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.