Working on prototypes this past week, developing a simple pattern for a fabric moth. This one has a wingspan of 11cms and body of 5.5cms in length and I think, it's about as small as I'm prepared to go.
By far the hardest task is turning the body right side out after sewing from the back. I left what I thought was quite a large aperture at the side to keep the shape of the point at the tail and blip for the head, but still it was tricky. What the photo doesn't show is the gash left by the scissors on the underside. I know it's madness to use pointy scissors to push the fabric through, but I often fail to listen to that inner voice. Thankfully, it wasn't a finished piece :)
Wednesday, 24 June 2015
Above are a few of the errant plants growing along the pavements in my road. It is incredible how interesting the pavements are at the moment, with such a diversity of plant and leaf types. A short spell of fecundity before the council sprays the whole place with weedkiller. I also discovered the 'June gap' which beekeepers talk about in relation to a worrying lack of nectar for the bees. The result is the verdant greenness of plants especially those classified as weeds, being much more noticeable as there is a lull between Spring and Summer blooming.
Sunday, 21 June 2015
Friday, 12 June 2015
It's always a relief to dispense with naturalism. My mind's focus falls repeatedly on the principle elements of abstract drawing :- line, contrast, spatial relations, tone etc. that is where my interest really lies, puzzling it out, playing. There are certain advantages to allowing drawing to become more stylised, despite the consequent problems of neatness and designs that can become over-worked and overly detailed. Using a botanical theme lends itself to playing with improvised forms which can exist purely to look peculiar rather than pretty. Luckily there is plenty in nature that fits that category.
The best way of countering this static quality is by keeping the composition dynamic. What works for larger, gestural drawings, serves also for smaller intense works - introducing strong elements that expressly refer to the edges of the white paper, which then require careful negotiation. A bold initial move also seems to thwart any reluctance in approaching the snowy wasteland of the paper.
As someone who loves drawing, I found this a fascinating watch!
Tuesday, 26 May 2015
I'm loving the process of ink drawing. I am a bit rusty but there is definitely muscle memory in my favour. It is all coming back to me, especially how if I'm trying to improvise it all goes off in so many directions....My thinking is to try and focus on three or four of the directions that 'come naturally' and make them into mini projects. As illustrated above, one of those projects will be plant based designs that nod to European ceramics and bold fabrics.
I also remembered how vital it is to have a plentiful supply of paper. There is nothing worse than feeling you have to conserve one's paper. The tendency is to get neater as the session progresses, so having the freedom to use unrestricted amounts of paper keeps the gestures loose and direct. This is a difficult issue, as often you can produce the best work on your worst quality paper, in a moment of genuine flow. If funds allow, good archive quality paper should be the norm. I recommend Fabriano Jumbo Watercolour Paper Blocks as they have a healthy 75 sheets per block.
Wednesday, 20 May 2015
I have finally bought myself a new bottle of Sennelier 'Encre de chine a la pagode', the best black ink you can find. I've dug out my old brushes to start ink drawing again. This is a snapshot of my drawing table, after I've tidied up! You should have seen it before. Don't let the plastic boxes fool you I'm organised, it is usually chaotic at best. I will be posting the results of my improvised drawings as they come along.