Saturday, 19 April 2014

Life 12 - Murder, a photo update

The table with the feast on has been stitched and I'm beginning to put in the crows. They really are making a meal of it.  Lots more to add before stitching everything and beginning the task of painting in the detail...which I shall enjoy enormously!




Thursday, 17 April 2014

You know that other thing I do.....

You know that other thing I do...the gardening thing............well this year, we're (Gals) are helping Debbie Cooke with her exhibit at Chelsea Flower Show, which hopes to capture the essence of Leamington Spa. We've been secretly growing plants in the park, and have now dug them up and are nurturing them and bringing them on in the hope that they'll look magnificent for May 20th to 24th. Fingers crossed please. Not daunting at all!



Wednesday, 9 April 2014

A touch of the Gothic around the tea and buns.

We had a lovely afternoon at Coombe Abbey Hotel in Coventry today.


20 years ago the Abbey was a ruin but is now a thriving hotel, and quite a good place for afternoon tea - which we were treated to by youngest DD.  It's moated, ever so slightly spooky, and the rooms are quite dramatic - a touch of theatre!

























Reception

 DH is a great tapper. Sometimes this gets us into trouble with curators and security men, at other times it's a great way to find out that most of the furniture and fixtures are hollow and reproductions.

It's kept quite dark on purpose so the photos aren't clear but I thought you might enjoy a flavour.

The waiter asked if we had any special dietry requests.  I said yes please, I'd like a lot of cream.  Seemed to work.







Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Life Stuffs Coming soon!


I've been busy taking some better photos of my Life quilts - the whole lot - as I hope to be able to offer them as a series of various products including the complete collection as tea towels.  For those lovely people who've said they'd love something connected to the Life Stories, this might be an affordable product that you would enjoy...fingers crossed!  I think they'd be great fun and bring a smile to faces at Christmas time too (OK, sorry, that must be the first mention ever of Christmas 2014 - hangs head in shame.)

I'm working with Laura on this one so you'll know the quality of the fabrics and prints already.



Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Life 11 - Trolls. Finished

Life 11 - Trolls
Approximate size 59" x 48" (has to be framed yet)

Stitched cloth, acrylic paint.

The Story: Women outperform men at GCSE, A levels, Undergrad, and Postgrad qualifications to the ratio of 1 to 1.6.  The current UK gender pay gap stands at 15%. Why? Lots of reasons, but one surely has to be discrimination.  Discrimination is a form of mysogyny.

So the glass ceiling is in place, partly kept there by mysogyny and we stay below. Do we unsettle you? Are you frightened of us?  Are we the trolls under your bridge?


























The words on this quilt are:

The Glass Ceiling (across the central band)


Leg 1 "Silly Girl, Silly Girl, you're only good for one thing" My God says that it is a woman's place to have babies and look after them and obey her husband. It's the mans job to protect woman by marrying her. In 10 countries around the world women are legally bound to obey their husbands. 99.3% of women and girls in Egypt have been subjected to sexual harassment. 38% of all murders of women worldwide are committed by a woman's intimate partner.
Leg 2 Misogyny is the hatred or dislike of women or girls. Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, denigration of women, violence against women and sexual objectification of women.
Leg 3 In the UK the gender pay gap is 15 percent  On average women earn £5,000 less a year than their male colleagues. For part time work it rises to 35 per cent. Globally only 24 percent of senior management roles are filled by women. In 1997 9 out of 10 senior civil servants in Northern Ireland were men.
Leg 4 The Equalities and Human Rights Commission have said it will take at least 70 years at the current rate of progress to see an equal number of male and female directors in the FTSE 100 companies. Closing the gender gap in agriculture and using the skills of women, we could reduce the worlds hungry by 12 to 17 percent.
Leg 5 There are as many men in the cabinet who went to Eton as there are women MPs in the whole of Westminster, which is 147 female MP's  out of 650 or approximately 24%.
Leg 6 If the skills and qualifications of those women currently out of work in the UK were fully utilised the UK would have an extra £15 to 20 BILLION, which is double the value of the UK exports to China.  Females out perform males at 0 level and A level, and undergrad and post grad qualifications by approximately 1.6 to 1.0. There are 1705 male and 1090 female staff in higher education establishments.
Leg 7 73% of the Police force are male and 82% are male above the rank of Chief Inspector.  There are 10,100 male barristers and 5,300 female.  77% of UK parochial clergy are male and 89% of senior clergy are male. The UK is rated at 59th in the world for numbers of women in Parliament under Rwanda, Andorra, Cuba, Senegal and Nicaragua.  SHAME on the UK.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Bonnie McCaffery videos of Annabel at Festival of Quilts 2014

I just found these on YouTube! I do remember Bonnie doing the interviews but it was a while back. Anyway, it's about the Life Series and the thinking behind some of the pieces. I'll put them on the Through Our Hands website later....which neatly allows me to tell you that we have some fabulous new videos on site of Mirjam Pet-Jacobs and Jeanne Williamson talking about their work.  Click here to go the right place.


Click here to go to Bonnie's website






Friday, 28 March 2014

A Day In The Life Of Someone Who Makes The Odd Quilt - London, 25th March 2014

My dear friend Laura has kindly produced a newsletter for Through Our Hands about the exhibition in London which I'm very honoured to be part of. 

To blog about a day which turned out to be quite special to me seems a little immodest but I've decided to anyway. Let's be honest, it's only really me who's interested!!  I met some cracking people and had a fab time. Another experience to add to the list anyway.

I don't have many photos and those I do are blurry, so I've taken a couple which are freely available on google images and hope the people involved won't mind.

(Left) standing with fizz, in front of the quilt....but I'm racing ahead.




Diary of 25th March

Private View: Spirit of Womanhood Exhibition, The Oxo Tower Wharf, South Bank, London.

I prevaricated as I usually do. To go or not to go - it's such a pain to catch trains to London and then have to battle with the underground.  Generally speaking I have no sense of direction and I have no idea where I'm going most of the time. I blindly follow G like a faithful old dog trying to please.

But we went.  And apart from needing help to get into and out of all the stations because the ticket machine wouldnt read the ticket it was fine.  NB I was told politely by one station manager, that I should try using my train ticket in the machine and not the seat reservation ticket which really couldn't be expected to work.  I told him that's what happens when cousins marry.  He fell over.

We had oodles of time to spare so went for a bite to eat and spend an hour at the Tate.  This involves a walk along the south bank, next to the river.  I hadn't twigged that it was called the South Bank because it was on the South Bank of the Thames. But then I only recently found out that Banoffee pie was a mix of the words banana and toffee. What can I say?

This photo is waaay too blurry to make sense of really, but it's the only one I have of the quilt in situ. It's to the right of the pillar.

We had to pass the Oxo Tower, and can you imagine my shock - and joy (if I'd have been a child the teacher would be hurrying towards the spare pants cupboard) at seeing my quilt in a glass sided gallery on the main walkway, for all to see.  I just like to say to all those show organizers who refuse to show the Life Quilts or have hidden then behind curtains...... BLAH (raspberry sound plus tongue stuck out) and Get Real.  Everyone regardless of creed, religion, sex or age was free to see the quilt in full.

The Tate was fab and of course what a view from the restaurant window. (St Pauls Cathedral in the centre of the photo and a close up for those who haven't seen it)















We made our way back to the Oxo tower and a were allowed through and handed some fizz.  I donned a name badge and was whisked away to do a filmed interview about the work and have some photos taken.  I was introduced to lots of people and they were all lovely about the quilt.

