Thursday, April 18, 2024

Back from European Travels

 I have been back in Australia for about a week. It is always such a long journey home. Though there was not much time to recover as I had to visit Mum in Melbourne, and a quick dash into AQC to pick up some quilts from Reece Scannell, then wedding dress shopping on the Saturday for daughter eldest. What has happened to simple and elegant is all we want to know?? Over the tope froth and bead and balloon with plunging necklines seem to be all the go and as my daughter wryly remarked - for a white dress that is sometimes said to represent one's purity the necklines seem to say something completely different. We are still  looking....

Had a busy trip to Europe and the five weeks flew by. Taught in Milan for Roberta de Marchi in her shop, free motion stitching of both the quilting and applique kind. It was a busy two days with students from all over Italy, and my Italian very rusty indeed- but the language of stitching somehow makes up for that! I shall be teaching for Roberta in May 2025 and am looking forward to it!

Then onto Lyon for a few days. We crossed the Alps in a Flix bus, and as there had been fresh snow the Italian side of the Alps, they looked spectacular. Lyon is always such a lovely city- could have walked around a lot more, but sad to see so many little artisan shops had shut down since the last time I visited. The apartment we stayed in was in a building that had seen better days up three flights of stairs- a bit of a marathon with heavy luggage, but it was close to Perrache Station, so that it was easy to catch the Ouigo train to Marne la Vallee and then onward to Chartres where I exhibited for two weeks at Croisement des Arts.

The exhibition was varied and interesting , I love being part of this event as there are some wonderful artists who exhibit and I am chuffed to be a part of it. Plus it is always a delight to stay in Chartres. Caught up with old friends and even found another Australia resident who  I will catch up with next time around. I will be back next year to teach a Masterclass at Villa Fulbert prior to the exhibition the last two weeks of March 2025

 We did hire a car for a week to make a side trip to Chenonceau and then onto Bayeux to see the Bayeux Tapestry where we had the great good fortune to be only one of a few visitors early in the morning so the tapestry could be viewed at a leisurely pace and you could back track to examine interesting parts. Whomever drew the cartoons for the embroidery surely knew a horse back to front and back again- they are really marvellous. Loved that the threads used had been dyed with natural colours  of a limited palette and it is amazing that the colours from the 11th century have lasted as they have despite all the adventures the tapestry encountered.

The last week we spent in the United King  near Lancaster- a part of the UK I had not seen before. We did visit the Lakes District ( which was pretty busy because of the school holidays) and we made a trip to Farfield Mill in the Yorkshire Dales to visit the exhibition of work by Kay Leech and Gillian Cooper. The mill  buildings also house a number of artists studios as well as the Galleries which could be visited and was delighted to find the studio of Stuart Wilkie and his wonderful lino and wood engraving prints so evocative of the wildlife of the Yorkshire Dales and very reasonably priced , so a heron and hare made it back to Australia.

It has been hard to get back into work mode, but I have had to put the head down and develop a class for Textile Arts Org that will air in January of 2015. Can't reveal much yet but it is inspired by travels , especially my stay in Perugia last year. 

Little linocut print- there is a booboo in this one- can you spot it. Have done it again because once I noticed it really annoyed my that I had made such a simple error= been out of linocutting mode too long!