My Theme Book is all about people. I’ve collected many pictures and postcards that have inspired me, and developed pieces of my own from these using sketches, paint and fabric.
I found these beautiful portraits painted by Francoise Nielly, they are made with thick oil paint and a knife. I’m not quite that adventurous yet, so I made a similar one with acrylic paint and a brush, I feel it is a good start but needs much more colour adding to it. I had a second attempt using larger areas of brighter colour but I don’t feel that it works, it seems too flat and lacks the depth of the original pieces. Read the rest of this entry
I believe that craft-produced (or hand-crafted) textiles still maintain a place in modern society as they are a way for people to express themselves, their thoughts, feelings, emotions and sense of individuality. I know from personal experience the feeling of accomplishment when finishing a project, and even greater joy if other people praise it. If it happens to be something like a dress, then I can walk out proudly knowing that no one else has the exact same one, and that my choices in fabric and construction techniques say a lot about who I am, what I like and how skilled I am at making something. Even a simple drawing gives you the freedom to express how you’re feeling inside, so every piece produced by a crafts person has a story to go with it, something a mass produced item doesn’t. Read the rest of this entry
To work on this project I chose these 6 pages of my sketchbook to work from.
- The first two are inspired by fungi I spotted whilst out walking, I made a few initial sketches then worked from those and additional photo’s I found, experimenting with collage, oil pastels, acrylic paint and inktense pencils.
- The next page was inspired by a photo I found of bird in a magazine which was focused on the beautiful pattern made by its feathers, I worked on these ideas using layering and scratching away acrylic paint, wax crayons, marker pens and a fabric collage. It was the jewel-like colours and overlapping shapes which really interested me here.
- The ‘rock-pool’s’ page was inspired by the road where I walk my dog, it is very broken and uneven and the patterns the stones form on the floor always catch my attention. I really love the small range of colour’s shown in the photo I found, it is very simple and ‘earthy’ feeling, but still has lots of contrast, it also has a strong circular feeling to me which I think came through ion my sketches.
- The page about ‘birds on a cliff’ doesn’t really show up very well in the photo, but I felt very drawn to its feeling of many layers and lines.
- The last page I worked on has to be my favorite. I had been reading a book about people marooned on a desert island and when I saw this photo in a magazine it caught my attention. I really love the shapes and colours shown in the photo, although in some ways my sketches and collages make me think more of a peacocks tail than the desert island I intended.
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This weekend I went to visit Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings, for me one of the most iconic buildings there is the windmill pictured above. This photo was taken when we first arrived, but we were lucky enough to see them rotating the windmill to catch the wind and unfurling the sails later on in the day. The sails were huge pieces of what looks like a heavyweight cotton calico, firmly tied down to the wooden frame, and it was certainly effective at getting the mill working, but I do wonder how they stop them from going moldy being outside in all weathers! Read the rest of this entry
In recent years I’ve noticed there are more fabrics available that are ethically made, eg. Fair Trade, organic or produced in an environmentally sustainable way. Many major retailers now stock organic ranges of clothing, for example Marks and Spencers stock mens’ suits made from pure organic Yorkshire wool, or there are companies like People Tree whose entire range is made with ‘respect to the planet’.
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Overall I enjoyed this section of the course. It was fun, messy and produced some interesting samples of work, it was however extremely time-consuming! I found it difficult to set aside enough time to set up, do the work, then clean up – and any interruptions meant my paint all started to dry out. I also struggled to find many sources of inspiration in my sketchbook as the coursework I was doing involved much simpler shapes and more colour than the sketches I tend to do. It made me realise that more of my sketchbook work needs to be about pattern and colour than the finished sketches I tend to produce. Read the rest of this entry
I picked these two lino prints from my last lot of work to develop further, I wasn’t sure about the rough broken lines around the central triangle patterns though so I recut a new piece of lino with a plainer background, then made a larger and smaller version to experiment with too. Read the rest of this entry
Block printing and relief printing
For this I found some items from around the house to try printing with, this included a milk carton top, a cotton reel, leaves, bubble wrap, carved corks, children’s textured rolling pins and pieces of cardboard. I also made some linocuts and a simple relief block from cardboard and string. Read the rest of this entry
For this first exercise I had to play around with black squares to create some interesting arrangements, I used smaller black squares than stated in the instructions a I didn’t feel it was necessary for them to be 3cm x 3cm – it just seemed to use up way too much room in my sketchbook! The top two arrangements are supposed to look static, but still interesting, the bottom two should show movement – I think the bottom left one is my favorite, it somehow feels more easy on the eye than the others!
I did the ‘lines’ section at 12cm x 12cm as suggested, the top one is supposed to be peaceful, whereas the bottom one is supposed to show tension – although I think maybe broken lines would’ve portrayed this better. Read the rest of this entry
This is a quilt I started making as part of a ‘Hand-stitched Class’ from a blog called ‘Stitched in Color’ when I was in the dark depths of post-natal depression. The colours feel rich, warm and jewel-like to me which I find rather comforting. It is roughly a square shape, about 60in sq. Not only is it made from beautifully patterned fabrics but it also has plenty of hand embroidery and quilting to add to the decorative effect. Read the rest of this entry