This isn’t what I did last weekend, but the weekend before, a very blustery weekend in January spent in Porthleven in Cornwall with my very excellent friends, Alison, Ceri and Becky. Alison’s family has a house right on the sea wall, the white house first to the left of the stone building with the tower. It is unusual because it has sea views on both sides because it is built on a feature jutting out into the harbour:
These weekends are fantastic, because Alison usually phones up and says the house is free on a particular date, come if you can. It generally works out that we have a wander round the little town, which has yet to become St Ivesified and still looks like it could conceivably be a working harbour – although Rick Stein has just opened a place there. These are some pictures I took of it because I felt I had to take the standard inspiration ones!
I really loved those pastel float things on the boat here. And no-one can resist lobster pots with a splash of turquoise:
We walked further out and saw this:
Sadly, no wrestling to report on, but across the bay you can just about see the remains of the tin mines:
There were also some great flower forms to sketch:
And this one looks a lot like the verdigogh zentangle which I have never found easy to do:
There was also this lovely colour scheme:
which I have used before in my Collars project:
Plus, owing to infatuation at an impressionable age, I can never pass by a stone wall without thinking of Kaffe Fassett:
The informal deal on these weekends seems to have worked out to be that they do the cooking, which is wonderful, and I provide a workshop on the Saturday afternoon. As no-one had done monoprinting with a Gelli plate, that’s what we decided to do. I took two big bags of paint, stamps, rollers, paper, fabric and stencils and gave them a tiny bit of input and they were off:
I took pretty cheap acrylic paint so that no-one would feel inhibited about splashing it about, and this was a bit of a false economy as the Gelli plates seem to work better with thicker paint with more pigment. But we got some great results and had a lovely time trying out techniques, particularly with the stencils:
I had never used the Gelli plates on fabric before and was eager to see what happened. We used yards of waste curtain lining, which was a kind of cotton sateen, from my mother’s friend’s son, Graham. I like using this fabric, and have used lots of his samples in my recent applique, because otherwise it would go into landfill. So it is a form of recycling. It is also something from nothing, which appeals, and I think that having a lot of materials – yards of fabric and plenty of cheap paint somehow gives people permission to experiment and try things out. The worst that can happen is that it really does end up in landfill.
The printing on fabric went really well, and I will put some pictures of what I made in a later post. I printed enough to make a reasonably large piece, although the stitching will largely be machine done as the paint has stiffened the fabric even with some textile medium in it.
I shall end with some lunatic surfers who were kite surfing in crashing waves: