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, September 30, 2016

Dragonfly Flight finds a home

Dragonfly Flight was a piece that I made for The Colour of Water art show at the Denman Island Summer Gallery in July 2016.

When Vicky moved into her now house in Courtenay in September, I gave it to her as a house warming gift.

It looks so nice in her office in her new house.

The photo came to me on a text message, so the image quality is not great.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Rust dyed fabric

The rust dyeing was an interesting exercise. I have begun hand stitching one of the small pieces using a wool batting and a commercial cotton backing.

I added some stamped images using acrylic paint.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Beading on photos

These are photos that I took with my smartphone. I uploaded them in Photos on my Imac desktop computer, edited and tweaked the colour saturation, highlights, etc.
Next, I layered the photos on grey felt and free motion stitched with the sewing machine. The edges are satin stitched.
Next I glued the pieces to stretched canvases that had three coats of acrylic paint in cobalt blue. The final step is to add beads along the edges, see in progress along the lefthand edge in the photo above.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Rust dyeing at the LeBaron studio

Five of us from the Denman Quilters group spent a morning at Bentley LeBaron's studio learning about rust dyeing from Danni Crenna.

Danni kindly allowed us to use items from her wonderful collection of rusty objects.
Bentley came to turn on the lights and work inside the studio just as we were finishing.

Jane, on the left, wore an appropriate t-shirt, Danni on the right, was our teacher.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Painting homework

I had a great day in the studio working on my homework for my Fine Arts class.

I created large abstract sheets in black, white and shades of grey. Then I cut up those sheets and made two collages.

First collage on white paper made with rectangular pieces from each of the 3 abstract sheets.
Detail from the first collage.
Detail from the first collage.
Detail from the first collage.
Second collage on black sheet, this time using organic shapes.
Detail from the second collage. 
Detail from the second collage.
Finally, I worked on creating my grey scale paint chips. Lots of fun mixing all those shades of grey, and seeing how acrylic dries darker that it appears when wet. Very interesting medium to work with!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Stitched photographs

At the summer art show, the three stitched, beaded and mounted photographs that I created all sold. Interesting! In a way they were afterthought pieces, but obviously they appealed to folks. I have decided to make some more, and see if I can sell them through the Denman Island Craft Shop.

Here are the digitally altered photos, printed on my inkjet printer on matte photo paper, backed with grey felt, and free motion stitched on the sewing machine. The edges are satin stitched with rayon thread.

The stretched canvases have been painted with blue acrylic paint. I want to make sure that they are truly dry before I mount the photos with beads around the edges of each stitched photo.

North Island College painting course begins

On Tuesday I had my first class of North Island College Fine Arts 120: Painting - Colour and Perception.

Course description:
An introductory course intended to provide students with an overview of colour theories relating to design and fine art practices. Historical contexts and social and psychological implications will give the direction of study of the perception of colour in the visual arts of the 20th century. This class explores a variety of exercises from colour mixing to painting sessions with live models and still life subjects.

I started the homework today. We will be working with acrylic paint, and clearly these first exercises are to introduce us to the medium. We paint on painting paper provided by the college.

I painted 4 sheets of paper, two of them black, one grey, and left the other white. Three sheets have mark making of any kind, made with all sorts of materials.

When dry, I will use a view finder to cut out some shapes and mount those on another sheet. On a black sheet I will create a collage from the remaining pieces.

Then I need to create a grey scale of 2 inch squares and mount those on paper.

This course is going to keep me very busy!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Drawing and sketching

I have spent a lot of time on ferries lately - three visits to Vancouver in the last two weeks. It has meant a lot of time for sketching.

On August 27 and 28 I was in North Vancouver for the first ever Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild Modern Quilt Showcase which was held at the PipeShop on Victory Ship Way near the Lonsdale Quay. My talented friend Megan had quilts on display, see her blog post, and I really enjoyed the show and getting together with Megan.

I did this quick sketch of Megan's swimming pool quilt:

And I attempted these two quick sketches of the Lonsdale Quay buildings:

I went back home, then came back to West Vancouver with my husband on September 2 and 3 for a family and friends get together.

While staying at our very generous friend's house (really, would you want the same house guest 3 times in 2 weeks??), I did a colour pencil drawing of a mug by Bev Severn, a Denman Island potter, that I gave to my friend several years ago.

Back home again, then into Vancouver September 7 and 8 for dinner with friends, lunch with my oldest friend, to buy a dress for a wedding coming up in October, and my monthly book club meeting. I love everyone so much, but that was a lot of travelling and visiting for someone (moi) who normally lives a pretty quiet life. 

I spent all those hours on the ferry back and forth from Vancouver Island to the mainland doing these two detailed fantasy ink sketches.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Watercolour Tuesday

Today was my last Tuesday for some time with the watercolour painting group, as my FIN 120 class at North Island College will begin next Tuesday, September 13.

The painters back in the Arts Centre until next summer.
My two still lifes of apples from the Arts Centre trees.
A loose impressionistic watercolour.
A pencil sketch coloured with watercolour pencils in my sketchbook.
This was painted last Tuesday at Annie's house.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Knitting doll underwear - as one does . . .

Okay, one day I am making something serious and technical and high level like an origami quilt, and the next I am knitting doll underwear - as one does - whatever!
Modelled here on a stuffed felt rabbit.

The underwear under construction. I used DCM crochet cotton and improvised on a pattern that I found on Pinterest and cannot find again to give the link.
Rather roomy, and need a ribbon to stay on.
The rear view.

Japanese Reversible Patchwork 2 by Sachiyo Muraki / Orinuno (origami patchwork) quilt completion

Working from the wonderful book Japanese Reversible Patchwork 2 by Sachiyo Muraki. I bought this book in San Fransisco in about 2010/2011 at Kinokuniya bookstore. See label below with the ISBN.

All the completed squares laid out and ready to stitch together.
As with most Japanese textile books, although the text is in Japanese which I do not understand, the diagrams, measurements and photos are so good that I have no problem working up the patterns. This textile artist, Sachiyo Muraki, is an amazing needle work and draughtswoman. A little trolling of the internet shows that she applied for a patent for this particular technique.

Front cover.
Back cover with ISBN.
Title page.
Last page with author information.

The instructions page I worked from to create squares and stitch them together.
My Japanese orinuno / origami quilt has been several years in the making, or more accurately, several years sitting in my unfinished projects box. Here is the link to the original post from 2012 -
(Note the typo in the address where quilt is misspelled as quil.)

After I finished the art show with Pelka this summer, I took a look around to see what I could complete. The orinuno quilt seemed just the thing to finish.

This is the finished 7 1/2 block as illustrated in the book.
My blocks have a hand quilted quilted motif in the centre of each block. This particular blue and white cotton was purchased on Kauai in 2013 (unsure of the year).

On patterned fabric it is very hard to see the stitching on the back of a block.
Here you see the stitching on the back of the block. The curves are integral to the creation of the block and hold it together. They are part of the pattern in the book. The central motif is decorative and is my own addition. 
Here is row 1 all stitched together.
The joining stitching as seen from the front. I am using DMC perle cotton in red for the stitching.
The stitching from the back.
Another view of the stitching from the front.