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By jane2012, Mar 2 2019 05:13PM

So as promised I am making a concerted effort to write more here about my life and art.


Since last time I've been working on a textile batik. I wanted to do something more personal, that reflects my inner life and I wanted it to be a self portrait. I found a random selfie I had taken a while ago and liked the way it looks like I'm slightly away with the fairies (which I often am to be fair!). I was lying in bed at the time and my hair is splayed over the pillow making me look a bit windswept and interesting. Perfect.


I started the batik on a Saturday morning and was on such a roll that I pretty much continued right through the day and some of the evening. I love it when the muse hits and I'm just right there in the flow. It's the most satisfying feeling!


As you can see from the photos, I sketched out my image onto the cotton and began building up the tones and shadows on the skin. At first I was really pleased with the image I created but then started to pick holes in it, as is my wont, deciding that one eye was bigger than the other making me look like I have squint, so I bleached out some of the dark outline from the offending eye, which helps a bit I think. I'm also not too happy with the colour of the top but I have decided that the image kind of reminds me Ophelia drowning so I'm going to change that by having her in a watery space. The idea being that the bluey-green of the water will cover the gold and make it look as though she's sinking below the surface.


I love batik because it changes as I'm doing it; dyes don't behave as I'd like or the wax runs into an unintended place. I've learned to relax and go with it when this happens. It's all part of the process.


Unfortunately I have work during the week so I haven't been able to do anything since last Sunday (It's Saturday now) and as the week has progressed I have done my usual thing of questioning myself and my intention and thinking about what other people will think of it. Why do I do that? Why do I care?? It's ridiculous isn't it? This diminishing of our creativity, wanting to hide it. I gave myself a talking to this morning after attending a printmaking course which fired me up again and repinned the batik, adding the blue dye to the back ground. As I type I'm waiting for it to dry so I can add the next part of the design which I will upload next week.


So anyway, here you are, this is where it's at at the moment...more to come!

First sketch
First sketch
first waxing
first waxing
skin tones
skin tones
dark tones and second waxing
dark tones and second waxing
gold top
gold top
watery background
watery background

By jane2012, May 13 2017 09:38AM

Friday 12th May was the official launch of the Get Making in MK50 Roadshow. There was a lovely gathering at Westbury Arts Centre in Foxcovert Lane, Milton Keynes to start things off, with several of the artists in attendance to chat with visitors.


It was a really lovely evening and a great start to a unique project. Well done to Linda Wilks and Ann Pegg for developing the idea and supporting so many local artists!

By jane2012, May 7 2017 10:34AM

As mentioned in my previous post I have contributed a batik to the Get Making MK Roadshow which kicks off later this month with a ticketed 'Soiree'. You can find details of this on the Events page.


This all began a year ago with two women who wanted to research artists and makers in Milton Keynes for the town's 50th Anniversary year. Linda Wilks and Ann Pegg have put together a wonderful book and very kindly asked me if I would like to feature in it. I of course not being an idiot, jumped at the chance and one grey afternoon Linda came to my house and we spent a very pleasant hour in my studio drinking tea, eating biscuits and have a lovely chat! The photos were taken by Brian Tomlinson whose pics and link are on the front page of this website.


There are copies still available for £25 each from various outlets in and around Milton Keynes, including my good friend Mrs B's Emporium in Church Street, Wolverton: https://www.facebook.com/MrsBsEmporium, Milton Keynes Tourist Information Centre situated outside John Lewis in CMK and Waterstones also in CMK. You can also ask me and I will put you in touch with the authors.

By jane2012, Dec 18 2016 11:39AM

The second new piece of work I presented to the world this week is another skull. This one has been done specifically for MK50 which happens next year. As the name suggests, 2017 is the 50th anniversary of the founding of good old Milton Keynes, my home town. There will be lots of events and celebrations happening throughout next year to mark the momentous occasion including a touring exhibition organised by Maker-Artists of Milton Keynes. You can find our more about them on Facebook by searching for @makerartistsMK.


For those that have grown up in the town, the red balloons will make more sense. For those that didn't and don't remember the adverts, then I will explain: In the 1980s when MK was at the height of its growth period and the Tory government was pushing home ownership and aspiration, an advert was produced to raise awareness of the new city. It followed a young boy and his red balloon; he and his balloon got on a bus and travelled through the old and new areas of the city, finally ending up at what is now the National Bowl where there were thousands more people all with red balloons. At the end of the advert, they all released them into the sky. Heart warming eh? ;)


Anyway, I will post more information next year about where the exhibition will be visiting, so if you live in the area or will be coming to see MK then check back shortly. In the meantime, I hope you have a memorable Winter Solstice/Christmas and New Year, and lets hope 2017 is less of a shit show than 2016 proved to be!

By jane2012, Dec 18 2016 11:19AM

This week I've added two new works; I know, they're like buses right? Nothing for months and then two come along at once!


Well, they do take a long time to produce - the batik process itself is generally quite quick and if my time isn't interrupted by the mundanities of life, such as going to work, eating and sleeping, then it can take me about a week to produce one. It's the stitching that takes the time. Not one for socialising a lot, I am more than content to settle in for the evening with my favourite programme on the TV, my lap-top tray, magnifying lamp and some embroidery cotton! If I could I would do this constantly but I have discovered through extensive research that I can only stitch for a maximum of 2 hours at a time. If I do more, my eyesight starts to fail and deep vein thrombosis sets in. Oh well, we are supposed to suffer for our art aren't we?


This particular batik incorporated bleach into the process to lift colour out of the background. I wanted to go for a print effect; I love Japanese woodblock work with those bold outlines, and I'm really pleased with the result of this one. It's definitely something I'm going to try again.

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