My Written Reflection Part Five

I have really enjoyed Part Five of the Course because I had a sense of things coming together for me.  I found my drawing improving with this being a major challenge for me at the beginning of the Course.  I understood how to drill down on a theme and focus on a few elements and the ideas kept coming and still are coming.  Importantly I found I had more organisation and structure to my work.  I think the analysis at the end of Part 4 on “A Structured Approach to Reflective Thinking” leaning heavily on the work of Cottrell(2011,p211)help me to approach Part Five in a more cohesive way.

The model I presented of critical reflection encouraged me to do a “Review of Formative Feedback”(blogpost March 30, 2017) for assignments 1, 2 and 3, for example the question I posed to myself in terms of Assignment One Feedback “Have I looked hard at other practioner’s work and fed that into my own practice? provided me with a prompt as I commenced Part 5 to ensure I documented my Research of other Practioner’s who I was drawn to (e.g. Dorothy Caldwell, Bobby Britnell).  The reminder to draw in a range of mediums, to draw without looking on large A2 paper all were highlighted to me.  I also did an update of the book “Steal like an Artist”.  The review of the feedback from Assignment Two also encouraged me to include more photographs from my sketchbook,and to use to water soluble crayons and other materials.  I took on board the feedback from Assignment Four also and revisited Debbie Lyddon’s Book and provided more in-depth analysis.

In terms of my Model which is a continuous loop Model I followed along on the Acting and Experience by research gathering and documenting this, by preparing a portfolio of work.  I reflected on my previous creative experience in Assignments 1,2,3 and 4 and my current experience.  I tried to integrate my reflections with ideas and approaches by other artists and I think I achieved this at least to be influenced by Caldwell, Britnell, Blake and Streefkerk in Part 5. Review and Assessment I will comment further below and finally evaluating in terms of my development.

Overall for Part 5 I have had a shift in my thinking about my textile work.  For the first time I feel a deeper relationship to my subject matter to what I am doing and how I am doing it in some way it feels part of me.  It is not just a selection of techniques it is more than that.  I have also come to value the use of the sketchbook (I have to confess I was trained by a master US quilter to work intuitively with no sketchbook)as my place to sort out ideas and experiment I still have work to do though.  I think I better managed my time in Part 5 but there is still room for improvement.  I understand so much better now what I need to do than when I started the course.

The course in general has provided so much to me in way of my textile work.  I feel so enriched by the experience.  I now approach my work from a deeper mindset.  This has had a very positive effect on my other textile work outside of this course.  I plan to enrol in the Mixed Media in Textiles Course next.  I will enter Exhibitions also (I have done this already) but be more experimental and less risk adverse with my approach.  The course has stimulated me to think of textiles far more broadly and I look forward to expanding in this context further.



Assign 5 Part 5 Review against Assessment Criteria

Demonstration of technical and visual skills – materials, techniques, observational skills, visual awareness, design and compositional skill (40%)

I think I have followed the requirements of the Projects and Assignment and enjoyed the experience.  I have built on the work in previous Parts of the course in the undertaking of these works. I pushed the use of different materials in my work and to test their usability e.g. the Art Tissue paper.

Quality of Outcomes- content, application of knowledge, presentation of work in a coherent manner, discernment, conceptualisation of thoughts, communication of ideas (20%)

I think my outcomes are satisfactory.  I realise that there was a lot of freedom to interpret what was required in Part 5 and Assignment 5 and I hope I have followed a reasonable path,


Demonstration of Creativity – imagination, experimentation, invention, development of a personal voice (20%)

I have used some sketching to study my yarn approaches and in looking at my Tropical Tourist items.  I have used a variety of sizes including A2.  I have used a variety of materials e.g. crayons, wire

My approach to 5.3 to create experimental materials and printing to form the basis of my textile collection and my yarn development 5.2 I think showed my willingness to be  experimental.  Creating the six samples for my Textile Collection really felt like I am starting to develop my personal voice, how I really felt and related to the subject matter and my own way of interpreting the subject.

Context – Research, reflection, critical thinking (20%)

I have documented the Artists I have researched in Part 5 who have influenced my work and commented in My Written Reflection blogpost of the impact of these Artists.  I have established several Pinterest pages on these Artists and others.

I have approached my work in terms of my Model of Reflection as discussed in my blogpost My Written Reflection blog post of 30 May 2017.

Part 5 – What have I done?

Before I undertake my Written Reflection I have decided to document as an Index the work I have documented in Part 5 on this Blog.  I have also used a sketchbook.



