A blog about making art and other things using cloth, paper, paint, colour, stitch, and all sorts of exciting techniques, some of which I'm sure I still have to discover! I hope that the joy all this gives me is visible in what you can see here.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Flavoured with a pinch of Picasso

A couple of weeks ago I visited the Picasso exhibition at Tate Britain. I've always found Picasso's work intriguing, especially his portraits. I don't claim to fully understand where he's coming from, but as I say, there is something about his work that attracts me. Something about strength of line and colour seems to excite me, so maybe it's that aspect of his work that I find inspiring. This is not my JQ for next month, but it is something similar. I have ended up with two pieces, and had to make a choice, so I've decided to show this one on my blog first. It has been stitched on Khadi paper, which I painted first with silk paint. After heat fixing the colour, I soaked it in water, and scrundhed it up a few times to soften it. When I ironed it again, it seemed to give it a leathery quality which I really like. The black lines are black knitting wool couched down with a free motion zig zag stitch, and the remainder of the surface has been heavily quilted, again with free motion stitch. I've included a close-up photo to hopefully show this quilting. Oh! and the inspiration for this portrait is my beautiful daughter, I wonder what she will think of it!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Reflecting on reflections!

Two summers ago, whilst visiting my nephew's farm in Pembrokeshire, I took some photos from inside one of his barns. The plastic sheets that were covering part of an open, slatted wooden wall were reflecting some interesting gashes of light from outside. I am trying out some ideas for a challenge that is coming up later in the year with the title 'Reflections'.  This is just a small A4 mixed media piece, and most of what you see above is stitched onto handmade 100% cotton rag paper. I wetted the paper first, and then scrunched it up a few times to soften it before painting it with acrylic fabric paints. I like the way that the paint has left some interesting marks on the paper surface, probably where the paint has settled into the creases. I cut the pieces up and remounted them onto some white cotton fabric, because I wanted to stabilise the paper, and also leave the white fabric showing through for the reflected areas. I have used a combination of free motion machine stitch, and hand stitch.

Above is the original photo that has inspired this expermental piece, and below is a close-up of part of the same piece showing how the paint has 'patterned' on the paper surface. The last photo is a wider shot of the inside of the barn, showing how the light was reflected through the wooden slats.

That's all for now folks, and thanks for reading!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

More, Mad March spots and spirals!

My JQ for March. Third month of shades of red, so this time I've gone back to my spots and spirals theme. I cut out the spirals and ovals and some flower motifs. These have been appliqued and free motion quilted onto the background, before finishing off with the spots in white, pink and metallic green. Just a lot of fun really! Hope you like it too.