2017

We move forward from two successful exhibitions in 2016 in Prague and in the USA to the challenge of an exhibition in the Netherlands in the Autumn. We continue to work on A2 sized pieces in portrait format and will be producing four pieces over the year with the theme of 'Freedom'. An essential part of our art is working in series to a common format which does give us all a framework for our creative endeavours.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Work in progress


I have been a lot less active creatively this year as time has been needed on other activities - all very enjoyable but only now trying to catch up with work I have planned out but not executed. I am involved in a contemporary embroidery  exhibition next year at a local Art Gallery and that is taking time, both in the organisation and in the creation of some pieces of work.                                                                                                                                                      
 My Voyage pieces are at last on the starting blocks - I am working on developing some of my watercolour sketches  to use on  fabric using thickened Procion dyes - we will see how that works out! The sketches are from Norfolk on the East Coast of England where I go every year to sketch and paint with a watercolour artists group.

I am also using the East Coast as a basis for some felted and stitch pieces for the Art Gallery Exhibition. This piece is based on  a sketch I did of the tidal salt marshes at Blakeney Point in Norfolk and is worked on linen with dyed threads and silk strips felted in and is now ready for some more stitching.


Looking forward to seeing everyone's pieces this year - I had better get a move on with mine!

 Jean


Update!!

I was glad to see Paula's e-mail this morning about making an entry to the blog.  It's a good idea and a worthy goal for each of us to make entries and regular intervals.  We are separated by so many miles and time zones.  I think the blog brings us much closer together. 

Like Paula, I'm busy working on this year's Voyage Art Quilts.  I have two pretty much finished and the last two are designed and ready to put together.  My goal is to finish them before the first of December--because the first two weeks in December I'll be appearing in another play.  This time I'm playing the Mother Superior in "Agnes of God".  We started rehearsals two weeks ago and we are well into developing our characters.  I'm trying to relax about learning my lines (and I have alot of them).  As I have found with all of the other plays in which I have appeared, the lines just seem to be there because of the rehearsal process.  Sure, I have to make a conscious effort to memorize, but it's amazing how much of the play is just "in my head".  People always ask how we remember so many lines, but the play is about telling a story and that what the dialogue does--especially when you take the time to get to know your character.  Not being Catholic, I had a great deal of research to do about nuns and convent life.  I'm lucky because the girl who is playing Agnes, Megan Holcomb, is a devout Catholic.  Megan and her mother took me with them to the Easter vigil at a convent located about 30 miles west of Surprise.  The convent is for a contemplative order of nuns and they are in the process of building the convent and the church.  Because they are a contemplative order, they spend their time in prayer and meditation and remain quite isolated from the outside world.  The convent itself is sitting in a beautiful spot in the middle of the desert west of Phoenix and the end of a six-mile dirt road.  The Easter vigil was beautiful and fascinating and I was able to meet two of the nuns which was a real honor, since I've never met a nun.  I was so impressed by the solitude and peace that they have chosen for themselves.

The next day, Easter Sunday, I was slammed back into my own reality when our puppy, Ziggy, broke one of his front toes as he bounded out of his crate.  He spent a month in a cast that covered his whole right front leg and which he couldn't get wet.  We had to cover his cast with a plastic bag every time he got a drink of water (he's notoriously sloppy with his drinking) and every time he went outside to do his business.  We made it through, though, and Ziggy is a happy, healthy 18-month-old Airedale Terrier puppy.  Here is a picture of Ziggy with his cast.  I made the green cover out of windbreaker fabric and he has one of his "boots" on to protect the bottom of his cast. 


My stepson, Jeremy, is a tattoo artist living in Oregon.  He and his wife and their two sons just moved to Hood River, Oregon, which is a small town right on the Columbia River about 40 miles from Portland.  They moved just as the big wildfires were starting right across the river from Hood River.  We were very worried about them, but they didn't have to evacuate and after a couple of weeks the fires passed them by.  We will travel to Hood River in a few days
to go to our oldest grandson's fourth birthday party and then it's back to Surprise where I will dive into quilting and back into rehearsing for my play.

I'm really enjoying working on this year's Voyage quilts.  It took me some time to come up with a series of quilts about "Freedom", but I think my quilts will express that theme quite well.  I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's quilts!

