About Me

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Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada
Jean Cockburn retired from her professional career as an academic librarian in 2008 to become a textile artist living on Denman Island, British Columbia. She draws, quilts, embroiders, knits and crochets, makes wearable art, weaves baskets, dyes fabric, and paints watercolours. Her work has been exhibited locally in juried and group shows on Denman Island, in Courtenay, Comox, and Duncan on Vancouver Island, in West Vancouver, and across Canada with the Surface Design Association.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Garden Fantasy Triptych

I finished my Garden Fantasy Triptych, my submission for the Vancouver Island Surface Design Association fall 2015 show on the the theme of garden tapestry.
Yesterday I emailed the images to be juried. Fingers crossed that the pieces will be accepted for the show.

Garden Fantasy Triptych
Garden Fantasy Triptych: Leaves 
Garden Fantasy Triptych: Leaves, detail.
Garden Fantasy Triptych: Bees and Butterflies

Garden Fantasy Triptych: Bees and Butterflies, detail.
Garden Fantasy Triptych: Blossoms
Garden Fantasy Triptych: Blossoms, detail.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Beach Photos and Sculpture: Art Show at the Denman Island Summer Gallery

At the Arts Centre this evening for the opening of the new show at the Arts Centre.




Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Taking down the art show

On Tuesday afternoon, the Group of Several took down our 2015 show, which we had called "Something to Crow About" in honour of all our paintings of Max's rooster. Over the week we had 50 attendees at the Thursday night opening, and another 120 visitors during the week. Twelve works were sold for a total of $1300. Our most successful show ever.
After all the paintings were down we enjoyed a glass of wine and some nibbles in the glorious sunshine on the front porch of the Arts Centre.





Monday, May 25, 2015

Sketching on the beach

A beautiful sunny morning sketching on Fillongley Beach. I choose to do sketches of two different Silene plants, using Tombow soluble pen and watercolour.


There were 10 to 20 bald eagles and turkey vultures soaring overhead and roosting in the nearby trees. After we finished our sketches we walked further along the creek and discovered the body of a seal, or probably a small sea lion, decomposing along the shore, with the head already picked clean. Amazingly, it did not smell.


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Houses Quilt in actions

The Denman Island summer weekend market began last weekend, the May long weekend. The Affordable Housing Initiative had an information booth and sold raffle tickets that I donated to the organization for fund raising. Pretty pics!



Group of Several art show at the Denman Arts Centre

My local watercolour group calls itself the "Group of Several". Each year it holds the inaugural art show at the Denman Island Summer Gallery at the Arts Centre.
This year the show is particularly attractive. Each member of the group painted a version of
Max Roger's new mille fleur rooster - I did a block print that I painted with watercolour. It makes for a great show.
Thursday evening was the opening and lots of folks attended. We sold a number of pieces, included my block print - so exciting!

Here are most of the members of the Group of Several at Thursday's opening of our annual show. Yours truly in black in the centre, with hands joined.

The foliage wall. My two paintings are on the upper left.

Two more of my paintings, exercises in contour drawing from my online course.

Jan, one of our painters, did an acrylic of the eye of the rooster. Wow!

Here is the rooster wall, "Something to Crow About". My block print is in the window, upper left.



Monday, May 18, 2015

Garden Tapestry #2 finished!

Still very tired and weak with my cold. The painting that I did yesterday for week #1 of Jane LaFazio's course, of an iris, was not up to my usual standard, as I just could not concentrate. Today I was able to concentrate better, and I did the drawing and painting first thing in the morning. I chose a buttercup and I think that it turned out better than the iris.




Then in the afternoon I finished binding Garden Tapestry #2, and added some final beading. The hand quilting was really hard work, and I am mulling over whether I have it in me to finish a third long wallhanging in this fashion.

Tapestries #1 and #2 hanging together on the design wall.

Detail of embroidery and beading.

Detail of embroidery and beading.

Spider in her web near the bottom.

Detail of embroidery and beading.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Embroidering Garden Tapestry #2

I am still so sick and very weak with my cold, but embroidery is just the activity for me right now. I stamped and painted all three of the garden tapestry hangings, and now I am doing embroidery on #2.

Here is an embroidered (back stitch) cobweb for the spider.

The stems are in stem stitch or chain stitch, the leaves are mostly buttonhole stitch.

