The Far North



Beach Trees                                                                                                            Strangler Vine

beach trees                                 strangler

The Junk Pile assignment

‘if it looks like it belongs on the junk-pile, use it’ was the guideline for this still life:


I had carefully picked out a highly textured pink sheet to experiment with some dry colour before doing the main drawing. And then I carelessly flipped the sheet and worked on the smooth surface – not even noticing. And again the draft took off and decided it would be the main drawing itself. I was especially interested in getting the brushes’ bristly effect – and also in the crumpled coke can. The brushes worked, I think, the can not so much.

Finally I realised I’d been working on the wrong side – and resigned myself to it…

If 3 horizontal is a triptych, what’s 4 vertical? – A Technical Sampler…

A black and white template was provided, with the sole colour stipulation being that the lines in the 2nd panel down be black. This assignment is to emphasise some problem areas:


I think these include  – getting slanting edges smooth  and straight (means having to vary the stepping), keeping curves curving, making sure that crossovers meet on the other side, keeping points pointy – while at the same time creating a harmonious colour composition. The end result is quite pleasing. Got some interesting calligraphic effects in that second panel down!

A View through a Window

Again a part of the drawing assignments for the tapestry course. This one began as a rough doodle as a foundation for a drawing, but decided to become the main drawing itself. A bit cheeky really seeing as it’s done in 10 cent shop kid’s colour markers! Actually I was very surprised at the possibilities with this stuff – though range of colours and colour mixing is a problem. This particular set had 18 colours:

Thru the window

I was interested in trying to convey looking through a mesh curtain – and to some extent succeeded. Also featured – my half finished so-called Technical Sampler, seen on the loom made from the head and feet pieces of a bed.

Markers of  a ‘reputable’, professional standard are used all the time by graphic artists and designers. The solvents used vary. Some, as in the example above, do not penetrate very deeply into the ground. Others, xylene and alcohol based, do sink to the other side. I did a mock-up drawing in Zig marker for the kitchen object still-life assignent. The ink sank and gave a view from the rear-side that I find very attractive, It is of course a  reversed image:

reversed teapot

This is not the submitted image. The requirement was for mass to be indicated with hatching techniques, so:


Here again I have had a bit of an experiment – wanted to see if I could have a hard-edged drawing which still suggested mass.

Colour Studies

One chunk of the Tapestry Diploma course is devoted to the  principles of colour usage. Rather than posting a blow-by-blow update on this, I’ll just put up  the final set of exercises before I have separated them out and mounted them with identifying comments:

colour studies2

In no particular order, in this last assignment there are exercises including complementary colours, complementary greys, and dyads, triads and tetrads. It was rather fun playing about with poster colour (sshh – not real gouache.)

Mini tapestry major catastrophe

And this is what happened:


I’ll use the curate’s egg again  for this one – good in parts. However overall lacks focus, and is absurdly careless in some areas.

Errors include using varying yarn thicknesses without making warp corrections and  misjudging compatibility of textures ( not colours, but ‘finish’). The change in weft thickness resulted in my discovering the ‘swallowed warp’ phenomenon – anyone else found this one? – essentially, when the weft is too thick for the warps, an empty  warp between two adjacent colour blocks will get pushed backwards and vanish. I believe one can vary weft thicknesses by bunching warps together and then one could revert to the previous sett after a row of twining or soumak. Anyway, more thoughts on this later possibly.

Plan for miniature tapestry

I am doing the tapestry work for the second year of the Diploma a little out of sequence (with the agreement of the flexible staff at SWTafe). My next piece will be the Miniature Tapestry – and here is the plan:

pitcher and pot

Planned size app 21 1/2 cm x 16 1/2 cm, 10/11 epi.

Featuring outlining, pick and pick and both diagonal and horizontal stripes.

Possibly a mite ambitious.