Gallery of past work

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Picking up the threads

After a break from work, I generally find it very helpful to pick up again briefly where I was comfortable and where things were seemingly almost complete.

These images, revisited from last year, are the result this time. I feel them to be the end of something rather than the beginning which may seem a strange way to begin the new year. However, manipulating the familiar, overlaying, cropping and working with opacity gets creative thoughts running again for me.

This time, as I look now, I've been surprised to realise that the post contains a busy and restless selection of images when presented all together. Perhaps it will seem less so when presented individually. I hope so.

On the other hand by being not very restful, maybe it will make a better lead into the new than I expected.

So now to venture into less familiar territory ... and a different colour palette and new work ...

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Happy Christmas

Greetings to all who follow my blog regularly and to those who visit only occasionally. It is always a pleasure and a source of amazement that you seek me out from all corners of the world. What an extraordinary institution blogging is.

This year, I'm posting a series of winter photographs of Scotland to bring good wishes. My husband and I took them around Braemar during a visit to Aberdeenshire at the end of October 2018 during two days of crisp winter weather following a freak early snowfall.

I hope you enjoy this glimpse of the homeland of my husband's family in the Dee Valley west of Aberdeen. The cottage we stay in has been lived in full time by members of his family or, more recently, has been at the heart of holidays for us all for almost 100 years.

It is a welcome focus in a world where we move around and live apart from one another most of the time. Over the 46 years of our marriage, we have spent so much happy family time here, with our children and grand children and with friends, swimming in rivers, walking, talking and climbing mountains, exploring the many castles and the history of the area. We have many traditional places that have to be visited each time we go. The area is part of the fabric of our lives.

Yet, although we visit several times each year between March and early November, till this visit, I had never seen it covered in a blanket of snow. It was a new pleasure for me.

My husband and I created these cards together. Working in this way has become traditional for us at Christmas. We both took photographs during our visit and chose three each for the cards. They were then adjusted slightly in Photoshop (I couldn't restrain myself), printed out and mounted with a greeting.

The photos we included range from bright and sunny to cloudy, bleak and moody and perhaps even threatening. I'm not sure which I prefer or which sticks most in my mind as I write. Each gives a particular flavour of the place. The small selection is, perhaps, a sample of what makes this area so special to us.

I hope that you spend Christmas and the New Year in whatever way you choose, with family, friends or alone, and that it brings you joy and companionship if you want it.

Good wishes and thanks to you all.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Colorising green

Onto the pure, stark, manipulated, black and white images shown here, I've put colour using the colorise function on hue/saturation in Photoshop Elements. When applied to black and white images, it is very useful in producing pure, uncomplicated colour. I use it quite often when I'm experimenting.

In this case I've added a vivid, acid green.

The results with their limited colour palette, take me back almost to the less abstracted, more complex images stitched for the Gardens Gallery in Cheltenham. In other words, by reintroducing colour, I've now gone very nearly full-circle - but with the colour simplified and abstracted as the images themselves have been.

This feels right, everything stripped bare of detail so that the simple images tell the story.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Tricks of light

The cut out trees mentioned a couple of posts ago held up in bright sunlight against a cream paper background produced more extraordinary photographs that may lead nowhere but have given me pleasure.

And they now sit in my work journal with the thoughts they’ve sparked so perhaps they’ll lead somewhere after all. 

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Things left over

While making recent Chenonceau pieces, I produced unexpected ‘ghost’ versions of the images. These came from the backing papers which were left over after the process of printing onto fabric for stitching and the cutting out and were then found in a random curled up heap to be thrown away. Fortunately, I stretched these out before they went in the bin and realised their possibilities.

I had cut out the images together with their stiffer backing papers to make the cutting easier. Sometimes this had happened while the fabric was still stuck to the carrier papers for going through the printer and sometimes once the images had been ironed on to Bondaweb.

This produced papers of different weights which I overlaid and glued onto black paper. I played also with which papers to use and how they should be layered.

Fine Bondaweb backing paper shapes 

Bondaweb backing paper and heavier paper carrier for printing 

I’m left enjoying the unexpected results of using up leftovers and am now adding the effects produced to the set of ideas currently playing in my mind. 

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Going back to black

The developments on the new work linked to my visit in the summer to the chateau and gardens at Chenonceau in France have gathered pace this week.

I have been manipulating further the rose tree images I photographed in the garden of Catherine de Medici who lived in the chateau in the 1560s. I have returned to my enjoyment of the contrast produced by black on white and distorted the images further.

I printed out onto paper the five rose tree images that were previously used in the long piece shown here. I then cut out each one and held them in several different positions to explore the posibilities of the shadows they cast. I made use of some sunny weather and the excellent light in our conservatory and set about taking a variety of photographs.The distortions were developed through photographs of the shadows. They were then further manipulated in Photoshop as usual.