Tag Archive | art

Garden is still growing.

img_20190712_095536111The garden is expanding. I found a tiny patch of North Yorkshire where some dumped topsoil has bloomed with a vibrant collection of poppies. So how come the ones in my garden are naff colours and these, orphans on the roadside, are fabulous in colour and form!!

And the result? Can I mix the garden style with a broader landscape? I don’t want it to be a standard applique picture,  but something more….. other. How can the garden style adapt?

franbrammer garden2019 (2)

Detail of gardenV

In its barest form it is multi layered line drawing, some bold, some more pattern orientated. The richness and improbability of the velvet gives it  luxury. Combine the two and you get an exuberence, changing as the sheen and pile on the velvet catch the light so the colours and stitching appears and disappears.

I use line differently in the landscapes- there it also is used to create direction, or hatched to make tone or volume. FBrammer-Folding Landscape (2)


And what about perspective? The landscapes rely on it, the gardens mostly work as a flat picture plane. It isn’t really surprising that I am hovering on the brink of this one.

 

It is the contradiction in approach that really has me stumped. For one it is about adding and adding, more colour, more line, moreness personified. On the other it is about making spaces, reducing, removing, using less.  Are they  going to have a common ground or is this about working the two as conflicting ideas and let them argue?

Is this a new situation? Nah. It is frustrating- I want to get straight on in there. But even more frustrating is that this seems to be an essential part of my creative process. I have always hated it if asked a question when the answer is already known. I do get stale if it is too easy….Pah.

And today-  nothing will happen- I am manning the exhibition at Art in the Mill, Knaresborough, with others of the York Textile Artists.  We are there to engage with the visitors, trying to appear knowledgeable and interesting,  but I think alot of gossip and giggling will also happen. Please do come by if you can, the show is on until the 19th, it would be great to say hello!

Untitled.png

I won’t even be watching the Wimbledon Mens’ final!!!  Hope it is as good as the Mens’ Doubles last night.

Advertisements

Meet Garden IV – It has come together quite quickly, not finished, but not far away.img_20190616_131721563

This is again based on my little front garden. This is my colour space, my home head space – it is right out side the workroom window. It is a joy watching it grow, even the weeds, and given half a chance I sit on the front step in the sunshine with a coffee and see the plants at their own level. Apologies to the neighbours.

The idea is not to reproduce as in a photograph but to try to give an impression of the garden, so no individual plant details just notions of shapes, scale, textures and colours, and back to no real sense of perspective other than by layering.

This has a fulltime velvet ground, two differnet kinds, one part dyed and pieced with the nap running in different directions so that it catches the light differently. And then off with the stitching, and then more stitching, and even more. The fabric patches – silk chiffons and red velvet were scrap donations from Natalie and Ruth, local textile artists who have just joined the same exhibiting/support group-  York Textile Artists.

Then more stitch – simple leaf patterns, layered up in different colours, scale and orientation. The hard bit is not to get stuck in representation. The trick seems to be to have multiple viewpoints so the relationships between the different areas changes and boundaries are fluid.

img_20190616_082542370

The back – remarkably like the initial sketch ( reversed of course)

The current status is close, the background needs more tone and contrast, and it is missing the yellow weeds which should give the foreground more pop. I feel a bit of a pluck coming on, so out with the pointy tweezers of doom.

There is only a week of making time left before the group exhibition so it had better happen quickly!!

Remember – 28th June 7-9pm Preview  Event, 29th til 19th July – exhibition – Wild About Textiles.  At the Art In The Mill Gallery, Knaresborough.

Garden III

unnamed

Garden III is making slow progress,  more of that, garden II is about to be properlyframed, but what has taken most energy is prepping for the Knaresborough exhibition. All that needs doing is finishing work, framing, newsletter, social media promotions, co ordinating group members and gallery, herding cats, biting furniture, gentle running round in circles and mild panic. And all of the usual day to day business as well. Which all equals chaotic headless chicken-ness.

It is going to be fun. Just a couple of weeks to get it sorted out.

img_20190609_144936051

And back to Garden III  – This has been stitched, trimmed, plucked and stitched; and still doesn’t look much different. The first layers of flowers are in place – these will be the amorphous blobs in the background with bolder shapes and tufts of fine silk to give it body over the top. The velvet is enjoying itself, it is eating all of the colour I put on, do you believe there is burgundy, royal purple, dull straw and  bright straw, bright navy and of course 5 shades of green, and pale grey and white in there?

There is the splashes of flower colour, stems and balancing to do, and then it will be done. Say it quickly, and it sounds easy….

img_20190609_144953794

Garden II

Great things are happening! Huge progress made!! It looks fab! You will be amazed!!!

Well, I would be too.

In other words – status = fairly normal. But in a big way.

