Wet in Venice

It’s been a busy week, as I’ve had three days in Venice, and then back to teaching and continuing with my artist’s book. The Venice trip was my holiday this year, so naturally I’m sad that that’s that. I always want to go back there as soon as I’m home.

As the title suggests, it was damp, initially, but warmer than at home, which was good as we had to wade through some flooded pavements on our first day there; you tend to get trapped and there is no other way. Living with a lot of canals on a very small island in the middle of the sea is obviously going to lead to a necessity for wellies, which we didn’t have. At least it wasn’t aqua alta. By day three the weather was wonderful, and I must say the temperatures suited me too; not too hot at all.

I took many photographs as usual, mainly because I want to make a series of work involving Venice. This will be pattern based, and will almost certainly not include gondolas, wonderful objects that they are. I wish I could start now, but as usual there is an ongoing large project to work on first.

Before I went away I started two blossom pages in my book, which I finished laying down when I was home. They are a mix of collaged prints of my blossom photographs, silk, lutradur, fabric and printed acetate.



The stitching is the next job with these pieces, which will be in relatively simple lines, due to the 70 cm long format, and the fact that they are on Khadi paper which is flexible but not exactly foldable.

Below are the simple line drawings I made to use as pattern pieces for the blossom.

fit in


For the next double page spread I printed some Khadi paper using a couple of thermofax screens. Above is the first sheet, before more colour was added.

rep 1

And here is a detail of the sheet with added procion dye and acrylic ink. Below, the finished page, not stitched yet, but ready to go.

spring 1

The large flowers are from an embroidery I laid down ages ago, which have a new lease of life now.

spring 2

This is the opposite to the page above. I’m onto the next two pages now, which are, for me, very colourful; I’ll post them soon.

I know other people’s holiday photos are very boring; but since I always happily look at other peoples’, here are some of mine. They are, on the whole, work orientated, so of course that gives them immense relevance…

The first one is the view from the hotel window of the Grand Canal. I wish this was the view from my window at home.









VEN 10

VEN 11


VEN 14

9 thoughts on “Wet in Venice

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful pictures of Venice although I have a lump in my throat! It is nearly 30 years since I last went and I would dearly love to visit again. Your book pages are lovely and have inspired me to start a new sketchbook on flowers – although no where near as good as yours, it will be a reminder of our lovely garden. Best wishes. Lin

  2. Hi Lin, excellent news re the new sketchbook, it will be a perfect way to record your garden. 30 years can pass far more quickly than we realise, can’t it? I can only say if you want to go and possibly can, book it up! We do it all on the internet and it wasn’t at all expensive. We are fortunate that there are flights direct out of Birmingham though, and the airport is only about 30 minutes away at 4.30 in the morning; we like to get an early flight.

    1. I know you love a flower Hils. You would seriously love Venice too, colour maniac that you are. It’s incredibly quirky, there’s something wonderful at every turn. xx

  3. What beautiful colours in Venice, such faded decadence! I’m sure the trip has ignited lots of ideas for new work, not that you need it! Did you have those thermofaxes made? I’ve a few I’ve picked up from shows but would love to have some of my own made, just haven’t got round to it. As usual it was lovely to have a peek into your life xx

    1. Hi Jac, I’m going to start some Venice work I think, even though I am doing the latest book. I was supposed to be doing one thing at a time too. But, the book is big and although I did want to finish it for the Festival of Quilts [can you come over for that?] I don’t think I can. So, I’m going to take my time with it and indulge myself with some thoughts about the Venice pieces.
      I make my own thermofaxes, I bought a machine last year, it’s very handy; I’ll be in touch. xx

  4. The Venice photographs are just beautiful.
    I was interested to read about the thermofax screens and machine; I have been looking at alternatives for screen printing and this has come up a few times but I don’t know anyone who has actually used them. I would really like to have a chat with you about these – my email is paisley.pedlar@btinternet.com.
    I love the floral images, very delicate.

Comments are closed.