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Talking About Art – Karen Platt on Saatchi Art Online

Talking About Art is not an easy subject. Art, after all, is a personal creation and one where people either love your work, are indifferent or hate it. Even family members are not always supportive. You might work in a group or as I do in isolation. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

I create because, like most artists, I simply have to. It’s not just the urge to do it; it feeds my soul. I love the serendipity, the chance to explore and discover. What I choose to reveal and what remains hidden, on so many levels.

Talking about art
Zantedeschia copyright Karen Platt 2020

Painting As An Art Form

I do enjoy painting because I love texture and colour. My chosen medium is acrylic because I admit, although I strive, I am not a brilliant watercolorist and I cannot stand the smell of oils. I know they are oils that are less offensive these days. However, though much maligned in the beginning, I feel acrylics have come into their own as a versatile medium with many qualities. It gives me the expressive ability I need.

Talking About Drawing

I certainly do not do enough of it. With each artwork in any medium you improve as you do more. This is especially true of the skill of drawing. It takes practice. For me, drawing is all about mark making, so not just drawing objects, but making marks.

Is Digital Really Art?

Currently this is my favourite medium and one I believe I excel at (nothing like blowing your own trumpet!). In all its forms and disguises, it is art. Think of Hockney’s iPad creations. I love the possibilities of taking photographs and manipulating them into something different and extraordinary. Of course, you can create art from scratch digitally too, but I prefer manipulation to that. Some of my digital work informs traditional work. Some of it stands alone when I use my photographs and enhance them digitally in many ways. I enjoy creating large bodies of work digitally like my church series or Tunisian doors. I have developed some of my own techniques. I am very comfortable with this medium. You too can learn photographic techniques on this ecourse

talking about art
Tunisian Doors series

Exploring Mixed Media

You might be astonished that this was not covered on my art course. I am largely self taught and took an art and design course at the age of 50. The first art I had done ‘in class’ since I was 13. I have been a textile artist for many years and I enjoy using text, I am therefore gravitating to mixed media. It has great appeal.

Talking about art, I have started to upload my work onto Saatchi Art Online as the best platform for selling artwork. I have sold some artworks in the past at local exhibitions, so I am certain this is the place to be. I have uploaded over 50 digital artworks as limited edition prints. It’s now time to upload some paintings and other works. I feel there is a future for me in the art world.

I shall continue next week with art subjects.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Quilting and Textiles Blog Fabric Book

In my quilting and textiles blog I like to show you what I have been working on during the week. This has been a week of continuing (slowly) with the scrap quilt and making the fabric book based on the Stay At Home theme of fruit and vegetables. I have been creating fabric pears. You can ask to join the group here. I also managed some knitting and finished two small Cathedral Windows Quilts.

Stay at home and create
fabric book

My quilting and textiles blog is a good way to get to know my work and to support me through my online shop. Bear in mind that during the coronvirus outbreak I am staying in, so you can still buy products online as long as they can be emailed – i.e. ebooks or ecourses. There is lots to keep you going through this crisis.

Quilting

It is a quick mention for quilting this week as owing to not feeling well, I have been a lot slower and still have 5 more blocks to make. I have been thinking of different ways with stripes. However I did finish two Cathedral Window Quilts with buttons. You can access my Cathedral Windows tutorial here.

Cathedral Windows quilt
Cathedral Windows Quilt
Cathedral Windows Quilt
Cathedral Windows Quilt

Knitting

For the first time in years I am knitting in lace. I have designed a textured lace knit in cotton. It is knitting up quite quickly.

knitting pattern
knitting pattern

Textiles

My textiles fabric book is looking great. It is finished, but I might make a cord with beads to finish off the spine. I made each page using different stitches and techniques. The centre page is in last week’s blog. I am really pleased with this work. It was great to use up some of my stash of green fabrics and threads.

quilting and textiles blog
pears
quilting and textiles blog
pears fabric book
fabric textile book
fabric book

Catch up next week when I hope to have some garden themed work to show you; the quilt finished and more besides. Stay occupied, positive and please stay home and safe.

quilting and textiles blog
fabric book

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Stay At Home Quilting and Textiles

Stay at home quilting and textiles from a quilter and textile artist who works from home offering ways to keep creative and an insight into her creativity with tips and themes.

