Friday, October 23, 2015

Almost there, ... but still missing something

I used to destroy most of the results of paintings or other things I made in my leisure time, in the years when I was salaried.  Now it could be said that all of my time is leisure time, and I have learned so much more about what I am trying to do, and that patience is a large part of that.

What I am designing and making consists of so many elements, both ingredients and techniques.  If something is still needed then I know that it's missing - although most of the time I do not know what that something is.  Then suddenly, seemingly out of the blue, I will have had some kind of experience which will present me with the answer.

Ever since my trip to Mottisfont on Tuesday I have had a productive time with new designs, and also with a couple of designs which had stalled.  As is usual in these cases the designs in limbo had been sitting in my files for some time.  If a design pleases me enough I sometimes will print it as a postcard so that I can see it out of the corner of my eye in passing, so to speak.  It reminds me of itself without me actually working on it. 

In this case it was the use of photographs I had taken which spurred the (probable) completion of the designs.

Autumn interior (stalled stage)
This design grew out of an exercise using the idea of a grid.  I wanted to use angles and architecture, and was pleased with the colours, the composition, and the figure.  Nonethless, the body of the image was too flat for texture, and therefore not suitable for my kind of textile.  And yet I wanted to keep that sense of an open area and the indoors.  Impasse.  Until after Tuesday.
I think it was the colour of the leaves on this photograph which started the ball rolling.  Also the fact that simultaneously I was thinking about the other stalled design - which led me to use its background again here.
I can usually post-rationalise my decisions, but until they are carried out the work all seems instinctive.  I am happier with what I have done now - but I still have to let it simmer for a bit until I know I'm happy with how I'm going to use stitch.

The second image could still work in its stalled stage, but I just was not ready to use it yet.
Bitter wind (stalled stage)
When I saw one tree and the shape of its branches I immediately brought the design to mind, and wanted to try them together.
It was just too much - but, as just a pinch, then it was nearer perfect.
So, Tuesday's outing was just a marvellous day all round.


  1. Interesting, as always, reading about the process. I love Bitter Wind... and those hands....

  2. Such a subtle difference in the final permutation of Bitter Wind, but an important one. One really senses the wind now. So interesting how you fade out your photos to insert as backgrounds.

    1. Sheila, it never ceases to amaze me how much the human eye can discern. The merest glimpse can add so much meaning to something seen.

      The photo-fading is achieved through the Painter toolkit. I just love how I can achieve so many effects digitally, and create no mess whatsoever! As well as being able to save all the attempts on the way. Magic.

  3. I really enjoyed this blog post and reading about your creative process.