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Silk Painting Workshop at the Embroiderers’ Guild

I haven’t tried silk painting before, so when I saw my local Embroiderers’ Guild were running a workshop I thought I would give it a try. The session was run by textile artist, Kirsten Yeates, from Denmark.

Kirsten began by handing out pieces of silk that had designs pre-drawn on them using gutta – a technique that creates a boundary that the inks can ‘bleed’ up to. Apparently it can be quite tricky to draw smooth lines of gutta so, as a beginner, it was ideal to be able to start with these pre-drawn examples. We were then given a short demonstration on how to apply the inks. A fine paintbrush and cotton bud is useful if you are painting a detailed design and a thicker soft brush if you need to cover larger areas with a wash of colour.

The silk painting inks are very concentrated and produce a really vibrant colour on the cloth. Painting with inks looked easy but the inks dry quickly leaving a hard edge of colour. To prevent this from happening you can either damp the fabric slightly with your brush, before applying colour, or water the inks down.

I’m more familiar with watercolours, so by diluting the inks I was able to create the effect of the colours softly blending in to each other. Here is the piece I made, before and after…

In a short two-hour session, these are some of the lovely pieces that the group produced.

For more information on the Embroiderer’s Guild, or to find your local branch visit https://embroiderersguild.com/

Loving Vincent exhibition – Het Noordbrabants Museum, Holland

Loving Vincent is a painted animated film based on 120 of Van Gogh’s paintings. Every frame of the film was handpainted by over 124 artists who created more than 65,000 paintings. The exhibition, held at Het Noordbrabants Museum in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Holland provided a delightful insight into the making of such an ambitious film.

Below is a selection of paintings on canvas complete with registration marks, frame number and production comments.

A close up detail shows how thick the paint was applied on some of the paintings, in the style of Van Gogh.

The exhibition included a 3D mindmap illustrating the thought processes behind the making of the film, from the initial resources used to the script writing and music choices, plus what ended up on the cutting room floor.

How did Vincent Van Gogh die? The film looks at the investigation following his death. The mystery board below shows the possible suspects and how how they’re stories connected.

For more information visit – http://www.routevangogheurope.eu/news/228-exhibition-loving-vincent-at-noordbrabants-museum

Chris Ofili tapestry: The Caged Bird’s Song

I visited the National Gallery in London this week to see the tapestry triptych designed by Chris Ofili, called ‘Caged Bird’s Song’. Wow! I had watched the documentary on the BBC about the background to the tapestry commission and how it had been made and I still couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The ability to produce a tapestry that captured the effect of a watercolour painting was amazing to see.

Looking close-up at the caged bird, the effect was stunning; the varying hues and blends of colour created a real illusion of light and movement.

Woven at Dovecote Tapestry Studio, Edinburgh, a team of 10 weavers had spent two and a half years hand-weaving the tapestry. On display at the National Gallery in London from April to August it will be on permanent display at Clothworkers’ Hall.