'If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it… The goal should be an interesting life."

Dorothy Rowe

Saturday 22 November 2008

I've been a lazy blogger

but nothing much creative has been happening - apart from starting [and frogging] a knitted scarf and starting [and restarting] a pair of mittens, to go with my new raincoat.

However, yesterday was the second day of the Creative Textiles workshop. We actually got to do some stitch in the afternoon. The topic is still markmaking, as it will be all year. We looked at the work of textile artists who use repeated marks - unfortunately their names have gone from what passes for my memory these days. [Reminder to self - collect some examples to go in the journal.]

Then we fastened three markmaking tools [in my case a Biro, soft pencil and Pitt pen] together with elastic bands and made various marks on paper - names, numbers, squiggles - which we over wrote in different directions. Some very interesting patterns emerged - if , like me, you don't like your own handwriting, this seems a good way to produce script-like marks. The writing was definitely the best, I felt, as it had more variety than just numerals. This lot has been scanned as a black and white image and as a negative, cropped in different ways and collaged.

Then we selected a simple mark from a source picture and developed it by making successive changes - on paper with charcoal and a putty rubber, and then with black and white paint on calico. This mark came from a collection of photos of circular objects I made for Sharon Boggon's course in the summer.

Finally, when our painted calico had dried [sort of] we worked into it with BIG stitches.

As usual, when I came home I wasn't happy with what I'd done but looking at it again this morning, I think there are some ideas I could develop. I can't see myself working as big and bold as this - but I would like to play around with some of the marks I made and develop ways of using them.
I love the quality of line in some of them - for example this one, based on my initials - where I had relatively little paint on the brush. I spent some time this afternoon playing around with it in Picasa and this is the result.

I also asked for an optional tutorial, because although I like most of what I did with the monoprints [and even the failures were learning experiences!] I felt I hadn't really used the monoprints to inspire stitch - I'd just developed ideas for using them as backgrounds.

The tutorial advice was:
a] to work bigger than I had been doing - well, the tutor is a quilter!
b] to look at what the print was telling me to do and do that - and
c] not to impose anything on the image itself apart from what was there.

Not sure if that is clear but writing it down helps me to clarify to myself what I am trying to do!

I felt the style of advice I got was very different from that I would have received from my previous tutor I wonder what A. thought as she also had a tutorial. It seemed more open ended and non-specific, when the C&G tutor would have made some very definite suggestions. To begin with I felt a bit disappointed, but on thinking about it - I decided it wasn't a bad thing. I'm a grown up now and open-ended is better than directive! I suppose it reflects the difference between an accredited course like C&G and a a workshop style course.
So I have spent half of this afternoon cutting up a monoprint as suggested and preparing it for embroidery.

1 comment:

Clare Wassermann said...

Hi I have just come across your Blog and loved that writing. What program do you use - Photoshop or something simpler? Anyway it's most effective - thanks for showing us.