Working hard without much journaling.

Have been working very hard on printing and toning my final works so that they could be then photographed for submission.

I have decided to use cyanotype exclusively and tone with tea and wine to get colour. I was really surprised at the range that resulted and excited to refine this.

I have made 12 diptychs and arranged them in a three by four grid.

The idea is that each image through the window is then matched with an object from inside. The pair are then toned equally with the same tea or wine. Have rushed this a bit at the end and would have liked to have the time to make this into a physical quilt which I will ultimately do.

Need to get my statement done:

Quick analysis:

Form and composition – more distant outside view pinholes are paired with a close photogram of an inside object. A lot of objects are to some extent related to lockdown which is what I was intending. The views are all from my windows.

Line – I have tried to link the line in the view photo with line in the object but that was a bit difficult.

Colour – muted organic pink/green/brown/blue. Slightly faded appearance hopefully suggesting the faded nature of life experiences at present.

Texture – rough fabric texture, resonating with degradation ?

scale – contrast between full window view and close observation of object.

medium – cyanotype – detailed photo on fabric which also has the potential to be presented in various colours. Able to be toned with everyday materials – bleach with washing powder, tone with tea or wine. Processed in water and vinegar.

Going to try and write statement now.

Tea and Sanitiser

Outside the cherry tree moves in the breeze. Inside a clump of threads stick to my shoe. A wallaby nibbles under the silver birch, a dead fly on the windowsill. Sun streams in the courtyard and flares off the wine glass. Through the front door the cars await. I’ve given up on the sprout jar. The water lies beyond the heat pump. A wasp is stuck in the screen. Our neighbour works in his shed. All the strawberries are finished. A new house is just visible in the distance. Used the carafe for the first time ever. Popcorn.

For this work I combined pinhole photos taken through the windows of the house with photograms of objects that I found around the house, and that had some relevance to time spent at home during lockdown. The window views look into the distance and contrast with the personal view of the objects. I printed both the photograms and pinhole photos on to fabric using cyanotype chemicals. Pinhole photos are high contrast and when combined with cyanotype give a stark desolate image. Toning with household materials, washing powder, tea, wine, has muted the harsh blue but kept the lonely mood and added a faded component to speak of the passage of time. The slightly rough texture of the fabric is visible and reinforces the domestic nature of the imagery.

I have been inspired by the quirky pinhole photography of Eric Renner and the work of Mike Ware in pushing the boundaries of cyanotype.

Initial testing of process

Trying to sort out a process for using photographic film or paper in photograms or pinhole camera or both. I want to use the darkroom because I can and to learn new skills but I also want to get a good quality negative to use to reproduce photograms.

So far 4×5 film creates the best negative or doubled over transparency fused with laminating.

Very best result is direct object on fabric but that eliminates darkroom and photographic editing.

Cyanotype and solar fast together are allowing me to create more colour and so far working on silk also allows the addition of landscape dye. Silk doesn’t give as good an image though so another option is to rely wholly on cyanotype for blue and Solar Fast

Thinking of ‘Ghosts of Childhood’ as topic to explore and using old toys found around the house or downstairs in my youngest son’s room after he moved out.


Viewed 22 Feb 2020

Link to a Tate article about photograms


Artist who sort of uses photograms- fabric is laid out covered with natural material and then sprinkled with pigment and left out in the weather. Viewed 22 Feb 2020

I think his pigment could be as simple as fabric dye. If the fabric was primed with soda ash first this would work.

I think I’m more looking at developing photograms with cyanotype or solar fast but I do love the serendipity of these sort of works that harness the weather and time.

Melissa Zexter

Thinking of the photography unit coming up and I saw this. Melissa Zexter embroiders on photographs. Looks like most of the photos are black and white and then the colour is added through embroidery.

I’m thinking of photograms or pinhole photographs transferred to fabric and then potential addition of colour with ink or embroidery.

Viewed 20 Feb 2020

Maggie Dillon

For 20 year I’ve thought about using fabric as paint in an impressionist style. This is what Maggie Dillon does.

When I zoom in I can see that she is holding irregular shaped pieces down with zig zag and that the thread is part of the design from a distance. It’s impressive but I guess it’s not what I’m doing now. Although I’m a bit confused about what I am doing.

Viewed 1 Feb 2020

Andra Stanton

Looking at the jurors for saqa exhibitions is a good way to find successful art quilters.

Art Quilts

Viewed 30 Jan 2020

The above work is like a drawing. Certainly achievable for me. I also think I need to be less anal about raw edges as seen below.

She also makes 3D sculptural work which I’m a bit interested in given that I’m going to do sculpture too this year. Viewed 30 Jan 2020

I always like something to have a practical use too so I’m thinking of vessels. But I love the boxes above. A simple way of presenting what is essentially 2D work.