Monday, 29 February 2016

Arty Experimentals

I went to pick up my snowdrops from the Shaftesbury Snowdrop Festival and only came home with one!  Very pleased to say that this one sold. 

I've had a few bits delivered including these Khadi books.  I have loads of loose sheets somewhere but liked the size of the long one, 20 x 8 inches.  

I know normally I'm not a sketchbook user, in fact I run a mile to be fair, but I know Khadi can be stitched as well as drawn onto and something just made me go for it!  Perhaps it's all the notes I've been taking in my other book about ideas that creep in and will need working on at some point.  

I have also noticed that more and more often I am truly seeing the difference between technical ability and artistic expression.  I am working very, very hard at seeing if  have a 'voice' rather than just flexing my 'I can do that' muscles.  It's proving very enlightening!  Maybe it's the sort of thing that would have been worked out of me had I managed to do the collage thing before life took a sideways turn. 

First thing I did on the paper was colour wash it in landscape tones.  Very predictable and I was really rather disappointed with myself so it sat there for a couple of days.  I then spotted my Chinese bamboo pens and, after looking out at the fields around the house, dipped them in Iron Gall ink which flows beautifully.  I think I achieved an effect I was after. I have added a few more lines since this photo was taken as it was all a bit floaty. 

To get over the staid background I used some pastels on the next sheet. (I've cut the sheets out to use and I'm glueing them back in once done). 

Just starting with blocks of colour and adding layer upon layer I ended up with quite an in depth piece that I then put under the sewing machine. 

I just kept going until it was all covered.  

 I loved how the texture of the paper went back to its cotton rag heritage!! It feels lovely.

The hanging has been going on at the L'Artishe Gallery in Swanage.  Quite a marathon of putting up pieces no more than 100mm x 100mm before framing.  

Mine are the three wooden frames above the left print browser.  Hung properly!! That opens tomorrow and is on for the whole month should you be in Dorset at all.

A few things in the studio are calling including another page or two in that Khadi book.  

Have a great week! 


  1. Congratulations on your sale, you do such interesting work. Good luck with the next show.

  2. I do love what you have done with the khadi paper. Gorgeous!

  3. I hadn't seen that size of Khadi book before and find it very appealing. You are right about how it reverts back to a cotton as it's stitched too. The effects you are getting, combining the pastels with the stitch have a real depth to them.

    The display at the gallery looks excellent , who needs professional hangers.

  4. I love khadi. I tend to use it as the backing for my tissue mono prints and yes it's a joy to stitch.

    And I also love working into hand made sketchbooks. In themselves they can be little works of art. Brilliant stuff.

  5. First, congrats on the sale - always a boost to the creative spirit!

    Second, I too have experienced the same journey you so well describe. For the longest time it was always about mastering the techniques, becoming really good at producing a quality product (my traditional roots). Eventually I too started wondering about this "voice" thing and realized that I was a bit weak on the artistic expression components. I'm so glad I have that technical base though (because it is important to me how what I end up making looks, not being a loosie goosie sort of person) because frees me up somewhat to explore this other side of making things with less of a fight with the materials I use. A natural progression for many, I gather, and I will watch with interest as you head down that road. You've already tweaked my somewhat tunnel vision about materials by bringing out the khadi.

  6. I love the stitched paper! I saw an exhibition last summer and really wanted to touch everything, it looks so tactile!


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