. 'The doll is often associated with the safety and comfort of childhood, but the intense colour relationships in Marilyn's tapestry also provoke a sense of unease' says Valerie Kirk.

Generously supported by Susan Morgan and the Tapestry Foundation of Australia, the Kate Derum Award was created in honour of the former Deputy Director of the Australian Tapestry Workshop who passed away in 2008. The Award celebrates Kate as an accomplished artist, respected teacher, avid supporter of the Australian Tapestry Workshop and ambassador for Australian tapestry. She was a wonderful role model and leader, and influenced the lives of many young artists'

Paintings 
I have been painting every day for the last few weeks as there is nothing on my looms at the moment, apart from a small work on a frame. I am waiting for warp threads to arrive from Glenora in Australia before I can put a new work on the loom. Anyhow, here are images of the latest series of paintings. This series features Life in Our Country and is a continuation of the tapestries that were woven on this them a few years ago, only this time they are acrylic on canvas.





The first image shows the work in progress and the second image is the completed work.


Painting again 
Today I went back into my painting room for the first time in quite a few weeks. My painting room is at the back of the house in a sleep out space and alongside a storage space. It is a lovely wee room and I feel very comfortable in there. I have started work today on a new painting. I am not sure how successful this one will be but will keep going with it. I finished the drawing late this afternoon and have started to put the undercoat layer on the canvas.



This painting is the first in a new series of work that stem from the City Life series of tapestries. I haven't painted in this style before so have yet to see if it works.


My flight home to Hamilton 
Yesterday I flew home to Hamilton. I do not like aeroplanes - do not feel comfortable in them at all and get really quite nervous whenever I have to fly. I do make myself go, even though it would be much easier just to stay at home.

I have found a way to make the time on the plane go faster. I take my sketchbook with me and have something organised to draw whilst in the air. It does help to take my mind off the fact that I am sitting in this very closed in steel cylinder that is moving through the air and that I can't get out of until it is back down on the ground.

Anyhow, here is the pen and ink drawing that I almost completed in the one hour and forty miniutes that it takes to get from Christchurch to Hamilton. The sketch is of an old tree that is clinging to the cliffs and managing to survive quite well even though most of its roots are showing.



Veronica and her tapestry. 


This is my little sister Veronica posing by the tapestry of her that I wove many years ago. This tapestry has been hanging in our Mum's studio unit at Ngaio Marsh Village in Christchurch for many years. Recently however, Mum was shifted into a single room as she needs much more individual care now, so the tapestry is now hanging in Veronica's home. I was pleased to give it to her the keep and hand down through her own family.

Veronica was born two days before my 27th birthday and four weeks after my son Michael's birth. She is younger than four of my children and is a good aunty to them all.....haha!

Mum's 90th birthday 
Today was our Mum's 90th birthday and we had a lovely family gathering at the Retirement Village. All of her children were there, and some of the grandchildren.









Sketch for the Family History 
My sister Yvonne Rea has been researcing the Rea family History for many years and I am now helping her to put her writings into book form on my computer ready for printing. Yvonne has glaucoma and is fairly close to losing her sight altogether, so this project has been a major one for her and it is so good that it is nearing completion at last.

I have been drawing the odd sketch for to illustrate the book and here is one of our great grandfather's and great grandmother's grave on the top of the cemetery hill at Ross on the West Coast of the South Island. This sketch is drawn in pencil with a watercoloour wash.



A tapestry in it's home 
A lovely day today meeting up with Christchurch friends whom I haven't seen for two years. Coffee in the gardens with Diane Ammar who worked with me on the Government House tapestries. So good to catch up with her and spend some time hearing about what she has been up to since I left Christchurch. Then a quick trip through the city to see my friend Kristin who has been very sick with pneumonia, but is now slowly recovering. Tea at Eleanor and Jacks with Wil and George - a very special time.

Catching up with old friends is great and catching up with some of my old tapestries is also great. Here is a photograph of one that lives at Wil's place. The tapestry hangs above a dresser holding some of Wil's treasures. It is a small piece featuring some bush images of ferns and the native clematis.



A New Start for a New Year 
Wishing all of you who check out my blog a happy New Year for 2015. May it be a wonderful year for you all. I am down in Canterbury at the moment staying with my friend Wil and his partner George for a couple of weeks. I had Christmas with my family at my sister Vernonica's place at Waimarie Beach and we had a great day. I have also been visiting my Mum who will be celebrating her 90th birthday on Sunday 4th January.

I am having a lovely time here at Wil's place. He has about a roughly 6acre property which is planted in a variety of trees and he also has a lovely garden which bellbirds and grey warblers often visit. Fantails abound here as well so I feel right at home. George's friend Carol from Sydney is also staying here and she celebrated her birthday yesterday. she has been looking after some broody hens and chickens for Wil's daughter Kathryn at whose house she has been staying next door. I decided to do a drawing of one of the chickens for Carol for her birthday and as a memory of her visit.



I drew Carol's hands in pencil and used watercolour for the chicken and was rather pleased with how it turned out. I really do enjoy drawing.

The tapesty is finished. 
Last week Anna came to Hamilton to cut her tapestry from the loom. Two of her friends came with her and I had two of my friends here so we had a lovely afternoon and it was great to see the tapestry finished at last. Here it is finished on the loom the day before it came off.



It is always exciting to cut a tapestry off the loom as it is the first time it can be seen the right way up and in its entirety. This next photo shows Anna just starting to cut the warp threads. Her expression shows her excitement, as this was the first time she had seen the tapestry apart from photographs that I had sent her.





And here it is........! My friend Carole and I holding it up so that Anna could see it properly for the first time.










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