Quilting

It’s a great opportunity to start a new project or to finish that pile of UFOs or diminish your stash or scraps. I am working on my scrap quilt. Piecing the back in a different way to the front, you can see the first two blocks of the back positioned over the front blocks in the top right corner. I also found some fabric in my stash that will make the sashing.

stay at home quilting

Stay At Home Textiles

Quilting comes into textiles anyway, but my textile work tends to also differ from my quilting work at the moment. I had set a fruit and vegetables theme for the Stay At Home and Create group on fb. I chose to work with pears and create a fabric book. That is now underway and I also added to the paper prototype. This week on the paper prototype I used charcoal, watercolour and clingfilm, words and I did my cutout too.

paper concertina book

The fabric book is a way to explore different fabrics and stitch. So far I have used my hand dyed fabric as a background, and pears made from my hand dyed felt and velvet. I have explored different stitches and threads.

stay at home fabric book

To say I have been so ill I have achieved quite a lot. I finished my hand knitted cardigan too. Not to mention the latest in my Travel Inspiration ebooks – Athens – has all the photos and text done and is just waiting for me to put the artworks I created from my trip into the ebook. All the travel inspiration ebooks can be found here. Escape whist sitting in your armchair. Here’s to another creative week.

stay at home fabric book

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Lockdown Creativity – Drawing, Quilting and more

Lockdown creativity is about staying positive. Last week I started a new group on facebook called Stay At Home And Create, so if you want to join me, you’ll find it here. Over 50 members have already joined. Reduce stress, take your mind off the news and make something. Do it alone or with family and share on the fb page.

lockdown creativity
figs on the worktop

We are moving into drawing and painting fruit for Week 2. Here’s some ideas I have been working with. I am exploring ideas at this stage with a view to producing quilts, or a textile fabric book.

lockdown creativity
pears from my original painting
lockdown creativity
ideas developed in software
pear watercolour painting
another in the pear series

Work

Lockdown creativity for me has been limited as I developed shingles mid week. It could keep my creativity limited for some time. Financially it’s difficult for so many of us and I am one that relies on sales from my website and would appreciate any support people can offer at this time, particularly the online ecourses or ebooks so that I do not have to go out to post. Please take a look.

There is just one more block to go on my scrap quilt. Qaygo might be easier for me to quilt this. I might prefer to quilt in one go, but it definitely needs binding and sashing, which at the moment I do not have.

scrap quilting
scrap quilting

New ebook Travel Inspiration Corfu

I have finished ebook Five in the Inspiration travel series. It is a pictorial guide book to Corfu, where I enjoyed a fabulous holiday in 2017. The ebook has 250 photos including some art I created. It is available here

Inspiration travel ebook five Corfu

Join me next week for more textiles and quilting and more

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Knitting Patterns The Peak District Collection

Knitting Patterns a new collection of patterns inspired by the Peak District and available exclusively on the website.

knitting patterns
The cover of my new knitting pattern booklet

Knitting Patterns

This collection of knitting patterns was inspired by the colours and textures of the Peak District. 10 knitting patterns are included in ebook pdf format only from the website, click the link to see all 10 patterns. I have really enjoyed designing and making up my patterns for you to enjoy too. The patterns include shawls, a stole, hats, mitts and scarves plus a cardigan and bolero. They are all patterns for women. I have concentrated on wraps because the weather often suddenly changes in the Peak and it is good to wear layers or have a stole, hat and gloves with you.

knitting patterns
scarf and matching hat
knitting patterns
part of one of the shawl patterns

The range of patterns was inspired by the Peak District from a walk along Stanage Edge one day last year. The yarns used made me think of the Peak in all its glory, no matter what the season.

stole knitting patterns
It’s always good to have a wrap with you in the Peak, this stole is a real winner

A variety of stitches is used in the projects and there is something for beginners and intermediate knitters too.

The second collection of exclusive designer knitwear is already underway, inspired by Cornwall. I have four books planned with all the knitting already done.

