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.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Nature Abstracted

Talk about cutting it close!!
Only a few hours to go but I did it, finally got my last three pieces finished and ready to post.
Don't know where the year has gone!

Number two is "Cloud Monsters".
The central image was played with in Photoshop and transferred to fabric using a medium called "Image Maker". The border is hand marbled fabric, an ancient craft that I love to use on fabric.

The theme "Abstracted Nature" is wonderful, I adore the patterns found in nature. I think we have probably all watched clouds passing and seen all sorts of crazy animals and images flow across the sky!


And here's a detail:


Number three is "Momento Mori 1"
Here I'm back to the use of skulls, this one is created using images from nature, combined to make the skull shape. The images are again a photo transfer technique, a new one that I've been playing with quiet a lot lately. The quilting was done onto white fabric and then painted with intense blocks to add the colour.

and here's a detail:

"Momento Mori is latin for "remember we all must die", and was a medieval theory and practice of reflecting on mortality, especially as a means of considering the vanity of earthy life and the transient nature of all earthy goods and pursuits".

Skull imagery fascinates me and reminds me to appreciate what I have and make the most of my time.


And the final piece is "Momento Mori 2"


and the close up



Now that these are done I can get working on next years, one of which is started! 



Naissance

This is the fourth in my series for "Nature Abstracted", butterfly eggs.  "Naissance" is defined as "a birth, an origination, or a growth, as that of a person, an organization, an idea, or a movement".  The butterfly eggs seem to be about ready to hatch.  Through their fragile outer shell we can see the bright colors of the soon-to-emerge caterpillars. The butterfly lays her eggs on the surfaces of leaves.  All beings in this world are at their most fragile as they await their birth, and the eggs seem fragile and unprotected as they wait for their destiny--much like a new idea or inspiration.  As we draw to the end of 2015 and toward the "birth" of 2016, the world seems to be fragile as well.  Could all species on this planet be on the verge of extinction like the fragile butterflies?  We must wait to find out.
 

I constructed this quilt using fusible applique for each of the fabric pieces in the leaf and stem and then machine stitched each pieces into place and free motion quilted.  The eggs are constructed using fabric scraps from the three previous quilts of the butterfly, the chrysalis and the caterpillar, covered with a translucent white organza, and then fused and appliqued to the stem.  The eggs are nestled between two lengths of fuzzy silk yarn.

Frances

Midnight Forest

I seem to be a last minute kind of person (though usually not) as I have just finished my forth piece for this year.
Some time ago I accidently developed an interesting screenprinting method that, if all goes well, produces nice fabrics in one go. After soaking the fabric in soda I lay it crumpled on a piece of plastic, making sure that there are nice folds, and then simply use the screen with one or two colours.
I had one quite large piece of turquoise and fuchsia, which really looked like a forest to me. I juggled around to find the necessary size, without being too symmetrical or too direct.
I then used all sorts of metallic threads that I had at home to quilt it to death. Metallics are generally difficult to photograph, and this piece is no exception. But I hope that you will like it more when seeing it live.

For reasons that I do not understand the photos though portrait orientation on my computer appear as landscape. Sorry I cannot solive this problem.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Sabra

 
"Opuntia ficus-indica" is a species of cactus that has long been a domesticated crop plant important in agricultural economies, but for me it has a link to Israel in a special way.
In Hebrew, the plant is referred to as sabra. This led to the popular use of the term Sabra to refer to an Israel-born person, alluding to the fruit and the people alike being tenacious and thorny ("rough and masculine") on the outside but sweet and soft (delicate and sensitive) on the inside.
I choose to conclude my year's series with this plant.


Shoshi
 

Monday, 21 December 2015

Abstracted Nature - Norfolk landscapes

For my series on this year's theme  I eventually settled on abstracts of Norfolk Landscapes - this is an area that until recently I did not know well but the huge open skies and diversity of landscapes were the trigger and starting point for this years series. The designs developed from the colors abstracted from photographs of each  landscape.

The pieces all start as white cloth and were then dyed and screen printed in block shapes using thickened transparent dyes.

Heather and Gorse at Grimstone Warren.

Opaque screen printing inks were used to create the strong colour of heather on top of the screen printed backgrounds.






Oilseed Rape fields outside Burnham Market
The vibrant yellows and lime green colour ranges of the rape seed fields were the the backdrop for the piece. Overprinting with opaque fabric paint was used to add some depth to the piece before quilting the final piece.









The Salt Marshes at Blakeney

This has become a favourite place - the desolate salt marshes which surround the small fishing village of Blakeney, so often emerging from the mists.

