Saturday, 30 September 2017

Recent sketchbook pages

Sketchbook page by Gillian Cooper

As I have just shown you some of my students’ sketchbook work, here are some pages from my own. 

This year I am basically teaching full time, which doesn't leave much time for developing my own work. I now also have sympathy for those who do not have a dedicated work space as I am constantly moving my things out of the studio to make room for students (this isn't a complaint - I love having students here). 

So often it is easier for me to draw and sketch in the short time I have available than to get the sewing machine out. And besides, I'm really enjoying it. 

There has been a definite preoccupation with stones and things crafted from stone this year - and it is continuing.  Today's drawing (not shown) is of rock piles again!

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Students' sketchbook exhibition

It is so long since I wrote my blog, I have lots of older events to share with you. 

So let's start with the exhibition of the C&G sketchbook course, which took place in June. All of the group had worked really hard over the year and it was lovely to give them the opportunity to share what they had accomplished with a wider public.

The variety of work was fab - we had tried so many different techniques over the course and each student had interpreted them in their own way adding more interest and also inspiring the others in how the ideas could be used.  

I had set 3 fairly open topics for the students and was amazed at how ingenious their interpretations were - way beyond my limited ideas.

The books themselves are the outcome of the course. Some people struggle with why you would want to take a course like this when you could actually be making ‘real’ finished work. However, in addition to these lovely books and pages, the students are hopefully full of ideas for ‘real’ work which will be more interesting and richer for having gone through all of these processes. 

Thursday, 21 September 2017


Fragments hiding behind the Muses

The gallery in Auxerre really wanted to show the Muses, but I also wanted to make something new for the occasion. Related but slightly different.  This is the new series - Fragments. There are 7 of them which can be viewed together or separately.
The seven pieces pieced and painted
They started with similar techniques to the Muses - lots of piecing of small bits of fabric, which were then over painted to bring some unity to the background.
As I've been thinking lots about stones, rocks and ancient sculptures I decided to add some rock piles using Markal paint sticks.
Adding the Markal

Testing out colours of sari silk
The figures were added using sari strips which were over painted with Brusho. Originally they looked a bit like scene of the crime outlines as they were so stark!   The figures have changed shape slightly as I am continually redrawing them to see how far I can simplify them whilst still retaining the idea of the human form.
Before the final stitches were added
Finally I stitched the patterns on top. These are patterns which would have decorated some of the goddesses when they were made and gaudily painted. I drew a guide pattern to get a sense of the flow.  Following advice, I traced the pattern onto Golden something paper as it is meant to be really easy to remove. It may be the easiest paper to remove, but I'm glad I put it on the back as it is still hard to remove every last piece, especially from small shapes.

Adding the stitch
I don't have a clear photo of all 7 in a row but hopefully these give you an idea of what they look like. 

Side view of five of them

Friday, 15 September 2017

Exhibition in Auxerre, France

Unsung Muses at Galerie de la Place, Auxerre

The Muses are on their travels again. This time, they are in Galerie de la Place, Auxerre, France until 30 September. 
Unsung Muses

It is a lovely gallery with a nice friendly feel to it that suits the Muses perfectly. 

Going to hang the work was my first time in Auxerre and it is a beautiful and old town in Burgundy, with lots of half timbered houses and cobbled streets. A great place to while away a day. 

The exhibition continues until 30 September.
Some lovely old buildings

More old buildings - I really liked the street lamps too.
This window, in the Cathedral opposite the Gallery reminded me of some of the shapes I use in my Muse related works.

The exhibition poster outside the Gallery

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