About Me

My photo
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.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Art class still life painting assignment

The second project in NIC Fine Arts painting 220 class is to paint a still life.

I set up a view of my embroidery work table and took a picture from above. The painting is almost complete. I am still working on the final details.

The photograph of my still life arrangment.

I used the push pins along the edges of the canvas (a board covered with canvas on stretcher bars) to string threads to help me transfer my drawing from a gridded photograph.

I painted the background fabric, then began painting a few of the objects on top of the Aida embroidery fabric on the left, and the wool felt on the right.

I've painted the crochet covered rock on the right, and attempted the plaster finger rack in the upper left.

I've drawn and painted the skeins of crewel wool yarn on the right, and some of the DMC embroidery floss skeins.

I've painted the blue sherry bottle in the upper right, and added depth to the crewel wool skeins, and completed painting all of the DMC floss.

I've painted the text on the fabric selvedge and metallic ribbon card, and attempted to resolved the upper left arrangement. I still need to put in the labels on the DMC floss skeins, and add the final shadows.

Leaf art series

I have a theme for creating art. Whenever I want to make a piece of art, and I do not have another source of inspiration, I make leaf art.

My pieces so far:

Coloured pencil on hot pressed paper.

Large watercolour painting on a half sheet of heavy Arches paper.

Acrylic ink on heavy watercolour paper that had been previously painted and stamped (and used to cover the skylight in the loft for 2 years - great paper lasts forever without deteriorating!)

Acrylic  and metallic ink on hot pressed paper.

Watercolour crayon on hot pressed paper.

Watercolour on hot pressed paper.

Pitt pens on hot pressed paper.

Coloured pencil on pastel paper.

Watercolour on hot pressed paper.

Embroidery on rough felt, mounted on a painted stretched canvas.

Orinuno: Japanese Folded Patchwork quilt finished

This is "finish it up Fall" for me. I finally completed by Orinuno patchwork quilt. This project dates back to 2012.  In September 2016 I made a big push to finish, then stalled. That post has all the information on the book that I used as my source.

Here are the pictures of the completed quilt. It has a wool batting. I machine washed and dried the quilt, and the resulting effect is quite beautiful.


The finished quilt on the bed in the loft.

Detail of the top side.

The reverse side of the quilt.

Detail of the reverse of the quilt.






Saturday, September 30, 2017

Landscape painting of Filongley Park


First assignment in North Island College Fine Arts 220 Painting Applications.

We learned how to build a 16"x24" stretcher frame using the power tools in the college shop adjacent to our studio space (steep learning curve there!), how to stretch canvas, and then gesso the canvas. Opus Arts has a very useful online video on how to gesso a canvas. We are using acrylic paint in this class as we did in previous semesters.

Next a short presentation from the instructor on landscape painting, directions on choosing a subject (strong shadows, avoid water, no man-made structures), told to photograph in either mid-morning or mid-afternoon and do some on-site sketches, and we were off.

Assignment 1: Landscape. For our first assignment we will be building the skills necessary to create convincing representations of space and light in landscape painting. A major emphasis of this project will be on the importance of value (darkness or lightness, regardless of hue).
Preparatory works to be completed:  Thumbnail sketches made on site.  Simple line drawing exploring shapes and planes.  4 Tone Value study in black and white (no blending).  Photos for reference in the studio. 
For this painting we will be attempting to match the perceived colours as accurately as possible. However, there is an obstruction I’m putting in the way of a regularly executed landscape painting: at least one element of your painting (a bush, the grass, the sky, part or all of a single tree or group of them) must accurately be matched in value but can not match in hue.
What I’ll be looking for in regards to fulfilling the assignment - a demonstrated understanding of value, composition, and site selection - ability to achieve convincing depictions of space and light (value) - ability to accurately match perceived colour in relevant parts - willingness to experiment with altering the hues of parts of the painting. 

My photo taken in Filongley Provincial Park in mid-September about 10:30 in the morning on a high overcast morning, looking south. I love the tree tunnel and want to work on that as my focal point. 
I like the sketch on the left, done in charcoal.

Scaled up line drawing showing direction of lines.

