Thursday 18 July 2019

Felting the Landscape...again!

So, the heather is starting to flower and the West Penwith moors and surrounding countryside have a myriad of colours, tones and textures that just beg to be drawn, painted...and felted!

Heather, gorse, bracken, the flash of acid green in a distant capture all those things seen in a vast landscape into a small piece of work.

I actually started with a frame this time - I have a couple of long thin ones which I've had sitting around for a while, so decided to make a piece specifically to fit in one of them.

I began a layout in a slightly different way this time, using cotton scrim as a base, and then using thin layers of merino wool fibres, silks and other fabrics and meshes to create a more light and airy piece of fabric which I didn't iron flat to  maintain a slightly more sculptural look.  This was to be an abstract landscape - not of somewhere in particular - just concentrating on colours and textures.

I like to use different techniques with felting - I don't think I ever do it in exactly the same way twice!  There are so many different variations and outcomes...the possibilities are endless!

It was nice to use some of my eco-dyed silks and fabrics - these felted in really well and the colours withstood a jolly good washing and rubbing during the felting process!  You can see  in the picture below the yellow cotton scrim to the right and the grungy green colour of the silk on the bottom left - these colours were obtained from plants from my garden and onion skins.  The naturally obtained colours just sat nicely within this landscape as you might expect them to!

Naturally dyed silk and scrim have been felted in.

I've mentioned in previous blog posts about my collection of 'nature's treasures' and I decided to embellish the piece with some of my collection of dried seedheads, leaves and found feathers - they seemed to just fit in perfectly.

Using some of nature's treasures - dried seed heads and feathers
Dried fern leaves, feathers and sycamore seeds embellish the surface
I was a little worried about there not being a real 'focus' to this piece, and I lived with it for a little while before framing it up - I've decided I like it just as it is as the moors and surrounding countryside often don't have a focal point, they just go gloriously on and on! 

It's proven tricky to get really good photos of this piece - you kind of have to see it in the flesh to see the surface textures and slightly 3d effect.  It's been popped into a box frame, so there's plenty of room for the elements to sit comfortably without being squashed against glass.

Overall, pretty pleased with the outcome.

What's next...?

I loved doing this moorland landscape - the colours really appeal to me.  What I find a real challenge is a seascape, and I'm going to have a go at one next.  Getting the colours and movement of water is really hard, but try I must!  We're surrounded by beautiful coastlines down here in Cornwall, so there's no shortage of's just the execution that needs practice!

I'm also keeping a bit of a sketchbook going, so hoping to get time to continue with that.  The trouble with the summer is that there is always much to do outside here on the farm and allotment, so often creative time takes a bit of a back seat...a sketchbook is a great way to get some ideas down that I can perhaps return to in the autumn/winter.

Another sale...hoorah!

I was really pleased to find out that the picture below sold at Blue Bramble Gallery in St Ives.  It's one I did quite a while ago, and I loved it so much that I kept it to enjoy myself!  However, I decided recently to let it go to the gallery...and I'm so delighted that's it's gone to a new home, although I would  equally have been happy to have it back if it hadn't sold!  It's a win win with some pictures!

I think I particularly liked the bold colours and the simplicity of it - this one probably set me off on the 'pots of flowers' theme that I've enjoyed creating over the last year.

I've got a few more pictures to drop down to the gallery, including the moorland one, so fingers crossed for some more sales!

Thank you for reading - feel free to comment, it's always great to get feedback and get to know some of the blog followers!

Best wishes

xx  Tanya  xx