This year I made a New Years resolution to try and do one sketch every day so I went out and bought myself a small sketchbook and so far I have only missed two days, so feel that I am doing quite well. I decided to draw whatever was on my kitchen table each day. Some days there is not much on it so I have to bring something to the table to draw, but mostly there is something interesting there for me to draw.
The two mandarins were looking lonely in the large fruit bowl but were nice to draw. I am practising my skills with watercolour which I haven't used for a long time, and am finding that the more I do the better they get, so hope that continues. I still don't feel hugely confident with watercolour yet.
There are nearly always flowers on my table, either what my friends bring me when they visit or something out of my very small garden. In this sketch I was trying not to use an outlining in ink as this is what I usually do. I was quite pleased with this image of the lilies that Rose brought me when she stayed during Peg's exhibtion.
I did this quick drawing of bananas at my daughter Krista's place in Hamilton. I had to dash up there as my third daughter Kellie, was in hospital having heart surgery which was really successful, thank goodness. The drawing was done at ten o'clock at night when I was more than ready for bed.
When I arrived home from Hamilton this is how I found the lilies - most of the leaves had fallen on to the table, but they were good to draw.
'Colour and Light' An exhibition by weaver Peg Moorhouse
Last night was a very exciting night for my 92 year old friend and weaver Peg Moorhouse. Her exhibition 'Colour and Light' was opened in the Mezzanine Gallery at CoCA (Centre of Contemporary Art). Peg has been weaving for many years and at the age of 75 purchased an Oxebeck damask loom from Sweden. Since then she has woven many colourful abstract and textural textiles in both damask weave and in her own technique which she has developed on this loom.
Here is Peg at her opening. She is a lovely vibrant lady who gets every enjoyment out of her life and work. She weaves most every day and produces a lot of wonderful, colourful hangings in her own technique using her damask loom.
Peg puts a lot of novelty yarns into her hangings, using colour and texture as a focal point for her work.
Four of The Professional Weavers Network of NZ Inc. Here we are, Wilson, me, Peg and Rose Pelvin. Rose stayed with me over the last couple of days and it was great having her here. She brought Peg down to Christchurch from Blenheim and has always been a wonderful support person for Peg.
Tapestry completed and other stuff
The small tapestry 'Sentinel' is now complete and ready to put in its frame. It will sit in a box frame which is how I usually mount the small tapestries.
Last week I travelled up to Blenheim with Penny Orme, a local arts writer, critic and curator. We visited Peg Moorhouse to choose her work for her exhibition at CoCA next month. Peg is 92 years old and is still weaving every day. Her exhibition will be held in the upstairs gallery at CoCA. I will post images of her work when the exhibition is hanging.
On our way home from Peg's place last Thursday Penny and I stopped off at the Marlborough District Council offices as I wanted to see the tapestry that I was commissioned to weave back in 1994 for the Women's Suffrage Committee. It had been hanging in the entrance to the Council office for over ten years and was spelled for about two years and put away in a cupboard for that period. It is now back in place but hanging away from the light coming in from the front door and is placed in a special alcove behind glass to protect it. Here is a photograph of the work in its new spot.
It is good to see that the tapestry is really appreciated and cared for by the people of Marlborough.
I have now started working on a series of small tapestries featuring birds. I am about halfway through the first one. This tapestry is of seagulls swimming in the pond in the North Quad of the Arts Centre. I was out on the balcony one day when I noticed the seagulls swimming in the pond and then flying up on to the ledge near where I was standing. Heaps of them!! So out came my camera and I took many photographs which I then cropped and played with on the computer to come up with the final images. I decided to weave this one.
The sett on this tapestry is 14epi and the size is approximately 32 x 24cm. I can't quite remember the actual size - will have to measure it when I get back in to the studio. The work is progressing well. I have done just over a week's work in this tapestry and I am now about half way through it.
The last photograph shows where I was up to yesterday at the end of the day.
Drawings I have been doing this year
I love to draw and have been doing so a lot more lately, working in my wee studio at home in the early mornings and evenings when I am not on my computer. My recent work is a series of conte and charcoal drawings on New Zealand native plants. The drawing below started me off on this series of work. Ghastly photo of me!!! But not to mind that, it's the drawing that matters. I just give the scale of it. This drawing was accepted in the Margaret Stoddart Award exhbition at CoCA in March of this year and I enjoyed drawing it so much that I decided to continue with the series.
The next works are the same size 100x70cm as one section of the first drawing 'Marlborough Rock Daisy 1' which consisted of four sections to make one work. Here is Marlborough Rock Daisy 2' which I sold last weekend to people from Sydney who were visiting my studio. That was a big buzz for me as it was the first in the series to sell.
I will finish posting new images tonight as time has caught up with me and I need to get to the studio right now. Well, it's now Monday morning and I am again sitting in front of my computer after my shower so here goes with more images of the drawings.
This image shows the generic native manuka which has a small white flower that is about half the size of my little fingernail. This is what manuka honey is made from.
This is the Koromiko which is the native New Zealand hebe I think. It has great medicinal properties and I remember my dad picking the leaves of this plant and chewing them whenever he had a stomach ache. Seemed to work for him.
This drawing was the first one I did after the large Rock Daisy work and it has now been framed and is at the Two Rivers Gallery in Cheviot.
