Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Treading Water

It's been a busy week but very little work has been done unfortunately. My youngest daughter turned 18, a much anticipated event for her, and she was also booked in for her licence test the day after her birthday which meant quite a bit of driving time to  reach the 120 hours  plus needed for a licence.  Thank goodness she passed her test, but it also means she wants to drive my car....I did clean up the sunroom  for the party she had so it's now tidier than what it has been for quite some time, and I often print and do other things in that space.

I did finish a linocut which was inspired by the Raoul Dufy fabric design about which I wrote in a prior post, and printed it onto fabric. now have to think of something to do with it. and  today whilst trying to kickstart some creativity with a friend I  played around with a drawing from a postcard of a sculpture of a Madonna image from Autun Cathedral.

I think I might make this drawing into a gocco print and use it that way- it seems to marry in with the faces fo the past that I seem to have been creating.

From 6 July until 13 July CrossXPollination will take place in Colac- lots of wonderful fibre events, workshops and makers market to be inspired by and to get some hands on experience. I will be exhibiting recent work including all my France work ( depending on space).

There will be a chance if you are local to do some workshops with me at CrossXPollination as follows:

Tuesday 9th, July 2013

Creating Lino Cuts & Stamps with Dijanne Cevaal
Tuesday 9, July

Workshop cost: $95 (Includes $20 materials)
Cost includes: Lunch, tea & coffee
10am – 3.30pm

Suitable for beginners

This class explores using lino to create your own printing stamps to decorate fabrics and create unique one-off pieces. We will look at the different tools, the marks they make, creating simple designs using positive/negative shapes, creating simple repeat blocks, using your photos to create lino blocks. I will demonstrate simple multi-colour printing. We will explore inspirations for creating effective lino block designs.

Please bring: 
• A ruler, Stanley knife, pencil, pen and paper
• Carbon paper (if you can find it)
• Photocopies of designs you think may translate well into a linocut design (Think of good lines and good positive/negative contrasts. Bring more than one as we will discuss what makes a good starting point for lino-cutting.
• Foam roller available from hardware stores. The foam of the roller head needs to be dense (the denser the foam the better the result)
• Painting brushes of varying widths for touching up and adding paint
• Fabric and or paper to print on

To book call (03) 5232 9511

Wednesday 10th, July 2013

Print Your Own Fabric with Dijanne Cevaal
Wednesday 10, July

Workshop cost: $95 (includes $15 materials)
Cost includes: Lunch, tea & coffee
10am – 3.30pm

Suitable for beginners

This workshop is designed to show participants simple techniques to create individual fabric which can be made at home without great expense.
This is a good workshop in conjunction with the dyeing workshop as hand-dyed fabrics lend themselves to being printed - however commercial fabrics can also be printed.
Methods include printing with foliage/leaves/seed pods, found objects or anything with a relief surface, linocuts, stamps, bubble wrap, doilies and stencils. Learn how to make a simple linocut, and a stencil with plastic contact paper.
Dijanne will provide a number of lino-cuts and stencils for participants to use in class.

Note : Printing inks, which will include at least one metallic and a pearlescent, spray adhesive stencils and lino-suts will be provided.

Please bring:
• Old clothes or protective apron, an old towel, rubber gloves
• Disposable plastic plates & spoons
• Fabric without obvious designs or plains, hand-dyed fabric is suitable
• Iron the fabric flat and bring at least 10 pieces.
• A thick newspaper covered with a piece of fleece – so that it is a flat surface, which can be used as a printing mat. The whole lot is then placed in a garbage bag, which is taped.
• A foam roller 3-4 inches wide (available at hardware shops)
• Some scrap cloths or a few kitchen wipes
• An artist’s paintbrush with firm bristles
• Any found objects such as ivy leaves, wattle foliage, bracken, ferns, any sort of firm leaves with obvious spines and any other objects with a relief surface
• Stamps if you have them
• Masking tape

To book call (03) 5232 9511

Thursday 11th July, 2013

Transfer Printing & Stitching with Dijanne Cevaal
Thursday, July 11

Workshop cost: $95 (Includes $15 materials)
Cost includes: Lunch, Tea & coffee
10am – 3.30pm

Suitable for beginners

Transfer printing is a method of getting permanent colour onto synthetic materials such as lutradur (a polyester non-woven fibre), polyester and polyester organza. The process allows you to get three prints so that a series can be created. Explore methods of melting back and free machine stitching to embellish your printed fabric. Using Lutradur and Polyester fabrics such as organza allows you to build layers and play with transparency and overlays and still create your own distinctive fabrics and pieces.

