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.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

A Bird's Eye View.

My explorations with maps seems to be going full circle, and has led me back to our feathered friends, the birds! I started to think about how they see the landscape below them, is it like looking at a map? I've enjoyed looking at the world below from a plane window, and to me it does seem a bit like that. I sketched a couple of bird outlines onto one of the pages from my old book of maps, and painted the surrounding area for contrast. 

I took some photos of my page, and then played around with the image in photo shop. I liked the result above, so printed it onto some canvas, ready for stitch.

The same treatment above, not so thrilled with this one, so I decided to stitch this one first, to see how it looked after. As you can see from the image below, it hasn't really worked, 

I prefer the back!

Another little bird sketched on a map, and photoshopped. I think I almost prefer them as they are, without the added stitching!

Next, I decided to print the swifts above, and my crow below onto a map page. The background for the swifts is very heavy, and you can't see any map showing, apart from in the outlines.

I photoshopped the crow, and really quite like this image, so decided to print this one onto canvas too. I'm really not sure about how to approach the stitching though, Hmm, I need to give these a bit more thought.

My final experiment so far. I Gelli printed onto a few map pages, and cut the crow above from a piece, you can still see the map showing through the paint, but I like the added texture. I've just placed it onto the map page, but it will be stuck down, once I've decided whether to paint the page or not! All these decisions....I think I'll need to sleep on them for a night or two!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Inspiring Maps.

I've always loved maps! I think it may have something to do with my inner eye, I always see images of places, either known, or unknown as from a birds eye view. My Dad also encouraged me, (and my sisters) to map read from a very early age, Maybe that has also contributed! Years ago he gave me a book of maps, all the areas of Central and Greater London, and obviously now rather out of date with all the new building and road layouts. It was published well before the M25 came into existence!

I have also always been attracted to the way Aborigines have made their beautiful art inspired by their landscape. I decided to try and use my book of maps to inspire some art of my own. I cut out a very small window frame in paper to try and isolate interesting areas, and it just so happened that my first attempt was of an area where we were living when our first son was born. (above). The first sketch I decided was too detailed, I wanted something simpler, so you can see what I did in the sketch below the first one.

I decided to play around with ideas in a new sketch book, I wanted to create something from an actual map, but to make it my own by simplifying the images. I do, however, love the tiny tree images from the original maps, and so have decided to keep using these.

Above is a trial textile, showing a simplified map of roads, a few buildings, and areas of woodland. It would be interesting to revisit this area to see if those woodland areas still exist!

More experimental drawings from the maps, but again, I was beginning to get too detailed.

A more simplified drawing, and this time I used a piece of my gelli printed paper to add a more textural back ground. I think I need to keep thinking about this, on the one hand I love the simple linear aspects, and the contrast of open wooded areas, rivers and lakes etc., but I need to find my own way of reproducing this in fabric and stitch, using a background that is interesting texturally, but not to overpower the landscape.

I will keep working on this idea, it may end up on the back burner if I become 'stuck' with it, but hopefully at some stage it will result in a finished piece of textile art.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Transfer painting (and carving!)

June's journal quilt. I used transfer paint, and while it was still wet on the copy paper I pressed some leaves and cling film into the surface, then let it dry. The image was ironed onto some Lutradur, but some of the leaves didn't show up too well, so I painted them with some gold acrylic, and printed them over the top. The butterflies were appliqued onto the surface.

I have been meaning to work on more ideas from the photo I took some years ago in my nephews barn.  Just one panel this time, and while I had the transfer paint and Lutradur out, thought I'd have a go with this image again. I may add some beads for more 'crunch'.

Another little 6" x 4" abstract piece. I will probably mount this onto a small canvas.

I have been 'having a go' at some lino printing, and recently bought some of that easy carve stuff to try. I think I've been put off in the past because the lino has always been so hard to carve. Mind you, I have also just discovered that it should be warmed up first to soften it, so you live and learn! Anyway, I decided to carve one of my crows, and above is the result, but I definitely need more practise! Below is the robin I carved some weeks ago, but I have 'tweaked' it a bit, and am a bit happier with it now.

I seem to be jumping around a bit at the moment, with different ideas and techniques, but that's me I'm afraid, it stops me from feeling stuck, and keeps my interest!
I hope I've kept yours, and that you'll look in again next time.

Friday, 5 June 2015

A Summer Mixture

We've been away for a week, but more about that later. Unfortunately I've come back with a nasty virus, and am not feeling up to much at all, but I decided to have a go at making a couple of stamps this afternoon. I've taken some photos of the stages to make the daisy stamp, and it's just so simple, that even feeling the way I do, I managed to get up the strength to spend half an hour making this.

All you need is a sheet of that play foam that kiddies use to cut out fun shapes, a pen, scissors, (small nail ones are perfect for this), an empty cotton reel and some double sided tape. Ooh, and some acrylic paint for stamping with. Just draw around the cotton reel, and draw your chosen motif within that circle. It's so easy to cut out, and you can also make little indentations on the surface with a pointy thing, I just used the nail scissors to make some dots for the daisy centre. Stick your motif onto the cotton reel with some double sided, I suppose you could use glue, but I was too impatient to wait for it to dry! Dab on a small amount of paint, being careful not to get any in between your motif, and hey presto, stamp away to your hearts content! I would use this technique for gift labels, cards or for stamping onto fabric prior to embellishing with stitch.

Before we went away, I made a couple of paper cloth pieces, which I sketched into with free machine stitch, before painting. I have stretched them over a canvases, and given them a coat of sealing acrylic wax. I also added some glitter glue in places, but I'm now wondering if they are all a bit too glitzy!

The single butterfly below is a miniature, only approx 6 x 8 cm.

As I was saying, we've been away to West, and then South Wales for the last week. We were going specifically for my nieces wedding at Stackpole, near Pembroke, which was a lovely affair, and thank goodness the weather stayed fine for the day. Afterwards, we decided to stay on for a few more days in The Gower, another beautiful part of Wales. Sadly, the weather turned, and we spent a few days battling extremely high winds! The little sketch that I made above of Caswell Bay was deserted on the day we visited. I was brave enough to walk just to this point where I took a photo, but ended up being sand blasted, so made a hasty retreat back to the car, where my husband had sensibly stayed put.

This second sketch of Weobley Castle, (more of a manor House really), held my interest for an hour or so, and although still windy, at least there wasn't the sand in my face and hair.

I love the narrow lanes and high hedges in Pembrokeshire, always full of colour at this time of year. The foxgloves were just beginning to flower, but these gorgeous Oxe Eye daisies were everywhere too.

Our last day, and the sun was shining, and that awful wind had dropped. We went to Rhossili Bay, and had a good walk across the dunes to the beach. This beach is very wide, with The Worms Head at the southern end. After our walk, we had a cuppa in the cafe, and then I made this little sketch of the camp site below us. Nobody around much, they were all on the beach enjoying the sudden good weather.

Well, that's about it for this post, I just hope I'm feeling better by the time I do my next.
Thanks for reading!