Sunday, April 12, 2009

Textiles and Linocuts

It is my first year Blogversary next week and I will be having a blog giveaway again. I will probably have three winners but I haven't created the prizes yet...ha ha. All will be revealed as they week.

I got my paints out this week and had a dabble with watercolour. This turned out completely differently to how I planned but I like the result. If you have ever wondered what hides beneath tree roots, now you know. It is the "Spirit of Trees". The golden accents are from a wonderful gold leaf pen I bought from the stamping tent at a local craft fair. It cost an arm and a leg but is the best ink resembling gold that I have ever found.
This is a pen and ink drawing called "The Woman Who Planted Trees". I really enjoyed all the detail on this. I may decide to do some more versions with different women and different trees.
This is a closer look. The textured body of the tree is thousands of tiny circles.

This is my second attempt at a linocut. It is the best of quite a few tries. I find the cutting fairly straight forward but the inking up and printing very difficult. I always seem to have too much or too little ink. This is actually carved from one of those soft pink speedball pads which are wonderful to cut through (no cut fingers) but I don't suppose you can get as much detail as with the more rigid lino. Still, I don't think it is too bad for a beginner.
If you like finely detailed and complex images then this one by Georgian artist Nick Japaridze should appeal. His style is incredibly fine and the colours glow like jewels. He has a technique whereby he multi-layers oil paints. He has lots more like this on his website here.
I really like the colours in this contemporary image by Edward Vardanian named "The Eden".
Love this touch of vintage plate design with a folksy feel. This is a Norweigian plate and is from Etsy seller EyeCandi.
Some more delicious spring flowers. These are grape hyacinths.
I popped over to my brother and his partner Lesley's home today to see how the kitties are getting on. There are three of them but they are notoriously difficult to photograph. This is the only picture that came out reasonably. This kitten is cute perfection itself. I love his big feet and spotty belly.
Sheba is a very elegant and superior sort of cat with some awesome claws.

My mind has been turning to linocuts this week. You can see my effort at the top of this post. I had a good old browse on Etsy to see what other people were producing and found some lovely images.

These two images of crows are by artwellspring on Etsy and I absolutely love them. I love black birds anyway but they are so beautifully textured and very simple and graphic. Just what linocuts should be, although these are linocut and woodblock combined. I will just have to keep practising. It is a technique I find very enjoyable but the printing seems to be a bit difficult.

Another nice contemporary linocut over collage image by ciaobirdie on Etsy. I particularly like the palette she has chosen.
If you like black cats you may be tempted by blackcatsonly on Etsy. She has some lovely linocut images of cats and they are reasonably priced too. I love this one especially.

At one time I used to see a lot of Roger la Borde greetings cards around but I haven't seen any for ages until I spotted these two little gems in a local bookshop. If you want to see some more of their designs the website is here.

I found some lovely gift wrap by Caroline Gardner the other day. Her work is so gorgeous. This is Caroline's website here.

The following images are all tapestries and embroideries from some wonderful textile artists.

The following 5 beautiful hand stitched embroideries are by the Finish textile artist Riitta Liisa Haarvisto. These must have taken months to stich by hand but they are so lovely that it was well worth it.

This is Soul Birds by my favourite tapestry weaver Kirsten Glasbrook. You can find Kirsten's site here.

This tapestry called The Norns is by Faroese tapestry weaver Marianna Matras. It depicts the Nordic goddesses of fate who weave the fate of mankind at the foot of Yggdrasil, the world tree. It is a beautiful iconic piece - simple and graphic and is inspired by a painting by William Heinesen. The Norns would make a good subject for a drawing I think.
Beautiful tapestry by Inge Flierl who is a German tapestry weaver. You can see a few more of Inge's tapestries here.

Tapestry by Murray Gibson called Visitation. I love this piece, especially the central motif and the way it fades at the edges. You can find masses of Murray's lovely complex tapestries on his home page here.
Tapestry by Liza Collins. I love her bright, spontaneous, organic pieces.
Easter is with us once more and has brought in some wet and drizzly weather with it. Lovely word, drizzly and exactly describes that irritating, persistent light rain that is "neither nowt nor sumat" as they say up north. Apart from being an important Christian festival, it is also a time for families to do things together and I feel really sorry for all those people who have arranged family days out only to find that the weather is inclement to say the least. Nearly all Easter events take huge amounts of someone's time and effort to arrange and unless they are under cover, they can get ruined at the last minute. Such a shame.


~ Phyllis ~ said...

Hi Cathy,
Happy Easter.
I love your Spirit of Trees. I think it's going to be one of my favorites. That looks like a peacock living under the trees.
The colors are so pretty.

Dolores said...

