Just got back from visiting/workshopping in Vancouver. Luckily flights both ways were on time and uneventful(whew!)– which is why I fly WestJet!
The workshop as part of the Maiwa Textile Symposium with Rachel Meginnes was interesting…..she is a fabulous lady, very patient, very sensitive to student’s needs and very helpful. One of the lines she used was that she won’t tell you whether or not to do something but she is open to everything! I was lucky enough to see one of her pieces in person(one of the students had been at her Penland studio and had bought a small piece)- it was very delicate and photos do not do her work justice.
The workshop was about finding one’s own creative voice….I am not sure that actually happened for me, but I did come to realize that I don’t have a strong interest in making wall art- I love to actually be able to pick up pieces, turn them around, open them up etc. So I think that all the wallets etc that I make fit this well…I like having the designs on the fabric partly hidden or incomplete, but discoverable and finalized by turning the wallet over, opening the flap etc. I also love to have alot of surface texture…either from an organza layer, free motion quilting, embroidery or trapunto. No point having texture if you or I can’t actually feel it!
Part of the workshop was homework- answering a series of questions about art, what processes are used, what is enjoyed/not enjoyed etc. They were hard to answer but very useful I believe, and Rachel was willing to go over the answers and offer her suggestions on where to go next. So I took advantage of that; it was quite difficult to do for me…I am not a very open person, but I thought this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!!
We played with various mark-making techniques, collage, monoprinting, stamping, image transfer and hand/machine stitching. On the last day we were given a piece of lovely white paper and were to make something/anything using the paper somehow(anyway we wanted) and had 2.5 hours to do it! Talk about pressure!!! I decided to make a folded clutch bag(no surprise there)…so I took alot of pieces that I had made the previous days and collaged them onto the paper, painted the surface to unite the various pieces, added a stenciled organza layer that I had brought with me, stitched, made a button out of newspaper and painted it, attached some blue rat-tail and just got it done in the time frame. The sewing machines couldn’t do free motion stitching so I just did the outlining of the organza leaf with regular stitching- so it was much less precise; that was good since it was a goal of mine to loosen up!!!! The inner flap is just collaged magazine paper and not visible are 2 pockets on the inside. Also not visible is an actual pressed lily-of-the-valley stem with flowers that was part of a piece I used for collage. The piece is not perfect…the colour is a bit sucky, but oh well….and it is also a bit sticky from all the paint…
The workshop took up most of my time, but I did get a chance to explore Granville Island, visit the art supply store(I bought some stencil making utensils), relax in the hotel hot tub and visit assorted family members(brother, nephew, cousin and their respective spouses/partners). Lovely dinners and great company…
Of course I managed to take some photos, but just with my little Sony camera(Bad Camera from a previous post!). Most of the time it was quite foggy, but I did get a few nice shots. I played around with some of them in Photomatix.
This is the view from the hotel room at sunrise:
This is at my brother’s place:
around his neighbourhood(a grunge-style HDR to emphasize the gorgeous fall colours):
This is an overlayered photo of flowers(azalea?) and a maple tree seen during my walk around his neighbourhood:
A very busy 4 and 1/2 days….glad to be home with hubby and Stewie. Don’t tell Stewie but I did have some dog-time with my cousin’s Westie…..a very friendly and cuddly dog who insisted on sitting on my lap(darn!) on the ride back to the hotel…