Here in England it hasn’t stopped raining since before Christmas and doesn’t look likely to stop any time soon! This was a rare moment between the clouds one evening:
But… we had a very cold snap in December which happily coincided with some wintery slow-stitching. It’s always particularly pleasing to create work which directly reflects the current moment and although I had planned a winter set of Stitchpots, serendipity obliged.
Here are a few of the pots showing some of the colours and motifs of winter. The cloth was about 30 x35 cms which was the biggest one yet I think. It kept me busy all over the Christmas season and created 16 tiny vessels!
Taking a break from social media over December was helpful. I had a significant birthday just after Christmas (It was my 21st just in case you are wondering 😉) and I bobbed back on for that. It was good to have a small ‘wintering’ in this regard and I have felt somewhat curled up literally and metaphorically. Retiring is a privilege but it has taken some time to adjust. I have missed the ups and downs of a working week and weekend the most, getting used to a flatter rhythm. I think it was in part to the contrast of a blissful hot summer and that fluffy anticipation of things in your head which are never quite the same in reality.
I’m looking forward to this year’s workshops and talks including a trip to Jersey. I have arranged to do less in 2024 as there are a couple of things that might potentially take more of my time. If they don’t, there will be more time for creativity 🙂
I’m at the NEC again in March – if you are around, I’d love to chat! There is a code you can use below and I’m also doing some small pebble stack workshops which you can sign up for here.
In May I am delighted to be doing a week’s artist residency at Nature In Art in Gloucester.
Nature in Art is the world’s first museum dedicated exclusively to fine, decorative and applied art inspired by nature. It’s a wonderful museum and gallery and it’s a privilege to be part of their artist in residency programme for this year. I’m hoping to make use of the space to work a little larger. The studio is open to the public daily from 10 to 5 and there is a lot to see in the the house and sculpture garden.
You can see videos of other artists working in the studio here
I have been enjoying painting more, and seeing how marks on paper are showing up on fabric and vice versa. It’s hard but rewarding work and very different to textiles. Engaging in both provides a to and fro that really suits me.
I had a huge treat for my birthday which was a set of Unison pastels. They are delicious and the colours are amazing. You know that thing when you just have a box of something you want to look at and stroke…? I took a set of other pastels I’ve had many years to my local art shop, told them I may be some time as I was picking colours I didn’t already have, and promptly sat on the floor for about 20 minutes in heaven choosing from a set of wooden drawers full of temptation.
Since listening to a David Mankin talk, I really wanted to find a way to be able to sketch loosely and then use the sketches to rip up/reconfigure to provide inspiration for painting, or even textile art (who knows…?) I’m at the beginning of finding out if this way to abstract from source is for me or not but having some dry media feels a more likely way to get sketchy. Chunky chalk means you simply can’t be fiddly and tight. I also have a new little travel set of watercolours from a lovely friend which I hope to use. We are doing a 30 day challenge together and I’m exploring what can be done combining both.
Well that’s it for now, thank you for being here and reading my news. I have had more followers recently so ‘hello’ to you! 🙂