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Happy New Year all.
Fingers crossed for weeks 2, 3, 4 ..!
After along hiatus in painting activity around here, I have unpacked some lovely new paints and re-discovered my happy place. Inspired by our French holiday I have added some colour and warmth to my otherwise cold studio.
One way to cope is to wear lots of layers – these dungarees are 27 years old! They started life with me at art college, have decorated every house we’ve ever lived in, have helped create most of my paintings and are still going strong today
I took delivery of a new sewing machine which is able to do free-motion machine embroidery – lots of fun ahead adding that to hand-prints and the like.
And yesterday I allowed myself a moment of celebration when I saw the book I’m in on the shelf in my very own local Waterstones bookshop!
Have a happy week everyone.
I have a v. large pin-board in my studio which is great except I have a tendency to fill it with things I’m inspired by but then not ever get round to following that inspiration. It’s become a bit like a huge pin-board of my brain or a way of filing things and putting them off – you know, a little drawing here, an inspiring card there = a big pile after a while.
So one of my 2016 intentions has been to actually set to and get making.
This is making for a bit of a random but fun way of working as I pick my way through the pinning, taking each as it comes without much planning.
Here’s a new pattern design which started as a post-dog walk sketch of some finds in the wood which I then put into a pattern repeat and coloured with a palette chosen from a lovely painting in the V& A which I’d seen on a recent visit.
Wonder what’s next in the pick and mix?!
I have been cheering myself up on this wet, windy, grey week with a lovely colourful book I found.
He’s one of those people who takes beautiful travel photos that transport you to somewhere inspiring and in this book he’s grouped them to use as jumping off points for home decor colour schemes.
I have been stalking this book at TK Max for sometime and was giddy to find it cut price last week and it does not disappoint.
I love a book full of colour inspiration for pattern and design; one that you can flick through and think ‘ooh I love that photo’ and on deeper consideration realise that it’s the colours that appeal.
I used this little snapshot on the left for a colour palette to apply to a little painted leaf pattern I was playing at.
Some things are worth waiting for and this is definitely one of the them – I am actually now able to hold The Pattern Base book in my excited little hands!
The Pattern Base book is by Kristi O’Meara and edited by Audrey Victoria Keiffer – cofounders of the Chicago-based design studio and online archive The Patternbase.
It is a curation of 378 pages, showcasing a collection of 681 designs from 150 contemporary textile, surface, fashion, and print designers from around the world.
Illustrative, abstract, geometric, floral, digital and constructed textile patterns are all represented here and all the work is by up and coming designers.
I submitted my surface pattern designs way back in 2012 when this was a kick-starter idea and I had no idea that I would be fortunate enough to get two double page spreads but there I am on pages 228 and 229 🙆
I had been working on a group of paintings at the time featuring vintage china and cutlery and had developed some elements into these two pattens.
These went onto be selected to represent in the Illustrative category – brilliant!
It’s not everyday you get into print so I’m having a solo studio party today! 😉🎉🍸
It’s Moseley Arts market again tomorrow – was the last one really only four weeks ago?
Time seems to have condensed itself recently, don’t know if the days just feel shorter because of it getting dark earlier or whether my expectations for what can be done in a day are too great!
I have been in my painting cave this week re-stocking these hand painted notebooks. They are a labour of love, I’m not gonna lie, but the emphasis is defiantly on love.
The painting of these really gets my creative juices flowing for other projects and I just love doing them. Plus I added a ‘belly wrap’ (get me) which just finishes them off nicely.
9-3pm Alcester Road, Mosley, tomorrow 🙂
When you aren’t in classes learning everyday, or working alongside another artists, it becomes really easy to get stuck in your own groove. This course has been great for refreshing my poor old memory of the vast array of printing techniques there are.
I let loose with a rubber and some sponge and an old credit card and made some shapes inspired by these Italian boathouses in Monterosso.
One of the shapes that snuck in there was inspired by the drain covering – but it wasn’t picturesque enough to show you!
You don’t know what you’re going to get when you experiment – printing especially dictates it’s out outcome. After a little PS’ing the shapes were becoming patterns.
The colour palette for this collection was easy – the watery greens of mosaic tiles and the changing tones of the sea.
The weather was full of Italian passion some days; changing rapidly when rain threatened – but it made for sunny/moody photo’s like this one which I like.
I called the collection of patterns Boathouse because drain cover really doesn’t conjure the allure I’m after!
Over the last few weeks I have been using my Italian holiday photo’s for pattern inspiration.
Studying holiday photo’s is a great way to re-live a holiday.
First you examine why certain places, colours, paintings or cultural details inspire you to take the photo in the first place and then soon after the design prompt can be found again.
I looked up at a lot of ceilings during my week in Florence. Italians used to recline on a dais on the floor and so the ceiling was the most decorative feature of a room. Luckily for us we have iPhone reverse direction mode and so can photograph the ceiling without getting a crick in the neck!
These ceilings were from the Medici Palace and as soon as I looked up, I could see a repeat pattern calling out for development.
As I played around with drawings and tracings, I began to see which elements to keep.
The colouring came from generally soaking in all the colours I’d seen around me – I have quite a strong colour memory and often remember the colours of a place more than the details of names and places – not usually a useful quirk to have!
There was a lot of faded distemper, crumbling concrete, exposed brick, terracotta rendered house walls teamed with turquoise shutters or a painted door; the wall paintings are faded frescoes from Far Angelico’s painted cells.
I called this collection Soffito as it literally means a ceiling in Italian and doesn’t everything sound nicer in Italian!
I picked some of the last garden flowers and brought them into the studio and I think they are influencing the colour of my work 🙂
I adore the colour fade on this Dahlia.
And The Untamed Yellow Bush taking over the garden is very happy for me to cull it and those flowers are so cheery to be around.
Happy days painting and patterning.
I love me a new sketchbook – all that promise in its clean white sheets…
I don’t know why it’s so hard to disengage from A Plan and just sit and play with paint and see what comes – but it is.
But it never fails to prompt unexpected loveliness – sometimes that takes time and sometimes it pops straight out – which is what happened with these designs.
I have wanted to design a ‘ditsy’ print for ages using a vintagesque colour palette.
Edited to add: couldn’t think of names for these designs and then Mr L comes in and says because they look rhythmic that I should look at music terms for some ideas. Everything sounds good in French or Italian so one brainstorm later and we have names 🙂 He’s a genius x