Friday, February 15, 2013

Further drypoint experiments

Today I worked on what will probably be my last lot of flimsy experiments.  As next week is the half term holiday I shall not collect the results until 1 March, but meantime I collected last week's lot today.  This is all going to provide me with a pile of possibilities for future stitching!
This idea started with the gradually increasing birdsong, and the ubiquity of brambles in our garden!  I do like the bare stems with their thorns - visually, that is.  (I am not a great fan of them in so many other ways!)
I decided to try to use this photograph as a basis for a sheet of chine collé.  I therefore simplified both colour and mass of content, then printed it first onto the pale blue flimsy, and then onto a thin sheet of white paper.  Below is what it looked like on the latter:
I drew a design to sit on this - I wanted to enclose a figure who was accompanying birds (who love the brambles), and decided on her playing a violin pizzicato - somehow that came to mind when I thought of the bramble thorns catching on clothing and flesh as well as being jagged to look at.
I mirrored this to draw into the acrylic to make my drypoint plate, and then made three prints.  One on the flimsy - which is quite dark:
One on the plain paper with the printed background:
And one on tissue paper with soft pastel only.  This was also printed as a ghost, and I do like its faint quality.
I have further computer work to do to combine these into the final version which will be stitched - eventually.


  1. The variations are fascinating, each with its own merits and possibilites for stitching. I remember you mentioning that these get set aside for later stitch work, but don't you sometimes just itch to stitch right away when the ideas are exciting and fresh? I find often when certain ideas come to me and I don't have the time to get to them right away, they tend to get forgotten or lose their spark, even if noted into a sketchbook for future use.

  2. I know what you mean Marja-Leena, but somehow I need time added to the development. I need some distance from each design to make sure that I'm hapy with it. My ideas are not necessarily good just because they are exciting at that moment.
    Also, completion by stitching involves a meditative process which is not quick. I am already working on several pieces of work at different stages further up the production line and which all generate their own form of making excitement. If something loses its spark, then it was meant to be thus - until a later time and set of circumstances gives it a spark again.

  3. The thorns really do give a pizzicato feeling to the piece. In the third one, the hands emerge so strongly - and, perhaps because of focusing on them, it was the first time I noticed the thorn passing under the arm (ouch!)

  4. Thanks Margaret - and yes, dealing with brambles/thorns is painful!

  5. What Margaret said! I never made such an association before but it struck me as a fine funny combo, and very like what one feels when one has gotten stuck in a musical calculation.