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.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Wings again, and yet more wings!

An orange tip butterfly, about to land on a cuckoo flower. Background fabric from part of an old skirt that belonged to my lovely Mum, and painted first with white gesso, and then some watercolour. butterfly and flowers raw edge applique, (and some paint!)

Another finished experimental piece for the birdsong challenge, this time the song thrush I photographed earlier in the year. I'm going to put these pieces together into a fabric concertina book, a bit like the set of collagraph boat images from Dungeness I made some time ago, here

I'm hoping to come up with an idea for a finished piece for this challenge, so plenty to be going on with in the meantime, and I'm quite enjoying making these explorative pieces, especially as I'm learning more about our local birds, their songs, and their habits.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Can you see what you hear?

I belong to a small group of women artists, and we have recently set ourselves a challenge! It is to produce a piece of art, in any form and in any medium, with the theme of 'Birdsong'. Above is one of my first experimental pieces. It shows a starling and a couple of blackbirds, and I've tried to interpret their song in thread, quite difficult really. I've actually coated the thread 'birdsong' patterns in glitter glue, but it's not showing in these photos. The blackbird's song is like a rainbow of colour in it's beauty and complexity.  These ideas need to be made visual so that I can assess how to proceed.

I've managed to take a few photos recently of birds in our garden and at the local park. Above is a starling, sitting at the very top of a Leylandii in a neighbours garden. In fact, at the moment that particular tree is absolutely full of starling chatter every evening when they come home to roost. Quite a noise, but they are completely hidden within it's dark, dense depths! I also managed to sketch a blackbird on our lawn and apple tree while taking a coffee break.

One of my favourite birds for character, crows! The one above is looking as though it needs a good feed, but that is something I can put right later, if I make a final piece with a crow. When it comes to the 'songs' that birds sing, or the noise they make, as in crows or those very noisy parakeets, I find that colour is important. I hear their songs/noise in colour, and the crows croak is definitely black and spiky!

I managed to get some good shots of these crows at our local park, plus a couple of sketches.

I must include the robin in this challenge, such a cheeky little bird, but one that I sometimes hear singing it's bubbly song at night in winter, under the street light. They also have that tic tic song, but I hear it's song in red and gold!

I have to confess that I've sat in the garden on previous occasions, and have tried to convey birdsong in a visual way. It always ends up looking like shorthand, as in the sketch above! 

Every year, the swifts come back over our house, and I really feel that spring/summer has arrived when I hear their high pitched scream! I am always sorry when they leave. Their high piercing call is blue in my mind, probably because they are always so high against the sky.

I managed to get these photos of a thrush {a baby maybe?) in our local park earlier in the year. This will be my next bird to experiment with. Plenty of time though, we have until the end of September,

What I enjoy so much about a challenge like this, is that it really encourages me to be more alert and observant of the wild life and nature around us in a more intense way, and that puts me in mind of that poem, 

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and care,

Hmmm, I think I may be doing a bit more of that now, lovely excuse eh!!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Link to my Etsy shop including these brooches.

I have just re-opened my Etsy shop, and for some reason the link that I could put on the sidebar doesn't want to play! So, I'm putting a link on here. Please take a few minutes to browse my wares, thank you in advance, and I hope you enjoy what you see!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Poppies, Postcards and Butterflies.

Well, I decided that I definitely needed to have a go at translating those poppy pics into a small textile, and here it is! I'm not sure why, but it hasn't photographed very well, and I'm wondering if it has something to do with the strong contrast in the colours. It does look better in the flesh!

Four 4x6 inch postcards that I have made from a textile that I'd made some years ago, and then decided that it wasn't right. I just chopped it up, added some butterflies and so here are the results. Never throw anything away, they can always come in useful for something!

It's been so hot and sticky here in the UK, but at least it has been a good excuse to stay indoors in the cool and stitch!

Thank you for reading.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Colour, colour and still more colour!

Beautiful red poppies against a blue summer sky. Taken two weeks ago in Dungeness.

I couldn't resist taking a photo of this stretch of tarmac! Hmmm, I feel a textile coming on!

Above and below, two photos from our visit this week to the Hampton Court Flower Show. We went to the preview evening which ended in a spectacular firework display.

Photos taken in our garden. Such lovely colours, and I love the Hydrangea with it's blue and purpley pink.

Above and below, two paper laminations that I've stitched this week. They started out as black and white photocopies of a textile I made a couple of years ago, laminated onto voile, painted, stitched and finished with a little colour from my Karisma pencils.

Finally, below is a small textile I have made inspired by a photo I took of a ruin with an old rusted window frame. I built up the textures on the fabric with paint and stitch, and then added the two Six Spotted Burnet moths.

A productive week, so I hope you have enjoyed my offerings!

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Summer Garden.

Just a short post today, mainly because this is the only new piece of work that I have to show. I'm having a bit of a 'fling' at the moment with moths and butterflies.  They are only very loosely based on any particular species, because I'm wanting to use printed fabrics, some of which I'm giving a quick wash over with white gesso. This gives the fabric a lovely crisp quality, which is good to free machine stitch into, and it also means that I can use my imagination with patterns and colours. I can still see the patterns through the paint, which is giving me shapes to follow, further inspiring my imagination and creative juices!

In the piece above, which measures approximately 30cm x 30cm, I've used a patchwork of printed fabrics, all painted with gesso, (some on the wrong side), and after filling in the background with the stitching and overlaying some areas with net to create areas of shade and light, I've appliqued the butterflies across the surface, and then added more colour with Karisma pencils.

I think I'll have to call this one 'Summer Garden'

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Those Pesky Seagulls!!

The background went well, but then I ruined it with the seagulls in the foreground. They are too large and very clumsily done. Hmmm! I decided to play around with it in photoshop to see if I could salvage anything from it!

Paint daubs, again, I quite liked the effects in the background and sky, but those pesky seagulls......

.......still no good, and this one looks like a very cold and damp day at the seaside!

The only way to get rid of at least three of them was to put them behind some rocks, but I'm still not convinced! Oh well, you can't win 'em all I suppose, but at least I tried!

This one seemed better, at least these gulls were more in proportion, although I'm still not over the moon!!

Couldn't resist having a play in photoshop with this one either, but again, the weather has changed...looks like a sea mist is coming in!!!

So, this afternoon I decided to forget the seagulls and make my JQ for July instead. This has gone much better, so my spirits are happier again. This is the third in the wedding rhyme, and is called 'Something Borrowed'. Our daughter borrowed one of my gold chains, so here it is, machine embroidered in gold thread, and surrounded by flowers with two butterflies appliqued and free machine quilted.

I think I will be taking a rest from the gulls during the next few days, but I may have a play around with more of the seascapes. 

Thanks for reading, and please come back again soon.