Monday, 19 September 2016

Felt! I've missed you!

I've had such a lovely time this weekend making and embroidering on Handmade felt. I ferreted around to find as many lovely textured bits to add to the layers and found little scraps of silk organza, recycled sari fibre, hand dyed scrim, and silk throwsters waste.

Look what happened! Felt is magic!



I embroidered it with number 5 perle WonderFil Eleganza threads. They are variegated colours and matched my felt so well. A few people have asked about the background under the felt. Its a page in my sketchbook where I've been playing with weathered and worn textures.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Fish Talk!

Its been so lovely to have a day to myself just getting back in touch with my pen!

I love trying different media and get so excited about combining them but sometimes the simplicity of just a pen and paper and time to doodle are are one of life's little luxuries.




I can't get enough of looking at Fish and trying to capture their lovely sleek scales and the infinite forms of their shapes and colours. The more you look, the more you see all kinds of repeating patterns and the more we observe the details the better we get at drawing. 

The section below shows the repeating patterns and the lines that give the fish its structure and shading. This is the fish before I cut it out.




The collaged page is in my Fishy Sketchbook. A whole book of fishy moments! It's good to return to it when I need a fishy fix!

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Moon Child

We have had some beautiful Summer evenings lately here in the UK. Summer has arrived at last and at the end of the day when everything is quiet even our rather scruffy garden looks so lovely in the moonlight! 

There is usually a soft breeze which sways the branches of the trees and the shamefully overgrown grass and the large golden Harvest Moon makes everything looks magical.

I wanted to capture the way that the moonlight shines in cool, silvery slivers on everything it touches, only just highlighting the textures of nature and making us imagine the shapes still in shadow.



I'm not very good at drawing faces. I usually avoid them and draw something else instead. But as I usually encourage my students to be fearless I thought I'd take my own advice and try painting a moonlit face on a black background.

I started with a wash of black acrylic on watercolour paper followed by a wash of metallic gold and bronze to give a bit of shimmer.

Then I painted the face with a wash of thinned white. I wanted the darkness to provide the shadows. The rest of the paper was filled with plant shapes in the same wash of white. The brush still had a bit of gold on it so there are yellowy hints in there too.



I then had a lovely time back in my comfort zone, with my trusty white pen, doodling in all the moonlit highlights. 

I'm quite pleased with it! I like the way the gold peeks through the white wash to give it some depth and just a little bit of shimmer.

Here is a close up of the eye so you can get a better look at the layers. 




Saturday, 28 May 2016

Amazing Rust!

Just a quickie look at today's rust. I am so pleased with these. They are so clearly printed that it looks like the rusty washers are still on the surface.


On thick cartridge paper. 



On thick cartridge paper. It looks so like the metal.


On cartridge paper with organza and modern cotton lace.


Cartridge paper again.


On a vintage hankie with a lace edging.


On fine linen scrim and vintage lace. So fabulously crunchy!
On cotton in the background.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Fabulous Felt coming soon!


Don't you just love the textures in Handmade Felt? 

     



Especially when all sorts of lovely fibres are added into the layers  so they form their own little serendipity of colour just like a wildflower garden.
This one has added stitch and beading on the surface.
Do you fancy joining me to make one of your own?

More Rust! Textures!

Doesn't rust look lovely on textured fabric. These are on damaged vintage Broderie Anglais and a variety of other gorgeous embroidered fabrics and although it seems so sad, in  some ways, to distress them, they have been rescued from a charity shop and will become glorious again in a new artwork. 






I am so thrilled at the variegated greys in the dyeing, and hardly any orangey rust colours. I think the tannin in the tea was responsible for this happening because I dyed them with just tea and no vinegar at all. I love too that the circles from the washers have printed so well. 


Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Fab Rust!

Today I was supposed to be doing a bit of Spring cleaning but instead I have been playing with rust. 

4 days ago I started some rust printing in the garden and today it is ready. So fast! and always such a lovely surprise.

This is the fabric when I had rinsed and dried it. I used pieces of cotton. Most were recycled. One was a piece of lovely tightly woven shirting and it feels almost silky. 


Another was part of a torn blouse with lace inserts.


This one is a piece of some lovely linen scrim that I got in France.


What always amazes me is that the prints are almost photographic. You can see so clearly the shapes of the rusty square and circle washers.

Want to know how I did it? It is so simple and quick!

I placed half a piece of fabric in the bottom of a tray, covered it with lots of rusty washers and folded it over. Then I added more layers of fabric and more rusty stuff. I poured tea over it and put the whole thing in a plastic bag and left it in the garden for 4 days.

Below is the piece that I folded over at the bottom of the pile. It has printed with a mirror image of the rusty bits. Magic!