Tuesday 2 October 2018

Painting, Felting, Sketching, Stitching

Well, September was a bit of a mish mash of things - I've donated another art postcard to a fundraising event, I got my wool fibres out again to do some wet felting, I attended an outdoor painting workshop and I've started keeping a sketchbook again.

Postcard Art...

So another opportunity to do a little artcard to help raise money for a good cause - I decided to use paint, eco-dyed fabric and a bit of stitching to create this little piece.

Watercolours were used to create the background and the chough, and then I layered and attached the torn fabric pieces to represent cliffs/coastline topping them with a little green cotton scrim.  A few french knots and a few words cut from an old book page finished it off.

These are nice to do, and I do enjoy mixing media types together to create something a bit different.  

This is still something that I'm looking to explore further - maybe mixing felting and printing.  I think some more experimenting is in order...

Painting workshop...

So, in a bid to be a little more brave I signed up to an outdoor painting workshop during the St Ives September Festival with Ria Poole - waaaaaay out of my comfort zone!!

For one, I have limited painting skills and for another the whole plein air thing with people I didn't know was very daunting!

I needn't have worried however, Ria put us all at ease and we trooped up to the Island overlooking Porthmeor beach.

It was windy, there was mown grass blowing around and I found it quite a challenge to say the least!  The paint was drying almost as soon as it hit the canvas, and I was struggling with scale and perspective...but I persevered and after a bit I loosened up and stopped trying to recreate exactly what was in front of me.  I ended up flicking, splodging and fingerpainting (which was quite fun!) to try and get some life and surface texture in it - I think that's the textile in me!!

My finished (not finished!) painting, with grass clippings embedded in the paint!

I learned, quite quickly, that the sea is really difficult to capture - the changing colours, the movement - and I used rather a lot of artistic licence in trying to have a finished painting!

Overall though, I was quite pleased with it - everyone's painting was so different, and there was a lot of abstract work going on where the participants had simply expressed an essence of where they were and what they were feeling by the marks they made on the canvas.  In retrospect, maybe I was a little tight and wish I'd 'let go' a bit more from the start.

Some of my colour mixing was a little muddy in the foreground, so I may work on it a bit more some time - maybe add some scrim and textures...oh, there I go with adding fabrics!!

I'm glad I did the workshop - I was stupidly nervous about going on my own, but it was all fine and everyone was very friendly.  I should definitely not hesitate to do something similar again.

Back to Felting...

It was nice to get the wool fibres out and do some wet felting - keeping it small and manageable I created a little landscape with merino and silks and incorporated a piece of hand dyed lace in the foreground.  I wasn't sure how this would turn out as I didn't want it to 'scrumple up' too much during the felting process. 

I worked it slowly and carefully, with minimal fibres over the top of the lace, and it's worked out really well.

I added more details with needlefelting, stitch and added scrim and chiffon in the foreground - trying very hard not to overdo the embellishing!

I'm pleased with it - I've had some nice feedback about it from social media, and I'm delighted that it has actually SOLD!

*happy dance*

 I didn't really make it with a view to selling, more to get my hand back into felting,  so that was a complete and lovely surprise!

It's such a thrill when someone likes something you've made enough to want to purchase it, and it's also nice to know that the work that goes into 'handmade' is appreciated.

Sketchbook - just do it!

Why do I procrastinate so much about keeping a sketchbook?  I think it's because I always want to create something I'd feel happy to share - but you don't have to share everything , do you?  There's also that lovely, clean, pristine book that I don't want to ruin!!

As pristine pages are a little daunting, I ripped out 4 pages and collaged some of my rust dyed tissue papers onto them, just to create some interesting backgrounds.  I really like how they look already with a slightly moody landscape feel, with the added bonus of some scrummy surface texture.

rust dyed paper, with a random piece of thread 

rust dyed tissue paper - and there's already a 'holed stone' from a washer!

Rust dyed fibrous paper

Rust dyed tissue paper, paint stained wet wipe and a scrap of scrim

In my last blogpost, I mentioned working on the holed-stone theme, based on the standing stones at Men-an-Tol.  I've used the shape of the stone, and used a variety of methods to include it on my new backgrounds - collage, painting, stencilling - using watercolour pencils, acrylic paints and inktense blocks, as well as a little puff paint, a dried leaf and tea bag paper.

I tried not to spend too long on each section, so they were a little spontaneous.  Once dried, I attached them together to make a little concertina book, tied with some rust dyed wool and a label to give the inspiration and materials used.

This was fun to do, and these ideas can be referred back to in the future.  I'm also comfortable with removing pages from a bigger sketch book to create mini-books - not so daunting and this one is quite cute!

Next, I'm going to make a real effort to try and do some mark making/drawing every day - if only for a few minutes - as this idea of recording everyday things seems a good way forward.

What's next...?

Well, I'm feeling the love for felting again after quite a break from doing it properly.  I think the tangents I have gone off on have been really useful, and some of the effects I've achieved with other mediums I would love to recreate in the felting process.  I think I will be doing a number of felt samples to try different things, try to evolve it into something fresh and new (for me anyway!).

I'm also going to try and keep the sketchbook ideas going - I often have  creative thoughts which don't get committed to paper and then get lost in the ether of the chaos that is my mind!

So, hopefully I'll have some felting to show you next time around.

Thanks for reading - and feel free to comment and say 'Hi' below, it's always lovely to hear from you!

Best wishes

Tanya xxx