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Reflections on Water

Thème 2016 "Treasures"

Sparkles on the Leman Lake are alive thanks to the light which changes according to the time of the day, the colours of the sky, the weather and the movements of water due to boats, wind, fishes or water birds.

The water can be different tones of grey, blue or green, mostly at dawn. It offers the viewer a new surprise every morning.


These 4 quilts are a part of my study on water movements and games of light.



















Elisabeth Nacente de la Croix


Monday, 30 January 2017

Treasures



Weeds

Grasses

Seeds

Flowers

These pieces were painted on my iPad and printed
on charmeuse silk, then quilted on my Pfaff powerquilter 16.0
which is mounted on a frame. I'm having lots of fun with these
quilted silk paintings.

Friday, 30 December 2016

 
 

My treasures

This year I chose to focus on amulets as cultural treasures of the Mediterranean countries, mostly Turkey, Greece or Spain, but also among citizens of Israel, who brought it as legacy from the countries they immigrated from.

An amulet is an object that has the power to protect its owner from danger or harm. Therefore, it can be wear or hang as decoration on the walls or doorways.

I focused on four very common icons and tried to explain what it means.

Hamsa

The Hamsa is a palm-shape amulet. "Khamsah" is an Arabic word that means "five", but also "the five fingers of the hand". The hand, particularly the open right hand, is a sign of protection that also represents blessings, power and strength, and is seen as potent in deflecting the evil eye. The hand can be depicted with the fingers spread apart to ward off evil, or as closed together to bring good luck.
Hamsa is the most popular amulet that was transformed into jewelry, either neckless or bracelets, offer various kinds of blessing to those who wear them.
 
 
 

Horse shoe

Horseshoes have long been considered lucky. This ancient structure was tended to believe can protect the house and its tenants against evil eye. Opinion is divided as to which way up the horseshoe ought to be nailed. Some say the ends should point up, so that the horseshoe catches the luck; others say they should point down, so that the luck is poured upon those entering the home. Either way, those who believe it can protect them, hang them on their home's entrance door.
 
 
 

Garlic

Garlic is known for its pungent smell. It is also known for its efficiency to strengthen our immune system. It is unclear how and what made it powerful against the evil eye and removing negative energies. Facts are that those who believe in its power use to hang garlic bulbs, tied to a braid made of natural fibers, in their hoses for good luck.
Like other superstitions, so about garlic, a person would need "to do something" to feel he has a way to influence and change his fate. It is said though for it to work, it must be given to you not bought.
 
 
 

Evil eye

There are two most famous "evil eye" in the Mediterranean region:
The Eye of Horus is an ancient Egyptian symbol of protection, royal power and good health. It was also bind to resurrection. Although it's antiquity, its power still exists today and is the ultimate sign of protection.
A nazar (blue bead) is an eye-shaped amulet, originally from Turkey. It is called so because a typical nazar is made of handmade glass featuring concentric circles shapes in dark blue, white, light blue and black. It is believed to protect its owner from evil spirits and the jealousy. This is the reason why it is so popular to wear as neckless or bracelet.
 

Shoshi Rimer
 
 
 
 

 
 
 .

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Treasures - treasured places

Treasures

There are some special places that we return to again and again where we treasure memories of past visits and always intend to come back. My four pieces are based on two English places and two Italian places that we have grown to love. 

Digital printing is something I have been very ambivalent about in the past unless it is using your own designs/art  - I decided to experiment by using my own sketches and paintings of the places together with some photographs and text. I rendered them all  with a simple ink application  to give a cohesive feel to all the pieces, I wanted to get a 'pen and Ink' rather than photographic effect. I printed them all as separate images to create a collage of the place  and fused then stitched them in place. I used cotton poplin treated to ensure permanence of the ink pigments.I then had fun trying out lots of different free motion quilting styles to match the needs of the sketches.

Treasures 1 -Southwold
A coastal town in the East of England where small scale fishing does still operate from the river estuary.  




Treasures 2 - Blakeney Marshes

Huge expanses of salt marshes stretch along the coastline with small river inlets where fishing still continues, a protected coastal site where wildlife flourishes.



 Treasures 3- Grado

A beautiful town and port off the north east coast of Italy close to Trieste. The town is only reached  by a long bridge  causeway over the lagoon and is an island surrounded by the Mediterranean sea. The town and it's heritage have been preserved in this unique place.




