My copy of The Mixed Media Artist arrived in the post this morning!
New York artist Seth Apter contacted me last year and asked me to participate in this project: he set a number of themes to spark the inspiration and I chose "Out of the Blue". The result was Siliqua : Lucti.
And here is the man himself: kind, enthusiastic, full of energy and a very accomplished artist. I must admit when I read his first email approach I thought 'who is this crank and why is he spamming me?' Thankfully a Google consultation confirmed Seth's bona fides and I didn't trash the message. I'm really looking forward to meeting him when he comes to teach Australia next year.
Go and buy the book! It's full of excellent, inspiring stuff, tips and techniques - available for a modest consideration through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and North Light Shop. Or you could march into your local bookshop or library and demand that they order it in.
Margaret Cooter is a Canadian artist living in London and one of my favourite bloggers. There is always something interesting, engaging and new on her blog and (unlike me) she posts nearly every day. We have similar tastes and interests and I have discovered so many wonderful artists, sculptors and poets thanks to the wide-ranging scope of her blog.
This evening I did what I have been doing for the last week or so with my favourite bloggers and went back to look at what has previously been posted at this time of year. And this is what I found in November 2007 on Margaret's blog - a post about barcode art. Given enough pieces of data , it will generate a barcode for you.
Not a great deal happening in the studio this week as the focus has been back on uni work. Apart from the darning, I did a little embroidery - some pale sagey green French knots on some fine-loomed silk.
And I dug up the swaddled aubergine.... more on that tomorrow
I wasn't going to do a Remembrance Day post - it's so overwhelmingly sad. And I'm starting to dread the burgeoning jingoism of next year's World War 1 "celebrations" as Prime Minister Cameron put it so tactlessly.
But then I remembered my great uncle, Leslie Clark, who was sent white feathers and went off to fight bravely in that pointless bloodshed of France and was killed a month before the Armistice.
Here he is with his new wife, not long before he went to France.
He was awarded the Military Medal for bravery.
And is buried alongside too many other young men 'somewhere in France'.
My grandfather and his brother were luckier - they survived Gallipoli and France and came home. And are remembered so fondly by their families.
Leslie and Winnie weren't married long enough to have children - so I remember.
I have become rather unexpectedly fond of mending. Not in in a thrift, faux Little House on the Prairie, inner city sustainable living kind of way but because I a) love stitching, b) get very attached to clothes (especially woollies), and c) I hate the thought of throwing something away just because it is torn, or has been attacked by moth.
So I darn Kind Dog's knittedbyme socks, sew on buttons, mended the tear in my brand new shirt when my sleeve caught on a London street sign, and yesterday I tackled some overdue mending of woollies. My favourite cardigan, which is now at least 10 years old, suffered from a 2 inch rent where the collar met the back, and also some signs of the bite of the moth. Or possibly just some thinning and disintegration due to age. Another cardi, this one without sleeves, was also parting company with its collar.
I love the meditative process of mending using old tools like my darning mushroom, my "long darner" needle and the mending wool. As I stitch all sorts of small memories of connection bubble up - I bought the mending wool in a little shop on the Isle of Wight when I first met Kind Dog's family. It reminds me of cold, windy walks along the front at Ventnor, my first cold Christmas, the beginnings of connecting with my new family who have turned out to be as kind and loving as my lovely Kind Dog.
This is also a good opportunity to post another photo from our trip. One of our favourite places is the British Museum: so full of wonders, including these Roman needles made of bronze, bone and glass.
Beautiful objects that I would love to be able to touch and use. A little smoothing and filing of points and I could use them in my next darning session.
Um, I forgot that I had comments moderation turned on - cough... I apologise to you lovely people who have left comments for the last few months (!) that, until now, have gone unacknowledged and unpublished.
Thank you all and please accept my apologise for being such a goose! I love getting comments on my posts and was feeling a bit unloved because there was such a silence....
Will a photo of one of Rome's beautiful cats help as an olive branch? This little one was eyeballing a couple of tourists having their lunch and trying to mesmerise some scraps from them. It worked :)
Well, dear Reader (if you're still there), since my last post we have gone to the other side of the world and returned. We saw all sorts of wonders and gorged on every gallery, museum and church we could find.
And returned full of plans for the future and decisions to make on how to get there. My main resolve is less Internet and more real life, as so much time gets frittered away noodling around on various websites. So more books, more doing.
I leave you with this marvel from the Victoria and Albert Museum's foyer.