Monday, 30 September 2013

Women Painting Women Catalogue

The Women Painting Women Exhibition at Art Exposure in Glasgow is well on its way.

I am happy to say that both my paintings there sold within the first 24 hours of opening the show. I am so grateful. I hope you get a chance to go and see this show as it has some really great artists in it. Most of these are friends, whom have gotten to know each-other though the extensive network of artists that find each-other on Facebook. Facebook has been brilliant for me the past few years. While it has been a simple of means of staying in touch with friends for many, for me it has provided a network of international artists to exchange work, experiences, exhibitions and support. I have met many artists whom I first only knew on Facebook but who have now become real friends. It has been a goldmine of added value for my painting career and life in general. 

The catalogue for the exhibition at Art Exposure is available to buy online, so even if you don't get to see the show, you can get this lovely catalogue with all the works illustrated.

Related blog posts:

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Ruff Making

I am finally getting to where I want to be with my ruff-making skills. It is far from perfect, I am no seamstress after all, but at least I can work with this one....Hopefully you'll see it again in one of my paintings....

Thursday, 19 September 2013

work in progress

Preparing for paintings, making collars....I look like a seamstress but honestly this will lead to painting!!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

An overview of Early Lace

Early Lace: A Short History

In the late 16th century lace became increasingly popular in fashion. It developed from decorated edges, surface decoration, decorated seams on clothing and passementerie (braids, cords, tassels etc). As it became increasingly popular it became increasingly developed. There are two types of lace: needle lace and bobbin lace.

Needle Lace

Needle lace is built up with a thread and needle, stitch by stitch, on an outline of thread. The thread outline follows the pattern on parchment or paper. Row after row of buttonhole stitches built up the design. The designs can then be connected by linking bars, also made up of buttonhole stitches.

Bobbin Lace

Bobbin lace does not involve a needle but is a type of weaving with the help of bobbins to keep the threads organised. The pattern would be drawn out on parchment and would be pricked out. Pins would be placed through the holes and they hold the lace-in-progress in place. Once the lace is done it will keep itself in place and the pins could be removed. 

A number of threads would be joined together, resembling the warp threads in a piece of woven material, and then the threads would be woven, pleated, and twisted together with the help of the bobbins. 

'Straight Lace' is a lace where the entire piece, pattern and linking bars is created in one continuous process. This technique can be used for the most simple as well as the most complicated pieces of lace. A simple piece would only require 6 or so bobbins, while a complex piece could need 600 or more bobbins! Straight lace is the oldest form of bobbin lace. 

Bobbin Lace making

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Working Pictures

Working pictures....
ruffs, patterns, lace....

Get Ready, on your marks, Pleat!

Frans Hals, Seated Woman (detail), 1633. National Gallery of Art,
The large ruffs you find in Dutch early seventeenth-century portraits are the results of the time consuming efforts of linen bleaching, sewing, starching and setting. A ruff is constructed from a long strip of fabric, usually very fine linen lawn (Holland lawn was the finest around, made, obviously, in The Netherlands), gathered into cartridge pleats. The length of fabric ranged from a few meters up to nearly 20 meters and ruffs could have anything from 30 all the way up to hundreds of pleats! The famous Dutch portraits often show ruffs of around 200 pleats and we can assume that the painter painted the ruffs fairly accurately. The laundress had the responsibility to starch and set the ruff in the shape required with the aide of a hot poking stick to set the pleats. Rain and wear would 'melt' the starch and would make the ruff go floppy and the work would have to start all over again. In Jonson's play Every Man out of his Humour (1598) a character warns his friend to "keep close; yet not so close, thy breath will thaw my ruff". A rare surviving ruff is in Munich's Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, where there is a linen ruff from around 1620-40 with no less than 530 pleats. It is one of very few original ruffs left in the world ( as far as I can tell at the moment, there are only three original ruffs left, the other being in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and in the Stockholm Armory Museum)
Ruff at the Royal Armoury Museum in Stockholm

Suportasses and ruff, Bayerisches Nationalmuseum.
The museum must be very strict with regards to photographs
as no pictures of it appear on the internet except this vintage one.
The ruff does appear in recent publications such as the 'In Fine Style' catalogue
published this year.

I've had a go at making my own ruff but not satisfied with the
result I will try again! stay tuned...

Ruff, 1615-1635, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

PS: In the end I made a ruff and painted it, see here.

Further Reading:
Anna Reynolds, In Fine Style. The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion, Royal Collection Trust, 2013
Janet Arnold, Patterns of Fashion 4, Macmillan, 1988
Nina Mikhaila, Jane Malcolm-Davies, the Tudor Tailor, Batsford, 2006

For an organised list of ALL blog posts that I wrote during the BP Travel Award project (2 years), please see this page on my blog!


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