It’s handy to have a couple of needlepoint projects to get on with between other work and when you just need to stitch easily through some nice big holes. It’s particularly easy when large areas of one colour are being stitched, but I tend to make colour combinations and mixing decisions as I go along, so it’s not always entirely chilled. But it keeps the process lively, which is good.

Recently I decided that I wanted to make a piece of work featuring an owl, so duly drew a rather regular image of a barn owl, deciding I could make the piece more exciting using unusual combinations of yarns and stylised patterning.

However, whilst searching through some images to inspire an interesting background, I found an image of a collage I made a couple of years ago. It was quite large, so I photographed it and then let it go. I thought it may be useful in the future, and so it has been.

Immediately those two chaps in the top left hand corner introduced themselves; they were all the owl I needed. And then, the small black and white block on the right became owl number three. Also there’s a budgie in there, he’ll have to be included I think, but there again he may think he’s owl prey so maybe not…

I find using collage the most exciting design and idea tool. It produces vigorous and entirely surprising results which lead to original and quirky work. Luckily browsing through my images reminded me again of the power of collage. I’m looking forward to getting my paper and materials out to start some new collage pieces, which may remain simply as themselves or be translated into other media and work at some point.

So, back to the owls, who I can’t help calling Wols, as Owl called himself in the Winnie the Pooh books. I love those books, they have been a comfort.

Here we have the needlepoint drawn out in black pen, with the stitching started. The owls are less intimidating than in the collage as I felt I had to give them eyes.

Obligatory flat lay image of materials.

I’ve also started this piece, based once again on collage, in this case a mix of fabrics I collaged to stitch as part of a throw. I like to have two pieces on the go with different colour themes.

It’s been started, unpicked a little when I changed my mind about colours, and features a favourite subject, the full Moon, in addition to the other elements in the original piece. I notice increasingly or perhaps more attentively that he time of a full Moon makes me very twitchy and I sleep poorly. This is nothing to do with the light of the Moon as we are under thick cloud mostly these days so I didn’t even get to gaze at it this time, which is a pity, I do love it. There is apparently no scientific evidence for these effects, but I know I’m not alone…


16 thoughts on “Wols.

  1. I absolutely cannot sleep well during a full moon! I thought it was just me and my cat though.

  2. Always something a tad mystical about owls don’t you think… and yes, you’re not alone, the full moon is notorious for causing mood changes – well that’s what I tell my OH.xxx

    1. It would be interesting to do a little survey amongst friends to see who is affected. And of course it’s always handy to have it to blame anyway…
      It’s true about owls, and nocturnal creatures in general, the dark is a different country.

  3. Hi, Steph, your blog’s very inspiring. I’m going to have a go at drawing on canvas for my next project. My spring canvas is almost finished.

  4. This is so inspiring. I absolutely love your owls, and the yarns you are using. Please keep us in touch with progress. Best wishes Susan

    1. Many thanks Susan, you are very kind. I will post the work as it moves along. Obviously don’t hold your breath, it’s needlepoint we’re dealing with here…

  5. Love your Wols! Did you ever come across this:

    The Wise Old Owl sat in the oak
    The more he Saw, the less he Spoke
    The less he Spoke, the more he Heard
    Why can’t we be like that wise old bird?

  6. Steph, I love that comment ‘ the dark is a different country’. How true that is. I find full moons quite energising but also adore living in a dark sky area and going to sleep in the pitch darkness.
    I got up about 3.00am the other night as there were two tawny owls calling to each other. They sounded as if they were just beneath the window. Despite the fact they had woken me up I could listen to that magical sound for hours. Good luck with the needlepoints. As usual, I admire your tenacity at tackling something so detailed but I can see the results will be spectacular !

  7. Thanks Lesley! I envy your dark sky, we can only see the most determined stars here. But, we do have tawny owls living in the oaks beyond our garden, so can’t complain.

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