Sunday 22 June 2014

Always About My Mother

I know that my grieving process has been helped by my ability to create art, Quilts in particular.My quilts based on my mothers Alzheimer's have helped me to deal with my feelings about it, how it affected my mother, my family and myself. I have recently finished yet another quilt from the very last photograph I took of her. Please have a look at the stages of this quilt's development below.
First, I cropped the photograph to give the effect of her peering around the door. She always did this in a playful manner when she was in prime health, it gives a glimpse of her sense of humour, she would often sneak up and stand peering from the corner of a doorway, sometimes causing a loud squeal (from me) when I realised she had been watching me for ages. I now do this to my children and sometimes get similar reactions (squeals and laughter).
Although her image is not a laughing happy one with no smile or twinkle in her eye, in essence it is still her. I am instead showing an image of someone (my mother) peering out, trapped trying to escape, a total contrast to how this scene would have played out when she was well, (before Alzheimer's took her). The forever lost expression of Alzheimer is evident in this.
To begin with I cropped the photo, enlarged it and pinned it onto the wall of my studio (Photo 1). I sometimes prefer to paint this way. I am trying to document and share my creative  process by showing the development of my work so expect to see more of this in my blogs.
 For this piece I began on printed yellow fabric instead of my own hand dyed fabric as an experiment, to see if this manufactured fabric would affect the end result.

                                                           Photo 1

The Photograph in the middle shows the cropped photo of my mother which I used, to the left is the enlarged  drawing / outline on paper  and on the right, the initial painted areas on the yellow printed fabric.

                                                           Photo 2

In this one (Photo 2) the image is beginning to show some development with dark areas and middle tones added.

 I am feeling the form of the face taking shape not totally happy with her eye.

                    It is progressing well, work is needed on the hair, that eye is still a problem for me.

                                 I think this is a good representation which will be enhanced with stitch. It is time to prepare for quilting.

The selection of brown Gutermann  and Madiera threads .
Finished quilting, and kept stitching of the area around the eye to a minimum. This emphasized it.

detail of quilting.

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Thursday 12 June 2014

Exhibition News!

Thank you to everyone who was able to visit the exhibition last weekend, it continues for a month and can be viewed by appointment only.
 It was an extremely pleasant and rewarding event. Thank you to Claire Rudin who I exhibited with, her Batiks were brilliant, mostly flowers in vibrant colours, some of these reminded me of Claude Monet's impressionist paintings. Julie and Andrew the owners of Make Gallery were also fantastic hosts and very helpful, they were both very relaxed, this helped calm me down a bit as I found it all a bit daunting. The comments by those who attended were positive and now I have to believe that David does not say that my work is "good" because he has to (smile).
 It was really lovely to see many faces I knew from my stint teaching at Kings College School. It was also wonderful to have family and close friends who came along at short notice.
 I know that I am not unlike many other artist when I say that I am my own worst critic but with that in mind,  I know that my next exhibition and my subsequent work will be of an even higher standard. as I am constantly striving  to be the best that I can be in all aspects of my life. I still have a long way to go.

"Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it." - Maya Angelou