We had a break from Colour Me Positive this week which was very welcome as far as I was concerned. But The Documented Life Project 2016 continued with the October theme of: A Fresh Start - clear your palette. The art challenge was: draw a line down the middle and create two scenes. For my line I used the centre of the 8 x 8" Dylusions art journal in which I'm working. A fresh start always involves change and this is certainly a time for that at the moment here, and not all in a good sense. Hence one of the vintage text pieces reads: "endure an ordeal of change".
Both pages were originally treated as one and I did exactly the same things on both sides. Then when I was happy with how the spread looked I grabbed a Fiskars Ovals stencil and outlined ovals on both pages. On the right hand page I filled in the area around the ovals with a black marker while on the left hand side I filled in the ovals themselves with black. I must say I had a lot of trouble finding a black marker in my stash that would work on the many layers of paint, but eventually settled on the Zig Scroll & Brush one from Kuretake
Techniques used: rubber stamping, stencilling, ink dropping, outlining with white marker
Today is the first day of the Open European Quilt Championships, held in Maastricht, The Netherlands. This is their 20th anniversary and to celebrate they have invited all the championship winners from the past to show their winning quilt again together with a more recently made piece.
As you can tell from the above picture I won this show back in 2006 (the only British winner to date!) in the days pre-blog and pre-blip and when we still had a very slow dial-up connection at home so I needed no further excuse to show you the two quilts that are in Maastricht at the moment here.
This is the winning quilt from 2006 called Foxfires, a translation of the Finnish word for the Northern Lights. It's made entirely of silk, was foundation pieced by machine, hand quilted with additional hand beading and beaded tassels. It also won various other prizes at other competitions and was accepted into the AQS Paducah show in 2008. I think it has stood the test of time.
I wanted to add a more modern piece of mine that sort of toned in with Foxfires and this piece called La Linea d'oro (Golden Line) fitted the bill. You have seen this before here. It too has been a prize winning quilt for me, winning the 2nd Prize Small Wallhangings as well as the Embellishment Prize at the Scottish Quilt Championships in 2015 as well as the 1st Prize Samll Wallhangings as well as the Surface Texture and Embellishment Prize at Quilts UK, Malvern in May 2016.
If per chance you find yourself at the show which is on till Sunday I would love it if you could take a picture of my quilts hanging in situ in Maastricht.
Here is my latest project done as a Guest Designer for Stencilgirl Products. That means there is a step by step tutorial for these pages (done in the A4 sized Dylusions art journal) on the Stencilgirl Talk website as well as links to all the stencils I used.
Of course I do know that for many people life is not wonderful and most of us have days when things are not quite as rosy as we would like, not to mention the horrific events going on in the world at large. But underneath it all I think we are all aware that to be alive is a glorious thing.
My art is what saves me in difficult times. I may not always be in the mood but when I go to my studio, gesso some pages and grab my favourite colours and play, I start to feel calmer and more peaceful, more like myself and joy returns to my heart.
And I find that yes: it is a wonderful life.
Many thanks for Stencilgirl for inviting me as Guest Designer, not just for this spread but also for the rest of this and the whole of next year. It's such a pleasure to play with their fabulous stencils.
Don't forget to join their club. Every month I think they can't possibly get any better than the previous month and yet every month they come up with another gorgeous set. They are unique to club members! I know it's a bit early for the C word but I gave
myself my club membership for Christmas some years ago and it looks like it is becoming a life long gift!
Our latest prompt for Wanderlust 2016 was: My First Childhood Memory. As you can probably tell I veered completely off topic once I started to consider the nature of our earliest memories. Do we actually remember moments from our earliest past or do we instead remember the photographs that were taken at the time? That led my thoughts to moments from our past that we do remember as clearly as if they happened yesterday while other times have disappeared so deeply into our subconscious mind that retrieving them becomes virtually impossible. I know for myself that that were times in the past when life was just so busy and filled with work that I lived through them concentrating entirely on the task at hand while almost everything else vanished from mental view as soon as it had happened. I can bring some of latter moments back but it takes a lot of effort and I need the help of my photographs (I am so grateful to have had a camera to hand most of my adult life).
Other times however I lived totally in the moment I was in, and those memories are there whenever I want to revisit them. I even told myself at significant times in the past that I had to store it mentally immediately, because they were so precious. Why some of life's events and not others depended very much on my emotional state when they happened.
And that brought me to this photograph of myself, taken in Rome in 1976. That was one of those precious memory moments that will always be part of me so I decided to capture it on the pages of my art journal for this prompt. I was very far from being a child but the memory is one of my most vivid.
The spread was done in the Vintage Vanity Art Journal (by Prima) that is quite small (each page is 5 x 7") and ring bound as you can see.
Techniques used: collage (using a copy of the photograph, hand made paper with gold imagery, vintage book text and an Italian postage stamp), rubber stamping, stencilling, outlining with black and white markers.