Pattern and Friendship

Ravilious and Co The Pattern of Friendship

 It has taken a while to return to my long neglected blog so if you are still out there, thanks for visiting, I hope it was worth the wait!

To tell you the truth I have been rather down in the dumps, who wouldn't be with all the recent events happening in our world? As always it is family, good friends and art which have lifted my spirits and I was lucky enough to win this wonderful book over on Dovegreyreader's blog. If you love books and quilting this well established blog is well worth a visit.

Ravilious and Co - The Pattern of Friendship by Andy Friend is published by Thames and Hudson. Not only does the gorgeous book feature Ravilious's wonderful wood engravings and artworks but many decorative patterns created by himself and his circle of friends. Numerous designs created for Curwen are featured, some of which I have featured previously on this blog. I am particularly fond of the work of Enid Marx who was a distinguished designer of textiles and also a gifted artist and illustrator.

Patterned Paper bindings

I recently took part in a workshop run by the Society of Bookbinders and we had the opportunity to put to good use an assortment of patterned papers. The top two on the photograph feature my own designs, these easy to make stub bindings are simple but surprisingly useful. The bottom left is a coptic bound book; here I used a beautiful Florentine paper given to me by a dear friend. The bottom right uses another paper, also given to me by another kindred spirit. What lovely friends I have!

Ravilious and Enid Marx often created patterns which started life as wood engravings, some were inspired by artists of their day. In these two pieces I have started by making doodles on a piece of scraperboard, or scratchboard as my American friends would call it. I have then played around with repeat patterns to create two different designs, the top one has a tile repeat which reminds me of a kaleidoscope I used to love to play with as a child.

Before I go I should mention an exhibition I took part in - The Annual Hillard Society of Miniature Paintings, in Wells, Somerset. The exhibition is now closed but you can visit it online here- Wells is a beautiful place to visit and was the birth place of the miniature artist Hilliard, hence the name. The exhibition takes place once a year in the Town Hall, it is always enjoyable and a good opportunity to make new friends in the miniature art world, both artists and collectors. There are also demonstrations by members who are always willing to share their knowledge.

I have been busy with new commissions, I loved working on this miniature version of an old Tudor portrait of a noble woman wearing the most exquisite patterned lace. I painted it in watercolour on a surface called polymin, this is a man made ivory substitute and the very devil to paint on! It does however have a lovely translucent quality and I have since learnt that it helps to dust with talcum powder first and then coat with a thin wash. (The painting is very small, three and a half inches across.)