I'd been there about 20 minutes when I began to recognize a few of the visitors  - not to put names too sadly, but I'd seen at least one of them on Eastenders.  I did recognize Lord Levy who came across to the quilt with Cherie Blair and began explaining the work and pointing out the stitched words.  He turned to ask for advice and I was introduced.  Cherie hooked her arm through mine and we talked for a few minutes about how to free machine, what the words were about, what was being sewn on the machine, the slippers (she has a pair the same!) and biscuits (which she doesn't eat). She was very kind indeed and said how much she and Lord Levy liked the quilt


Melvin Bragg arrived and he like the humour apparently. Then the speeches began.

The whole evening was to support the Charity, Women's Interfaith Network, a very worthy cause and I hope they do well promoting their message.

It was odd being in a glass cube in the middle of London with these people, and lots of other people looking in from outside.

We left quite quickly as we had a train to catch, but I had a lovely time and am so very grateful for the opportunity to exhibit with other well established, and emerging artists like myself. Tracy Emin was exhibiting, and there was some fabulous, thought provoking work on show.  I'd love to show you but don't have permission to put up their photos.

Here's a quote for you about the quilt from a newspaper - it might make you laugh!  Wrong on so many levels, but "am I bovvered?" No not really. I'm just happy.

"All different kinds of art are on display: sculpture, oil paintings, ceramics. There is even a quilt. Annabel Rainbow’s bedspread is quite extra-ordinary, depicting an elderly women sitting naked surrounded by books, revelling in all the unconventional beauty of her old age."

The exhibition's been extended to 6th April though, so if you're down in London do go and see a quilt in an unexpected place.- it's free.




Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Plans now done up to Life 18, a bit of a haze after that!

(Just because I like to clarify things to myself!)

Life 12 - A Murder

and Life 11 - The Glass Ceiling



Also coming soon:
Life 13 - Making Time
Life 14 - Roots
Life 15 - Herstory
Life 18 - unProfessional Wife

And The Tip Field - a series of works based on the year in the life of a field. 

Sunday, 23 March 2014

The last leg (snarf)

Apologies for the colour on this one, my printer card reader broke this morning and I took this one with the phone.

The legs have been stitched with words and the painting has begun.  To keep uniformity I've approached all the portraits and legs in the same way with the same mix for the flesh colour, and have just added tints to each person to make them different.

I took the edge of the glass which said "The Glass Ceiling" off and haven't quite decided how I want to carry on with it yet.

The stitched words are taken from Government stats and World Health Stats as well as articles in the Independent and Guardian. Most of the cementing text is my own though. I have had people in the past saying I should state my sources, but I've refrained thank you.  It's a piece of art work and my voice not a GCSE history essay!! 

Leg 1 "Silly Girl, Silly Girl, you're only good for one thing" My God says that it is a woman's place to have babies and look after them and obey her husband. It's the mans job to protect woman by marrying her. In 10 countries around the world women are legally bound to obey their husbands. 99.3% of women and girls in Egypt have been subjected to sexual harassment. 38% of all murders of women worldwide are committed by a woman's intimate partner.

Leg 2 Misogyny is the hatred or dislike of women or girls. Misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, denigration of women, violence against women and sexual objectification of women.

Leg 3 In the UK the gender pay gap is 15 percent  On average women earn £5,000 less a year than their male colleagues. For part time work it rises to 35 per cent. Globally only 24 percent of senior management roles are filled by women. In 1997 9 out of 10 senior civil servants in Northern Ireland were men.

Leg 4 The Equalities and Human Rights Commission have said it will take at least 70 years at the current rate of progress to see an equal number of male and female directors in the FTSE 100 companies. Closing the gender gap in agriculture and using the skills of women, we could reduce the worlds hungry by 12 to 17 percent.

Leg 5 There are as many men in the cabinet who went to Eton as there are women MPs in the whole of Westminster, which is 147 female MP's  out of 650 or approximately 24%.