Textiles

A number of textile pieces were also finished this week. The hearts were one of the first things I made. I have some felted ones I am thinking of using in a project.

hearts
You’ve gotta have heart, miles and miles …

This green piece is all about texture and is based on lichen. This is part of a series. It was loved on Instagram.

textile art
My textile inspired by lichen

This circles piece is part of my work inspired by The Sahara. Most of the work in this series is already online and shown in the Sahara inspiration ebook.

textile art
Sahara inspired textile

My mother textile piece did not get worked on at all, I am still pondering. I think it is taking on a new direction.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Old Textile Work and New

Old textile work was found in my drawer last week. I had discovered a few unfinished projects. This week I had planned new art quilts I had mentioned in last week’s blog. However, having been ill all week, I could not manage much at all.

Friday saw me scramble to get something done and I started my second project with the pink and green fabric. However it is feeling a bit like the other project and I want it to be different. I have an idea for it now.

art quilt
New project
art quilt
new project

Old Textile Work

First though I went back to the old textile work. In my drawer was a four year old project (does not feel that long ago). Based on a photo in Tunisia, and a subsequent drawing as well as an altered image idea. I had gathered all my fabrics only to shove it all in a drawer owing to the death of a loved one. Yesterday I managed to finish it. Not strictly a quilt as it has no wadding, this stitched picture is now complete. I think my object here was to use as many fabrics as I could and this packs in at least eight. Is that a record for a tiny piece?

old textile work
My altered image
old textile work
old textile work finished at last

No sooner have you finished one, that another old textile work beckons. This is one I lost confidence with. It was my very first piece of free motion stitching on a painting. So wobbly, but I think I can pull it together now.

old textile work
old textile work

Looking Ahead

There are still lots of art quilts to get down into fabric and stitch. I am also about to launch my next Inspiration ebook – Domes, Towers and Turrets. It’s been very exciting to work on this one and it is the last of the themes for the moment. There are 14 of them and 3 art/travel ones. Next up in February or March will be the original themes I started doing before I got waylaid. These are not just photos but textile work. More about that next time. Visit the website to see all my work.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2020

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Day 26 quilting of 31 day blog challenge

Day 26 quilting is about starting new projects. In the coming week I shall be creating some art quilts, looking back at my progress and achievements and looking forwards to what is coming in 2020. I know some of you are busy with celebrations, but a blog only takes a few minutes to read and can be a few minutes peace in your day.

Sorting Fabrics

Day 26 quilting, it was time to look at what I had. Yes, little Miss No Stash, has quite a bit of fabric. Some unused for years, but most of this is leftovers. Some of it is already earmarked for projects or work in progress (wip). The Cathedral Windows projects (there are 3 of those here) are all unfinished. The orange one is supposed to be a sewing machine cover. The bear one is sort of finished, but needs something else. I cannot even remember what the tiny triangles one is. These are all from 3 years ago and need finishing. There is still an awful lot of fabric here and this is not all of it.

Day 26 quilting
Unfinished work and stash

Projects in Mind

When you look at your stash like this, it helps if you have projects in mind, or if your stash suggests projects. The neutral fabrics were part of my autumn quilt. I started making a jacket with the leftovers, so I need to make sure I keep some back for that. The butterfly fabrics were bought for that quilt but not used. They might just spark an idea for an art quilt. What I am looking for to get started are my neutral fabrics (many of them hand dyed) to start an art piece.

day 26 quilting
Leftover fabrics for a jacket

The silks were bought for different reasons. I bought the plain brights and a pack of textured ones at a show many many years ago. Some have been used. The orange and neutral silks were bought to make dresses. You can perhaps tell that much of this stash was bought with textiles in mind and some of my creations will be very textile orientated but quilted pieces. Stay tuned tomorrow when I shall reveal more.

day 26 quilting
silk fabrics
textiles
textiles

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Day 19 quilting of 31 day blog challenge

Day 19 quilting says good morning quilters everywhere who are enjoying the blog. Welcome. If you are new, all the blogs are archived on the website. You can also join me on facebook to keep up to date with quilting and textiles. I post daily on quilting and textiles.

