A Butterfly Break

Recently, while teaching at Farncombe Estates, I was told about a Butterfly Exhibition at Wisley Gardens and decided to pay a visit.  It had to be the best day this month and although cold, there were blue, cloudless skies. The glass houses were completed in 2007 and are beautiful. 
The tropical section was certainly a hot house - at least 30C+ and so humid it reminded me of Singapore.  The butterflies were magical and here are a few images I took that day - once my camera adjusted to the temperature.
Equally fascinating,...in another section of the glasshouse was the arid desert plants - cactus, palm trees and succulents.  I could see how they might inspire textures or graphic shapes in future work. More photos gave me a chance to experiment with my new camera.
I think I can see a sketchbook or two with the contrast of hard/soft, humid/dry, dark/light or green and browns

It has amazed me, looking at the photographs taken that day how, in under 2 hours, I had travelled between two very different climates - one with dark lush leaves, tropical flowers and butterflies - to spiky, hard, dry vegetation, as colourful, but in more subtle ways.  I know it isn't the same as being there in the real landscape, but it gave me a glimpse of what to expect.   My sister took these photos last week near Sedona, Arizona where she is on holiday at the moment..... a desert area that I would like to visit one day.  
More News.... 
Future Workshops 
Australia is my spring destination for teaching this year in Canberra, Ballarat (the FibreArts Forum), Hobart, Brisbane and Sydney.  It is always a real treat to visit this part of the world, everyone is so friendly and we all have a universal love of creativity with fabric and stitch.  My challenge at the moment is organising my one suitcase of 20kilos for that long haul flight.  On the way I will be touching down at Singapore, this time there will be no chance to see visit the Botanical Garden.  I no doubt will return in mid May after my travels with hundreds of inspiring photos.  Perhaps there is a series of work based on Australia  in the future?

The Fesitval of Quilts, Birmingham - August 11-14
I will also be teaching a one day class called 'Digital Imagery in Stitched Textiles' - which promises to be fun.  A review of Photoshop Elements, then with design and composition, one collage in paper is taken further to a transferred image on cloth.

Farncombe Estate Workshop - August 26-28  Creative Bound Stitched Sketchbooks
In two days we paint paper and stitch together sketchbooks.  Further collage and art exercises are introduced within those pages. See the Workshop and New Work pages for an idea of the sketchbook you could create on your own personal theme.   http://www.farncombeestate.co.uk
More workshops are posted on my website and again here in this site.  This doesn't include all entries in my diary but those that are open to anyone.  I will have more news in future posts about my teaching destinations later in the year.

And on a more serious note
Just to say that our thoughts are with everyone in Christchurch, New Zealand and as they continue to cope with the aftermath of the earthquake. I remember fondly a brief 3 day visit to this beautiful city a few years ago, especially the cathedral and park nearby.

Thanks for reading.....