I’ve been making hand stitched cards for over 12 years, and had decided some time ago that when I reached the end of my supply of blank cards I would call it a day. I had been tickling around the edges of finishing all the stitched cards I had prepared, but then realised that to get a job done you just have to devote yourself to it and plod on until you can truly tick it off your list. Sometimes, possibly always, when you have many strands to your work things have to go. It generally works well, as the brain begins to clear, freed from all those nagging tasks and ‘shoulds’.
I include the ‘shoulds’ here, because recently I sold and donated some materials that I realised I no longer wanted to work with; in this case lino, and printing inks, and a large tin of Conte pastel pencils, let alone other hopeless stuff that was simply binned. We do hang onto these things imagining we are spectacularly well endowed with time and talent. They do get in your way; whenever you spot them lurking at the back of the cupboard there is that mix of guilt and possibility. I decided that if they had been unused for years and I didn’t even actually want to use them they should just go. I still have my lino cutting tools, and will buy nice soft vinyl to use, and print with acrylics, should I wish to take it up again. And I hated the Conte crayons from the start; they are very hard pastel pencils.
So, tidy up the tasks and the shoulds, to give time and space for new work. After a few days of stitching, sticking and bagging, they were all done, and I also printed a couple of hundred cards too. I have always printed them at home, and have found that it works out very well, but at some point in the future I will have new cards printed rather than do the job at home. Here are some images of the last of the cards.
Some years ago I did a short course in botanical illustration at Winterbourne House, in Birmingham. This is the home of Birmingham University’s Botanic Gardens too. The house and garden, plus a gallery, shop and other interesting areas of the complex are now more readily open to the public. Well, they have been for some time but it’s taken me a while to actually visit; I do live about 4 miles from it after all…
The house is Arts and Crafts, the gardens are wonderful and really interestingly laid out. I look forward to visiting throughout the year now, I am hooked. It was actually like being in the middle of the countryside.
I’m spending some time this week getting used to a new computer, but hope to finish a small artist’s book, which I will post soon, and finish some other work, which I have featured previously. After that I have the urge to start a new piece based on plants. It must be spring.
Six and Friends travelling exhibition Orientated will be at the Bramble Patch in Northamptonshire from 23rd March until 6th April. There is new work o see as well as the original pieces first shown last year at Forge Mill.