Tag Archive | embroidery

New Garden

20190702_083204-collageAnd this what happened…..  P1180545

after those more exploratory photos, after deciding just to use line and layer  and layer. I want the complexity of the plants growing in and through each other, the idea that it changes, it is emphemeral, and makes its own rules….   then there is the sheen on the velvet – as you can see at times the stitching just disappears. Usually when I am trying to sew it!img_20190703_171509739

At the next stage – some how the pink helps a little- it is the hottest, boldest pink I have over the top of flame red! The background isn‘t really this dark,  more of a golden greeny darkish sort of colour – but mostly all you notice is the velvet’s plush surface quality.

All this is how it is now. It is in a plain frame testing whether it looks finished – I think it might be. The temptation is to add more, and more, and then some fabric bits, some texture, but I am still trying to keep it pared down in the lumpy bumpy department.  Still not sure it looks like mine, some of the shapes…. ? and that emerald green… far too close to veridian…more adventurous with detail or less?… variety of scale?  I guess more to do.

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And don’t forget the York Textile Artists’ exhibition in Knaresborough – on until 19th July and totally amazing. See our social media or sign up for the group’s newsletter for the preview’s photos. I also heard this morning that I have been selected for the Great North Art Show so see you in Ripon!

 

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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.

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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 II: ii

Not much mileage yet, but ideas and prep are in train. I shall claim to have been distracted by a visit to Croome Court, Worcestershire , and Grayson Perry’s Battle of Britain and Landscape tapestries.  His work is always worth a look, these were impressive, detailed and full of quirky character.

I am still not entirely sure that these are finished, they are loosely placed in raw frames, just to get an impression.  They are not as I had thought initially or planned initially, mostly because of the quality of the velvet, as a colour, and as a surface.

In garden III  there will be less velvet, more spaces, and a more simplistic approach.

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The hold up is waiting for the velvet to dry after last minute dyeing. It has a denser and longer pile than before and was originally a plush golden beigey browny non colour, and is now a lustrous beigey olivey green with a bit of a bed-head nap.

It will be based on this sketch from the parents’ garden. And to be awkward I might img_20190605_162822617try this old sample of embroidery. Current plan – loosely applique the velvet to the base-  underlying the hedge and flower areas. Probably patched to get different directions of nap. Dense cross hatching on the hedge. Then lines describing the foliage and flowers will be in a dark neutral and  colour and details will follow.

How much will be as expected? Hmm…

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Don’t forget the upcoming York Textile Artists exhibition, “Wild About Textiles” , in Knaresborough. Preview on 28th and then it runs until the 19th of July. Should be great fun, it is a very friendly gallery and a beautiful historic space.

The March of the Sprout

I have promised to stop calling this Sprout,  the same way that the Big Beastie is supposed to known as Middle Moor. Yeh, that worked.

I have sprouted away this week to good purpose. The tipping point is past, and it is now that manic downhill race to completion, exhilarating  and getting faster and faster but so easy to lose concentration and end up flat on your face.

From bones and structure this week has been about clothing and fleshing, some so subtle that it barely shows, other parts have made dramatic impact. It is now about detail, balancing formal elements and making sure the image reads in the way I want.  Spot the difference a week can make? (8) I think you have to be here to see them.


Main areas done would be the sky – inked as promised and fairly gloomy – it is Yorkshire in a soggy January.  And the road way.  This isn’t yet complete – but it reads better with the texture  and the sudden flashes of colour,  but both will be damped down to get that contrast in surface  quality to the undergrowth that I want.  I did try straighter lines of couching but it felt false , and gradually added more and more fluff and contrast. So it may look ambiguous – one friend saw it as a river – but ….. And the pink? Rather like the pink  ( a piece of sari silk)  it does make me question the state of my eyesight – the reds and saturated colours are all so close to the front.  I think more contrast in the verge. Navy or purple?

And the sky? Not impressed.  I like the cloudiness and the subdued tones but the physical surface is so flat and matt. I may feel the need to stitch, possibly quilt just to give it some life.  Quilting is likely anyway – I have not used stablisers so there is a fair amount of  ripple.  The calico has done well coping with the uneven weight and drag of the stitching but if it is going to hang it could do with a bit of support. This did begin as a good rectangle, cut on the grain, but that is distant memory.

And so the saga of Sprout continues. I do intend to have the imagery finished by the end of the week – I think about another 3 or 4 hours of concentrated stitching, with lots of pressing and pondering (coffee breaks).  Achievable? The to do list is nearly in single figures- the time of sprout is passing….  and I have a series of other deadlines to meet.

 

Don’t forget workshops/tutorial times available  on Wed evening and Friday mornings – check the Want to try  tab.

The Most Difficult bit…. and workshop call

I am an experienced and  effective tutor of art and textiles as well as exhibiting artist. I am.  I have spaces in  Wednesday evening and  Friday morning  classes –  all levels and stages of experience and aspiration are welcome to come to play and enjoy creative textiles. Please contact either through email (on right) or the comments if interested. There will be coffee and tea, but I have already eaten the biscuit stash, (marketing not a strong point).   I thought I would get this out of the way before anyone reads the rest of it……

 

Well the Fairly Large Beastie with Sprouts  is steaming along,  nearly all of the base sewing is done and some places have multiple layers of work on them. This is where it gets difficult – there is a huge investment of time and effort in there and it is going from the experimental building phase to the consolidation phase.  Now I have to weld it all together, make those early decisions good and work upon the thing as a whole.

