A class with Moy MacKay

A class with Moy MacKay

Last week I had the opportunity to take a 2 day class with Moy MacKay. I went with a couple of friends and we had a great time.  We did the wet felting on day one. We had 2 pictures to choose from for the landscape.

I chose the one the left.

Moy demonstrated and explained to us how to work and what to do. We got to ask questions. She told us to take lots of pictures as we went because you see things in the picture that  you don’t see in just looking at it. Still I didn’t take enough.

First we laid out the background

Then we added the foreground and details. The house is prefelt and the flowers in the front are chopped up curls

We wet them down and gave them a 2 or 3 min rub and then rolled them for about 3 min one way and then the other for another few min and we were done. They are very lightly felted but that’s ok because they are pictures not hats.

That took the morning. After lunch we did another piece, a still life, flowers. We had a vase of red flowers and babies breath to use for inspiration. We were not to copy it but to use it to see how flowers look. You can see it in the group picture. Moy demonstrated again and explained again and then we only had about an hour to put the picture together and then a short time to get it felted before we had to be out of the room for another group.

We started with the table then the foliage and then the vase and then moves some leaves around. Then we added the flowers. The babies breath is nepps.

I quite like it at this stage. Not as much after it was felted.

On day 2 we started the embellishing. Moy talked about and demonstrated needle felting accents and refining the pictures. Also some machine embroidery and stitching.  we could try the machine stitching if we wanted but my picture wasn’t ready for that yet.   This is what they are like now. No where near done but works in progress.

This is after I straitened up the house and removed the mangled fence and added a new one.

This is where it is now.  I added windows and ivy to the house. I removed the cobwebs from the trees. I added some shading to the trees. I added in some stems for the flowers in front and another fence. I think the field behind the left fence needs to be darker because it’s farther away. It doesn’t show well in the picture but right now it is lighter and more yellow than the front field.  It needs a lot more work but I think I know what I want to do to it.

And the flowers. I forgot to take a picture of when it was wet felted but had no embellishments.  But here it is so far. I am not as keen on the flowers but they are alright. I may like them better after I work on them some more. The table needs straitening up and lots more texture. And notice the nepps have stuck. We had chopped up some green fibers as part of the foliage and I think the short fibers under them made them stick.

And lastly a picture of everyone’s works at the end of the second day. the flowers we used are beside Moy.

It was a great class. I think it’s given me confidence to try some more. Jan will be doing more posts for us and I hope she will do one about this class too. She will have taken at least a hundred more pictures than me and be able to show you her works in progress too.

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28 thoughts on “A class with Moy MacKay

  1. That looks like a fab class Ann – love the final photo! And it would be good to see Jan’s photos as well.
    Moy is a very talented lady – her felt is pretty.
    Your flowers are lovely – please do show us the finished picture.
    The landscape is developing really well – like the new fence – please keep us updated with photos.

    1. Thanks Lyn, I don’t know that I will ever be able to use some of her wild colours for sky but then it’s not about doing the same thing as her so now to find my own way. I will do some updates and try to remember to take pictures.

  2. Hi fabulous to read this. I am from the U.K. and have booked to go to a 2 day workshop with Moy in February. It was really great to see what you’d done, thank you.

    Regards Lynda Sent from my iPad


  3. I was lucky enough to take her class this past weekend in Etobicoke, Ontario. So fantastic! I feel like the artistic quality of my wool paintings will take a leap forward now.

  4. Wow and wow Ann! Your pictures are fabulous! I also have Moys book and love her work but haven’t yet managed to do a class with her. Very inspiring post!

  5. Both of your pictures are fantastic Ann! As you say, it isn’t about copying her style but learning and creating your own landscape styles. I do agree that the field in the distance should be toned down. You might try adding purple over top as that is the complement of yellow and will therefore dull the color. The flowers are fine and I’m not sure you need to change the table line. I think the curve adds a little interest or you could just crop part of the background on the left side. That way your focal point won’t be dead center.

    1. Thanks Ruth. there are things I would do differently. I would slow down. I think we went fast so we didn’t have time to fiddle to much. She works really fast but she also has much more practice. I wonder if the water colour pencils would work to put some purple over the bright field.

    2. Ann, I think that the water color pencils would probably work. Do you have a scrap of yellow felt that you could test them on? You could add matte medium over the top of the pencil if you want it to blend into the color more.

  6. Lucky you. I have her books and would like the opportunity to learn directly from her. I had done a vase pic several years ago using her work as inspiration and blogged about it here. Both of your pictures are beautiful. I’m sure you’ll enjoy putting the finishing touches on them. I look forward to seeing more.

  7. Wow stunning works Ann.
    I too have her books in my collection for inspiration.
    Ruth suggested purple over the top to tone down the far field, I agree. Are you able to needle Felt a fine layer of wool over, or could you use a wet colour of some sort?
    You seem a little disappointed with your lovely flowers – don’t be they are great and they will really pop when you add stitching.
    Embellishing makes a huge difference to felt, adding texture, depth and lovely highlights. I really look forward to seeing your finished works.

    1. Thanks Antje, I am thinking of trying some water colour pencils but may do a thin layer of wool. I am sure the flowers will grow on me. I have more needlfelting to do. I will have to practice my machine stitching before venturing ther but there is lots of room for hand stitching.

  8. Lovely work, Ann! I love it more before it’s felted, maybe because it looks more ethereal and has a bit more volume. Have you ever done this type of work with a needle? I bet it would look amazing, too.

    1. Thank Leonor. I often like felt pieces before wetting. I have thought about trying to put them under glass. I havn’t got round to it yet. I like hand stitching more than needle felting. Needle felting irritates my tendonitis to much.

  9. Hi Anne I have found this very interesting I am just giving wet felting a try now I was wondering was your pre felt dry when you arranged the house and flowers on it..

    1. the prefelt was dry when I added it. after felting it was crooked but was easily fixed with felting needles because the picture is not very felted.

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