probably Picasso because he seems to have said everything that wasn’t said by Oscar Wilde – that inspiration only comes if you work at it. Or something like that. So today I decided it was time to stop feeling sorry for myself and start trying to get inspired by what we did in the Contemporary Textiles workshop.
The things that interested me most in the ‘installations’ we made in the workshop were the transparency of many of the pieces, and the loops and drizzles of threads. So when, in one of my collection of old embroidery books, [Sylvia Bramley’s ‘Embroidery with Transparent Fabrics’] I’d come across a design suggestion involving a piece of string – it seemed like a good thing to follow up.
Bramley suggests dropping a piece of string on paper, drawing along the edge, cutting along the line you’ve drawn and using the edges that result as a template for line patterns. Instead of the string I used one of my drawings.
I had attempted to draw this.
This is my drawing. [Don’t laugh.]
Cutting along the edges produced this.
These were traced along the curved edged – I had already cut the edge of the page, based on what is on the other side.
This used the cut-off zig-zag piece as a stencil, with sprayed Brusho – in reality it is blacker than it looks here. I like this – it looks like mysterious mountains to me!
Then I used one of the shapes from the drawing [the bit outlined in red, above] as the basis for some stamps – still wet in this picture which is why they look shiny – and why I can’t show you what they look like in use. Being me I had to make positive and negative shapes of two different versions. But why do leaves keep cropping up in what I do? And landscapes?
I found all this quite encouraging – that I could take a rubbish drawing and get some interesting ideas out of it. I think only the mysterious mountains stand any chance of being converted into textiles – but who knows?
And now for something completely different – except that it also involves a fun foam stamp, this time of a Gormley-inspired figure. The quote is because I feel that Gormley's figures are like archetypes – or like Everyman – universal symbols. I think that is why they are so effective.