Finishing, starting, and a bit of a challenge.

This week I’ve finished my mixed media colourful piece, which I have intriguingly titled ‘Pool’. I framed it, and it does look quite jolly behind glass, so it’s off to an exhibition next week.

I then felt the need to go through all my brightly coloured new fabrics, to put some aside as inspiration for a new piece. Of course I ended up with vast amounts in the inspirational pile, enough to make many new pieces of work. Elimination is always the most difficult and most important part of any new work. I didn’t start that work, however. There is no rush for it, and it is still having a quiet mental brew, so I’ve left it to its own devices for a while. It may be a piece for the Festival of Quilts, to go into the Quilter’s Guild Challenge, which I  believe this year goes under the title ‘ Transported’.

I decided instead to complete my work for a small exhibition of my own I have coming up in May, entitled Beach, so I laid down three new pieces, and started an experimental book.

W1Here’s the first, no title as yet. It’s about 40 x 40 cm.

W2And no. 2, slightly smaller than the piece above. I used digital prints of a photograph I had taken of pebbles on a Welsh beach as the background for these pieces.

W3No. 3, about 30 x 15 cm. All are mixed media collage, and they have yet to be finished with more machine and hand stitch, with some beads added too, and hopefully some titles.

W4And here are the first two pages of a small concertina [I think that’s what it will be ] book. I have lots of interesting bits and pieces left from the making of the Beach work, and have wanted to put a little book together for some time.

The first seven Beach pieces are in Gallery One, along with the ten Found pieces.

The challenge, you may be asking? Well, in keeping with those people who are embracing austerity by not buying clothes for a year, or whatever,about whom  I keep reading, I have decided to embark on a small challenge of my own, which is to Use What I Have, in terms of art/textile materials. Its sort of  part of my on going Thrift and Alchemy project, which is based on recycling .

I think my fabric collection is small compared to many, but there is still a lot; and there are the paints [several types], dyes, bronzing powders etc, plain fabrics, inks, paper and pads, coloured pencils, threads, millions, it seems of beads, useful pieces of paper, digital prints on all kinds of media, printing inks, and, I’m sure, more stuff that I haven’t remembered.

So it actually shouldn’t be difficult to just plod on and use as much as I feasibly can until I buy anything else. This is a good exercise in creative terms too, or at least it will be when stocks run low and things become more challenging, I imagine. And then I will have a good old tidy up, and probably a re-stock, but when, I don’t know; I have more than a  years supply of most things. Lucky, aren’t we?

I will have to make an exception for glue, black and white threads, white acrylic paint and printer ink cartridges, I think, but there’s enough of those to be going on with for a while too. I’m also being very wary of buying books, as I have some I have bought in the past couple of years that I haven’t looked at properly, or read, and that needs to be addressed before I add to that particular pile.

I’ve had this idea for a while, but not properly embraced it, and it is actually quite freeing and a bit of a relief, to be honest, to just get going and see what happens.

Here’s Pool, the finished piece, to end this post; next one, more pictures than words [663, apparently], promise.


4 thoughts on “Finishing, starting, and a bit of a challenge.

  1. I love the overall effect of ‘Pool’ Steph and really wish I could stand in front of it and peruse the border in depth. I am intrigued by all that previous work re-cycled into the new piece, exactly what you’re advocating for the work ahead. What a challenge to use only what you have already! When I make a small book spontaneously it’s often with the challenge that all the materials must be within arms reach of the clutter on my desk. It certainly focusses the mind doesn’t it? Good to see even more of your ‘beach’ themed work. We’re debating here whether to go to a beach this afternoon for a good walk whilst it’s dry, to blow the cobwebs away or make a visit to the Botanic Garden and see what’s doing. Whilst one is free and the other not, the decision may well be made!

  2. I really like that small book construction idea Lesley, having all the materials within easy reach. That is what I seem to have done, I’ve left them all out in little piles to choose from and use. That will be my plan in future, now.
    Now don’t rub it in, you know choosing to go for a walk on the beach isn’t an option here! Not without a couple of hours driving, anyway. Hope you had a good afternoon.

  3. I’m very interested to read about your challenge! I’ve had the same idea for over a year but keep chickening out. It will be interesting to see how you go. Love the beach pieces.

    1. It’s interesting that I went through the same thing, Iz. I have been thinking about cutting back and being sensible for ages, but then still buying something more. I think it was when I added the dyes and the screen printing to my media that I realised that was enough, and the urge to use it all, and probably to decide what I really prefer and go through a process of elimination became a strong necessity. I was certainly feeling overwhelmed! But now the decision is made I feel excited both with the idea and my work again. I will keep it posted, and would love to hear if you have a go at it, and indeed anyone else out there..come on all you quiet people!

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