Monday, September 29, 2014

Gloria Loughman Landscape Workshop: Part 2

Student WIP

Participants of this workshop came with varying levels of "preparedness" and expectations. The course outline required that each student bring a photo or a sketch of a sunset scene or a simple landscape. From this photo we would derive the basic design of our class piece, as well as use it as a colour guide.

At the end of the two day workshop, students were at various levels of progress. Below are a few samples of some of the participant's work after completion of the course.

Giselle, (below) who seemed to have a clear understanding of the direction she would take her piece, came to the workshop with a tree that she had fused and thread painted separately in advance of the class. The tree was later placed on top of the fused tiles and became the focal point of her piece.

Here Giselle's tree is loosely placed over top of the tiles. It will be fused into place permanently once all of the background tile work is completed.

In her moonscape, (below), Carol has used a tiny scrap of dyed and shredded batting and has floated it in front of a full moon to successfully represent a wispy cloud..

A paper pattern of the foreground lies over top of Carol's completed night sky.

Faye and Eryl (next 2 photos) came prepared with their own hand dyed fabrics ready to create a sunset (or sunrise) scene. These two ladies were extremely efficient and focused and therefore, made great progress in class. Both had their tiles fused and stitched into place before the workshop ended.

With tiles fused and stitched into place, Faye has started working on the silhouette of a tree, which will become the focal point of her piece.

The reflection in the water that Eryl has created in the foreground mirrors for the sky perfectly.

In her own work, Gloria Loughman uses diamonds and triangles as well as squares and rectangles. However, to keep things a little more straightforward and simplified, the majority of students chose to work with either square or rectangular tiles.

Quita placed her rectangular tiles on the diagonal. This creates a very different effect from tiles that are placed in straight rows.

Deanna has chosen to use her square tiles on the diagonal as well.

The next two photos are of my LIP (Landscape in Progress).  I took this photograph at the "Bambouserie", a bamboo forest in the south of France many years ago. At the time, I had hopes of creating a quilted landscape, but because I had no experience with this type of design and no real idea of the direction that I wanted my quilt to take, I left it alone, but never quite forgot about it. Since then, there have been several textile artists whose work I have admired, Gloria Loughman being one of them. After having bought her book "Radiant Landscapes" in 2010, I was inspired to work up several design layouts, with the one pictured below becoming the basis of this workshop piece. It is designed as a triptych and I am currently working on the center portion of the photograph.

Because I chose to work with monochromatic colours,  working with a black and white print of my bamboo forest gave me a better guide for choosing values.

My work so far, with my colour palette of pre-fused fabric tiles on either side.

Working on this landscape is a great creative learning experience for me and I am having lots of fun playing with it. I do hope to finish this piece some day, but right now there is more pressing and (quite frankly) more exciting stitching in my immediate future, like baby quilts and other baby "accoutrements". Granniehood is on the horizon for me and this Gran E is seriously inspired and prepared to fulfill all stitching requirements. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Landscape Workshop with Gloria Loughman

Several weekends ago, I headed over to Salt Spring Island, one of the Gulf Islands between the British Columbia mainland and Vancouver Island, where I had the opportunity to participate in a 2 day workshop given by Gloria Loughman (  Gloria, an Australian textile artist whose work focuses on landscape quilts, has written 3 books to date, and travels the world teaching the various techniques she uses to create her quilting art. The first time I saw Gloria's work on "The Quilt Show", Episode 612,  June 7, 2010,
(, was the first time that I had any inclination to dabble in landscapes. She made the process seem manageable; there is a certain element of structure in her technique, while still leaving ample room for interpretation and creativity. When to my delight I noticed that "Stitches" ( on Salt Spring Island would be hosting several workshops taught by Gloria, I jumped at the opportunity.

The workshop I participated in, called "Light Up Your Landscape", focused on mosaic tiling, a technique she has highlighted in her latest book "Radiant Landscapes" published by C & T Publishing Inc., 2013.

Gloria Loughman has written 3 books to date.
(See the list at the bottom of this page).

Along with discussing basic design and colour principles, Gloria introduced us to her method of mosaic tiling with fabric. Hundreds of tiny fabric tiles, in an assortment of shades and colours, carefully chosen to create the desired background effect, are all cut to the identical size and shape, and fused onto a solid fabric background. This creates the mosaic canvas on which to build the rest of the landscape.

"Fern Pool", (below), gracing the cover of her latest book "Radiant Landscapes", is a perfect example of this technique, where the graduated rectangular colour tiles create the intended backdrop for the trees and foliage of this forest setting. As you can see, these tiles are not randomly placed; there has been much fore thought and skill.

The cover quilt, "Fern Pool", was hanging center stage n the classroom.

Close-up of "Fern Pool", showing the detailed free motion machine embroidery Gloria used to add variation and texture to the surface of trunk.

Below are 3 more examples of  her work in which she has used the mosaic tiling technique.

"Cypress Trees of Florida", by Gloria Loughman.

"Early Morning at Mission Beach", by Gloria Loughman.

"The Baobob Trees of Madagascar" by Gloria Loughman.
Rectangular tiles placed on the diagonal develop the mood for this piece.

The next piece shows a variation of the mosaic process, where instead of the defined geometric shapes, Gloria has used fluid, linear lines to create her mosaic.

In this piece she has used linear mosaic piecing.

Although the "Light up your Landscape" workshop focused mainly on mosaic tiling, it is only one of a number of techniques Gloria uses in her work. In some of her work, hand painted fabrics provide the background canvas, as in the forest scene below.

A forest scene by Gloria on a hand painted background.

Gloria demonstrating the finishing of a wall hanging.

Because the gradation of colour is subtle, hand-dyed or hand painted fabrics, can also be used effectively as tiles in the development of the mosaic background to a landscape.

A sample made for class illustrating a richly painted sunset (or sunrise?) canvas.

Although this type of work takes me seriously out of my comfort zone, I appreciate the opportunity to expand my horizons and broaden my knowledge by participating in a workshop taught by one of the best in the field.  In my next blog entry, I will post a sampling of the work created by some of the students during the 2 day workshop.

The 3 books written by Gloria Loughman to date are:
"Luminous Landscapes", C & T Publishing, Inc., 2007
"Quilted Symphony", C & T Publishing, Inc., 2010
"Radiant Landscapes", C & T Publishing, Inc., 2013

All photographs of Gloria Loughman's work were taken by Elizabeth Janzen, and are posted to this blog with the permission of Gloria Loughman.