It must be spring, you know, jolly flowers, bright colours, and until recently, blue skies and complacent clouds, with a good dollop of sunlight too.
So, when I decided I wanted to use some pieces of fabric I had saved up for some time, savouring them every so often as we do, of course what did I make but a selection of pieces that could only be described as wildwood pieces, not at all pretty and springlike.
I always find the best way with one’s work is to make exactly what you want to make, don’t bother with compromise, as that way lies bland; what we want is spirit and soul, and authenticity. And avoid anything that is ‘trending’ like a plague.
The fabric I used was basically all painted and printed as demonstration pieces whilst teaching. I must say the thought I put into these pieces is fairly minimal, as I like to show as many techniques as possible as quickly as possible, so the students can get on with their own work. This seems to give the pieces a freedom, and even the ones which obviously leave the class aghast I actually really like and use them consistently in my work. They work, for me, much better than over planned pieces of painted, printed and dyed fabric, or paper.
So here they are, in their very early stages.
This first piece will probably be called Bird Altar. I used two pieces of demo fabric in this, one a mono print, the other basically a quick paint daub and block printed piece, mounted onto white painted black fabric. There’s a thermofax print and other appliquéd additions, in the form of metallic mesh, and some recycled prints. It’s A2 sized.
Above, The White Trees.
So below, some more white tree pieces in the making.
This is painted calico with acrylic ink additions, and a small amount of lovely washed out watercolour-like greyness, towards the right. It’s mounted onto Khadi paper.
This piece is made from two mono printed pieces of fabric, a first and a second print, which almost certainly means that they shouldn’t be called mono prints, but I’m sure you get the idea. The prints were immediate favourites with me, as the cotton I used was very closely woven and the print was very crisp. I like to use first and second prints together in this way.
I didn’t really think I would use my psychotic dragonfly fabric as much as I have, if at all, but I do really love it. Here he is, faintly terrifying in a hot summer wildwood.
They need now to be finished with machine and hand stitch, and some beading.