There are elements that are coming together – I am not trying for an identify the flower, walk that path, kind of image – too obvious?  My garden is about growiness not rigid control or any form of ‘aren’t I clever’. It tends to happen, mostly without me. I let things grow to find out what they are and also let them stay long past their ‘best’. It is this chaotic nature I want, the mixture of shapes and forms aswell as colour. At the moment a native geranium is wrestling for world domination with the ladies mantle while the bugle knows it is still king, the rebellious  forget me nots  are in colonising mode, and the giant poppy plants – new arrivals this year- who have seeded in weird places  currently looking like snooty lettuces…..

I sit and watch and just dwell. The individual plants are not important, it is the whole, seen from the corner of an eye,  how it moves in the wind, the sounds, the light catching foliage edges or reflecting off raindrops, glimpses of form and colour. That is what I want on cloth.  Not too much?img_20190526_085215897

So layering, cutting away, drawing shapes and patterns, multiple layers of colour and stitch, incomplete edges, suggestions and hints. And this is the beginnings. The shot velvet is a menace but also gives alot, I have found that I can pluck it with the Pointed Tweezers of Doom and create areas of a smooth soft brick red. The thread colours are gobbled up by it but remerge if enough stitching is done. The laid fabric goes into a strange perm-like frazzle if pushed. All in all it is an adventure.  img_20190526_085241263

At present the purples dominate but the next colours are going to be other brights, pale blue, mauves, hot pink and an orange or two, to create more focal points. Then more green and blues and deep colours to disrupt or emphasise those and then….. don’t know. Everything is changing as the idea gets its corners worn off and new opportunities arise.  Bit of a roller coaster actually, and not a gin bottle in sight!

New Beginnings.

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.

 

img_20190426_091448330

Glued and inked, drying in the garden . See the hole on the right?

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.

 

 

 

img_20190426_143250574.jpg

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. img_20190426_082332

Grudges in Textiles

It is wrong to hold grudges. They are a waste of energy and can be damaging. On the other hand they can be such fun.

This is a stonelandscape that I was working on over the York Open Studios weekends. How sweet.  Looks well behaved?  Even when ‘peeled’ off its fake stone and laid out for sizing?

It still looks deceptively  ‘nice’ after some dye and ink experiments. What lovely detail and texturing  after that loving hand stitching.

20190412_101225-collage

And so I go out to retrieve it  after a little weathering…..and there it wasn’t.

 It chose the wrong morning to hide.

The collage below shows the next 3/4 of an hour…. look in the workroom, check through piles of stuff, check the front garden – I often leave things on the front step to dry. Check more piles of stuff . Check in all random bags. Double check outside, the hedge, under the bushes and then……

20190421_094739-collage

Returning to where I had sat to have breakfast in the sun…. right next to the garden chair….  oh what is that resting on the back??

I took this personally and inbetween attacking the garden plants have brutalised the piece with first paint, then screen printing ink, spirit-based  cleanser and now drawing ink. The original idea was about lines across a landscape, field edges, plough lines, harvesting patterns. But mostly it is about vengence.

20190421_134459-collage

It is now drying on the lawn. It had better be there when I go out after posting this!

2 points of interest –  don’t forget the new run of day and evening workshops starting this week. Check the ‘want to try’ tab at the top of the page for details. And  I have a proper sale of work – some at over 50% off the listed price- coming up soon. All those who follow me on the various social media or subscribe to my mailing lists are invited. If you  should have received an invite but somehow escaped my mail shots please email for details.

 

 

York Open Studios Countdown

logosecret tree textiles (2)Somehow I feel aggrieved that YOS has snuck up on me.  Oh no it hasn’t, we all cry. I have been posting and distributing  brochures for weeks.  All of the major work is done, there is some stretching and framing to do, I could get more things printed and get other bits tweaked but I am not sure.  Something about 2 weeks to go gets me anxious that 3 weeks to go didn’t.

Little Things Made and To Make – –

  1. img_20190217_103939266Pot sleeves.  The prototype is growing on me.  That it is covering up an upside down lampshade I use as a brush pot may influence my response.

2.   Two bookcovers have been made out of old  sketches.  An old img_20190322_163111347piece I have fallen out of love with will be next to be chopped.  These are a very basic design,  slip covers, but  are time and material greedy. They also require straight lines and measurement, it is like being back in school.

img_20190324_150133417P1170700

3.  The printed fabric – still debating about how to use it. The scarf has had mixed responses (mostly from me) but at least is a fair make even with the topstitching. I have lined it with a very soft fine calico ( bit too bright but….) I have one more full width of the double  mirrored design – scarf 2? and a strip of single mirrored which could end up as book covers – eek, or pot sleeves – ok, or be sectioned off  individually – easiest to do but then what. Would quite like to hand embroider over the central stand of trees….. Sounds like a comfy sofa and decent film kind of job. hmm –  potential.

4.  Individual stitched cards,  trees using the mini transfers I made earlier.   img_20190324_160227065b2

 

5. More Landscape Books – volume II & III at least – much more like fun.

6.  Anything else I can think of.  Maybe a scarf or two?   Must not forget  samples for the workshops in April and May…….   oops, the list is growing…..  Haven’t even got to the pricing, hanging, blurbing, admin, invites, hoovering, the annual window washing…….