Spring is in the air

Happy Easter, Everyone!

The weather has been lovely here in the UK over the last couple of days.  I have felt the winter more this time, just because my face isn’t stuck in a computer all day, and it’s felt quite long.  So the nice weather is even more welcome than usual.   

I started making the last of my seasonal Stitchpots so that I could be stitching the season as it happened. It’s been a joy to mirror the seasons this way and align creativity with nature’s clock. The Spring colour palette is probably my least favourite if I’m honest, but there is always happiness in finding colours that sing together no matter what they are. (I can’t do a lot of pink though – I had to pull some of these snippets off and replace with blues and yellows before I started stitching!). I’m still making the tiny pots up but I have a few that are finished so here are some photos from the process:

I have been asked so many times about making these but they are tiny (on average 7/8 cms tall) so they don’t need lining and they just have folded over tops and snipped and gathered bottoms. The magic for me is in the change of scale and the small compositions that appear from a very busy memory cloth.

By way of a round-up, here are some of the other things I’ve been doing:

The Fashion and Embroidery show at the NEC in March was a delight. As well as staying with my good friend and catching up, it’s always super nice to meet the other artists and most of us were in a particular area together so we could chat a bit and cover stands when needed.

Since then, I have delivered a square to Sue Brown for ‘Same Sea Different Boat’ as the quilt continues to grow and is shown around the county. The wren was partly because Sue gave me one from her demos, but then it seemed apt as a pandemic memory because one of the nice things amongst the misery was being able to hear birdsong that first lockdown Spring as the traffic ceased. I love the dawn chorus this time of year and often open my window for a minute to hear it as I’m a ‘lark’ as they say.

I took my pebbles to stitch whist there, partly to see how different fabrics would allow for hand-stitching.  My scroll just gets added to when I feel like it…

I’m also enjoying painting.  This was an art group challenge to respond to a Spring still life – ironically we couldn’t meet because March did what it often does and threw us a few days of deep snow!!

‘Wellspring’ 9×9 acrylic on paper

These followed on from my last post when I was sketching. The piece on the right is a textile vessel made for a friend. I really enjoy linking painting and stitching…

‘Into the Woods’ 10×10 mixed media on cradled board, and textile vessel

I’m now leading the abstract group for our local art society. I’m very much at the start of my own journey with this but I’m helping facilitate the sessions which are interesting. The group are up for trying out different things and there is a wide range of styles. The society also organise trips and we have just come back from Cooper gallery in Barnsley, not far away, where a number of drawings and small sculptures of Henry Moore were on show.

‘Reclining figure’ Henry Moore

I’m particularly interested in his Shelter Drawings from the underground during the war and have a book of these so it was good to see a couple of drawings up close. I know it’s because I’m interested in containment that they speak to me – wrapping, cocooning, protection etc. But seeing how one thing relates to another in Moore’s work is also enlightening. He talks of seeing a link between the tunnel entrances to the holes in his later sculptures for instance. I can’t reproduce the images from the book, but you can find out about them on the web. I also recently found out that my mum worked at the factory that made some of his sculptures which I never knew!

I’m preparing for a residency next month and I’ve just started working on something that I want to take with me. I’m aware of various thoughts that I’m sure will be the subject of the next blog which is brewing. So I will leave things here for now and probably do ‘before and after’ posts about that experience. I think the feeling is best summed up as ‘nervacited’!

5 thoughts on “Spring is in the air

  1. I really enjoy your postings. And particularly love how you have combined your painting experimentations and your stitch. Great work!

  2. Hello Rachael
    Wishing you well
    I like to know if you having any workshops this year and when please
    Thanks kind regards

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s