The stitching on the hills is the point of no return – so far a light varigated and a dull mid blue on the far left slopes. Still don’t like it – too flat and contrived. The treeline has  more stitch in it, working in blocks of hatching like the original sketch – might leave the trees behind as they are – very crude and sketchy.

The right is better – closer to the experimental rough work – but I still have to be brave and commit to working on the road way.  There are just too many niggly decisions attached to all the areas.  What I want is to  take alot of that green paint out – it flattens and homogenises now that I’m trying for subtle.

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I may be drastic, it may be bold, or it may be stupid: tell you afterwards.  The inking option is about to be realised. This is a bit derring do – sink or swim- in my best tradition.

 

Always was going to play with wet colour  in the top half – blooms and runs of  ink/stain washed and scrubbed into the fabric. Its time has come – the stark flatness of the calico is distracting  and killing the subtle stitching done in the tree line.     Will this be tightly controlled and considered? Of course not, what a daft question. It is going to be -do it and pray, then do some more, have a coffee, start thinking about bleach, rinse off in the shower and worry about the how and where of drying later.   It is a cold, dank and damp day so not happening outside – this will be attacked  flat on the biggest table and apologise to the carpet afterwards ( I think of the splashes and drips as honourable  battle scars).    I just hope I  have some inky stuff hiding upstairs. Should press it and de-whisker it first. Why is everything so complicated?

Probably not my brightest  idea.  Definitely not, but I can not bear working on something that is going flat and predictable on me. Deciding not to use big, blank spaces in the composition – which twit advised that?  Umm, me.

Please do not call round today – it may be dangerous.

Oops.

anything other than the Sprout!

img_20190106_095710824This was last week, rough and scruffy paint to give me some idea of where and what when I roll it up to sew, ( also handy when upside down and stitching!)  It is very sparse and undeveloped with the two blobs waiting for attention on the right- they will become thorn trees.

I worked on this on and off during the week and then took it as my work in progress/demo piece for the open day at Viking Loom yesterday. It has progressed in many ways. This is it now –  the blobs are very sprout- like,  day old boiled sprouts. I do love this colour but at this time of the year the associations are somewhat unfortunate….

IMG_20190113_103426461 The bottom left is just about done – some areas will be plucked to break up the colour and surface, and a top dressing  required on the conifer belt and the major bushes, but they will happen later as part of the ‘balancing’ stage. It is a case of where has all the brown and orange silk gone? Waste putting it in? Never – it peeps through in places and lends an intensity to the colours above.  and most of all it makes the thin spots in the stitch work as a positive rather than look like holes! Really pleased with the mad green varigated section of tufty chenille wool and the scrunched  and shredded bleached sari lengths at the bottom.

Pics below show some of the evolution – working in layers front to back, the type and density of stitch and the fabrics used.

I don’t like working one section up like this but I kept losing sight of the whole and started to get worried by the scale of the thing.  It really does show how dense to work is – the plain calico looks blank and bland, the paint looks flat, the sprouts and tree line look like a bit of nonsense. The other problem is the distortion caused by the stitching. This badly needs stretching before I do more. I had meant to leave the distortions as part of the nature of the beast but the piece is already very out of true.-

Next tasks – fore and middle ground to the right- sort out hillsides, get some flatter stitching in , maybe partially  happen to a sprout or two as well.

I am trying out Instagram (oops), so see daily-ish updates if your life is lacking sproutiness, and of course don’t forget about the upcoming opportunities – every fortnight Wed eve and Friday am  from 23rd Jan – introductions, techniques or project work, as you please.

Machine embroidery workshops and progress!

I have a series of dates avialable upto mid March  for learners and enthusiasts to come and play in my workroom, a chance to get started or to develop  your own ideas.  There is a basic programme but it  is there to be cherry picked or ignored as desired!  I am offering 2 hour sessions  on a Wednesday evening and Friday morning once a fortnight.  Details are on the website.

As for the new Biggish Beastie – Well, did you really expect me to pay any attention to myself? To follow my own guidelines and expectations?  Silliness.

Could not get my head together so sidestepped the problem to find fresh anxieties and questions to avoid.

This was where we left  it – rough patches of fabric, woll stitching, just beginning to map out the major areas and hint at textures. So found the blankness too big, and processes too slow.  Bring out to paint! Lay down some background, make it so I can see what is to happen rather than having to image it all the time.

This was thin acrylic with textile medium and worked in layers to build a bit of surface –  all so high tech –  printing off  scraps of cellophane and combing. It can not be thick because of the stitching to follow and is only the supporting act, not the main attraction.

The first layer of crosshatch stitching has started to weld the conifers together and wandering lines have begun to describe the scale and nature of the belts of vegetation and hedge lines.   There is still far more work ahead than behind but the structure is established . How much of this will be evident at the end? Very little, I expect, but I have more confidence in it now, it is less fluffy ideas and more directed intentions. Does this mean I know how it will look? Of course not? As ideas come together they will have to adapt and compromise untill they fit together, but this is the start of the real dialogue.

img_20190106_095710824Next steps? – Probably map out the treeline and foreground. Start on the empty space in the right bottom corner, but keep the interplay of spaces and concentrations of colour and texture going and build on them.

It needs ironing again. Already.