Sunday, 27 July 2014

Seaweed embroidery

Our Travelling book project continues and my next project has been to try and interpret seaweedy shallows. I found some images of seaweed, a watercolour art work and graphic image of seaweed.

I also found a piece of linen that I had indigo dyed and have used this as my background.
I started with space dyed scrim, pulling and teasing it out  and shaped some felt pieces to give me a ground to work on.

I have then added layer upon layer of stitch to try and achieve that tangled look. So the stitches are large and uneven.

At this point I also realised that my felt shapes were an unconscious use of shapes that Angie Lewin uses in her work!

Oh how influenced we are by the hundreds of images that we have looked at over time and absorbed in our brains. They come, unbidden , into designs and then become instantly recognisable as someone else's work. I suppose that for most of us there is no such thing as a totally new idea or design!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

White village abstraction part 2

The white village theme has really gripped me and I am so enjoying playing with the colour and shapes. I'm quite perplexed by the fact that it has taken me so very long to realise how to use colour and shape to give the essence of things, places and feelings. It's made me even more aware of the importance of a proper Art and Design education and how valuable it would be to find a tutor who would take me through the basics, but with reference to textiles. You have to know a bit to realise that you need to learn more!
This time I have isolated one small area of the photo with its range of colours and created this as the focal point in a cream tile. It was hard to simplify the section of the photo and yet retain some of the sharpness of the angles and colour differences there are within a small area.
I enjoyed the freedom to quilt the background freely echoing the angles of the piecing.

I'm looking forward to working on the next stage but have a piece of embroidery I must do first!

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Matisse Cut Outs

I was really please to have made it down to see the Matisse exhibition at Tate Modern this week. My research was limited so I was stunned by the sheer scale of some of the pieces and their vibrant colours all these years later.

What also chimed with me was that the technique had been employed ,initially, as a stage in his creative process only to develop into the art works themselves. Here I find my lack of proper art education a difficulty as I always feel a distinct lack of vocabulary ,properly employed, to discuss what I have seen.
I was also aware that work which close to had a rough quality to it, when viewed from a distance lost that. 
In Oceania I marvelled at the totally simple lines that created the image of swallow or swift and it's freedom of the air.
I really loved the impact of the Vence studio wall recreation in Room 5 with all those amoebic shapes filling the wall. Their organic, restless movement and continuous lines a little like water in that the eye was always moving to see a new set of relationships between the positive and negative spaces created. I bought a print for my studio  so I can enjoy the brilliant colours and sense of fun which it brings me, I smile when I see it!

 The technical feat of drawing with charcoal on the end of a long pole was interesting as I find it difficult even with a long paintbrush!
What a creative mind was on show with these images, even more so when one recalls all his earlier works and the wonderful use of colour in these. I loved the show and came back smiling and happy!

Out on the millennium bridge the views of London were stunning but my eye was caught by a more modest scale building beside the Thames which looks like the start of a quilt design!

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

White Villages Abstraction

I am finding these little forays into design abstraction really rewarding. I am so grateful to Christine Restall for setting me off down this path. I feel that each time I begin with another image I am progressing my ability to really LOOK at the image and try to see the essence of the picture or place.
I've decided to move into the built environment this time, taking several photos of the white villages in  Andalusia in Southern Spain as my starting point.

With the previous two sets I have just started by collecting together fabrics as close to the colours in the image as I can, pondering what I might try and then diving in! This time I tried to spend rather more time on the ideas before I started with the fabric.

Sample one started where I had left off with the bluebells. I created a background made up of rectangular cream to beige fabrics and stretched a layer of us dyed plasterer's scrim over to tone down the considerable differences in tone within the background.

I then created a small "quilt" from the roof colours to sit as a tile over this background and created two diagonal lines of interest again in the roof colours.

I'm now really looking forward to trying my next ideas out!