Pale February

A pale February sunset
A pale February evening

Everything looks a bit washed out this month, but maybe I should try and think of it optimistically as PALE and INTERESTING. Yes, that would be a better attitude, and the colours are really subtle and gentle. Shame it’s so cold though!

Warming up proceedings, I am back to glass fusing – and it’s certainly a better temperature around the kilns – t shirts and windows open in the studio at Making Space (www.makingspace.org) on Thursday nights! So far I am still making panels, and a bit obsessed with sea ideas,

Sea Panel
Sea Panel

but I’ll get past it and move on in the next few weeks I expect. There are so many different ways of manipulating glass and colour to explore.

Back at silkscreening too, with the excellent team at Handprinted (www.handprinted.co.uk) on a course taught by Shirley Scott. I’m hoping that some of it will stick in my brain a bit better this time around! No shortage of plans and ideas for what to do – although my ambition usually outruns my skill. However, once I’m a bit more confident of working on my own, silk screening is something I think I might be able to handle and experiment with at the kitchen table.

Speaking of which! Friends and family will be pleased to note that I have now finished silkscreen panels for cushions and made enough for them to be a bit more comfortable around said table. Those wooden chairs are HARD!

Spring Cushion Panel
Spring Cushion Panel

At home, I have been very, very busy having an early springclean. (Back to optimism!).

I have been cleaning out plan chests and have found all manner of things from the past. It confirms what I have recently, and belatedly, learned. SKETCHBOOKS ARE A VERY GOOD THING.

Flamingos at Birdworld
Flamingos at Birdworld

But a lot of drawings stuffed in those drawers, forgotten, abandoned, and some of it, I was even pleased to find! Even an etching which I am happier with now, than when I did it.

Lepus Leap Etching
Lepus Leap Etching

And some ink drawings of cats – done with a 0.2 Rotring, rather than a dip pen. Faster, but having to make adjustments to technique because of course there is no variation in line.

Rotring cats
Rotring cats

Having rediscovered it, I’m going to try to reproduce the kitten on right on a noil silk cushion – using silkscreen. Mmmm! Ambitious, and possibly not practical! (Also I may have more cushions in my life than really necessary – I don’t seem to be able to get beyond cushions sometimes).

Also found lots of demonstration pieces from when I was teaching. This is a page of cats’ eyes, but there were loads and LOADS of watercolour flowers, collage and gold leaf. Must get back to that in the Spring. Also many, many “nearly” finished paintings. Some are now in the dustbin, but a few I’m not ready to abandon….yet.

Cats' eyes practice, and "Annie", Kate's cat.
Cats’ eyes practice, and “Annie”, Kate’s cat.

Just to continue a previous theme – I finished a bag to go with Kate’s Myrtle scarf – not without help I may add! For a simple thing, that pattern was sure complicated! Thanks to The Eternal Maker in Chichester (www.eternnalmaker.com), for a really good workshop, it got done.

Myrtle bag
Myrtle bag

Living in West Sussex is great. I’m not saying it would suit everyone, but really, there is so much going on, and it’s such a lovely place to be.

AND where else could I spend an interesting afternoon with a torch and friends in a cathedral looking for medieval graffiti? Eh?!

medieval graffiti
medieval graffiti

Sorry if you try to use the link to websites – I haven’t got the hang of how to do it yet, and it may need another plugin – but at least the name is there. Apologies – I will manage it eventually!