Friday 23 December 2011

Christmas Threads & Wishes

This is just a quick post to wish you a merry Christmas and to say thank you for your visits or comments on my blog.
It has been a very busy, exciting, challenging year and I have been stitching more than I have been blogging!
Next year I have workshops at The Herbert which will be exciting as I have a huge array of beautiful threads from Madeira to experiment with. 
I will share my workshops here on my blog in the New Year
Enjoy your festivities.

Michala x

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Painting With Threads

One Of My Sketch Books At The Herbert Art Gallery

A few weeks ago Mary Miers the arts editor of Country Life Magazine came to visit me at home.
She was intrigued by my art work, collections of threads and the methods I use to create my landscapes.
Here is the article she wrote.


Michala Gyetvai’s passion for threads infuses her swirling stitched and felted artworks, which can be seen at the Herbert Art Gallery in Coventry until 24 January. The vibrant pieces express her deep-rooted love of nature, the seeds of which were sown during her childhood in rural Northamptonshire, when she roamed woods and fields collecting wool and other organic fibres. These she transformed with natural dyes and wove into ‘little worlds’ on a homemade loom. Since then she has squirreled away jars and jars of fibres - twisted twines and antique silks, lustred and matt threads shimmery and sheening, crocheted cottons and metallic strands – so that her workroom resembles a Parisian brocante. With no formal training, Mrs Gyetvai developed her craft-based fine art while attending evening classes; she derives particular inspiration from the English Romantics. Working from studies in pastels, she ‘paints with the fibres’ on old dyed blankets, moving around the piece like a dancer as she lays them out and punches them in. Then she draws in the lines and builds up the texture of the composition with her threads, stitching them in by hand and machine. The whole process has an affinity with music and ballet, the results being highly rhythmic and expressive of the physical energy that goes into their making. Trees are a favourite motif, conveying the artist’s own emotions as well as the landscape around her home town of Kenilworth.

By Mary Miers

I feel very privileged to tell you that she has recommended my exhibition at The Herbert Art Gallery in Coventry as one of the best to see in December, in this weeks Country Life Magazine including a small piece about me.

Monday 5 December 2011

"Seas Of Grass" Is Open!

I can't believe my opening day finally arrived at The Herbert on Saturday, the date had always seemed so far away.
I had spent a very rewarding, educational week at The Herbert as they hung my exhibition, nothing could prepare me for the surreal experience for seeing my work hung collectively.
I was relieved that my largest pieces, that I had stitched onto canvas, looked as I had envisaged.
It was exciting to see how my mark making had become integral to the actual wool blanket.
Now being able to view it from a distance, I was aware of how sculptural my work had become. The more three dimensional aspect revealed patterns and shadows.
The actual opening day was all the more rewarding because I could share it with many of my friends and relatives, I will never forget this day.
I now have my own website which you can see here  this includes lots of information about me and my art (my life history!), including all the work at my exhibition and price list. You will also find my first limited edition prints of some of the paintings. I will be making my postcards and new brooches available to buy through Etsy later this week.

Saturday 19 November 2011

Landscape Exhibitions At The Herbert Art Gallery

This week I attended the opening of the Turner Prize nominee George Shaw's exhibition at the Herbert.
His work depicts all the places he frequented as he was growing up around the area of Tile Hill in Coventry.
This landscape is the urban sprawl of council estates, playing fields and run down pubs and garages.
Interestingly he uses humbrol enamel paints, which are the specialist paints for model making.
How he manages to use this sticky, thick, gloss paint amazes me, especially when you see the smooth surfaces he creates on canvas, which are like old Polaroid photographs.
In some ways his work reminds me of the detailed paintings of Stanley Spencer with nature trying to grow through the rubbish tips and crumbling buildings.
It's refreshing to see a talented painter up for nomination and for someone who can really draw, many of his life drawings are included in this exhibition which are excellent.
You can see him talking about his work  here.
The winner of The Turner prize will be announced on December 5th, fingers crossed for George!!

I feel very privileged to be able to say that my own exhibition Seas Of Grass, will soon be on display in the next gallery!
Today I have been packaging all my work up in preparation for the galley to collect on Friday.
I have also been stitching small landscapes especially for The Herbert to sell in their shop during the exhibition, including a range of my exhibition postcards.
So if you can visit The Herbert in the next few months you will have some very varied exhibitions to see, do try and visit if you can.

Thursday 10 November 2011

Final Preparations!

