Finished drawing and my Teaching at the Creative Fibre Festival in Christchurch 
I finished this drawing at about 11.30 the night before I left Hamilton in the early hours of the next morning - taking a shuttle to Auckland to catch a plane to Christchurch.

Last Wednesday I flew down to Christchurch to teach a 2 day workshop at the Creative Fibre Festival which was held at the Chateau on the Park from Thursday to Sunday.

The subject for the workshop was 'Medieval Faces' and this picture shows Naoko Watson weaving small sections of the face. Two days was not enough time for my students to weave the full face so we wove small sections of the face using some of the techniques used in medieval times. I created the cartoon for the face which was taken from one of the faces in the tapestries 'The Lady and the Unicorn' and the students will work on this tapestry at home after having learnt the techniques int he workshop.

Making Progress 
I am making good progress on this drawing.

Roberta's tapestry and more! 
Roberta is getting close to finishing her tapestry. She has been working on it for four weeks now and next week we are flying down to Christchurch so it needs to be completed within the next two or three days. This tapestry is taken from a photo she took when visiting Queenstown while she was staying down in Dunedin. It will be a lovely souvenir of her visit to New Zealand this year.

I have started another drawing! I should actually be weaving on the Saddleback tapestry or finishing my notes for my students in my workshop in Christchurch next week. But this drawing is fun to do.

I have used a watercolour wash on the girl's face and charcoal and pastel in black and white for the flowers. Will post another photograph when it is finished.

Roberta's visit and other stuff 
My friend from Denmark, Roberta Irgens Moeller has been staying with me for the last couple of weeks and is weaving her tapestry which features the landscape around Queenstown. Roberta comes to New Zealand each year and loves to weave a tapestry while she is here.

This photo shows Roberta and myself in the studio. I am sitting in front of the 'Saddleback' tapestry which has gone on hold for the last couple of months. The little tapestry in front has had to take precedence over the larger tapestry as I am teaching 'Medieval Faces' in a workshop at the Creative Fibre Festival in Christchurch at the end of April. I decided to weave a face from the 'Lady and the Unicorn' series of tapestries and I have just today, completed these two little works. The workshop is for two days only, so my students will be weaving small sections of the face such as an eye, the mouth and the nose, rather than attempting to weave the whole face in such a short time. You can see these details in the small narrow tapestry at the left of the larger one on the frame. I am hoping that my students will be inspired to weave the whole face when they take their frames home after the workshop.

The photo shows the work in progress - a small section of the face.

Recently I have been drawing quite a lot - filling a sketchbook with drawings of some of our endangered birds, some of them museum specimens taken from photographs I took in the Canterbury Museum where they have drawers full of birds. These drawings will accompany the tapestries in an exhibition some day.

The little drawing of the baby saddleback at the top, was done on the aeroplane flying to Christchurch for my Mum's funeral a few weeks ago. I am not a happy passenger on aeroplanes, so I find that drawing in my sketchbooks helps me to forget where I am and the flight seems to go much faster. I am always pleased and relieved when I am back down on the ground again. I am using pastel pencils and charcoal pencils for these drawings. I love the intensity of colour that you can get with these materials.

Another New Year begins. 
Well, will I do better this year with my blog. I guess time will tell but I will try and do an entry at least once a week. Facebook tends to take over and really it shouldn't.

Today is a rather wet but not cold day here in Hamilton and I have been working on my second 'Cloak' form tapestry 'Saddlebacks'. I am enjoying weaving these works as the subject matter is quite dear to my heart. I have always loved birds from when I was a very small child and my Nana Eddy used to let us look through her copy of "Buller's Birds of New Zealand" I now have my own copy of this book, thanks to my friend Wilson, who gave it to me for Christmas about three years ago.

The theme for these tapestries is of course 'Protection' as extinction is forever, and a lot of our lovely native birds are in danger of extinction. However, there is now a much greater awareness of our environmental issues and a lot is being done to try and stop this extinction process.

The 'Saddlebacks' tapestry has been on the loom for about six months now and I am well ove halfway through the weaving - almost up to the second bird but still have to work on the background before I can get on with weaving the bird. I tend to work on the tapestries in the early morning for a couple of hours and sometimes longer, but I am also working on drawings and paintings so it all keeps me rather busy.

"Cloak' exhibition at the Wallace Gallery, Morrinsville 
Last Saturday was the opening of the 'Cloak' Exhibition at the Wallace Gallery in Morrinsville. We had a great crowd there and Justin Morgan the director told me today that over 200 people went through the gallery on Saturday. That was pretty awesome, and as usual the exhibition has attracted a lot of interest.

There were eight Professional Weavers at the opening, some coming from Auckland, Bay of Plenty and Opotiki. In the photo from left are, Alison Francis, Ann Boniface in front with the catalogue and Roka Cameron behind her, Janie Gummer,Dianne Dudfield, me in front with Carol Oldfiel behind and Nynke Piebenga next to Carol. It was great that so many of the weavers could attend.

The Opening of 'Cloak - Variations on a Theme' at Arts in Oxford 

Here are some images of the opening of the exhibition at Arts in Oxford. It was so good and a big surprise to see Betty Booth and her husband Graham at the opening. Betty is chatting to Ria, one of the Christchurch Guild members.

Valerie and Haywood Osborn

Cloak - Variations on a Theme 
Here are some images of the Professional Weavers Network exhibition 'Cloak - Variations on a Theme'

At the moment this exhibition is on show at Arts in Oxford, a non profit gallery in the small Canterbury town of Oxford, New Zealand. This gallery has a superb light and airy space in which to show our work to great advantage.