Black and white painting, on gessoed paper, using four values.
Initial underpainting on canvas.
I decided that my non-local colour would be the tree trunks that I would paint red. Here I am trying that out for value.
I read a book on landscape painting by John Carlson and another on painting techniques by Nancy Reyner, and came up with these goals for my painting.
I went back to gessoed paper and tried to apply the goals that I had written. It helped a lot, and showed me some problems with the direction of the central tree trunk.
I went back to my canvas, and took this initial stage of the painting into class last Wednesday. The instructor referred a lot to my painting on paper, which he liked, and indicated how I could put some of those things into my painting on canvas.


I worked on the final version in class, and then at home. I struggled with the trees, but am happy with the dark shadows that give depth to the piece. Not a masterpiece, but I think that it fulfills the exercise requirements.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Scottish sketches

I returned from my Scotland holiday on May 31. I tried to sketch every day.
















Monday, May 8, 2017

Making travel journals

On May 16 I leave for a two week vacation in Scotland. I want to do lots of sketching.

I have purchased a Fabriano watercolour coil bound pad of 140 lb paper cold pressed, size 5 1/12 x 8 1/2". I will take some technical ink pens, an automatic  graphite pencil, watercolour pencils, and a water brush in a plastic case.

I have also made two folding journals, one from a single sheet of drawing paper and one from a single sheet of Arches 140 lb watercolour paper. I used Cathy Johnson's instructions for a super quick, no sew, folding journal. Link to the youtube video is here. 

Each journal has painted watercolour covers. I glued the covers on with acrylic gloss medium, and coated the images with medium as well. The top journal is watercolour paper, and the larger bottom journal is drawing paper.

Here are the journals opened to the first page. They open accordion style, and can be used on both sides.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Art Show Plans for the Summer of 2017

Spring and summer are the time for art shows. I have just put in a couple of submissions.

1. Just coming down today, April 30,  is the Vancouver Island Surface Design Association annual show, Current Threads 2017, which has been on for 2 weeks at the Waterfront Gallery in Ladysmith. I had 2 pieces in the show.
Detail of a 60 inch long embroidered textile hanging.

Detail of a 60 inch long stamped and hand quilted textile hanging.
2. The next show will be the local Denman Island painting group, the Group of Several. See poster below. May 18 to 23, 2017. Unfortunately I will be away in Scotland, but I have some pieces to submit.
The theme is "Cowness" and I have done an acrylic portrait on a full size sheet of watercolour paper of one of Linda's cows. Also some ink and watercolour sketches of Mount Washington, originally done on rice paper, now mounted on stretched canvases with acrylic medium. And a 2 foot square painting on birch plywood, of a magic realism forest scene, based on a photo I took in the Chickadee lake area.
This year's poster.
Cow portrait. Acrylic paint  on 140 lb watercolour paper, 30" by 22".




Four rice paper ink and watercolour paintings of a Mount Washington scene, mounted on stretched canvas.

Acrylic painting on birch wood panel, called "Forest Light".


3.  Comox Valley Art Gallery show June 2-30 2017: Image to Text to Image. Submitted April 30, 2017 my collage "What Do You Think of Red?". I think that I find out if I have been accepted on May 13. Delivery of art to the gallery from May 16 to 20. Location: CVAG Gallery in Courtenay, B.C.

What Do You Think of Red?
Collage on stretched canvas. 36" by 12" by 2".
4.  Coast Collective Gallery in Colwood (near Victoria), B.C. Eco-Threads June 28 to July 9, 2017. Submitted April 30, 2017 my painted textile wall hanging "TREE". Artists notified Jun 8, 2017. Delivery of work June 21 to 25.
TREE. I painted the cotton fabric with acid fabric dyes, then stitched the shapes, and added fabric paints.
5. Denman Island Annual Artists Studio Tour August 12-13 2017. I am going to hang some quilts with the Denman Quilters group at the Arts Centre site.
Als0, I will show some work at Pelka's studio: Torn Edges Studio - Pelka Wiltshire and Jean Cockburn.
"Torn Edges Studio is the creative laboratory of multi-media artist Pelka Wiltshire. Joining Torn Edges Studio this year is, Jean Cockburn, fellow multi-media artist. These two artists explore the use of paint, print, fibre, stitch and found objects. Come visit and get inspired."
I don't know what art I will show yet, but I do want to hang "Dragonfly Dream".

Soft sculpture "Dragonfly Dream".
6. Denman Moments, August 17 to 29, 2017. The final show of the season at Arts Denman Summer Gallery. I am going to show my colour theory painting from art class of a crab shell.


"Rock Crab Shell on Baynes Sound Beach, Denman Island". Acrylic on 300 lb watercolour paper.