Only a few weeks until my exhibition opens and you can now find more information on The Herbert Art Gallery website here.
I will also be giving a free tour and talk about my work at the exhibition, you can find out about booking a place by looking here .
I'm also very excited to say I will be running two workshops at the gallery entitled" Landscapes In Threads" starting on Saturday 7th of January.
 This will be an opportunity to develop your own drawings through experimentation in your sketch book, learning how to translate it into stitch by using hand and machine work.
You will be able to play with many different colours, textures, fibres and threads, exploring there endless possibilities!
Booking is essential as places are limited, click here for details on how to book.
Looking forward to seeing you there if you can make it.
Michala x

Monday 24 October 2011

Mono Printing

On Friday I visited Stratford -Upon-Avon college and was made very welcome by the Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers.
I had been asked to do a talk about my work and it was a great opportunity for me to share my latest stitching, sketch book development and to enthuse about art textiles.
Luckily it's one subject that I am never lost for words!

This week it's half term so I have been experimenting with mono printing, here is one I did today based on some of my sketches.
I have used a water based ink which I have applied onto perspex using a small roller.
I then drew into the ink using cloth, cotton buds and a pencil, the next step is taking a piece of paper and then placing it on top, applying firm pressure and rubbing the paper evenly all over.
You then lift off your paper carefully and you should have a simple print!

Friday 23 September 2011

Herbert Gallery News

Hello, I'm still here amongst my piles of threads, using them to sketch and paint my own personal memories and observations of nature.
It's less than three months until my exhibition " Seas Of Grass" opens at The Herbert Art Gallery in Coventry.
The Herbert have asked if I would do a talk about my work during the exhibition in December as well as a two day work shop in January which will include creative sketch book work and of course stitching.
When I get more details I will let you know.
If you check out the Herbert Art Gallery website you will notice that there are many other interesting exhibitions coming up, including Turner prize nominee George Shaw, who's childhood memories of urban landscapes, featuring housing estates, bike sheds and playing fields are painted with model making Humbrol enamel paint.

Friday 2 September 2011

The Tree and The Mountain

The Tree and The Mountain

We returned from our holiday in Italy last week which already seems a distant memory.
As an artist the Italian landscape seemed like heaven.
Our journey took us inland from the coastal town of Albenga, travelling up into the Maritime Alps.
I became fascinated with the mountain's, densely populated with trees, it led to me sketching and photographing them everyday.
It has inspired a whole series of paintings and drawings as I try and capture the intensity of the light, the living breathing mass of vegetation and the sheer dramatic beauty of nature.

Monday 8 August 2011

Colourful Landscape

We are off on holiday soon to Italy, so before we go, I thought I would share with you my latest stitching.
I wanted to continue with a large piece again as my mark making is far more gestural on this scale.
The abstraction has developed from an earlier painting, I find it exciting to continue to play with the balance of colour, stitching colour over colour, varying density of threads and leaving areas of loose fine fibers.
This is going to take a very long time so this piece may not make the exhibition, which means I will have to find another place to display it!

Monday 1 August 2011

The Wistful Landscape

How did August arrive so quickly?
It seems as if the seasons are all mixed up , last week like autumn and now back to summer.
The last few days have been humid, yet there is a distinct Autumn feel to the trees, the leaves already yellowing, many on the ground.
Our Magnolia tree however is in bloom again, perhaps confused by our weather?

Last week I visited The Royal Academy Of Arts Summer Show in London which is on display until the 15th August.
It was a day of discovery and exciting to see the work of many artists shown altogether.

My sketchbook is filling up with many drawings and I have just started another two large textile pieces which I hope to show you soon.

Have a good week.

M x

Saturday 16 July 2011

Back To Stitching

It's a return to stitching this week and my threads are now my paints.
I'm just taking my time to enjoy working experimentally, playing with my ideas and exploring the recent mark making in my sketch book.
I visited Compton Verney this week to see the Stanley Spencer exhibition which is featuring many of his English country gardens.
His work is incredibly detailed and gives us a romantic view of village life in the 1940's and 1950's.
 But if you look closely you will see many boundaries, fences, walls, hedges and barbed wire which protect these beautiful idyllic gardens, which is said to have been Stanley Spencer's heaven.
Perhaps subconsciously he is protecting this very English garden of Eden.
You can find out more about Stanley Spencer here

Saturday 25 June 2011

Sketching Stitches

This week I'm working in my sketch book.
I'm experimenting and developing my composition, looking closely at how I relate to my landscapes, how do they make me feel and how can I become a part of them?
I have finished my last piece for the exhibition which is a great relief and now I have some time to tidy my mass of jumbled threads!

