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.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Two contrasting projects.

Not sure yet where this is going, but I've been stitching into the background, trying to enhance the patterns which were inspired by the markings on the tree bark. I have also stitched into the 'ghost' tree shapes, but in white. My idea is to experiment further, with maybe leaves, moths, birds, and to echo their natural markings in the background.

A complete change here, a stuffed toy dog that I have made for one of my grandsons. He loves to tickle his nose with labels/tags that are attached to most items these days, so this little doggy has plenty to choose from. I even made my own pattern, so very original.

I hope he likes it!

Friday, 20 September 2013

Trial and Error, but also lots of fun.

In my last post I showed a photo of the above, but at a stage that I wasn't happy with. After printing off some photos of it and playing around with them, I finally took the rotary cutter to it today! First I removed the large stone, covered the background with a very fine voile to knock back the colour, and after the slicing procedure, rearranged all the pieces onto a batik background and added a few more pebbles onto the foreground.

Before taking the more drastic action, I had tried to knock back the darker shadow areas around the stone with light grey pencils and crayons, and also added more texture to the sandy parts with acrylic paints. Unfortunately this just all seemed to add a 'heaviness' to the piece that I wasn't at all happy with. I hope you agree with me that the finished article is now far more interesting, lighter and brighter.

I've also been thinking about another idea that came to me after photographing a number of  dead trees with lopped off limbs in the area. To me they have a beauty of their own with all the interesting shapes, and markings on the bark, and some with ivy wrapping around the trunk. I almost want to call them 'Natures Totems', and may well do so if I manage to produce a small project on them.

Above and below some sketches that I've made when out and about.

At the moment I'm not too sure where all this is going, because on the one hand I love the natural shapes, colours and textures of these trees, but then again wood is often fashioned and worked on by artists, wood carvers, wood turners, cabinet makers and sculptors to create beautiful objects. I'm feeling very tempted to create some textile pieces that allow me to use my imagination with these natural shapes, and to glorify them with colour, textures and patterns. I suppose, in a way, they are maybe just a starting point for something that my imagination can really go to town on.

Above and below some investigations into the use of wild colours, or black and white with textural patterns. In fact, the one below almost reminds me of a decapitated  naked female form!!!

These last two images are playing around with the idea of either silhouettes or ghost shapes on a textured background. I have tried to take the bark patterns away from the tree shapes and to use them on the background instead.

Lots to think and play around with but at the same time lots of fun! Whatever you are working on at the moment, I hope you are also having as much fun, and many thanks for looking in.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Pebble faces, sunsets, photos for inspiration and travelling quilts!

I've just returned from a gloriously hot and sunny few days in Dorset. As I walked along the pebbly beaches, I couldn't help feeling I was being watched!!!

It's compulsory isn't it, to collect pebbles as you meander along. However, to save weighing my pockets down too much, I decided to sketch these wonderfully 'gurning' faces I could see looking up at me.

I feel a 'funny faces' textile coming into being in the very near future!!

It was lovely to sketch boats in West Bay harbour while enjoying a coffee.

Fishing nets at Lyme Regis, I love the combinations of colour and texture.

Rusty chains, again at Lyme Regis and below, two of their gorgeous shell inspired street lamps.

I loved all the strips of corrugated iron cladding this barn, some of them beginning to rust.

This photo of a telegraph pole may well be the inspiration for October's journal quilt. You'll see why further down the page.

Colmers Hill in Dorset, it seems to have inspired a number of artists in the area, and I can understand why.

While I was away, I heard that both the above quilts have been accepted for exhibitions abroad. The top one is going to Prague, after being exhibited in a Richmond gallery, and the bottom one, Reflected Sunlight, is going to be exhibited at the Ailsa Craig exhibition in Canada next year.

Back to Dorset, and above and below are photos of one of the most breath taking sunsets I've ever witnessed. The colours were so intense, it really was an awe inspiring experience.

Staying on a sunset theme, above is my September Journal Quilt, which was inspired by a photo I took in Dungeness. I loved the pattern that the poles and wires made across the landscape. Below is another piece that I made for my cousin. His partner had taken a photo of a sunset on their farm, and asked me to translate it into a textile.

The evenings are really beginning to draw in here in the northern hemisphere, but hopefully we've still got a few warm days left in which to enjoy our beautiful countryside and coasts. Wherever you are, I hope you can find inspiration and joy from your surroundings too.