Saturday, 18 September 2010

darn good!

I'm looking forward to running a series of three workshops at The Spider and The Fly starting this coming week entitled: Cardi-hole Surgery and Jean-etic Engineering! 

The first two are about fixing up your old hole-y favourites. In week one we'll be concentrating on the knitty-gritty of darning, fashioning fancy patches and making your cardigan wholly-whole (holy hole?!) again.

In week two we'll begin the make-over: trading-in your buttons, adding a little ribbon here or a little embroidery there. As Emily from The Spider and The Fly puts it "make your other cardigans jealous!". I like that!

Then we move onto revitalising your jean-pool by getting your favourite to strides ride again! We'll be looking at a few different patching methods for every wear and tear. My own most tried and tested patching method is for those places that eherm, wear where the sun don't shine...?! Once you've got them bits fixed-up you'll be doing scissor-kicks just to show it off!! 

Here's how I've fixed-up my old faithful in my twelve years tenure with this cosy M&S merino number. ..

Workshops are £15 per session or £40 for all three. Booking essential as places are very limited! Please email or visit The Spider and The Fly at 65 Bread Street. EH3 9AH.

Tea and biscuits will be served. I'm thinking Anzacs...

Thursday, 16 September 2010

off the wall: part one

I'm rather lucky to have two studio spaces at the moment. One at WASPS artists studios in Dalry where I paint and varnish, saw and glue and a clean desk at home where I sew. 

I like to use the space above my desk as kind of scrapbook of curios, keepsakes, and interesting things. But my wall has begun looking a little sun-damaged and tired of late: it's in need of a rethink.

Before I un-peeled and un-picked the blutac, I took one last look at the wall that was. Which got me thinking why everything was there in the first place...

1. Megan: My dearly departed cat -she took a helluva grumpy photo.
2. Strawberry with a googly-eye: Something I painted for The object is not important as long as there is, 2006. 
3. Mexican papel picado banners and spider plantsGlasgow Women's Library
4. Three-eyes on four-legs: A freaky stuffed sheepie photographed at Skógar Folk Museum, Iceland my favourite museum EVER. I love how it looks as tho it's floating down an imaginary river!
5. British Wildlife: postcard by The Caravan Gallery.
6. Bouncy ball machine: photographed in the Berlin Fernsehturm. The sparkly blue machine has a lovely hand-written note (black marker pen on squared paper) saying "Defekt".
7. Deadly Pirhana (sic): something I found on the interwebs. A beautiful hand-painted and badly spelt circus banner: "Predators of the Deep, Real and Truely Blood Curdling".  
8. How to Work Better (After Fischli and Weiss) No.2: A note to self.
9. Jean Carlu Aquarium de Monaco: Postcard sent from Musee des Arts Décoratifs, Paris
10. Beadwork Basket: "Coloured glass beads on wire armature with white silk satin, said to have been made by Elizabth Clarke (1665-1699), England c.1675", a beautiful postcard from The Burrell Collection, Glasgow.
11. Cat with grapefruit: another classic from the intertubes.
12. The back of mummy's head: photographed in Ägyptisches Museum, Berlin
13. Leopard print lady and cat: an old birthday card.
14. Jean Cocteau Sommeil hollywoodien, 1953: postcard of one of my favourite paintings, from Centre Pompidou, Paris.
15. Büste der Königin Nofretete: postcard from Ägyptisches Museum, Berlin. I couldn't go round that place quicky.
16. Camouflaged raspberry canes: by Ian Hamilton Findlay photographed in the garden at Little Sparta, Dunsyre, Lanarkshire. 
17. Freedom Is Not Something You Are Given It Is Something You Have To Make more Mexican papel picado banners and spider plants: the banner I made with Space 44 in 2007 as part of the Collective's One Mile programme. Photographed at Glasgow Women's Library.
18. West African shell with googly-eyes: also painted as part of The object is not important as long as there is.
19. Stripped jellies on the seashore: a newspaper cutting my best-friend sent to me. I remember it was a runner up in a national photographic competition but can't remember the photographer.
20. Dolly Parton: I selected this photo especially for it's wall-to-wall HAIR! 
21. Ivor CutlerA tiny newspaper cutting of Ivor Cutler in his lovely cluttered sitting room. 
22. Inge Morath, Young woman with Steinberg mask and fur coat, NewYork, 1961: I bought this card for 10p at the National Galleries of Scotland Sale in the RSA one year. They now flog their bargains on line - go look-see.

Coming soon part two: Old frames and new flames plus a wee how-to on my new bargain-acious framing method...

Friday, 10 September 2010

The Floating World

details of Sara MacKillop Jigsaws, 2010

detail of Mary Redmond Handkercheif Club, 2010

detail of Mary Redmond Kano Night Cat, 2010

My Dundee expedition wasn't all pies and pastry. I took in some of the other cultural delights at Dundee Contemporary Arts.

I had no idea what I was going to see, which in retrospect I think may become my new gallery-going strategy as I don't think I've enjoyed taking the time to just wander around an exhibition for quite sometime.  
I really enjoyed the use of colour in both artists work. Sara MacKilliop's found objects came just as they were and I loved the variation of shades in her Jigsaws. I've a bit of a penchant for sugar paper and particularly enjoyed the shade of green in the first photo. 

The light in Gallery 2 was fantastic that afternoon. I believe the St. Ive's Group favoured their base because of the quality of light on the Cornish coast and I think Dundee benefits from something similar. You really see the detail in objects and colour seems more vibrant all of which I think emphasised the tactile and tonal qualities in Mary Redmond's work. I particularly loved the braided and bound Kano Night Cat, not least because it has cat in the title.

The two exhibitions Sara MacKilliop Similar Variance and Mary Redmond The Floating World are on until 10 October. 

Thursday, 9 September 2010

meh peh

I paid a wee visit to my hometown last week and no visit to Dundee would be complete without wrapping my wallies around one of these and partaking of the opportunity to thicken my arteries at the same time. Bingo!

Meh peh, (for those of you requiring translation that's "my pie" in Dundonian) was purchased from Bayne's on Crichton Street - an irregular choice some may say. Although the crust lacked the delicate crispy bite of an A1 specimen the filling sure made up for it. Unctuously meaty and delicious, my pie ranneth-over with greasy-juices which I deftly saved from dribbling down my skirt. I still got the moves y'ken.