a visual review

Far too much has happened in the 14 months since I last update my blog to go into all the details and I have spent very little time on social media or commenting on blogs I follow. Settling in to a new home in a new location has had its highs and lows, some expected and some, not at all. But here I am living in a lovely home, I keep in touch with old friends and have made some interesting new ones. There is a variety of delightful walks close at hand for the dog and me, and Whanganui, while small, has everything I need for the most part.

In my last post I shared details about a pennant that has been to Sydney and since returned. The installation was co-ordinated by Mo Orkiszewki over at It’s Crow Time and you can see a stunning display of everyone’s work here.

Earlier this year I participated a workshop organised by Fibre Arts Australia with Hannah Lamb where I stitched a memoir of sorts on a top that I wore until it died and then deconstructed to use as a pattern. There is more of this work to come . . . right now it’s just notes and sketches.

An Internal Landscape: Beneath the Surface is a comment on my life.  A family of orgin gone separate ways, events seldom straightforward, occasionally unraveling, messier beneath the surface, support often unseen by others, always moving on creating a new landscape.


An Internal Landscape: Beneath the Surface.       Wendy Watson – Late Start Studio



An Internal Landscape: Beneath the Surface. Front, exterior.    Wendy Watson – Late Start Studio



An Internal Landscape: Beneath the Surface. Back, exterior.       Wendy Watson – Late Start Studio



An Internal Landscape: Beneath the Surface. Back, interior.       Wendy Watson – Late Start Studio

Later a 5 day course, organised by Fibre Arts New Zealand, with Mary Hettmansperger set me off twining (a skill I taught myself almost 40 years ago because I was fascinated by taniko) and working in wire.

Wendy Watson – Late Start Studio

Wendy Watson – Late Start Studio

Wendy Watson – Late Start Studio

Wendy Watson – Late Start Studio

Then it was gum nuts picked up on the riverbank . . . 100 gum nuts bound in cotton. Remains is a comment on individual difference.  I also wanted to comment on how when a primary use, or perceived usefullness, has been served there is usually another purpose to be found. This came about when I was musing on the number of gray-haired woment who were out that day walking their dogs and how they could be so easily dismissed as just a member of a particular demographic.

A converation overheard during the exhibition:

A:  One is diferent.      B:  They’re all different.

Remains.                   Wendy Watson – Late Start Studio

I’ve continued messing around with a quick collage as a warm up most days or eight very quick androgynous sketches in acrylic and charcoal.

Wendy Watson – Late Start Studio

I continue to enjoy learning new skills, developing old ones, using them to express my thoughts . . . and generally enjoying my life.

A sun-filled studio has been set up in the house and another workspace in the garage so I can fling paint around. My last attempt to paint was a brief dalliance with oils about 20 years ago and a play with acrylic on a orkshop in 2015 so I’m not sure why I’m drawn to it again: I always said I use paint but I don’t paint. At the moment I’m playing with colour and texture and aren’t at all certain of where it’s going. Somewhere? Nowhere? Does it matter?

I’ve taken a few painting and mixed media online courses with Misty Mawn and Jeanne Oliver.  Both sources offerings are reasonably priced, specific and professionally produced by knowledgeable and supportive tutors.

Wendy Watson – Late Start Studio

More of my results with later perhaps.

That’s it! There are no plans for attending future workshops at this stage . . . time to consolidate and just work with what I have.   And while I have work at a couple of outlets I’m more interested in developing the work than exhibiting or selling at the moment.

Catch up soon?  Soon is a relative term.

a review

What better day for me to have a review? It’s my birthday, one with a zero although I don’t consider that to make it any more important than any other, it’s the International Day of Peace, and this morning I photographed a finished piece of work which I will send to Mo Orkiszewski over at It’s Crow Time.

I consider a birthday a day to count my many blessings: to reach seventy with a strong healthy body, to have good friends and family I can count on, my faculties are intact . . . I’m aware this more than many have. I’m grateful to have the ability and opportunity to develop my creativity and to travel if I choose and I’m immensely grateful for the friends I can meet up with when I do.

Having moved house recently I’ve been a tad busy but have still managed to finish my contribution to Mo’s idea for making use of an old satin wedding dress and veil she was gifted. The theme is ‘I Dream of a World Where Love is the Answer’. She bravely cut it up and sent it to artists around the world and now she has the immense pleasure of unfurling them.

1035 x 135 mm. Satin, silk, linen thread, pearls.
Wendy @ Late Start Studio

Mine includes a piece of the veil which fell apart even as I took it from the envelope. I gave it the burn test so I think it’s silk and has not stood up well unlike the man-made fibre used for the satin.

I had the idea of using the veil on top of the satin, attaching it loosely with small blue/green pearls knotted through the layers as if holding on to hopes and dreams. I decided to back the satin with some 2 ply silk however when I finished stitching them together I realised the satin would be lost behind the silk so I turned it over and made the dress fabric visible. The veiling is so fragile it disintegrated as I worked but aren’t hopes and dreams like that? Unless they become goals they can dissipate leaving little trace.

Pennant detail reverse side.
Wendy @ Late Start Studio

Pennant detail.

When Mo opens the package, there will be traces left behind in the wrapping, if people touch it when its exhibited along with the other contributions more damage will be done, but that’s okay because even if most of the veil falls away, the foundation and the pearls will remain. Love is like that . . . it needs a strong foundation because what is built will get knocked about however the most precious aspects will remain. I wanted my contribution to reflect this.

Cheers people! It’s not wine o’clock yet but cheers anyway.