First, a tardy round up, I could say I was too busy stitching to update the blog which is partly true, or I could blame the cat (I usually do!):
- Exhibitions I: I completed three site specific mixed media artworks for the gallery at Verdant Works Jute Mill Museum in Dundee, with textile group Kalamkari. Here is a detail shot of one of the pieces:
The concentric circles with the black in the middle represents sewing by the glow of candlelight at night-time, with the red symbolising sore and bleeding fingers. The black cross depicts the dirty and unhealthy job of working in these poor conditions with harsh jute and horrible black tarred twine. The needles were curved, thick and cumbersome.
The square stitch represents both the sacks and the paypackets, literally bloody hard work.
night and day
for meagre pay
a farthing a piece
to make ends meet
the blood just mixes
amongst the stitches
a little life in every sack
- Exhibitions II: The Glenfarg Art Show in the village hall had a wonderful display in April as always and made for a great weekend of meeting people and talking arts and crafts. I'm constantly amazed that such a small village houses so many talented folk and I'm very pleased to be part of it. Lovely!
- Workshops - just a few this past year, less than previously. I've had lots of requests for lots of different things but it's always difficult to get a group of people together who can agree on the same day and time, and who are interested in the same project. I love to share my knowledge, techniques and materials and it's a huge reward to see people happy with what they have achieved. However, workshops and courses are something I need to reconsider for 2018 in terms of whether to offer them at all, and if so how to better organise myself.
- Tax returns - a chore to complete and a chore to keep records of everything, but it has to be done. It's an exercise that also reminds me that I need to stop buying materials as my expenses are far too high! This year I am challenging myself to only use what I already have stashed away in various cupboards, boxes and under beds.
- Commissions - I enjoyed designing and making this piece of hand and machine stitched textile work once I got past the difficulties in working out the scale and balance. I titled it 'The Three Forths' and it depicts the new Queensferry Crossing in front of the two older bridges. At one point I thought I needed an engineer to work out all the measurements for me!
" I thought several ideas came through very strongly in Linda’s piece, including:
Texture – I enjoyed the contrast between the slightly rough, quite open weave background and the taut, precise thread of the bridge forms
Colour – a simple, strong colour scheme with a restricted palette of neutrals contrasting the vivid burnt orange
Layering – perspective, colour and form all express the contrast of three very different generations of bridge design, with each successive iteration more ephemeral
Geometry – I liked the contrast between the mathematically precise bridge geometry and the organic forms of the map contour lines
I also like the way an apparently figurative piece is subtly abstracted, which I think makes it stronger and freer than simply copying a photographic aerial view."
- Open Studios - this year I again participated in the annual Perthshire event, opening up my home and studio to visitors for 10 days at the beginning of September. For the first time I shared my venue with Scottish artist Issy Valentine who brought along a wonderful display of her many and varied creative artworks. Her work was in the conservatory and mine was in my garden room studio. In between the two we welcomed guests into the kitchen to sit around the Aga drinking teas, coffees, dunking biscuits, and making new friends.
- Goals for 2018 - in addition to things I've already mentioned I hope I'll do much better with keeping this blog up to date and also my Facebook page. I'll also be investigating different ways of selling my work online. I've had no success with Etsy and have decided not to list anything for the time being - I think it's so big now that as a small trader you are just lost in it and never come to light! There are many other online shops I need to investigate as well as making more of Facebook. That'll be fun!
If you're still with me, well done, it turned into a tome rather than a blog! To finish I'll just leave you with news of a new exhibition I'm participating in with Kalamkari group, starting in January. Details to follow soon.