Please bring: 
• Your sewing machine, in good working order, with the instruction booklet if possible.
• Your normal sewing notions including good sharp scissors.
• Sewing thread for your bobbin (cotton of cotton/polyester mix)
• Machine needles ( 80/12 size or those you use for normal sewing )
• Your pique libre foot
• Photocopy paper- about 25 sheets
• 2 paint brushes - one fine and one broader
• 5 plastic cups or small containers for the paint
• Drawing pencil
• 4 fat quarters in your favourite coordinating colours
• Machine embroidery threads that contrast with your background fabric.
• Wadding/batting ( enough for 2 squares approximately 25cm x 25cm in size).
• Fabric for the backing

Note: transfer dyes, transfer crayons and linocuts will be provided.

To book call (03) 5232 9511

Monday, June 17, 2013

Visiting Heide

Last Thursday I went to visit Heide with two of my daughters to see the Fiona Hall exhibition Big Game Hunting. It was fascinating and very inspiring. I loved the big tapa bark pieces she had done recently- these were huge and  so subtle yet wonderful. You were allowed to photograph but without a flash so my photos were not very good.I think I need to go again.Her work incorporates much of the detritus of our society- all the things we throw away and she reweaves them, knits them, reassembles them- it has me thinking! Her Djalkiri etchings were there as well- I love the colouring and detail in the etchings and the layering of the colours.

As always we walked around the vegetable Garden at Heide- I love the garden there and  as I am reading  The Heart Garden: Sunday Reed and Heide by Janine Burke( I can't find a good link but here is a review) it seemed all the more poignant. One of the  gardeners was trimming the pelargoniums, and when I asked he gave me several big cuttings- so a little of Heide lives here in downtown Newcomb! The Reeds were great patrons of modern art in Australia- and without them one wonders where it would all have gone- yes their lives were messy because their relationship with the artists was often also personal, and though altruistic in their passion for modern art there was an  amount of manipulation involved as well. However without them there would be no Heide, wish such patrons existed for the textile arts!

I have taken up my morning pages again- I had let it go just before I went overseas to work-they do help sort out the muck from the mire and also allows me to focus more positively and to plan a little.

And I have been working on a hand stitched piece for the Voyage art group. Last year I made a piece that was for our first submission, which I sold ( the downside of selling work, sometimes it is needed again for exhibitions but I cannot afford not to sell work, so it becomes a bit of a juggling act) and as the work form our first year is going to be exhibited at Veldhoven in October I needed to make a new piece. My first piece last year was horizontal ( dimensions are 10 inches x 20 inches) but all my other pieces after that were vertical, so I have made this new piece which is to replace the piece I sold  also vertical- then all the pieces will be vertical.

And there is still time to join the Traveller's Blanket Class!- just send me a message.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Catching Up

I am finally catching up on some work that needed to be done but somehow did not leave the back burner for awhile- lack of motivation and worries  being part of the problem, but it got to the stage that  I could not leave it a moment longer, so slowly I am wending back into working mode- and a good thing too- it was time!It always amazes me once you get back into that working mode and things work out- there is such a sense of contentment- and yet it takes all that time to get there even though you know when you are stagnating that all things going well  that feeling will emerge.

Winter is setting in here- not my most favourite time of year though I do like bare branches, and the dyeing foliage which seems to take on an ethereal quality.

 One of the properties we walk past must have a lovely fruit and vegetable garden with many old fashioned fruits like persimmons and  quinces. I could not resist a tray of these persimmons- they look so scrumptious contrasted with blue ( I was dreaming of a beautiful blue Moroccan ceramic plate, but fabric will have to do)

One of the things I had to catch up on was a commission of a 10 inch by 10 inch piece for Lyric Kinard which she requested awhile ago- the brief was anything at all... and in my state of stagnation I couldn't think of anything at all until  I played around some more with the centre of poppies- I like the contrast of the lines and shapes and the colours- the green seems to dance with the red- so it is heading off to Lyric today!