Quilting

Day 19 quilting is showing you my progress with the new quilt. I have now completed all white ‘squares’ and am on the quilting around the edges. I am using ivory not white as I find white to be a very stark contrast. I managed one section yesterday, so three more corners to do then four small areas to finish off. Then it only leaves the binding. This quilt is nearing completion. I am finding it tough going. To be honest, this type of quilting is just not me. I ned something far more expressive artistically than piecing in this way but I have been teaching mainly beginners, so all my work has been in that direction.

day 19 quilting
quilting the top
day 19 quilting
quilting the top

Textiles

I have been a textile artist far longer than I have been a quilter. Creating textiles is such fun because you have so many more techniques and materials available to you. I have created some art quilts that are as much textiles as quilt. I think this is the way I am heading for 2020, so keep tuned for a new body of work taking a new direction. The image below is one of the designs I am working on. I am thinking of these as ‘me quilts’.

day 19 quilting
Copyright Karen Platt 2019

Today’s Discount

On day 19 quilting take 20% off my Textiles ecourse. This is the first ecourse I wrote was on textiles. It is such fun to learn textile techniques with me as your etutor. You will learn so much from this to use in your own creative work. Check back in tomorrow for progress, quilting ideas and tips and another discount.

Karen Platt textiles ecourse
Karen Platt textiles ecourse

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Day 13 Quilting of 31 Day Blog Challenge

Day 13 quilting is very appropriate for the Nightmare on Downing Street, and that is all I will say here about the mess the UK is in and the corruption and lies that have brought us here. Very personally adversely affected for more than one reason. If you can visit the website today and actually buy anything, no matter how small, it will help, thank you. I am one of the 50s women who has lost 6 years of her state pension, thanks to the Tories, with no notification that I was not retiring at 60.

What Am I Working On?

Day 13 quilting and it was fun in the quilt room designing a new quilt. I had it all arranged on the quilt design wall. Then folded my fabric to find the centre, placed and appliqued my first block, then wham. I realised I had positioned it in the wrong place.

Day 13 quilting
the design wall

Undo or Re-design?

That was a quick re-design for me. I hate unpicking. It is one of the things I hate most about quilting, so I always try to get things right first time because unpicking is a real turn off. In all I stitched 5 blocks in place, it probably only needs 7, but the bobbin ran out and it was time for a rest. The bonus is I now have an unused design planned 🙂

day 13 quilting
day 13 quilting

Day 13 Discount

Day 13 quilting discount is on my textile work. I have created a large number of textile pieces from embroidered portraits to textile jewellery. All work is original, designed and handmade by me. Take 20 per cent off any item on the textiles pages. Just drop me a quick email and I’ll send an invoice marked with the 20% off the retail price. Thank you for all your support, much appreciated.

textiles embroidered portrait
hand embroidered copyright Karen Platt 2019
textiles portrait
Textiles copyright Karen Platt
textiles Karen Platt
Sahara hand stitched copyright Karen Platt
textile jewellery
hand stitched textile jewellery copyright Karen Platt

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019

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Artist Exhibition Until February 21st 2019

Artist Exhibition Until February 21st 2019. There has been so much good news this month and it continues. On 26th January 2019, my first exhibition of paintings for some time opened up at the Montgomery Theatre Gallery on Surrey Street, Sheffield.

I must admit that the paintings nearly did not get hung. In my excitement of finding somewhere to exhibit, I forgot about the practicalities of hanging my own work. I have never had to hang it before. When the ladder was brought into the room, fear crept into my heart. I have never been very good on ladders. This ladder had very thin rungs and the thought of holding a painting and attaching it to the hanging system whilst clinging to the ladder had my heart in my mouth.

My gung-ho spirit nevertheless saw me climbing the ladder but I went as far up as I dare and I could not reach the hanging system. I climbed down with a heavy heart and having no clue what to do. So I had to go back into the office and say that I just could not hang the paintings. Fortunately a young man came to my rescue and I shall forever be in his debt. Phew. Even if I say so myself the exhibition looks wonderful.

The Montgomery is found on Surrey Street in the city centre and is open 10-4pm normally, but check with the theatre and ask if the gallery is open if you are travelling especially to see it. I am willing to meet people there if they want to say hello. All work is for sale. The Gallery is upstairs. On Saturday 2nd February the cafe is open serving drinks and cake, so that sounds like a great time to pop in.

I am hoping to have some more brilliant news for you next week. There is something in the pipeline that I am hoping will come through.

Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019