Friday, 11 February 2011

Sketchbook Project: The Final Few

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Here are the final six pages of my Sketchbook Project. I think these are some of my favourites as they are less literal and much more artistic.

Page 13 – Blood Spatter

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This is one of my favourite pages. This is because I leave the interpretation up to the viewer. Sheets made me think of the word blood. But where does the blood come from? You must make up your own mind on that. I used layers of watered down acrylic paint to create the blood spatter on my cotton sheet. I then hand embroidered the shape of a blood spatter pattern into it. I added the words ‘birth’ and ‘innocence’ to the piece. Is this the creation of innocence, or is it being taken away? What is being born?

Page 14 – Illness

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Not all imagery that came to mind on this theme was positive or light. Combining ideas related to jackets and blankets made me think of padded rooms and straight jackets. I diagonally quilted this page with machine stitches then added repurposed shoe buckles and straps to show restraint.

Page 15 – Between the Sheets

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Sheets make me think of certain activities. For a while I have wanted to create a piece around an adult theme, and sheets seemed to call for it. Between the Sheets shows a couple together in bed – literally between the sheets. They are hand embroidered in white, melting them into the sheet, not only becoming one but becoming part of the sheets as well. The title is hand embroidered in pale pink to express love, rather than lust.

Page 16 – Family

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Going back to the idea of quilts I wanted to create a page that looked at the artistry that can be put into quilt making and the generations these items can encompass. Family is a quilted family tree – four generations of my family are represented in the hand stitched names on the leaves. They dance around the solid trunk showing how we are individuals, but are also part of a whole – my family.

Page 17 – Snow

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The phrase ‘blanket of snow’ started this piece. While thinking of snow I also thought of the phrases ‘snow white sheets’ and ‘winter jacket’. I combined all of these on a piece invoking the colours and sparkle of a winter scene. Silver sparkle snow flakes adorn the background surrounded by scraps of white net decorated with silver sequins. A layer of silver net secures them in place with free form machine embroidered squiggles in silver thread. The phrases are hand stitched over the top in a light grey tone.

Page 18 – Picnic

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Blankets are not only used on beds – they can also be taken outside of the home. This final page was inspired not by the word but by the fabrics I found. The right side of the piece uses a fabric that made me think of tree bark and the outdoors – which in turn made me think of picnics. I combined it with a subtle floral print fabric in a sunny yellow and used it as a chance to practice some floral stitches. The woven roses are stitched in harmonious colours and the wells in the bark fabric are emphasised by a subtle backstitch.

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More photos of my Sketchbook project can be seen in the Sketchbook Project photo album here

Monday, 7 February 2011

Sketchbook Project: Decoration

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Back to my Sketchbook! Here are a few more pages for you to peruse!

Page 9 – Pattern….. 1

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Some words have double meanings, even with this theme. Pattern is one of those words. In this piece I look at printed patterns in fabric. These can be used to advantage in clothing and linens. I took a busily printed piece of cotton and emphasised parts of it with gold and silver free form machine embroidery. The lanterns now sparkle in the light and the birds and flowers are gilded by their gleam.

Page 10 – Pattern… 2

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Another type of pattern adorns this piece – a jacket pattern. I chose a fabric in a tartan print which would be a good choice for a jacket. I shrunk down a dress-making pattern for a jacket and hand embroidered the lines onto the fabric. The thick black lines emphasise the contours of the jacket pattern and show its shape, what it will become, its potential.

Page 11 – Buttons

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From materials we turn to function. Buttons are mainly associated with jackets here, but can also be used for decoration. I took inspiration from trimming on 60’s jackets for this page – simple, clean lines that make an impact. The black buttons against the yellow background also catch the eye.

Page 12 – Pocket

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What can be found within the pocket? Lint? Money? A forgotten note? A key? So many things can be hidden within a pocket, or forgotten, then found again. Pockets are simple, functional additions that we cannot be without.

The date for the first stop of the tour has changed - the Sketchbook Project tour will now begin in NYC on February 19th - go check it out :-)

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Music makes the world go round...

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We're taking a break from my Sketchbook pages this post so I can show you my latest swap piece!

The theme for the December
Phat Quarter Swap was Music. Immediately I thought of David Bowie's Aladdin Sane album cover. I have wanted to experiment with pencil tinting in my work and the use of finer stitches, so this was the perfect opportunity.

I used no more than three strands of floss on this piece, and that was only for the metallic threads on the lightning bolt. The outlines were done using two strands and the hair and eyelashes used only one. I used backstitch, satin stitch and brick stitch on this piece. I like the simplicity of it and really liked the way the coloured pencils came out. I'm going to use this technique more in the future for sure!

Work In Progress Shots:

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Pencil Tinting

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One strand of floss for the eyelashes

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Finished hair

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Metallic threads for the lightning bolt

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Satin stitch for the title

This piece went to Giggly Mama and I think she really liked it :-)