Cutting it even closer this month, I
think April's Newsletter has probably arrived in May for those living
in Australia. However, May's should be out sooner as I will be writing
about the Spring Fling Open Studio event towards the end of that
Meanwhile, coming up in this newsletter:
AA2A - Artist's Access to Art Colleges - what it's like to suddenly
have access to far greater resources
Video about the AA2A experience
High Resolution Image for you to Download
From 26th April to 30th May
I am exhibiting a few artworks as part of the Castle Douglas
Exploring Embroidery group at The
Mill on the Fleet, Gatehouse
of Fleet, Kirkcudbrightshire.
The Spring Fling Taster Exhibition
Catstrand in New Galloway, runs from
1st May to 21st May.
From 27th July to 28th August I have a solo exhibition also
Mill on the Fleet, Gatehouse of Fleet,
Do come along if you can.
AA2A - Artist's Access to Art Colleges at the University
As I've mentioned in previous newsletters, last October
I was selected for the AA2A (Artist's Access to Art Colleges) scheme
at the University of Cumbria in Carlisle. This gave me access to
the fabulous resources in the textile department comprising of the
Dye Lab, Printed Textiles, Constructed Textiles and Embroidery.
I'd not worked or studied in an art school environment
before, so this opportunity allowed me to step beyond my smaller
studio into a much larger and better resourced environment. Lots
of time was spent experimenting, exploring and expanding my practise.
New directions and developments in my work arose.
Silk-screen printing captured my imagination. I particularly
loved using polychromatic techniques and in this way produced several
pieces that I have been able to work on further with stitch.
Polychromatic printing (sometimes referred to as
"breakdown" or "deconstructed" printing) is
an almost magical process. Procion dyes, often thickened, are painted
directly onto a screen. A chemical paste solution is then drawn
across the screen with the squeegee. This allows the dye to release
and print through onto the fabric. Several prints can be taken,
each being rather different, achieving amazing shapes and effects.
In Constructed Textiles, I discovered the wonders
of making Nuno felt. With this technique wool fibres are felted
onto a fairly loosely woven fabric such as muslin or silk chiffon.
Beautiful shadows and creases are formed as the wool shrinks on
and through the backing material.
With hand rolled felt too I was able to explore my
own ideas for texture. I realise that the felt doesn't need to be
smooth and firm and even. I can create holes and cobwebby areas
that enhance the piece. I love the way this looks. I do not claim
to be a skilled felt maker but I am not afraid to manipulate the
fibres to gain the effects that work for my purpose.
Finally my work was displayed in the university in
a showcase exhibition. It was another daunting time but ultimately
I was very happy with the way it looked.
So now my time on AA2A is finished. I feel
that it has allowed me to develop so much as an artist. I learnt
a lot from both staff and students and I am so grateful for their
support. I'm sure, as the next few months go by, I will think about
it often as new beginnings happen yet again.
Some of the artworks created on the scheme.
Download a free high-resolution image for your own wall or computer
Following on from the theme of the video above, here
is an image taken from one of the pieces I created using Nuno Felt,
a technique I had not tried before, but quickly came to love
Right-click on the image and select Save
Target As. You can then save the image on your computer and
print it off on photographic or watercolour paper at up to A4 size
without losing any quality, or use it as a desktop background for
Be advised that the image is approximately 2MB big,
so might take a little while to download
If you run into any difficulties then please let
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