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Archive for July, 2010

Venice and poppies

Hard to believe it is July already and yes I have been very lazy about keeping up with my blog.  I do manage to keep up, to some extent, with my long list of favourite blogs so I do keep abreast of what these bloggers are up to even though I don’t manage to keep my own blog up to date.

Since my last blog I have been to Venice and completed another art quilt.  I have also created quite a number of AV’s – something I am really enjoying.  I just wish there were more hours in the day to give the time I would like to ALL my creative activities.

First – my visit to Venice.  This was quite a sudden decision as was the next trip to be taken in September.  It is thirty-one years since I last visited Venice.  I went for five days and at the end of that time I had  671 images to bring back.  We had lovely weather except for one day when it rained heavily ALL day but at least it was warm rain and we were wearing long capes which helped to keep us reasonably dry.  It did give us  different kinds of images.

This was the very first image I took while out on the first evening getting out bearings.

A very typical image of Venice as is the next one –

of the Grand Canal.  I took many well known images of Venice but I was mainly interested in taking images of the side of Venice we don’t normally notice.  Everyone is used to seeing the gondoliers standing on the back of the gondola weaving along the side canals.  I was amused by this group of gondoliers gathered together relaxing.

This was a very unusual building and not one to miss.  It took some finding, hidden down a narrow ally.  It was surrounded by a stout railing so could only be photographed through the railings.  Could have done with a set of steps!!

When we left Venice, we hired a water taxi which gave us a speedy and exhilarating ride back to the airport. VERY expensive but fantastic.

It has taken a long time to process all my images and have reduced them down to just over 400 – still rather a lot but……

Before we went to Venice we had a visit to a sculpture garden known as The Hutts.  It is part of a farm which has created a Himalayan garden which features lots of sculptures – mostly contemporary. The garden was full of azaleas and rhododendrons and it closes when the flowers on these bushed die off.  There are two lakes which have large floating sculptures in them.  It is quite a testing walk up and down the hillsides but well worth a visit.

I took this image of some blue Himalayan poppies which are very difficult to grow.

I used this poppy image as the design source for my next art quilt. I took it into Photoshop and played with lots of effects, keeping those which rang the design bells like this one..

and this one….

I created fifteen different designs and used the computer again to bring all the different designs together into one large art quilt panel.  Once this was done I could edit and size each image which was then printed onto white cotton.  Each was  highlighted with metallic and acrylic paints then sandwiched into mini quilts and free machined. The stamen and anthers were stitched using French knots.  I cut the surplus away and satin stitch edged each of them.

I took a while to decide how to join them together, eventually deciding on free machine fagoting which worked well and suited the panel.

I am now creating an AV showing how the panel was created which is quite a challenge to do it the way I want to do it so I am having to learn some new tricks.  I have found a lovely piece of music for it.

I went over to the Lake District yesterday  – more images to process – and bought a pair of the most comfortable sandals I have ever worn.  Much needed for our next trip to Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore. My feet really suffered during the five days in Venice with so much walking to do and carrying all the photo equipment. To top it all, we were on the third floor with no lift!!   I made this climb usually in bare feet as they were pounding so much and the stairs were cool marble.  We would spend the next few hours laid on the bed resting the feet ready for the next trip out including the late evenings for night photography.

The next trip will be sixteen days and again – a lot of walking  so better and more comfortable footwear was a must.

OK, I think that is it for now.  Don’t know how long to the next blog but until then

Cheers everyone.

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