Oh and there is still time to enroll  in the travellers' blanket on-line class- just email me- I know my email link did not work in my last post- I am not sure why, so if you are interested I shall try and link again- otherwise please leave me a comment and I will follow up.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Back to the Drawing Board

I know I sounded a bit down and out in my previous post and sometimes things get that far and the minute I write it down  I find the way to move out of it again. Usually it is simply by doing the work and starting with something I know and like- it's been a drawn out process with many interruptions. My youngest daughter turns 18 soon, which means she can get her drivers'  licence but in order for this to happen in Australia, they have to do 120 hours of driving practice- with a parent or other suitable adult- well it's been almost all me because I am a single parent ,except for the lessons I have paid for- and I can tell you that 120 hours is a  lot of driving, and time you have to sit and be there- three weeks of normal working hours to be exact- not to mention the cost of petrol- yes  she drives on a lot of normal errands but as we live in a city and the bus stops close by and we are walking distance to the nearest post office and supermarket, that is not very far so we have to make extra kilometers.We have 18 hours to go, so we will make one long road trip and go out on a number of hour long trips here and there. On the upside her driving is improving  a lot. She finishes high school this year and will go onto university, which means  I will move from this area where the rent is really outside my means, but I needed to provide a stable home environment for her to do the best she can at school and at a decent school- the school  where we used to live had a lot of  culture problems including a giant lack of support for kids with an academic inclination.

So to get back to basics.... I  love linocutting and after my workshop  at Il Bisonte  in April I have been doing a lot of thinking about how I want to develop further as a print maker- on fabric or on paper also? And of course at the moment I am  still working on my France book, which will be available later this year so anything I do needs to fit into the structure of the book. I also love the woodblock designs of Raoul Dufy, and as I am doing a chapter on being inspired by other artists I thought I would do a block inspired by one of Dufy's fabric designs. I did change it around a bit as I really wanted to play a little with balance of negative and positive space, and also incorporate the quatrilobe motif  but in a floral way- so here are the results
first my drawing which is more directly related to Dufy's design- some of his floral motifs are pretty generic to a lot of earlier floral motifs used in fabric design.
 The above image is a pencil drawing. Below is the image drawn onto lino and then coloured in to show areas I want to keep or cut away- undecided.It was something they were quite particular about at Il Bisonte- which is your negative space and which is the positive space....
And below the image inverted and I see that the balance is not quite what I thought and I will probably change the way I cut the flowers with the stripey petals, and because i have drawn onto the lino with a permanent marker ( but if you don't you end up with very dirty hands and a disappearing design) . Also I shall be working this onto fabric so  i have to think where will the colour of the fabric come through... I can change things in the cutting process...

And last but not least- the rhythm of hand stitching is soothing, I seem to forget this from time to time- so when all else fails start another blanket- this one was a piece of stitched resist which failed- how to resurrect it? By simple stitching and so another travellers' blanket emerges- I might think of this one as emerging from the swamp ;-).

And there is still time to enrol in the next Travellers' Blanket on-line class - you can see some of the results of this class  via the links on my blog, and a description here though the cost is $60 AUS . If you are interested in joining just email me ; the class will start on 17 June 2013

Wednesday, June 05, 2013


I was up in the river country last weekend at Cohuna teaching the Gypsy Blanket class at Cohuna Country Quilters Weekend. I had a full class and my goodness they achieved a lot. It is not readily apparent form the photo but  a lot of stitching had gone in, and one of the reasons the works  look so vibrant is because the stitching had gone in. It was a good weekend, and a lot of rain fell on the Saturday and it was much needed, it had been the first decent rain for quite some time.

Since being back it has been hard to get motivated, there are times when the outlook is so bleak that  it destroys all motivation, and regardless of what my reasoning self says to the emotional distraught self , and the good things that the reasoning self knows that  I am and should be grateful for, I still feel desperate. I have been searching for paid work, with one interview ( I got the job but could not take it as I no longer was a student at the Gordon) for a long time now and last week the city where I live lost a lot of jobs due to the Ford factory shutting down- such a thing  impacts heavily on the population and the job situation which is not good in any case. The other thing is, I am emotionally exhausted by picking myself up all the time. I have been doing this solitary business and work for nearly 20 years now, everything is dependent on my motivation , my ideas and the ability to turn them into something that is marketable, but one thing that really struck me on the long drive home was that i really miss the company of people ( it was good to be with like minded people last weekend)- I work alone , at home and  the interaction I get comes  mostly from the internet ,when I teach or attend guild.I have looked for studio space outside home but  there really  is very little available and most of it is beyond my means.

I do walk with a neighbour  to help clear the head and get some exercise as I have found this really does work ( but it isn't at the moment). But  essentially I am going through a period of procrastination or stagnation ( I am not sure which) which  is a necessary for the creation of new work but at the moment feels like I am not doing anything.Even researching does not feel like work though it is and is necessary.It will pass- I know this too and after my daughter heads off to university early next year I will find a place much cheaper to rent or perhaps I will go and live in my shed- after all I have done that before ......

Anyway some little treasures from my walk this morning........ I seem to have developed a passion for succulents.