Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Sketch Books

Ever since my foundation art course I have kept a sketchbook. One of my tutors stressed the importance of drawing every day, it's like training, developing a muscle. So I try to keep this up, every idea I have is jotted down and thought through on paper, there's also a great deal of observational drawing too.

I love using a variety of media in my work, watercolour, pencil crayon, ink you name it. I also like drawing on textured surfaces so handmade paper is a favourite. I create surfaces too collaging papers together.
While I was on my degree course I had a real block with drawing,  it was suggested to get over the 'frightening' white of a new piece of paper I draw on graph paper. I still like using different backgrounds now, at the moment it's old books.

I also recently had some of my sketchbook pages digitally printed onto large scale canvas, I'm so pleased with the results.

Drawing and painting is a vital tool within my work, it's way of visualising my thoughts and trying out shapes before they reach textiles and threads.

I also keep old sketchbooks and it's amazing to see ideas resurface, or work that I did several years ago become relevant to a current piece.
I'll be showing my current canvas stock at Exeter Craft Festival in July www.exetercraftfestival.co.uk

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Butterfly Inspiration!

As you can see I love butterflies, moths & insects; in fact the natural world in general is my constant inspiration. It is just over 2 years ago that my work began to focus particularly on bugs.
I was taking part in a local art & craft fair called Art Bazaar, the organisers ran an award called The People's Choice. Here visitors to the event voted for their favourite stand. I was lucky enough to win and as part of the prize I had the opportunity for a solo exhibition at Barnstaple's Atelier Gallery.

The brief was that this had to showcase a completely new body of work. I had previously concentrated on landscapes and flowers so where to go next?

Well a visit to Exeter's Royal Albert Museum solved the problem. The collection had recently been revamped and the highlight for me was the butterfly room. Instead of the slightly, rigid Victorian style display of impaled specimens on long pins, these butterflies appeared to still be flying. The gorgeous creatures were captured under Perspex and surrounded you! There was my inspiration.

So I began to fill sketchbooks with images and photographs. One thing I did know was that all my pieces would involve my favourite fabric, silk.