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.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Self-portraits for midterm art class

For our midterm independent painting, criteria are minimum size 36 by 24 inches, primarily painting, with some collage or drawing allowed. Not sculptural.
Due next week, Wednesday February 8, 2017 for in class critique.
I am doing six canvases, each 12 inches square.
Self-portraits, based on photos that I took of myself in the mirror, making moody faces.

Tentative title: Six Self-portraits at 63

Here is one of the completed canvases.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Vancouver Island Surface Design Association upcoming textile show: work in progress

The Vancouver Island Surface Design Association is planning the 2017 Current Threads show. Thirty-two artists will be participating. It will be at the Waterfront Gallery in Ladysmith April 15 to 30.
Set-up will be on Friday, April 14. I will be sitting at the gallery on Saturday, April 22, from 10 to 5. The artist reception is on that day from 2 to 4. I will also sit on Saturday April 20 from 10 to 4.

I am working on a long quilted wall hanging, 1 foot (12 inches) wide by 5 feet (60 inches) long.

My initial planning concept.

The work in progress.

Detail of the work in progress.

Links to embroidery stitches that I am using or considering using in this project. Many thanks to Mary Corbet's website http://www.needlenthread.com/ - she is the best!

Hungarian braided chain : I used this for the centre of the stems. It was slow and not worth the effect. I ended up making up the rest of the stems in outline stitch, which I much prefer.
Raised fishbone stitch for the leaves.
Ribbed spider web. This a favourite stitch which I try to incorporate at least once in every piece I make.
French knots and colonial knots. These are also favourites that I always use.

I might use a few of these for flowers.
Bullion rose bud
Raised cup stitch
Woven wheel
Cast on stitch








Thursday, January 26, 2017

Painting class skin tones

We have been working on skin tones in the NIC painting class.

A really fast palette knife exercise at the end of class.

Last week's homework. Choose a body part and do a close up detail of the skin tones. This is the back of my left hand.

Painting self-portraits

My North Island College painting class mid-term independent painting is due February 8.

The size requirement is minimum 24' by 36". I don't want to make a single painting that size as it is too big to handle easily. I have six 12" square canvases from Michael's, and I am going to use those,

I am painting a series of self-portraits from photos that I took of myself. I took all the photos with my Iphone one morning, in the bathroom mirror after my shower but before I had combed or dried my hair. I was looking for a somewhat raw look, and made some sombre faces.

My teacher said that in order to get 6 paintings done in 3 weeks, I would need to use a fast technique, and to time myself. The loose result would be part of the piece. I decided to use the palette knife a lot, and to be fast and free.

I painted a prototype on gessoed paper before I started on the first canvas. I am really enjoying the process of working in a series, and am learning lots as I go. I have heard that one of the problems of painting from photos is the tendency to get caught up in details and to try to recreate the photo. I am doing my best to avoid that, and to use each photo as inspiration.

An ink wash drawing using one of the photos.

Watercolour of just the eyes from one photo.

Ink wash of eyes, different photo.

The start of one of the square canvases, with paint laid on with a palette knife. I am using a small brush for the eye details.