Thanks for posting these. I love them - especially the 5 hand stitched embroideries by the Finnish textile artist Riitta Liisa Haarvisto. I love the tapestries too. There certainly is an awful lot of work put into these beautiful pieces.

Dolores said...

I forgot to mention I love your "Spirit of Trees". It really caught my attention.

Sandy Mastroni said...

OH there is always WAY too much to read and look at and comment on !
You put so many wonderful things on your blog
I love the woman who plants trees and the cat photos are just too good !
Have a wonderful week , I will come back again to read more and spend some time looking at all the new art [ new to me ! ]

Cathy said...

Happy Easter Phyllis. I think that may well be a peacock under the trees..ha ha. Wasn't supposed to be originally though!

Cathy said...

Hi Dolores. I wish there was a book about Riitta Liisa Haarvisto's work. I think she is amazingly talented.

Cathy said...

You would be in 7th heaven playing with the kittens Sandy. I was. They are just too gorgeous for words.

Elizabeth Seaver said...

I really love your Spirit of Trees. I also can't wait to see whose work you will show us next--your picks almost always appeal to me. Thanks!

Caroline said...

Hi Cathy! Where to start?!! Well, I love the lino prints - your bird is super and I'd really like to have a go with that Speedball stuff too, but can't buy it here :( Have had a bash at lino printing in the past and may even be tempted to get the gear out again after seeing all these wonderful images - they're all so strinking! However, this week I think Sheba takes first prize - what a superior cat indeed!! Glad that's not my back she's clinging onto!! Have a good week!
Caroline x

Cathy said...

I am pleased to hear that Elizabeth. There is so much art, craft and inspiration around us these days that the choice is wide.

Cathy said...

That is my brother's back Caroline and I think he felt a few claws...ha ha. I wanted her on eye level to take a few photos.

Definitely get the lino cutting gear out again then I can compare mine with yours. It is the printing that I find so difficult. Never quite sure if I am under or over inking. It is probably easier with a press. I am totally in love with those linoprint crows and cherries. They are gorgeous.

Caroline said...

Hi Cathy. Yes, I'll get the gear out, though it'll probably be in a couple of weeks as I'll be away for a few days both this and next week. I didn't pursue lino printing very hard as it as always found it extremely very frustrating when I cut bit away when I didn't mean to! Yes, the press is handy but hand inking can be OK too once you've got the hang of it! My spelling in the last comment was atrocious! I meant striking, of course!

BeadBag said...

Cathy - "Spirit of the Trees" is just gorgeous. (I love things with a bit of glitter!)
Shirley I.

Robyn said...

So much to see! I'm impressed with your second attempt. I used to buy a lot of Roger La Borde cards and wrapping. In fact I still have a few. Love the Inge Flierl tapestry.

Caroline said...

Hi again, Cathy. Just popped over again to mention that there's a little blog award for you over at mine! Thanks for being such an inspirational blog friend!

Cathy said...

Hi Caroline

I didn't even see the typo before you mentioned it...ha ha. I will definitely persist with the linocuts as I do love anything to do with printmaking. Have a nice time away and thanks for the award. I will pop over and have a look.

Cathy said...

So do I Shirley. I will have to use my gold leaf pen more often.

Cathy said...

Thanks Robyn. Glad you like my lino attempt. I hope to get better as I progress. Early days yet.

Holly Zemak said...

Hi Cathy - Thanks for sharing both Caroline Gardner and Roger la Borde. I have been going thru both sites. Your pen and Ink "The Woman Who Planted Trees", wow, all those tiny circles,what patience and a great piece.The workmanship on the embroideries are stunning, cannot imagine how much time they take. Have a great week.

Cathy said...

Thanks Holly. That embroidery makes me want to take out needle and thread. I love textiles and fabric almost as much as art.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

You always post the most gorgeous pictures and I love your new "tree" work! Mother Nature always provides such inspiration, doesn't she.

And, Sheba! What a face!! Do you plan to claim one of those kittens for your own??

Cathy said...

I should be so lucky Pamela. I would love one but we have two middle aged toms and I don't think they would rate a newcomer very highly. If only we had a large house and huge garden...ha ha. said...

was looking for someone else..
so glad we found U
&popped in
mona & the girls

Cathy said...

Hi Gaffergirls (love the name). Thanks for the visit. I am glad you found me too...ha ha.

Karen Hargett said...

Hi Cathy I thought I'd pop over and see what you are up to and thank you for leaving a comment on my blog. Boy talk about a hard medium - linocuts looks much harder than pastels ;-) I'll have to spend some time exploring your blog but I like what I see.

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Karen. Nice of you to visit.

Nicola said...

Yes, your Spirit of Trees is beautiful and intriguing. I will stop by more often to look at your beautiful collections of art, both yours and others.

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Nicola