  • Assignment 5 – Textile Collection                                                              30 May 2017
  • Part 5 Project 3 – Experiments and Taking Risks                                   30 May 2017
  • Research:   Dorothy Caldwell Textile Artist                                            16 May 2017
  • Project 2.4 – Develop yarn and linear concepts                                      16 May 2017
  • Research:   Bobby Britnell Textile Artist                                                  04 May 2017
  • Project 2.3  –  Develop Textile Concepts                                                    03 May 2017
  • Research:  Sally Blake Australian Artist                                                   03 May 2017
  • Exhibition Queensland Art Gallery O’Keeffe, Preston                           03 May 2017
  • Project 2.2  –  Inspired by Artist                                                                  28 April 2017
  • Project 2.1 – Building a Colour Response                                                  18 April 2017
  • Project 1 – Drawings                                                                                      17 April 2017
  • Exhibition Visit to National Gallery of Australia                                    11 April 2017
  • Research:  Hannah Streefkerk Textile Artist                                           01 April 2017
  • Exhibitions: NERAM                                                                                     30 March 2017
  • My Review of Formative Feedback Assignments 1,2 and 3                  30 March 2017
  • Yarn File:  Selvedge Magazine #75                                                             29 March 2017
  • Research:  Cas Holmes – Mote Tree and Collage                                      27 March 2017
  • Research:  Follow up Debbie Lyddon Book Tutor suggestion              27 March 2017
  • Tutor Feedback Assignment Four                                                              20 March 2017
  • Book:  “Steal like an Artist” Notes                                                               10 March 2017
  • Research:  Glenys Mann Textile Artist                                                       05 March 2017
  • Part 5 – Reflection – How to look at Textiles                                              04 March 2017
  • Part 5 – Reflection Laboratory versus Factory                                         28 February 2017

Something to think about to assist my study work in  the future is why there are some periods without posts being blogged could I have made better use of my time? Have I documented enough of my Research? Have I taken time to reflect or to comment during the work for Part 5?

Research: Dorothy Caldwell Textile Artist

I have long been drawn to the work of Canadian textile artist Dorothy Caldwell whom I met in New Zealand some years ago.  I like the ruggedness of the work the detail of the mark making and the addition of stitch and appliqué in many of her works.  I appreciate the story behind the works. The photograph taken of the cover of a recent Studio Art Quilters Associates Inc Journal shows to some degree the scope of her work. This work A Red Hill/A Green Hill is 9 feet 3 inches x 9 feet 6 inches.

SAQA COVERDorothy recently did a series of work based on using earth to dye her fabric.  She undertook residencies in the Australian Outback and the Canadian Arctic.  Her process was to fill many small journals with images, drawings and paper dyed from natural sources thus recording fragments of the places she was studying.  Many of Dorothy’s art pieces are large as evidenced in the Cover photograph above. She references objects she finds on her walks in these remote areas and indigenous art.  Dorothy sees the stitch as very important to the mark making seeing it as a dot, a line and a texture.  The stitches are like running stitch, kantha stitch, darning and mending stitches  and she is quoted as being inspired by this Louise Bourgeois quote:

“I have always had a fascination with the needle, the magic power of the needle.  The needle is used to repair the damage.  It’s a claim to forgiveness.”  Louise Bourgeois

Her technique outlined in the SAQA Magazine (2016, No4) journal article is to first create the base cloth using printing, wax resist, and discharge and dyeing.  With the base complete she hangs the piece on the wall and continues by adding appliqué, stitching, and drawing with thread.  The work created is powerful and connected to place.

Dorothy’s work inspires me to want to travel to Outback Australia (I have never been) and see for myself the red ochres of the earth and try dyeing fabric with the earth.


SAQA Journal 2016/Volume 26, No4

Research: Bobby Britnell Textile Artist

I have really been drawn to the work of Bobby Britnell for quite a long time.  I was lucky to go to a lecture Bobby gave at the Ally Pally Knitting and Stitching Show in 2015.  I love her drawing works and the way she uses negative and positive space in her textile work. Her use of mixed media is also interesting(e.g.gesso) and her machine stitching (free form zigzag) approach in some pieces.

Bobby is a member of the Textile Study Group and the exhibiting group Through our Hands.  I noted that in an interview with the Textile Artist ( she indicated that she uses sketchbooks and finds them invaluable as a means of sorting out thought processes, investigating technique and testing ideas.  She also comments that she does not mind if the pages are messy or unfinished.  Her latest work seems more centred on bark cloth from Uganda and she has made some beautiful works with the rather thickish textured cloth.  (I bought a small piece after her Lecture).

Bobby listed her major influences in the interview with Textile Artist as Cecily Sash a South Africa, David Tress’ expressive landscapes and I found a reference to the inspiration she gains from the work of artist Ben Nicholson.  She maintains that as textile artists we should be looking at other forms of art.  I agree we should look widely at other art and have been attending art galleries and using the internet to find painters, sculptors and basket makers.  I find this broadens my horizon and encourages me to look  closely at colour, textures, lines and shapes in these other art forms.

