A brush with art.

It has been more than a little while since I wrote on my blog and I am not absolutely sure why.  Time has a habit of trundling on and every so often something captivates my imagination and I lose all sense of duration.  I apologize to all the loyal readers who are used to regular updates.  This girl must do better.

The focus of my preoccupation has been my ongoing brush with the art world where I have substituted the paintbrush with my trust sewing machine and she has not let me down.  She has withstood hours of work and acres of threads and still she delivers.  My world would be a far less exciting place without her.  Free motion embroidery remains my complete fascination but now I am trying to make every practice stitch count.  I have managed the outline of one aspect of my first exhibition piece but I have spent the week back in stitch rehearsal mode while making some fabric jewellery pieces.  Not everyone can afford to purchase art but if they like the large pieces they may like a small piece of my work in the form of a piece of jewellery or another accessory.  Here lies the plan, at least.


I have been steadily increasing the variety of colours and hues of the threads available to me and I am enjoying the creativity that comes along with that.  Colour is such a stimulating focus but when you begin to unpack individual colours into different shades and hues the magic starts to happen.  A simple outline sketch in a black thread quickly comes alive as soon as you inject a bit of colour and then explore that colour to its maximum place.

This is my challenge going forward.  I don’t just want people to look at my work and see high quality stitching I want them to consider and enjoy the wider aesthetics of the piece and colour plays a large role in this.  My art work focuses on the need to reuse and not waste resources and old fabrics are a real passion.  I think this began when I was given some vintage silk that my Grandmother once owned.  She was a professional seamstress and I could almost feel her hands working on the cloth.  Now I collect old fabrics and spend hours designing new work inspired by them.  My large exhibition pieces are going to focus on the relationship between the natural world and human intervention.  As a race we are not good at treading lightly and a throw away culture is the result.  I am experimenting with sketches that deal with the consequences of our actions on the natural world in the hope that the pieces may provoke some debate.  It is a bold strategy but then I need to challenge myself; it is in my DNA.  I blame my late father.


So, I hope that you might forgive my longer than usual absence and as my work develops I hope to be more diligent when it comes to my writing.  When I was a professional choreographer in an earlier life I used to see movement everywhere.  I sometimes struggled to sleep as my mind was literally a living, breathing and movement piece.  When I was working on a specific piece I soon realised that every time I sneezed, and momentarily shut my eyes, a single movement would flash before me and that often became the design motif for the whole work.  Now it is stitching that appears before me in flashes of imaginative thought and I rush to my sketchbook to record it before I forget it.  So, I know that I am instinctively tuned into my preoccupation and I am satisfied that it will deliver what it needs to – whatever that might be.

To be continued,

scottish island mum




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