Friday 3 June 2011

June Stitching

My blog updates have been less frequent due to the amount of stitching I have, but the good news is I'm on my finale piece for the exhibition!
Yesterday I spent the morning at The Herbert Art Gallery going through the work I will be exhibiting, checking measurements, how it will be displayed and lots of paper work.
There is so much work that goes on behind the scenes prior to an exhibition with many decisions to be made.
I have included a range of  paintings and drawings which are the starting point of my textile pieces and you will also be able to see some of my sketch books.
The piece above is a section from my piece titled 'The Magic Oak Tree'.

Sunday 1 May 2011

Embroidery Magazine

I'm very excited to tell you my latest work is featured in The Embroiderer's Guild , Embroidery magazine, May / June issue.
This is a dream come true for me as I have been interested in embroidery as an art form since childhood and I first had the magazine in the 1980's when I was at school!
Click the link HERE to find out more.
A big thank you to Jo Hall the editor for the write up and displaying my work in such a beautiful magazine.

Friday 22 April 2011

Back From France

I have been away from my blog not just to stitch but to fit in a much needed holiday.
My travels took me to where many artists have been inspired by the dazzling, intense light of the Cote d'Azur.
In Antibes I spent the afternoon in the Picasso Museum, with a wonderful range of art works, not just by Picasso.
These included the distinctive figures of Germaine Richier which stood against a dramatic back drop of sky and sea.
Other artists to see were Miro, Max Ernst, Niki de Saint Phalle, Tapies and many others.
There were many inspiring works by Picasso in the vast range of mediums this creative man used.
On one wall many of Picasso's hand painted plates were displayed in box frames, each an individual work of art and collectively an amazing decorative display.
In the corridors connecting the galleries were interesting photograph's of Picasso at work in his home studio.

Another day took me to the Medieval town Vence where I came across a tree made famous by the painter Chaim Soutine  you can see his painting Tree Of Vence here.
This town has many small, interesting, private galleries and it is also famous for the chapelle du Rosaire designed by Matisse.
When I was not sight seeing I spent my time sketching, this view is through two trees over looking the sea from Jean- Cap- Ferrat.

I'm now back to working towards my exhibition in December and continue to stitch my vast landscapes.

Wishing you a Happy Easter and I will be back soon with more stitching!


Monday 21 March 2011

Thread Visions

The Landscapes are growing, not in quantity but in size.
I have been working on this one for months, it has engulfed me both physically and mentally.
Last weekend I did manage a few days away staying with my sister and enjoyed an evening at The Royal Albert Hall.
We saw the opera Madame Butterfly, which was extremely beautiful and moving.

This week I will continue working on the piece above and also another larger textile wall hanging.

Sunday 20 February 2011

Tears In The Forest

I'm still here amongst my piles of threads, busy stitching my dreams and memories.
Here is a sketch that I'm working on at the moment and this is leading to many other ideas in my sketch book.
I have the half term break this week so it's a good opportunity for me to catch up with my blog reading and to really focus on my work.
There is always so much to do!

Wednesday 26 January 2011

Exhibitions And Stitches

It's been a while since I have updated my blog due to the amount of stitching I have been immersed in.
I'm working on a whole blanket, my landscape engulfing me as if I am part of it!
My stitching becomes more intense as I work over the larger areas of tree tops, the light more dramatic, the colours more vivid.
I will show this larger work at the exhibition, the picture above is of my miniature landscapes which, I think, are like my stepping stones to the vast pieces I am working on at present.

A couple of weeks ago I met Richard Elms who interviewed me about my work for The Herbert Art Gallery Podcast Boiler Room series.
You can here a snippet of my interview  here, it's episode three and I'm half way through the programme.
The rest of my interview will be on their website nearer the time of my exhibition.
Talking of exhibitions there are many interesting ones to visit this year at The Herbert, do check out their website, at the moment they have a costume exhibition which you could get involved with, see here
They are asking you to contribute photo's of your very best outfits and the best ones will be included in the exhibition!
I'm looking forward to visiting many exhibition this year including one in the Summer at Compton Verney, a historical house and gardens which is now an art gallery.
The exhibition is Stanley Spencer and the English garden and looks at Spencer's lesser known garden views and landscapes painted before and just after the second world war.
I know that this exhibition will be inspiring.

Friday 7 January 2011

A New Year!

This is a selection of my art work from last year, a year which looking back has been exceptionally creative for me.
Some of these including many new pieces will be on show at the end of this year at The Herbert Art Gallery in Coventry.
I have recorded a pod cast interview about my work at the gallery, so before the exhibition you will be able to hear me talking about how important my art work is to me and my life.
There maybe a small snippet of it next week which I will link on my blog!

This is going to be a very busy year for me as I continue to develop my art work.
Having the opportunity to share my work with a gallery audience has taken me on a new exciting journey, working on much larger pieces, which has been challenging and liberating.
My landscape, feelings and dreams, anything I want it to be.