Posts made in January, 2018

Textiles and prints: Michael Brennand-Wood.

Posted by on Jan 23, 2018 in News | 0 comments

Textiles and prints: Michael Brennand-Wood.

Michael Brennand-Wood, extraordinary teacher. I’ve been on two courses taught by Michael Brennand-Wood at West Dean College now.  I quickly understood why so many of the group were people who had come on his courses before. Michael is simply a superb teacher as well as a distinguished artist who has lead the development of textile art for many years.  I have worked on a wooden frame (skilfully prepared by the workshop at West Dean) on both courses I have done with Michael. This time we had quite a chunky frame which I remembered to paint before hand. (It’s more difficult once you have attached your textiles). I decorated it with some upholstery trim that probably dates from the 1960s.  I found it at a charity shop some years ago in Honiton, a town once famous for its hand-made lace.  It is an extra joy when something you bought in the hope of using it in the future, eventually finds a useful place. This particular trim (brown with a golden decorative braid) made the wood look like an old-fashioned heavy gold picture frame. Very pleasing.  Ideas I originally wanted to construct an enchanted forest – using some images I had developed on previous drawing days.  These original ideas were  boxes with flowers hanging downwards and painted sides. Michael helped me build a theatre – shaped construction this time. The wooden frame looked like a proscenium arch – and cried out for a back drop. I prepared a forest floor from a piece of wood cut to size in the workshop. The back was constructed of plywood, distressed and coloured by layers of ink and paint. Some visitors looked rather surprised to see all the hammering, drill work, sanding and screw driving being done in a textile workshop! Textiles.  I made flowers out of hammered aluminium sheets petals from material shaped by a stiffening medium. I found the best way of shaping them into flower shapes was to use a mould made of flexible thin sheets of wire.  More...

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Textiles and prints; Happy New Year 2018

Posted by on Jan 20, 2018 in Exhibitions, News | 0 comments

Textiles and prints; Happy New Year 2018

I’m really pleased to start the New Year with two exhibitions in prospect. One with Will Dyke Printmaking (based in Chichester) and one a solo exhibition at the Exchange Gallery, Saffron Walden in June/July.  I have been inspired by the wonderful holiday I had in May 2017 in Sicily.  Nick and I walked from ‘the Centre to the Sea’ (Cefalu) using an independent walking route (helped by an excellent route book)  worked out by The Alternative Travel Group in Oxford. It was the most wonderful experience, walking on ancient, remote byways across country, always knowing you had the back up of an knowledgeable local guide when needed.  The most powerful memory was the profusion of colourful wild flowers, startling in their vibrant colours. I was immediately reminded of Botticelli’s ‘Spring’ suddenly seeing its accuracy as well as its beauty.  The sweet peas were the most memorable flowers. Quite unlike the rather spindly specimens that are cultivated in the UK. These deeply coloured flowers were tall, strong, magnificent. The perfume was amazing: we walked round a corner and there were hundreds upon hundreds of deeply coloured flowers and the air full of a sweet heaviness.  When I came home I made a photo stencil of one image and then printed it out in different colours. I worked into the print with pastels and watercolours to get as near as possible to the impact that the flowers had made on us. The joy went on,  working on the print (posterised using photoshop) brought back the very happy memories of suddenly seeing the wonderful vision of the flowers covering the...

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