After creating the backgrounds as before, I used discharge paste to  lighten some areas to create wave forms. The marsh reeds and darker waves were done by overlaying dyed silk organza, stitching and then cutting back to the shape.














Lavender at Caley's Mill

The fields surrounding the Mill are planted for miles with different varieties of lavender, and in June the sight and smells are a joy. 

The lavender flowers were again produced using dyed organza, stitched and cut back.















Jean

December 2015





Sunday, 15 November 2015

A Falling of Leaves


A Falling of Leaves

For the last of my four quilts for 2015 based on the seasons, it is the turn of Autumn. The background strips reflect the changing colours of the leaves on the trees around us , which have been amazing this year. I picked up leaves from our garden and used their shapes for the appliquéd leaves. The contrast horizontal strips of bright blue are to represent the occasional glimpses of sunny sky that we have seen, if only rarely.
Background free motion quilting in three different designs and three different threads flow across the piece.
The four quilts from this year are now complete and make an interesting and colourful series, which I have enjoyed making.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Ghanaian Adventure 4 Pat Archibald




I spent time with villagers that specialised in hand-printing Adinkra cloth. This was a technique developed by the Ashanti people to make cloths for royalty. The printing blocks are carved from calabash and each design is highly symbolic. The black ink used for printing is called Adinkra Aduru and is made from the bark and roots of the badie tree which are pulverised in large mortar and pestles and then boiled and strained several times until it is the right consistency for printing.
In this piece a woman is pounding the bark and some of the Adinkra symbols are showcased on the right.

Ghanaian Adventure 3 Pat Archibald


Continuing my theme in this series of work I am looking at the elements that the craftspeople of Ghana take from nature and use in their processes to produce wonderful items.
From Bolgatanga we drove further north to a small village called Sirigu, famous for its pottery and decorated adobe houses. The local clay is moulded into plates and vases and painted in black, white and terracotta in geometric designs. It is very important to the local community that these craft traditions are carried on to provide employment and education for the villagers.
In this piece an adobe house provides the backdrop to a painted vase that I purchased on my visit there.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Fern by Ildiko

It may be surprising that this piece was originally designed to be another stone-rock-cliff piece for 2015. My original inspiration was a marbled stone, which I wanted to make in a green-blue palette, with a touch of yellow and purple.
I had dyed two largish pieces of fabric but neither was really close to my vision but one piece came out nicely: one end being blue, and the other green. Really fern green to me. I ironed fusible webbing to the green piece and, after drawing a few guiding lines,  I started to cut it freehand. After ironing it on the blue end of the fabric, I quilted it in place, and then added more quilting in contrasting colours in between the strips. Finally, I used a bit of yellow shiva to highlight a few areas.




Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Cliffs

 
 
Moving on with this year's series, I keep concentrate on nature's shapes.
In this quilt I drew cliffs at sun set standing at the foot of a river that flows slowly. I used a hand dyed fabric which was made especially for this quilt, but to be honest I was so surprise with the result, as I didn't imagine I can get the right shape I wanted to have. Then I added a commercial cotton fabric that matched the colors. The free motion quilting helped me get the right shades and depth.
 
 

 
Shoshi


Thursday, 24 September 2015

Expectations

This is the third in my series for "Nature Abstracted", the caterpillar.  I'm creating the life cycle of the butterfly in reverse for this series.  In my research of caterpillars for this quilt, I was amazed at the incredible adaptations and beautiful configurations of the various caterpillar species.  Some are very simple and others are so elegantly overdone that they look more like elaborate jewelry than caterpillars.  They are all preparing for the same destiny, though.  It is interesting to see how the characteristics of the caterpillar carry over to the moth or butterfly.

For this piece I used the same fabrics I used for the butterfly and for the chrysalis.  I also used some of my hand-dyed silk for the twig upon which the caterpillar is balancing.  I used fusible applique for each of the fabric pieces and then machine stitched each pieces into place and free motion quilted.  I like the way this caterpillar stands out against the "blue sky" background".

Frances

Monday, 21 September 2015

SANDRA SULLIVAN Nature Abstracted TRIFFIDACIOUS 4 OF 4

My fourth and last piece in Nature Abstracted series of 4.

TRIFFIDACIOUS 4.   I had fun creating these abstracted pieces with all four pieces on rust dyed background, linear work at the base of some wonderful commercial fabric. Hand drawn direct onto fabric, stitched and painted using Inktence pencils. Inspiration from wonderful tropical plants that develop in different light, hence the sun rising generating rays across the land and water.

