My previously blogged Wildwood/trees textile artist’s book has recently had a personality change. I wasn’t too happy working in a landscape format, and I also had another large book on the go [since last year actually] which I also really wanted to finish; the pages were all laid down but not stitched. So, in a day of decision making and much moving of pages and materials, the trees book is no more, but is part of the Summer book, which in turn is no more, at least under that title. It’s new title is Shadow and Light, and it’s now featuring all four seasons. It’s a long landscape format, with each page being about 70 cm long by 30 cm high.
This has improved my mood immeasurably in terms of this project, as I have been collecting ideas, fabrics, papers and other material for some time, to make a series of books about the seasons, but things weren’t moving on very well. So now we have one enormous book; as usual I haven’t been able to edit out too many of the pages I had previously laid down, and will be adding many more, to cover the three newly introduced seasons. So it’s safe to say it won’t be a slim volume, and may need a fork lift truck to move it.
This was the original double page spread, which I quite like, but as I have the image it can always be printed and used in some way should I want that.
This is the left hand page being sliced up. If in doubt, get the scissors out.
Here it is laid down on it’s new long landscape page.
And this is the old right hand side of the page chopped up and reorganised.
Below are two more pages that went through the same process, but unfortunately it was only after I did this that I realised I hadn’t taken a before image.
I was able to introduce the flying cornucopia image into this piece too, which already features in the summer part of the book. I can carry it through the whole book now.
The pages above are part of the spring section of the book, and the following pages feature blossom and are generally more verdant. Here are a few images showing the initial preparation of the next two pages.
I photographed these amazing blossoms on an old tree in our neighbourhood, and printed some images out to cut up and use as part of a double page spread featuring blossom and birds. I printed the images on some very fine textured Fabriano water colour paper. The printed images are a mix of dark to bright, to move the piece from a darkish dawn to a brighter daybreak.
For the background on these pages I used Inktense sticks on Khadi paper.
And this is the two pages laid out together, with some of the blossom prints, which will be cut up and collaged with fabric and printed acetate, and singing bird silhouettes, before the inevitable stitching takes place. I’ll post the resulting piece when it’s ready to be stitched.
We put up my small solo show at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists yesterday, and the work behaved itself quite well, so here are a few images. It’s there until June 22nd, with a meet the artist day on Saturday May 25th.
This is Beach Thoughts, 160 x 120cm, finished and hanging together. It’s the first time I was able to hang and photograph the whole piece, due to lack of suitable wall space at home. The individual elements are in Gallery 3 too.
And above are some views of the show.
I’ll be putting up my small solo show ‘Beach’at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists tomorrow. It will run from May 13th until June 22nd, and I’ll be demonstrating in the gallery on Saturday May 25th, between 11 – 3.30, working on some pages from my new book and available for conversation. It’s free to get in and there is a lot to see besides my exhibition; see the link on the sidebar.
I’ll post some images of the show when it’s all on the wall tomorrow, and no doubt I will mention it several times over the next few weeks.
Red Sky, from the Beach series.
As I am immersed in the making of such a book at the moment, I thought it would be a good time to advertise a course, which is almost full, but there are a couple of places left; and, I did promise Ineke that I would mention it. It’a a 3 day course at Ineke Berlyn’s barn in sunny Worcestershire, running from May 31st – June 2nd, with lunch included. We will be covering as many aspects as I can think of relating to the conception, design and making of an artist’s book, so no pressure there then. No, honestly, it will be great fun, books are totally absorbing to make and can move your work forward in many ways.
Here are a few images from some of my books, all of which I will bring to the course, if we can find room for them.
My books are merely useful examples, and students are free to develop their work in any way they choose. Ineke’s link is on the side bar.
I’ve started my new artist’s book this week, which may be called Into the Wildwood, or Into the Trees, or something along those lines. Into the Trees would be slightly strange as some years ago we used to go to a pub called The Trees; it was, of course, as its name suggests, quite close to Birmingham’s city centre, and has since been demolished. The last time I looked the site hadn’t been developed and was aptly overgrown, with trees.
Anyway, enough of these ramblings. Here are a few images of work on the first two pages, which were a challenge to make, set as they were against the background of my husband sanding floorboards upstairs. Our philosophy on sanding floorboards can now be simply stated: never again.
Now the first pages look a little grim, but at the start of the book it is the end of winter, just starting to move into a suggestion of spring. This was definitely prompted by the dawn chorus which I have heard a couple of times this week; it always amazes me.
The first two images show my sketchbooks and one photograph I took some time ago, which I decided to work from. The frog has been around before, but he wanted to be in this book too.
I also keep a storyboard going as I work through the planning of the pages of the book, as well as bigger sheets of drawings and design/layout ideas.
Image number two is part of the collection of materials I like to get together before I start, including another photograph I used to help with my composition.
And here are the first two pages, a double page spread, after machine stitching, with my text. I managed to incorporate some of the fairly abstract frog bones in it, after much experiment. However, I’ve now decided the poor old bird has to go; he’s far too obvious, and also on the far too large side of the equation. I’m pleased with this decision as I was never happy with him. I’ll cut him off and he may get a role on another page.
This book is in portrait format, which is a change for me, as I usually work in landscape format, but I seem to be conceiving each new turn of the page as a double page spread, which of course turns it into something more like landscape format. This may not be the case with every page though.
I’m teaching this weekend at the Inkberrow Design Centre in the West Midlands with a great group of students. It’s my first time there and it’s a very well equipped and relaxing place to work.
I’m teaching my course Design from Nature this coming weekend, Saturday and Sunday 4th and 5th May, 10-4, at the Inkberrow Design Centre in Redditch, West Midlands. It’s a really interesting venue, with great workshops, a cafe and shops. The course is suitable for all levels of ability, and each student will use their own reference material, so if you have a subject you have always wanted to explore, or are already working on a series of work but want to move forward in other ways with it, this course will suit you; the development of the individual student is one of the main aspects of this course.
We will be painting and printing fabrics and papers, using drawing and collage to develop ideas and designs, and moving on to constructing individual pieces using collage, appliqué, stitch and embellishment. See the link on the side bar for booking information, but if you would like to know more feel free to e mail me, email@example.com
Here are a few images of my work; obviously the natural world is my inspiration, and it provides a never ending source of ideas for my pieces.
This week I taught a two day course, ‘Into the Wildwood’, at the Bramble Patch in Northamptonshire. A lovely group of 14 talented people, all producing excitingly varied work, in excitingly varied sizes. We were able to use the wet room on day one, to paint and print fabric, and had the whole of the large studio for both days, so all that space to use was wonderful. I took these images of everyone working hard from the mezzanine level, where you can sit and have coffee, but I wasn’t, obviously, as I was working…many thanks to all that came for such a good two days.