Monday, May 11, 2015

First Garden Tapestry hanging completed

Ta da! I worked carefully all afternoon, and was able to finish the binding on the first Garden Tapestry hanging. I still do not have a name for it, and I think I will wait until I have finished all three before giving them titles. I measured and cut VERY CAREFULLY and am delighted to say that the piece measures exactly 12" by 60" as required by the guidelines. The strong and stable Kona cotton is to be commended!

Really hard to photograph something this long.  
Love the narrow even binding. I used my own dyed green fabric.


Garden Tapestry wall hangings

I have been working on Interconnections in the studio during the day, and in the evening I sit on the sofa listening to audiobooks and embroidering on my Garden Tapestry hangings.

This is so long that I need to photograph it spread out along the floor.

I will enter one, or all three if I get them finished, to be juried for the Vancouver Island Surface Design show at the Portals Gallery in Duncan, British Columbia:

CURRENT THREADS 2015:  GARDEN TAPESTRY
October 22 – November 10, 2015          Hours: 10am-5pm Monday to Saturday
Portals Gallery        Cowichan Valley Arts Council       Duncan
The show is designed so that all pieces will be hung closely together to create a garden wall 
tapestry. The selection of artwork will be based on how all the artwork shows together and reflects 
the theme. See jurors’ bios below. Up to 3 pieces may be submitted. Tryptychs will be considered as 
3 pieces. A maximum of 30 pieces will be accepted based on venue space. Artists’ work is 
anonymous during the jurying process to ensure impartiality and individual works are selected on 
their merits. There is no commission but there is a 3% charge for credit card sales.
Artwork must be original, completed since September 2014 and not previously shown in a VISDA 
show. All pieces must be for sale.
Submission Deadline:      June 30, 2015
Notification of Acceptance:   July 16, 2015 (Thursday)
Dimensions: All pieces must be 12” wide X 60” long or 12” wide X 72” long 
1" depth allowed for 3D effect

I took this work with me on vacation as well, so I got a lot of stitching done. I have finally finished the hand quilting in #12 perle cotton, in matching off-white colour, around all the images and appliqués and embroidered stems. Whew, a lot of hand quilting and that Kona PDF cotton, natural off-white on the front and hand dyed green on the back, with the 80/20 batting, was a challenge to stitch through. The basting is still in, and today I will press and bind and see if I have the energy (still really ill with my cold) so work on the other two hangings.




Sunday, May 10, 2015

Final work on "Interconnections" quilted wall art

My cold was still bad today, so I just holed up in the studio and worked on "Interconnections".
I finished the free motion machine quilting, and I am *very* proud of my feathers.

Then I made many yards of skinny piping using narrow drapery cord and the gold coloured silk. Piping is a whole lot of work, but I love the effect.

I curved the four corners and cut gentle curves on all the edges. Then I applied the piping, followed by a bias strip cut 2 1/2 inches wide, then folded, of the soft green to act as a facing. It all worked so well, and the piping really helps to turn a facing nicely.

When I had pressed it all, and hand hemmed the facing to the back, I look a long look and decided that the negative spaces on both sides were too large and boring, even with all those fantastic feathers. So I added a row of beading along the spine of one long feather. I will take a look tomorrow and see if I think that more beading will improve the overall look.




The faced edging on the back.




Saturday, May 9, 2015

Me Made May 2015 #2

My cold is slowing down my commitment to MMM. But I took off my pj's the late afternoon and put on real clothes, including this cardigan that I knit from leftover yarn and my toe-up socks.

Whoops, the toilet is in the background . . 


Proceeding with "Interconnections" wall piece

I am very, very sick today with my cold, so I just stayed in my pajamas all day and worked in "Interconnections".
I decided that more inserts were needed so I did that. I decided that the newspaper fabric was not an asset so that will be for another project. I though about inserting piping but decided that detracted as well. So, it is just the natural coloured Osnaburg cotton for the negative space, and three different silks for the curved insets.
When I decided that it was done, I used the large check silk for the backing, and sandwiched with two layers of Warm and Natural all cotton batting. I want the stitching to stand out, and I want the piece stiff for hanging on the wall.
I used Connecting Threads Tea dyed cotton thread to free motion quilt feathers in the negative spaces. I like how it looks! Now I have to decide how to handle the curved silk insets . . .

My progress so far. Don't those feathers rock!

Close up of the insets. What to do?


The backing. That silk sure does highlight the machine quilting!