Leg 6 If the skills and qualifications of those women currently out of work in the UK were fully utilised the UK would have an extra £15 to 20 BILLION, which is double the value of the UK exports to China.  Females out perform males at 0 level and A level, and undergrad and post grad qualifications by approximately 1.6 to 1.0. There are 1705 male and 1090 female staff in higher education establishments.

Leg 7 73% of the Police force are male and 82% are male above the rank of Chief Inspector.  There are 10,100 male barristers and 5,300 female.  77% of UK parochial clergy are male and 89% of senior clergy are male. The UK is rated at 59th in the world for numbers of women in Parliament under Rwanda, Andorra, Cuba, Senegal and Nicaragua.  SHAME on the UK.





























Thursday, 20 March 2014

I'm on Twitter apparently.

Well, the wonders of modern science and all....I'm somehow on twitter.  I wanted to follow the exhibition set up at the Oxo Tower in London, and now find myself fully signed up.  Should you wish to follow Life In Harrods Lift (!) then the address is @annabelrainbow1

I'm sure I'll work out what it's all about at some point.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

I'm moving!!

The Glass Ceiling: Now you know what the women are looking at. Men's feet, standing on the glass ceiling.

Not many of you know that I have a second home in London.  I'm very lucky to be able to live in the lift at Harrods.  I've been there for a number of years and have recently had the builders in to make improvements - they've been able to speed up the rate of descent to the Food Hall and completely by-pass luxury accessories (I've no interest in handbags).  It's always been lovely to nip down and buy what I want, but I guess one gets a tad tired of endless snacks of caviar, champagne, and chocolate coated apple slices.  The idea to move came to me yesterday as I gazed at the new easter egg just inside the door ..it was £27,000 (but included diamonds so was probably good value. I bet you didn't know Harrods had a Value Range?) Time for a change from such luxury to a more stimulating environment.

So, I've decided to move into the V&A garden cafe.  I think they'll be more for me to do there, and I'll enjoy the wider range of comestibles.  However, I do have to get it surveyed as I want the tiling on the ceiling checked.  It looks ok, and seems screwed on fairly well, but I wouldn't want a huge chunk of ceramic falling on my carrot cake.  Below is a picture of the middle room, there are two more each decorated in a different way including one by William Morris.  It's the oldest and first museum cafe in the world.....so the roof needs a quick check.



Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Portraits finished.

Well, it's been a bit of a slow slog hasn't it?!!  Still the portraits are finished now. On to the rest of it.


Sunday, 9 March 2014

...."such a perfect day"......wriggle, wriggle.

Such a lovely day here in the Midlands, and rather than go out this afternoon for a walk and refreshments, we decided to stay in the garden and catch up on some work.  I love a gentle potter, but I haven't done anything on my own little plot for ages and ages....  I've been to parks, schools, roundabouts, forgotten bits behind bins, and on the corners of thoroughfares, but nothing in my own garden and it's a disgrace!  Shame on me. Go on Rainbow, into the corner with you and put that plant pot on your head and cast your eyes downwards, and be thoroughly ashamed. 

Mind you, this gardening lark can be quite alarming and I did have a bit of a shock - ghastly goings on in the compost.  Eeeeeyouuu.

I lifted the lid of the black bin in which DH stores the leftover raw veg and trimmings, expecting it to be empty.  No, no snakes or toads, but there were worms.  Not just say, a hundred, but a thick layer almost 2 inches deep of small red wriggly things. 

Well, dear reader, I confess to a muffled scream. The lid was flung upwards in my haste to escape. Sadly, I failed to notice the thick lining of worms on said lid, which soon parted company from the plastic once the correct velocity was reached.  Unfortunately for me, most of them landed on my arm and head.   I confess, I ran. Pointless of course, as worms are not known for giving chase but there you go. I shook my head until my ears rang and tore off my clothes doing a passable impression of a Life quilt as I hastened to the shower and a slug of gin. Phew and yuck.

I've also put a coat of paint in the background of the portraits.  No worms here.