As an aside Barkcloth is called different names in the Pacific and SE Asia including Tapa Cloth in the Pacific and there are some wonderful art pieces made by various Pacific peoples.  I have seen tapa cloth used to make fantastic dresses with machine embroidery on display in Wellington NZ some years ago.

I have not tried to reproduce photographs of Bobby Britnell’s work but have a Pinterest page.

Pinterest:  Bobby Britnell

References:  Bobby Britnell, 2013, Stitched Textiles: Flowers, Search Press Ltd, Kent


Research: Sally Blake Australian Artist –

Sally Blake, an Australian Artist,  likes to explore the relationship between the human and natural worlds and in particular rain and dyes from plants.  Sally uses a number of textile techniques – dyeing, basketry, weaving, stitching, piecing – as well as paper based media.

Sally Blakke basket

Her website is  on her website are her very interesting Gallery of Work and a fabulous resource “Eucalyptus Dyes”.  The Eucalyptus dye database is a project Sally undertook with the assistance of the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.  She studies the Eucalypts in the Australian National Botanical Garden for their dyes between June-November 2016. On her website Sally shares the links to the dye colours from both the leaves and the bark and also information about the recipes, fabrics and mordants that she used in the project.  I only found her website today and was so excited by the information provided that I thought I should share on this blog.


Exhibition Queensland Art Gallery O’Keeffe, Preston and Cossington Smith: Making Modernism

I visited the Queensland Art Gallery last week and also the week before to attend the Exhibition: O’Keeffe, Preston and Cossington Smith:  Making Modernism.  The Exhibition had also been held in Victoria and the Art Gallery of NSW.

The Exhibition explores the theme through 90 works .  Thirty work portfolios of three artists Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) and the well known artists of Australian modernism Margaret Preston (1875-1963) and Grace Cossington Smith (1892-1984).   It was great to see a number of O’Keeffe’s works here but it was also interesting for me to see a large number of Preston and Cossington Smith works.

Although defined as modernists their work is different.  O’Keeffe has a clean, bold, simplified approach to extract and abstract with many works depicting the New Mexico landscape.  Preston has fabulous woodcuts and bright coloured flowers in her still lives and recognition of the centrality of Aboriginal culture. Cossington Smith who lived most of her life in the north shore of Sydney has chosen everyday life as a focus.  The Exhibition was divided into basically a room space for each Artist.  As American curator Cody Hartley writes in the catalogue, each woman, in her irreducible individuality, “found new ways to communicate, new things to say, and new ways to make art significant to their national cultures”.  Modernism may be seen as an attitude to life and lived location.

Exhibition O'Keeffe

I liked the strongness of each artists work like O’Keeffe’s Canna Leaves and Blue A and Blue Black and Grey works, Preston’s bold woodcuts and her oil Australian Coral Flowers and Cossington Smith’s The Sock Knitter.  I came away appreciating the work of Australian Margaret Preston’s work it had far more colour than I had thought from a brief glimpse of a painting a long while ago.  Her colours depict the Australian bush so well in a number of her still life.

I have a Pinterest Board for Margaret Preston

and one for Grace Cossington Smith

I own a number of Georgia O’Keefe books.

Reference:  L. Harding and D mimmocchi, Heide Museum of Modern Art and Art Gallery of NSW, 2016, O’Keeffe, Preston, Cossington Smith:  Making Modernism

Visit to National Gallery of Australia

I had the opportunity to visit the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra last week.


I was drawn to viewing the International Gallery – Contemporary works.  The prize painting in this area is “Blue Poles”(1952)  by Jackson Pollock USA 1912-1956.  It was purchased in 1974 by the Gallery costing a very large amount and being a very controversial acquisition.  To produce his ‘drip type paintings’ Pollock would place an unstretched canvas on the ground and then throw, drip and pour paint across it.  Blue Poles is an important example of this energetic result using this method.  The painting also shows the complex layering of the paint surface and I think achieves much movement.  It has been painted using oil, enamel, aluminium paint, glass on canvas.

Blue PolesIMG_8623

Blue Poles closeupIMG_8625

The NGA has a sign next to the painting which includes the following:

“Abstract Expressionist arts considered the act of creation the primary importance.  Spontaneity allowed them to bypass the constraints of tradition, encouraging direct expression on the canvas.”

I found the painting very complex.  It has constant movement created so effectively by the extended layering.   When you look at it across the gallery it has a very powerful presence aided by its dramatic ‘blue poles’.

Hannah Streefkerk Textile Artist

Hannah Streefkerk’s artworks are nature-orientated, inspired by natural elements like sea, water, land formations, trees, leaves, and landscapes.  There is a certain rhythm, pattern and structure which she takes the essences of various forms in nature and interprets them into site specific works of art.


