It feels like waking after too deep a sleep. I sat down to do a bit of stitching and have just come to a stop roughly 6 hours later. My fingers hurt, I am stiff and tired. I think I remember enjoying it, I think there was a brief lunch stop too.
The piece that caught up my attention so completely is a coming together of several ideas and processes, and is BIG. The stone landscape ideas meet text, meet pattern and meet string.
The plan formed as I discovered a torn blank canvas when clearing out after Open Studios. Rather than discard I decided to try an experiment and work with the damage. I also had some reject pieces of cotton lawn with text and stitch on from a previous good idea, and well they had to be made to work. As you do.
The pieces were soaked and glued onto the canvas letting them form mini landscapes of lumps and bumps, shapes and patterns, then a fair amount of acrylic paint and ink were sploshed (carefully) around.
What do you do with a large canvas with holes and glued on wibbly bits and thin paint? Well stitch it of course. There is no point in doing things by half. Lots of little holes….
It is still on the stretcher so all hand stitched. The scale required really chunky yarn so out came the hairy string I use in the garden- all of the fancy wools and cords looked too slick. I am now using 2 strands of unbleached cotton yarn and making denser areas of stitch, just about to begin stitching across the hole.
This is quite intuitive in approach, letting things happen and responding to them, yet there is direction. I intend to add more layers of paint, some monochrome to absorb some underlying colour, some layers of thin washes/glazes so that the colours float, haven’t really decided. It may well depend on the weather – I will paint it in the garden if fine so I can be really messy and the colours used will be stronger in sunlight! There may be fabric added to extend the textures but I think I want this to be sparse. How it will look in the end I will tell you when I get there. Whether it will come off or not is not truely important, this is a learning curve crossed with a twitchy fingers project – it is all about the doing.
And as for everything else? I have signed up to do Staithes Festival in September, have submissions for a few other things out there and am waiting to hear back. The York Textile Artist group have a show in July, a new exhibition in November in York and are already booking venues in 2020. My own little sale event is getting closer – I have found more of the older work that I would like to move on so instead of a tasteful selection I have 2 wall fulls to sell! I will have to tidy up again. Contact me if you would like an invitation.