Monday, 3 March 2014

Progress and the start of portrait number 6

I have more work to do on some of these portraits but I can't finish hair etc until the background is in.

I shall tuck one more half portrait on the left and then move on to the rest of the quilt.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Can't find that copyright symbol on your keyboard?

Try this and see if it helps





Some copyright Did You Know's

First of all, can I direct you to a brilliant website where all this is explained simply?  My very great thanks to Neil Moore for his guidance.

I can't copy out the words on the site as I have a feeling I might end up breaking their copyright!!

But basically, a copyright is infringed if copying goes on without the owners permission. There are exceptions given on the site.

Importantly, this affects the whole or even just a part of the artistic work.  It's called a substantial part.  Now I've heard people say "oh, you can copy if you alter a bit, or you use less than 40% of the image"  They're completely wrong.

The test for substantial is not a quantitative one ie how much is used, but a qualitative one. This means you could be infringing copyright even if a small - just a bit- of the original is copied.  This doesn't mean copied exactly either but copied with a flavour of.

What I don't know, is if any infringement is made if you use such things for your own personal "educational" needs. Obviously if you're trying to profit by it by selling a piece that's different.  I couldn't find you a definite answer to that one, so perhaps just something to bear in mind?

Dacs, or Design and Artists Copyright Society, is "a not-for-profit visual arts rights management organisation. Our mission is to transform the financial landscape for visual artists and estates so that their artistic practice is sustained and their works protected."

A piece of work doesn't have to be valuable, it doesn't have to be high end or "good". If you made it you can copyright it.  If work of yours has appeared in magazines, and it is copyrighted (you don't need any help to do this, just write your name and the little c symbol across the images, and it's protected for your entire life and up to 70 years afterwards.) then you have the right to be paid by them for it's use. 


Thursday, 27 February 2014

Roots

As well as the 2 Life quilts under construction at the moment, my mind is filled with the next ones too.   I have mentioned before that Life - about 15 I think - will be called Roots.  The model has been, I've done some sketching, and I've been collecting lovely pictures of tree roots and branches.  I found this gorgeous wisteria at Charlecote park last week. Isn't it the most amazing shape?


























I thought I'd cheer you up with this rather lovely picture of some hellebores, which was taken this morning in the park.  I spend most Thursday mornings gardening in one place or the other. This winter has been a bit of a washout (the wettest winter on record) but the sun was shining on us today. Great to feel that spring is just around the corner. I've volunteered to grow some plants for an entry in Chelsea Flower Show this year, so I might be extra busy for the next 6 months!













Yesterday was rather lovely too!  Laura and I went to Bilston to do some sorting out for a wonderous exhibition we're helping to organize for Through Our Hands next year.  We've got some exciting things planned and lots of the artists are joining in producing new and unseen work. The space is large and white walled so we have a blank canvas to play with...oooooo....I'm so inspired!  We'd love for you to put us in your diary: 

Through Our Hands at Bilston: Dates of exhibition: 23rd May 2015 until 18th July 2015

Afterwards I went on to Wightwick Manor which is the most lovely Arts and Crafts house, stuffed to the rafters with preraphelite paintings and sketches...if you decide to come to Bilston, it's a lovely place to go as well - about 20 minutes away by car - and they have a cafe. Could be a cracking day out - why not organize a coach and bring your friends!! (OK I confess, I may be getting carried away)

I popped over to see the new exhibition of Moore and Rodin at Compton Verney too (and to fill up on tea and buns of course)  Mmmm, well I'm not sure that the sculptures move me that much, (with the exception of the Burghers of Calais by Rodin which was very expressive) but the sketches and smaller pieces in the galleries were very interesting.  

Again, I've come back inspired to do some sketchbook work.  So, to find out that Laura has been playing with a new technique making easy transfers to your sketchbook, was bliss.  (sorry, can't give it away, that wouldn't be fair....after all, you have to subscribe to DMTV)  I'll show you some results though when I've had a go.


Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Portraits 3 and 4 nearly finished.



Baby is finished but daughter is still being worked on.

Baby is looking straight at you, because she's asking you, "why?"

Below: another 2 or 3 to go before I can begin working on the top half of the quilt.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Portraits 3 and 4 are stitched, and work on A Murder

 Portraits 3 and 4 for The Glass Ceiling have been stitched and I'm ready to paint. Everybody's eyes are skyward except for the baby who is looking straight at you.

 A Murder has also progressed with the applique shapes being put in prior to stitching and painting.  Those pesky crows have been causing no end of trouble.


Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The Glass Ceiling - the stages of making the second portrait

I've started the second portrait for this piece. There will be a couple more - as many as I can fit in to give the effect I want.

I have the help of a new model, and her portrait will be number two in the piece.



Drawn out with soft 4b pencil.  It's easy to rub out mistakes.  I like a definite line to stitch around but also put in a little bit of shading for the very dark areas.  This also helps when stitching as I can double over lines and be a bit more free - more stitching means darker in my world!






It's just a case of running around outlines with stitch - I add little extra bits on places like the eyes, eyebrows and hair to give a sense of flow.
 The colours I use depend entirely on my mood, and what the rest of the picture is using.  Because there is more than one portrait in this piece, I'm trying to use a similar approach for them all to give a harmony of colour.  I'm beginning by putting in the darks with a light wash of green.   It looks most peculiar doesn't it?  But this green will be hidden and just help me to build the layers of paint properly.

Gradually a face will emerge.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Spirit of Womanhood Exhibition gets a Life Quilt



SPIRIT OF WOMANHOOD EXHIBITION 
 Life 4 - "Hello Dear, What Did You Do Today" has been selected by
Roxane Zand, Sotheby’s, Amy Mechowski, currently Sotheby’s Institute, previously Curator at V&A, Andrew Gwilliams, White Cube, and Len Massey, RCA, to be part of the Spirit of Womanhood Exhibition at the Oxo Tower, South Bank, London in March
I'm absolutely thrilled as quilts weren't an option in the submission details, but they allowed me to submit them as the surface was painted as well as stitched, appliqued etc., and also, I'd sort of forgotten that I'd entered it - I think it was sometime back in July.  Although it's probably not very modest of me, I have to admit to a certain amount of skipping and joyous bouncing at the news.
If you'd like to see it if you're in London, and give a rousing cheer for art quilts in general, the Exhibition will open to the public 20th - 30th March 11.00-18.00 at galleries@OXO, South Bank, London.
The Exhibition Private View is 18.30 on Tuesday 25th March, Opened by Melvin Bragg. 

WIN is running an associated Festival Day ‘Voices of Womanhood’ in conjunction with Women’s Voices Now film archival 10.00-22.00 at the Roxy Bar and Screen.
 



Monday, 27 January 2014

Money for old rope???


Well, very fortunately no.  I don't have to go and buy old rope to draw, as I found this sketch of some in a college sketchbook.  The object of this exercise, wasn't to draw the details of the rope, it was to get the positioning and perspective correct (it was thrown on the floor of the classroom - tricky). But, it gives me an idea of construction and how rope looks when it bends. 

It's needed for A Murder, and will be tied in some fashion to my middle finger (below) which I drew out and stitched this morning.  I'm thinking a pink ribbon bow at the moment, or a chain.


















And ever since I did some research last year for the Oriental work with sixandfriends, I've developed a passion for cloisonne work.  Don't know why exactly, but I seem to be on the look out for it and have been squirreling away little finds.  Here's two from this morning's visit to Stratford. Both are about 100 years old and a bit battered. The teapot has a replacement knob - someone's sewn a bead on.  I like. Maybe if I get the time ...a cloisonne quilt...but no, not bias binding edges!!