This photograph shows the back view of Sue Broad's small cloaks 'The Cloakroom of Dreams and Enchantments' with Christine Keller's colourful dyed cloaks to the left, Mary Anderson's 'Crusader' on the wall, Alison Francis's wearable cloak 'Urewera', and Marilyn's tapestry 'Extinction is Forever'

Nynke Piebenga's small cloaks 'Progress or Destruction'

Roka Hurihira Cameron's cloaks 'Kupenga' left, 'Manono' middle and 'Whero' right, made a strong statement at the entrance to the exhibition. I was so pleased that I made the decision to put these wonderful works here.

A view of the exhibition as you come in the right entrance with Agnes Hauptli's circular hanging 'Family' in front.

This image shows Dianne Dudfields small hangings, 'Takehe' and 'Tui' on the back wall with Jo Reeve's wearable cloak 'Cloaked in Shadow' in front of them.

Another view from behind Sue's cloaks showing Helen Oliver's small tapestries 'Poems for Cloaks' to the right of Marilyn's tapestry.

Elizabeth Arnold's wonderful tapestry 'Cloak of Conflict' on the wall behind Jill Bryant's wearable 'Halifax Cloak', and Rose Pelvin's small wearable cloak 'Snowmelt'.

Rose's large wearable cloak 'A Thing of Shreds and Patches' and Dianne Dudfield's 'Enchanted Forest'.

This is the view of the exhibition from the left entrance with Trish Armour's dragon tapestry 'Jormungandr - Viking Ceremonial Cloak' in front and Wilson's 'Alb and Stole' in the background.

Another view of the left side of the gallery with Maryann Stamford's 'Nature's Deception' pieces on the left. Janie Gummer's 'Mourning Cloak' next to Wilson's at the back. I don't seem to have many photos of this wall but I think they might be on Wilson's computer, so I will get him to send them to me soon and will post them on this blog once I have them.

Sue Broad has sent me some images of the left wall, and this photo shows from left Peg Moorhouses cloak hanging, 'Festive Nepal Cloak' Maryann Stamfords, Nature's Deception' and 'To Keep Under Wraps' based on the case moth, Marilyn's 'Elements' on the plinth and Agnes Hauptli's 'Hine Nui te Po' Goddess of the Night' her beautiful jacquard weaving.

Anne Boniface's two small cloaks 'Changing Moods' on the plinth in the foreground.

And here we have a close-up of Rose Pelvin's beautiful cloak 'A Thing of Shreds and Patches' with Wilson Henderson's 'Alb and Stole' in the background.

Here we have the left wall with Agnes's jacquard weaving, Ann Boniface's two small cloaks and Wilson's Alb and Stole with Janie's Mourning cloak. A better picture of these works.

A closer view of these works. Robyn Parker's diptych 'Nature's Cloak' is on the wall beside Wilson's Alb and Stole.

This photo shows Peg Moorhouse's lovely white silk hanging 'Fairy Silk Cloak'. Peg is our oldest member at the age of 99years and wove this cloak form last year for this exhibition.

My tapestry has won an Award 
It was announced on Friday last week that I was announced the winner of this year's Kate Derum Award for small Tapestries. The Kate Derum Award is open to Australian and International artist at any stage in their career, for handwoven tapestries with a maximum size of 30x30cm. My tapestry 'Doll' was selected from a short list of 41 original works including Australian artists Chris Cochius and Cheryl Thornton, who both received high commendations from the judges. The only other New Zealand entrant Sue Weir was also highly commended for her tapestry 'Amongst the Folds, 2013'

Awarded every two years, the Award continues to capture the attention of some of the world's most accomplished tapestry artists. This year 75 entries were received from 12 countries: United Kingdom, France, Latvia, Canada, Argentina, Hungary, Denmark, Mexico, India, United States, New Zealand and Australlia. The judging panel comprised former Head of School, school of Art, Architecture and Design, Universithy of SA, Professor Kay Lawrence AM: founding Director of Chrischurch Art Gallery, Mr Tony Preston: and Head of Textiles, Australian National University, Ms Valerie Kirk.

The judges were excited to have the challenge in selecting a winner from the calibre of internationally acclaimed textile artists. In selecting Marilyn's work as the winner, the judges were impressed by the tapestry's pprofound visual impact and extraordinary technical artistry with an astonishing palette creating a tension between the precise andmeasured process of tapestry weaving and the immediacy of modern day digital imaging. 'The doll is often associated with the safety and comfort of childhood, but the intense colour relationships in Marilyn's tapestry also provoke a sense of unease' says Valerie Kirk.

Generously supported by Susan Morgan and the Tapestry Foundation of Australia, the Kate Derum Award was created in honour of the former Deputy Director of the Australian Tapestry Workshop who passed away in 2008. The Award celebrates Kate as an accomplished artist, respected teacher, avid supporter of the Australian Tapestry Workshop and ambassador for Australian tapestry. She was a wonderful role model and leader, and influenced the lives of many young artists'

I have been painting every day for the last few weeks as there is nothing on my looms at the moment, apart from a small work on a frame. I am waiting for warp threads to arrive from Glenora in Australia before I can put a new work on the loom. Anyhow, here are images of the latest series of paintings. This series features Life in Our Country and is a continuation of the tapestries that were woven on this them a few years ago, only this time they are acrylic on canvas.

The first image shows the work in progress and the second image is the completed work.