This last image is a close-up of a section of the drawing 'Iris Berries' The drawings are all the same size and the variation in the images here comes from the size of the photographs. Somehow I can't seem to get them to be the same size. But never mind, they are all pretty easy to see. These works are all for sale. If anyone would like to purchase one, just send me an e-mail from the Contact section at the top fo the blog.
More of Threads of Light - Last day of Exhibition
Yesterday afternoon Wil, I and Koji took the exhibition 'Threads of Light' down after three weeks of its showing at Form Gallery. It is always a bit sad to see an exhibiton come down but we had lots of good feedback about the work and lots of people made special trips to see it. Wilson sold one work and I sold two so that was great even though it wasn't exactly a sellout exhibition. Here are some images of three more of the works, 'Illuminate 2' Illuminate 3 and 4' and 'Regency' Wilson's lovely delicate hanging. Note the detail of this piece which was woven in rayon and cotton I think.
And now for us! We decided to have our photos taken in front of the title of the exhibition and here it is.
And lastly! Showing off!!
The exhibition 'Threads of Light' was opened on Wednesday night last week at Form Gallery which is situated in the Christchurch Art Gallery, opening out on to Worcester Boulevard. The exhibition features work by myself and Wilson Henderson. We have been working towards this exhibition for some time, focusing on weaving threads that reflect light. My work is a spins off from 'Mysterium' the large mono-filament work I wove last year. These works though, are small, layered, and mounted in transparent perspex boxes. The image below shows one of these works 'Illuminate 5', looking at it from the side and showing the layering effect. I was very pleased with the the way the light bounces off these works.
This image shows the main wall of the exhibition space, with Wilson's large woven hanging 'Reflections' the small woven 'Perspectives' and the lovely delicate hanging 'Regency' on the right.
This view shows the cabinet in the back of the gallery, where I hung the four tapestries 'Lumination 1 - 4'. They were woven to fit into this space and work well there. Lurex threads were woven in to these tapestries so that they would catch the light.
Koji, the owner of the Gallery and a visitor to the opening study 'Illuminate 6' the largest of the monofilament weavings. A large number of people came to the opening, but I completely forgot to take photographs until most of them had left. Wil and I are really pleased with how the exhibition looks overall.
Here is an image of 'Illuminate 1' the first of these small weavings. It was the prototype for the others which were designed especially for this exhibition.
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I am back working on 'Lace 2' again
This last couple of weeks have been very busy as usual. I have been working on 'Lace 2' again and I can finally see the finish line. I lowered the tapestry and when I readjusted the cartoon, there it was -the finish line in sight. But there is still probably six months work left to do.
In the two weeks that I have been back working on this tapestry I have completed the section on the left corner, from halfway up the green bit and across to the pink blob in the middle. Not bad going really. It is surprising how quick the work grows if I put some substantial time into it. I will be really pleased to finish this work. It has been on the loom for far too long, but as I cannot afford to work on it full time I just have to be happy with what I can do. I would like to have it finished by this time next year.
I have also been working on the 'marketing' aspect of being an artist and that is what I find difficult. I spent two hours with a marketing expert and he has given me the confidence to go ahead and send out brochures etc. He also helped me identify my target market as I very much need to bring in some commissions to enable me to keep my studio going. I have sent a proposal for a tapestry to the chief executive of the Christchurch Airport and to the architect who is working on the new developments for the interenational terminal. Next week I have to ring them and make an appointment to go and have a chat with them about the possiblity of them commissioning a tapestry to hang at the airport. So wish me luck. I need a lot of courage to do this sort of promotional work as it is not easy for me to do this. However, I am giving it a go!!
Another thing I have been working on is the work for a small exhibition at Form Gallery. Wilson and I are exhibiting our work there in early October, so watch this space for images of new and different small works.
The exhibition at Selwyn Gallery, Darfield
Yesterday morning, the exhibiton 'Fibre and Form' was opened at the Selwyn Gallery in Darfield. It was a nice friendly opening on a lovely sunny Saturday morning.
There was not a huge number of people attending but Wil and I were both very pleased when we each sold a work. I was thrilled when Dee came up to me to say that she had bought the wee tapestry 'Two Sparrows'. She also bought one of Wilson's lovely scarves.
It has certainly been a busy day today. Wilson and I have been setting up our exhibition 'Fibre and Form' at Selwyn Gallery in Darfield. Darfield is a little country town in the middle of the Canterbury Plains and is about a 40 minute car ride from Christchurch. We arrived out there about 1.00pm this afternoon and spent most of that time hanging our work. We are really pleased with how it is looking. Here are some photos.
It is all a bit of a jumble at this early stage. Wil has just stopped for a coffee after arranging his scarves on the plinths. You can just see his model in the background. She is a lovely black girl who had her head chopped off the other day and she definitely looks much better without her head. You will get a better view of the handwoven dress and cape in another photograph later.
Some of my work is now up on the wall. I am only showing two new works in this exhibition and they are the two black and white drawings you can see in the corner. None of my other work has ever been shown in the Selwyn district so it is good to be able to show it all again.
Here is one corner completed and looking good. The two very different styles of work look good together and the colours also worked amazingly well. We are very pleased with the overall look of the whole exhibition and I will post more photographs of the finished display. We still have to bring in a table tomorrow morning to show Wil's gothic table setting and as the opening starts at 10.00am in the morning it will be an early start to the day.