Sunday, August 28, 2011

Join and create

Embroidery floss of many colors waiting to be stitched into ones thoughts
for lasting beauty to be celebrated through time.

For more information about our class series read past blog posts to get a feel for the course. I am accepting student enrollment for the 1st 2012 series running Jan through to the end of April. To register a non refundable deposit of $50 is required to reserve your place.

 Register today by CONTACTING US

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Finishing Touches

When the signature and date has been stitched, it is time for the stretching of the canvas.
This process usually takes one class to do.

Once framed Margaret's inspired Art & Crafts era EARTH element becomes clear and crisp.

Having completed their first element many of my students get inspired and plan the next one. Here Margaret has sketched her idea, chosen her palette and outlined the canvas border.

The booklet that comes with the course has stitch illustrations and workbook pages to keep the ideas flowing.

Nancy's inspired Country Garden EARTH element was rich with stitch texture.
Her exploration of ribbon stitching brought her artwork an exciting look.

Elizabeth's inspired Imagination AIR element was a adventure in new needlework techniques. Her Dragon's head turned out to be adorable.

Kathleen's Summer inspiration represented all the elements. Her summer sensibility of colour palette and stitch work was beautifully executed.

left to right: Margaret, Kathleen, Elizabeth, Nancy and Gwendolyne

Our studio in the 401 Richmond building downtown Toronto is the location for Atelier Gwendolyne. My goal and passion in these workshop series it to inspire people to get in touch with their personal creativity in the arts of needlework.

Thanks everyone for the great time we spent together this year.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer's Inspirations

It is always a pleasure to see people explore new techniques and materials. Nancy wanted a "Country Garden" to represent her Earth element. Her own home garden is a focal part of her summer life. Watching her work on this piece was inventive and beautifully executed on the canvas.

Using her own ribbon ends from home,  Nancy used worked in the lazy daisy and ribbon stitch. The rich texture was terrific.

Elizabeth's AIR element was an expression of the unseen. She created a flying carpet, a dragon and a book to represent  imagination.  It was a wonderful combination of symbols for this element.

Elizabeth had never sculpted cloth before. Shaping materials using many techniques to give dimension to the fibre art. In the Victorian era they called this type of needle craft Stump work.

She used a knife to cut slits in the lamb leather for the Dragon's eyes and nostril.  Then beads were sewn underneath.  It was exciting to see how these two additions brought life to her dragon head.

The book was made from paper fiber supported on matt board.  The open page was wired for shape.

Here is Kathleen's artwork.  She incorporated all the elements to create a true Summer celebration.  It had been years since she picked up the needle and thread. This course series refreshed her skills and supported her to creative thoughts.  Her needle work was fine with great tension and delivery.  Every week as the piece developed I could see her enthusiasm grow; she was liking the results of her creation.

It is during these times that I know why this course is good for people.  It opens space in their lives for their personal journeys of mind and hand. The calming thoughtful stitch is powerful.  The finished creation a treasure of time.

I like snapping photos of the back side.  This side will never be seen when the artwork is stretched and framed but it is the side that supports the front to be. A metaphor of our roots in life.

This sail boat is most precious.  Summer has a way of inspiring many lives.  I think it is because our primal nature gets in touch with ourselves.  We explore and socialize more.  The longer days of sunlight enrich us in many ways.

Kathleen's water symbol the sail boat makes me think of those cool breezes and spraying the water as the boat moves along.

Nancy found this little bird to add to her artwork.  I can not say enough about her vibrant energy in our workshop together.  I really loved her rich caring nature and laughter.  I think her artwork speaks loud and clear about her love for life.

Here we are together Nancy, Elizabeth and I working and chatting on the work bench.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Connection of Time and Stitch

I like to capture as many moments possible during our workshop hours. Each person's journeys is so unique and capturing their moments of process allows me to share with others the creativity that happens in Atelier Gwendolyne.

Choices, conversations, challenges and resolutions on many levels of the art and life happen in Atelier Gwendolyne.  I get excited to prepare the studio for my students as they open their creative energy into our world.

My library of Needlework books often are useful for stitch inspiration and layout direction.

Margaret is inspired by the Victorian era and the early 20th century energy.  She is an artist / lawyer who cherishes the love of texture, color and detail.

She used a rich palette of greens and contrasted them with the hues of red and blue.  I enjoyed seeing her art evolve every week. She was able to enjoy the stitch outside of the Atelier Gwendolyne hours.

I often like capturing the backside of people's canvas as it reveals the thoughtful tying of ends. Every line created needs a good securing I prefer the small double knots.

When the foreground was finished Margaret felt it still needed something more.

Choosing a thread color several hues lighter than the canvas she created a textural background with running stitches to form vines. The effect brought depth to her artwork and she knew it was finished.

I must confess that whenever I looked over her shoulder at those strawberries she had stitched I was inspired to eat one.

Margaret's Earth Element spoke about her love for beauty, art and the love of mindful needle work. Everyone was inspired by her artwork. I can just imagine how wonderful it will look on one of her walls in her Victorian home.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Needle work's dance of time

This has been a wonderful year for us in the studio.  Our classes began later in the Spring due to our long winter.

A perfect way to celebrate Spring and bring on the summer with some creativity of life.

We were fortunate to have some of needlework treasures brought to class. One of Margaret's first beauties was this embroidered tea cozy. Even though it had seen the wear of time, the brilliance of the silk thread work still shines on today. Having retired from it's earlier function it is now appreciated only for it's beauty. The creator's color palette is cool and fresh even 100 years later. I love the idea that it is still giving pleasure to the eye. If only it could talk, I am sure it heard many a good story.

Nancy brought this Bakers Lake embroidered duffel wool bag to share in class. The repeating embroidery details combined with larger applique motifs are typical in the Baker Lake designs. Each creation I have ever seen shares the joyful interaction with nature and animal life.

Change is constant yet the pace of life is probably the same.  People fill up their lives with activities that they feel have importance. In the past community was one of those things. Sharing your life with your neighbours and friends creating a blanket with your husbands silk ties.  Crazy ~ I do not think so.  Yet this Crazy Quilt still speaks the energy that brought people together to share.

Like this Crazy Quilt, Atelier Gwendolyne is a creative space bringing lives together with the soul purpose of bringing the needle and thread into the creative realm of art. I am happy to be part of it.

Thankyou Margaret and Nancy for sharing your treasures.


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