SANDRA SULLIVAN Nature Abstracted TRIFFIDACIOUS 3 OF 4

My third piece in Nature Abstracted series of 4. 
TRIFFIDACIOUS 3.   I had fun creating these abstracted pieces with all four pieces on rust dyed background, linear work at the base of some wonderful commercial fabric. Hand drawn direct onto fabric, stitched and painted using Inktence pencils. Inspiration from wonderful tropical plants that develop in different light, hence the sun rising generating rays across the land and water.

SANDRA SULLIVAN Nature Abstracted TRIFFIDACIOUS 2of 4

Hi - My second piece in Nature Abstracted series of 4.

TRIFFACIOUS 2.   I had fun creating these abstracted pieces with all four pieces on rust dyed background, linear work at the base of some wonderful commercial fabric. Hand drawn direct onto fabric, stitched and painted using Inktence pencils. Inspiration from wonderful tropical plants that develop in different light, hence the sun rising generating rays across the land and water.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Hi - My first piece in Nature Abstracted series of 4.
TRIFFACIOUS 1.   I had fun creating these abstracted pieces with all four pieces on rust dyed background, linear work at the base of some wonderful commercial fabric. Hand drawn direct onto fabric, stitched and painted using Inktence pencils. Inspiration from wonderful tropical plants that develop in different light, hence the sun rising generating rays accross the land and water.


Thursday, 3 September 2015

A Dazzling of Sunlight


A Dazzling of Sunlight

Summer? What summer? We don't seem to have had one, here in the Cotswolds. Well, perhaps one day in early July. This “hot” piece of glittering suns must be me thinking back to our Southern France summers.
The background strips show blue skies and golden days. The suns are appliquéd in various fabrics, silk, batik, hand dyes, synthetics and some are embroidered with seed stitching. Each sun is beaded and surrounded with golden metallic rays. The background is machine quilted with rayon thread.
Now on to the Autumn piece, with falling leaves.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Complete

The inspiration for my 4th quilt of this year was the cattail. Not the animal part, but the water plant:-). And as the theme is abstracted nature, I gave it a twist. Here is how my version looks like:


I used my own hand dyed and snow dyed fabrics, plus Ugandan barkcloth for the stems.

Originally I had posted a greyscale quilt as the first one for this year, but I made a replacement for that one. Here are the other 3 quilts I made for this theme:





Thursday, 13 August 2015

Finished

Festival of Quilts is over and now I am finishing quilts.
I have been working on a set of quilts using counterchange principles - light on a dark background and dark on a light background.
I now have a nature abstracted counterchange series

Now I have to decide which one of the above  I will display at Prague. If you look carefully you can see the positive and the negative, making 2 different quilts

I have just come back from teaching in South Africa. There are guinea fowl images everywhere. So I took a simple shape of a guinea fowl and made lots of drawings. I printed the guinea fowl shapes that I cut out as well as printing the backgrounds i.e. the negative shapes, then added some blue and red paint

For my final piece I was inspired by simple tree shapes and again used the positive and negatives but this time added some paint using a stencil.

Gillian

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Momento Flori- Taiwan

Have a small bit of an obsession with skulls and Memento Mori (Latin translation: "remember (that you have) to die"). 
Memento Mori is the medieval Latin theory and practice of reflection on mortality, especially as a means of considering the vanity of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits. It is related to the ars moriendi ("The Art of Dying") and related literature. Memento Mori has been an important part of ascetic disciplines as a means of perfecting the character, by cultivating detachment and other virtues, and turning the attention towards the immortality of the soul and the afterlife.

I think previous generations had a healthier approach to death than we have! We hide from it and try to evade, when it's as necessary as breathing and something we all face. As a society we elevate the young and beautiful and marginalise the older and wiser. Our arrogance and greed is destroying the air we breath.
In art, memento mori are artistic or symbolic reminders of mortality.
Growing up in a strong Catholic country, I was surrounded by religious symbolism and paraphernalia which can have a very strong effect.
I'm also a country girl at heart and a highly sensitive introvert, I'm happiest when out in nature and away from crowds. The natural world nourishes the soul and I'm always mesmerised by the beauty and design of the natural world.
It makes me so sad to see what we are doing to the wonderful planet, I fear for what my children will have to face.
So my Taiwan piece is "Memento Flori" a reflection of the beauty of the natural world and the transient nature of all things.

I used a new photo transfer method that I'm playing with and used images of natural forms from Ernst Haeckel's "Art Forms in Nature" which I photoshopped.

Had great fu playing around and building up the design!

I also looked at the work of Giuseppe Arcimboldo, one of my favourites.

Finally got round to stitching!

Close up

Some colour added.
Final version ready to go!