Hannah Streefkerk working artist.IMG_1805 copy

Tree mended with yarn and stitches.IMG_1809

More subtle in scale leaf mending.

I had not heard of Hannah Streefkerk until I read a blog post by this morning.  I read the post and then went to Hannah’s website and looked through her gallery but particularly the her Art in Nature gallery.  I was drawn to her work because I love nature I thought it was so different and l thought it was different and on a large scale.  She lives is Sweden but is originally I think from the Netherlands and she has recently become a member of the 62 group of Textile Artists. Hannah lives in a forest and  uses or is inspired by the forest, for example, birch bark.  She has made a series of big leaves made of small pieces of birch bark sewed together.  This was exciting to me because I have made a little tiny use of the paperbark tree, in one of my yarn samples in Assignment 4, in my yard now I can see that I can make objects and stitch this bark and take it further!

Hannah uses thread and yarn in her work some is embroidery some is crocheting or sewing.  Mending the environment is a recurring theme designed to make the viewer aware of environmental issues. The stitch conveys much meaning and the big bold stitches on her tree work grab the viewers attention.  I also like the delicate work of mending a leaf and am going to go in search of a leaf needing repair and try Hannah’s approach.

Hannah also collects natural items and she is using all these items in her current work.  Using yarn and textile techniques she will present the objects like a cabinet des curiosities.  She will continue her site-specific works also.


My Pinterest page for Hannah:

My Review of Formative Feedback

Before undertaking Project 1 Part 5 I am reviewing my Tutor’s Formative Feedback for Assignments 1,2, and 3   so that I can build on this material together with other research and the recent feedback for Assignment 4.

My new notes below are based on my rereading and further reflecting on selected areas on my Tutor’s Formative Feedback  on Assignment One resulting in what I think is important to me now.  I have only areas of the feedback that I feel I still should be developing further or need to reflect on further to make sure I have improved.

Assignment One

Demonstration of Technical and visual skills, quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

  • a thorough exploration by drawing and redrawing an object helps to find shapes, forms and textures to inspire me
  • collage – good to add
  • responded to Research material and used further e.g. Rosanna Wells


Have I looked hard at other practitioners work and fed that into my own practice?


Given my work is on a Blog I need to print out my Research material and put it in a folder to make sure I am actually remembering to write material up.  I suspect not.  I read about textile artists and view textiles every day on websites, Instagram, Facebook, SAQA (I am a member), magazines (I subscribe to Selvedge, Upper case I buy when I can find it, Embroidery (UK), digital copy of Surface Design(USA). Need to analyse add my own thoughts and ideas about the work selected by me for documentation e.g. materials, techniques, colour palette and composition.  This will help me to develop my own ideas and style.

Drawing – Tutor comments Assign 1

  • Drawing – practice, practice, practice – keep drawing materials loose by not holding the pencil/pen too tightly
  • try holding the pencil/pen in different places to achieve different marks
  • don’t worry if drawing does not appear to represent the object drawn.  Each drawing will be an improvement on the next
  • draw regularly in range of mediums also A3 and A2
  • use a range of surfaces to draw onto and use different thicknesses of paper
  • do close ups of work on Blog
  • consider what has the artist done well, what have they achieved e.g. materials, colours, composition


Make sure drawing with a range of mediums – needs more work

Recommended Reading and my Update

Steal like an Artist (have a copy now have looked through –  reread)

Weareoca – ‘So what is Research'(printed out and read but need to reread)

Slow Stitch – Claire Wellesley-Smith ( have a copy now and have read I love this book)

Mark Making in Textile Art – Helen Parrott (have copy now and have read)

Drawn to Stitch – Gwen Hedley (had a copy before commenced course have read )

Assignment Two 

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

Learning Log

Include photographs of all pages of my sketchbook/workbook.

Include photographs of drawing work.

Include images of work in progress.


Include more general research material – Selvedge, Crafts, Galleries etc

Demonstration of technical and Visual skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

Part 2 Surface and Stitch

Continue to explore new materials including those not mentioned in my course material.


Use more watercolours, water-soluble crayons and inks

Use Quirky tools e.g. long twigs, feathers

Use my analytical skills to make judgements about my drawing, giving myself constructive feedback on how to continue my development.


Kyra Cane ‘Making and Drawing’ – have a copy reading

Assignment Three

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

Learning Log

Take the work further be more adventurous in my creative practice.

Develop language that expresses what I see and how I feel about the work I make. Think in terms of colour balance, scales, tones, placement, composition, texture, surface etc. Explore how well things work together and what you can develop also have links to my research material e.g. a technique or colour palette by someone else


Why was I attracted to a particular piece of work and how can I use this in my own work?


Critical Thinking Skills by Stella Cottrell (well covered by me in later work)