New work, done work, flowers, architecture and a bench.

I don’t seem to be getting on with things as well as I would like to at the moment, but I think this is the result of moving along several projects and jobs at the same time, which is a necessary state of affairs but also leaves the impression of very little being finished, or ticked off a list. You know what I mean. However, I have finished, at long last, the big book, Shadow and Light, which will be at the Festival of Quilts this year. And I have started to get materials together for some new work, which was unformed in my mind, but since I have actually done some things towards it, it is gathering its own momentum and a solid idea is developing. I had been guilty of that old demon, ‘think-making’, but to knock that on it’s head I find getting materials out, and doing a spot of drawing and printing, and trying a few things out always works.

I will be letting the work develop intuitively, but it is starting with some images I recently took in London, of the Enlightenment Gallery at the British Museum. I think the project will again lean towards natural history, both natural history collections and the living world, but who knows what else will come into the mix? I think it will be a book, albeit a hanging one probably, but I may do at least one large piece. Some digitally printed fabric may be on the cards too.

My original images were poor, as I knew they would be, with the low light levels and my complete lack of interest in the mechanics of photography, but I knew they would be fun to play with in Photoshop. I love Photoshop, but I only want to use images manipulated by it as part of my work; it is a useful and beguiling tool though.

DSC_0220I altered and collaged several images, from the Enlightenment Gallery, Oxford Natural History Museum, some show cases at a local country park, and some images I took of a small bird skull I have. I printed them on A3 Khadi paper and sorted some fabric out that I may use with the images. The A3 pieces will probably be used together to make A2 sized book pages.

DSC_0212And below, here are the individual collaged and printed images.  More elements will be layered onto these; they are in a very early stage of their development.




DSC_0217Here is the book, not looking as big as it is, in fact it looks tiny here, but I think it’s the heaviest one yet, deep joy. I will photograph and post the pages in my gallery section, as soon as I can. It’s 75 x 50 cms, approximately.


We had a lovely little outing yesterday to a local-ish National Trust property. The benefits of even a small outing are something I really appreciate, so here are a few images of Coughton Court in Warwickshire, one of my favourite NT properties. The rose gardens there are fabulous at the moment. The poppies are my latest desktop image, they look quite thrilling every time I turn my computer on.





IMG_1643We love the giant pantomime bench.

Good news this week is that I have been offered a stand again at Embroidery, Fashion and Stitch at the NEC next spring; I was really pleased about that, so thanks ICHF!

4 thoughts on “New work, done work, flowers, architecture and a bench.

  1. That book does have the look of a certain chunkiness to it Steph. I think that I too would be happy just to hold it close and feel the satisfactory weight of it after all the effort to create it. I get that feeling with books I’ve made sometimes. Some of them just call out to you to pick them up, smoothe the covers, flip the pages and settle them back down again. Sounds a bit fanciful writing that but it’s the way of things.
    Sitting here as it gets dark at the end of the longest day; the only light outside is the MV lamp from the moth trap. I’m expecting great things from tonight’s still, warm air. Tomorrow morning will bring lots of photos to add to my own natural history ‘collection’. I know you have a wealth of images and ideas in that head already but just imagine if you tried that moth trap too…. I think I said that last year too didn’t I? By the look of the photos however, I think you have enough stimuli to be going on with and as ever, I shall enjoy the evolution of it all.

    1. It’s quite difficult to pick it up at all to be honest, I must make lighter work in future! I know I keep saying I will do a moth trap, perhaps one of these days. I will check your blog to see what you have collected, it was an ideal night, as you say.

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