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.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Altered books and art journals

This is Reading Week at the college. I have two independent assignment paintings on display as part of the annual Art Event.

I have been using the time without homework to explore other art techniques. I have made several altered book art journals, and am working in watercolour, coloured pencil, collage and acrylic. It is great to be able to explore on a small scale. Very addictive.

I removed the pages from this hardcover book, then made signatures of all kinds of different papers: watercolour paper, sketching, pastel, and old maps. The cover of the book is painted with acrylics and stamped with a stencil, then covered with gel medium. I have decided that the theme of this art journal will be the colour RED.

The inside cover is covered with fabric glued down with matte medium. The first page is an ink and watercolour sketch, with some tiny stamped gold butterflies.

The next page is collage with acrylic paint and medium, and some stamping.

Collage, red acrylic paint/medium background, spray ink (just got this spray ink at the scrapbooking store yesterday - fun).

Next page spread prepped with acrylic paint/medium and ready for inspiration.

A smaller art journal. Cover is painted, collaged, and stamped. I like the bird images, and have decided that the them of this art journal will be birds.

For this book, I left in the original pages. I removed 80% of the pages, then glued two pages together throughout. This inside cover and first page were treated with watercolour grounds, a type of gesso. I did a watercolour and ink sketch, with Copic Opaque White (thanks to the scrapbooking store visit yesterday) for the highlights on the gull.

The next pages were covered with paperback book pages glued down with matte medium. Sketches are fantasy birds coloured with Prismacolor pencils and a few highlights of the Copic Opaque White.

The next page spread I left the original brown kraft paper. My look sketch is ink and Prismacolor pencils.

The next pages are ready for another bird.

This book had terrible paper. I left it in, removing 80% of the pages, then gluing pages together, but I don't know how good it will be to work on. The cover is not that pleasing to me. I kept painting and collaging.

A pencil sketch on the inside front cover and first page. The pages have been treated with watercolour ground. 

The start of another altered book art journal. 80% of pages removed, but this has heavy glossy paper so no gluing together of pages. Cover has one coat of acrylic paint.

Glossy pages from a coffee table book and attached on the spine with washi tape to make a cover.

A large sheet of drawing paper is folded and cut to make one large signature, stitched into a drawing folio. No work has been done in this one yet.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Mid term art class critique

My Independent mid term painting is called Six Self Portraits. Each canvas is 12 inches square.
The college has been closed most of the week, including today, because of record wet snowfalls that making travel difficult and dangerous.

However, we were lucky yesterday as the Comox Valley campus was open until 4 pm, and we just had time to do our mid term Independent painting critiques. Two students were missing because of the snow, and everyone was rather subdued, with one eye on the window watching the wet snow come down and accumulate, so discussion was not as lively as usual. Still, it was great to see what the students had accomplished.

Two beautiful paintings, each about 36 by 24"  

My Six Self Portraits on the left and a trompe l'oeil painting by a fellow student.

Two more paintings.

A wonderful self portrait by a Japanese exchange student.

An interesting assemblage of paint and photos by a Chinese exchange student who likes to explore kitsch in his art.

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