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.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Abstract painting part 3 of 3

Many paint skins have been attached.

Now getting closer. My instructor suggested that I cross the lines and break up the regularity of the negative spaces at the bottom of the canvas.

The finished painting.

Abstract painting part 2

 Blogger doesn't seem to want to accept too many photos in one post, so here is part two of my abstract painting process. Part three will show the finished painting.
Painting inside the lines with Paynes Gray.

Removing the tape to reveal the clean edged lines.

The large canvas up against the wall and ready to being applying the paint skin pieces.


My set up in the studio with paint skins laid out, my reference photo for consultation, and the first paint skin pieces on the canvas.
A close up showing the fainter horizontal lines along the top right. These lines were applied with a Pitt India ink marker.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Abstract painting assignment part 1 of 3

This is the first part of my process documentation.
Our painting class assignment was to paint a large abstract work, inspired by a real life image.

Inspiration photograph of autumn leaves collected along the stairs of our deck. I cropped the photo and saturated the colours.

I built the 6 foot by 4 foot stretcher frame in the college art shop, then stretched the canvas and covered it with two coats of gesso.

I painted the entire surface and edges with several coats of blue paint.

I did some mathematical calculations to created spaces that increased in size across from left to right, and lines separating those spaces, with the lines also increasing in size. Also diagonal lines on the upper right. All drawn with graphite pencil and a long straight edge.


I taped along both sides of the pencil lines.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Collecting inspiration photos for my next painting class art piece

Yesterday was a glorious fall day. I walked along the beach, collecting inspiration photos for my next painting class art piece. I edited all of the pics in Iphoto, increasing the colour saturation and cropping.

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

More autumn colours and planning my next art piece .....

Our next painting class assignment is to use a large canvas and paint an abstract inspired by real life images. On November 1 we need to bring photos of inspiration to class.

I have been enjoying the beautiful fall colours, and so far I have these photos to bring with me:





Creative Threads Conspiracy 2017

Last weekend, on October 20 and 21, I took two workshops at the Creative Threads Conspiracy.

Ionne McCauley taught an innovation quilting workshop on the Friday, called "Square Pegs in Round Holes".

Auditioning fabrics. The background is a linen/cotton fabric from Dressew. The Japanese woven thread cottons are from A Threaded Needle online shop.

The pieced block. Now, what to do with four of these?

Two placemats and a table runner.

Detail of the machine quilting.

Detail of the backing and the narrow binding, of which I am very proud. Stitching the back of the binding was the only handwork, as all the rest was done by machine.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Still life painting "Threads" presented at mid-term critique

Today was mid-term critique for my painting class. Students presented our still life paintings and our landscapes.

My still life painting, "Threads".

Landscape painting "Fillongley Park".


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Autumn colours

These stunning bushes are in the garden of my massage therapist. I enjoyed seeing them this morning on a beautiful fall day.





Painting a large canvas

Tomorrow, October 25, 2017, will be mid-term critique in my North Island College Fine Arts Painting Applications 220 class.

The critique will include the landscape painting on my shop made 16"x22" stretched canvas, and the still life painting on my shop made 24"x32" braced panel, covered with canvas. 

I will post blog photos of the two paintings on easels displayed for the critique, after class tomorrow.

For both of these painting supports I used the 7 ounce canvas that I bought at Opus. I do not have enough left for the next project, but luckily Fabricland finally got in artist canvas. And it is a really nice heavy 10 ounce weight.

The next class project will be a large abstract, minimum size 4'x4'. I did a panel this size as my final independent painting in Fine Arts 121, so I decided to go really large to 4'x6'. I spent the afternoon in the studio shop today building the large stretcher frame, and stretching the canvas. A big job!


The canvas stretching process, with the pneumatic upholstery stapler visible.

A close-up of the canvas stretching pliers.
After critique I brushed two coats of gesso on the canvas. I hope it will be tighter and more rigid as a result. My wrist is feeling the effect of all that brushing.

The stretched 4'x6' canvas. It was not taut, so I sprayed it thoroughly with water and left it in the studio to dry overnight. Tomorrow after our critique class I will gesso it.





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.