These images follow some of the design journey for the piece photographed on the left.
I was struck by the sunshine scraping the edges of the trees while I was walking my dog, Inca. Luckily I had my camera with me and took a number of images. However these did not really capture the scene as I saw it - a new project was born!
Playing with samples allowed me to develop the work to represent what I saw, and putting these samples together in a large sketchbook showed up design possibilities.
The end result was much truer to what I felt when I took the photographs.
This is evolving as I stitch. The work is quilted with Warm and Natural batting and has also been stabilised with Sulky iron on stabiliser. This gives it enough stiffness to be cut out around the edges. Some extra flowers have been appliqued on top to give it more dimension. Since this photo was taken I have corded all round the edge. It's become a wall hanging, it didn't seem right to cut it up.
The machine embroidery so far has been done with 2 threads on the top, one of which is variegated. I find this a good way to add extra colour that is not too strong. The two threads also make a thicker thread for embroidery.
Doors and locks
These images were taken while I was on holiday in Spain. Unfortunately I didn't notice all the different doors until a few days before I was due back. Alongside all the other photos I took there is a lot to ponder on design wise.
I've found that placing an A1 sheet of paper underneath any work I am doing allows you to go over the edge without a worry.
Not only that, but you are creating a totally random pattern, this can be hard to do if you are trying - so don't try, let the paints and fabrics spill over and help you to make marks you couldn't do by thinking about it.
On the right is a page that formed itself without trying - it has all the colours on that I was working with, and so would co-ordinate with the 'best' piece I made.
I watched and waited for this chilli to complete growing. It was fascinating to see how the plant developed.
I couldn't bring myself to eat this one - so it has been dried and it is my cupboard in a glass. It matured to be red and there are other photos that I took then.
Having an A3 sketchbook can be quite liberating - it can sometimes be difficult to start to make a mark on a new page, so put a photo on the page and go from there.
Sunset on Paper Remodeled
When I looked at the painting when it was dry I liked the colours, but it looked a bit 'twee''. I tore the paper in thirds horizontally and stitched those pieces together. It still didn't look right so I took scissors to it, turned the pieces around and stitched it together again. This version looks more dynamic and I think you can clearly see the inspiration, but the colours seem to bounce off each other moving your eye around the paper.
Sunset on paper
I decided in the end to go with my gut feeling, rather than copying the photo. I used acrylic paints with a natural sponge. Tearing a cereal box gave me a shape to sponge over, and I then repeated this with different shaped cards and different colours. Sponging was ok for the lower half of the painting, but I got a good result by puling the sponge across for the upper half.
I don't think I'll leave this as it is, it seems to be crying out for some texture, so when it is fully dry I may stitch on to it and see what happens.
This is one of the photos I took while away in Dorset. We saw fantastic sunsets from our apartment.
This photo would lend itself to using a mask to achieve crisp edges. Try tearing paper to create an organic edge, then sponging paint onto paper or fabric, using the torn edge as a stencil.
I love the strong contrast in the colours. I'm going to try this out myself and will post my response to this photo.
I would like to share some of the bits and pieces that I have found useful or interesting. Having experience of different crafts these snippets will range over a variety of media.
The image on the left is from my sketchbook I took to Dorset last week (mid March 2012). I have used acrylic and watercolour paints, hand stitching wire work and beads. This reflects my interest in mixed media. It releases you from thinking that you have to produce a 'perfect watercolour' using established methods. With mixed media I feel more free to explore using all these materials with less constraints. Also by keeping a sketchbook the only person that it really matters to is you - it can be kept private or shown off, depending on your mood or confidence. It's up to you.
I buy my favourite sketchbooks from Artesavers and they are called Eurosketchbooks. Their papers are sized for wet media and are quite robust (they need to be for me!), they are also economical to buy. Here is the link to their page.