Treasure 4 - Aquileia

A Roman port on the north east coast of Italy, a large amount of the port and the town remain as ruins amongst more modern developments. Enough of the town remains to understand the life that was led in Roman times . The mosaics are exquisite and so well preserved.



Jean

Sunday, 4 December 2016

TREASURES - HOPI KATSINA FIGURES



The Hopi (Tohono O’odham) people live primarily on three mesas in Northeastern Arizona, about 70 miles from Flagstaff. In Hopi cosmology, the katsinas reside on the Humphreys Peak, approximately 60 miles west of Hopiland. Each year, throughout the period from winter solstice to mid-July, these spirits, in the form of katsinas, come down to the villages to dance and sing, to bring rain for the upcoming harvest, and to give gifts to the children.

The katsinas are known to be the spirits of deities, natural elements or animals, or the deceased ancestors of the Hopi. Prior to each katsina ceremony, the men of the village will spend days studiously making figures in the likeness of the katsinam represented in that particular ceremony. The figures are then passed on to the daughters of the village by the Giver Kachina during the ceremony.  Following the ceremony, the figures are hung on the walls of the pueblo and are meant to be studied in order to learn the characteristics of that certain Kachina. Edward Kennard, co-author of Hopi Kachinas, says concerning the purpose of the kachina figure, “Essentially it is a means of education; it is a gift at dance-time; it is a decorative article for the home, but above all it is a constant reminder of the Kachinas."

We are losing the culture and arts of our indigenous peoples at an alarming rate.  Their colorful history and customs are cultural treasures to be prized and protected.

The inspiration for the Katsina figures for my quilts came from the modern-day Katsina carvings by Jerome Naquatewa, a half-Hopi, half-Zuni artist living at the Zuni pueblo 150 miles west of Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.  I believe his carvings capture the friendly, playful essence of the Katsinas.

1.  Eagle Dancer:  Usually appears in the night ceremony in March; ruler of the sky and messenger to the heavens.



2.  Sun Face:  Represents the sun’s warmth and the hope for shelter for old people and a bright future for the young.



3.  Crow Mother:  Mother of all Katsinas; watches over the children as they play.



4.  Buffalo Warrior:  Appears only when children are initiated into the Katsina cult; assures there will be adequate food in winter; most powefulr of all Katsinas; protects children and can rid bad people of evil thoughts.




Frances Murphy

Saturday, 19 November 2016



'One Man's Trash is another Man's Treasure' 2

'Majani'




Majani is Kiswahili for tea leaves. I saved old tea bags and quilted them onto a piece of cotton dyed in strong tea. My husband returned from up country with a goat leg wrapped in gold embossed cellophane. The gold had come off on to the meat. After much trial and error I managed to emboss my tea bags using the same cellophane. Then came the cup and saucer and the tea plant.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

My four Treasures

I was undergoing a rather difficult period of my life when I had to empty my parents' house in early summer. I had expected to find plenty of precious or not so precious memories, but the reality surpassed any imagination.
My mother, who had lived in the house alone for about twenty years, had never, it seems, dumped anything unless it would stink in the long run. Even when things were torn, worn, shattered, broken, etc. she continued to keep them, all nicely washed, wrapped, boxed, categorised and labelled. I had found literally everything that I remember from my childhood and young adult years, including plenty of things from my grandparents from her side.
These treasures inspired my four pieces in 2016: Worn Shoes, Dislocated Knives, Shattered Glasses, and Broken Vases. They were all made with a sew-cut-resew-cut-etc. technique, using a "parfait-dyed" background.




Sunday, 21 August 2016

"Memento Mori-Stampi"

And finally the fourth quilt this year and challenge completed!
So this one is a little different to the others, in so much as the others where natural forms, shells and daisies. This one is made from "postage stamps" or more importantly stamps from my own collection.
I think it was probably one of the first collections I started as a child, I loved the colours and patterns of the stamps. I was given my pocket money and spent it all on little packets of stamps from different countries. I loved trying to find out where the countries were in the atlas and can remember having particular trouble locating Yemen. I still have them all in five folders, very dusty but lovely to look at!

So here is number four:


"Momento Mori-Stampi"

Background is hand dyed cotton. The skull is photo transferred images of some of the Irish Stamps    (for the year that's in it, centenary of the 1916 Rising, very big event in Irish History) from my old collection.