SAL

Yes, it’s that time again, to report in my sewing progress. However I am rather distracted at the moment. As you know there are devastating bushfires in Victoria and New South Wales. It seems like the country has been aflame for many months. Add this to extreme drought and record high temperatures. I want to blog some about that soon, as there are ramifications for all of us; in the mean time Ardez’s words, “Loving a sunburnt country” are very powerful.

I am also distracted by another dash to Emergency, with my Fella and his cracked ribs. He is on the mend, but you know the time that caring takes.

Anyway, back to my work. You can catch up with the beginnings of the work here. I was able to make good headway and finished it.

Most of the stitching is couched threads. When I got close finishing those lines I realised that the work needed more variety. You can see the French knots, but may not be able to pick up some of the running stitches that are there too. It gave just a little more texture.

abstract textile work

I was pleased with it, and offered it for a group exhibition at the Old Auction House at Kyneton. Then I thought that one was a bit lonely, so I did another! Both were accepted and are currently hanging in the gallery.

The Old Auction House is a lovely place, and has kept my creative practice going over the past year. (There’s another post about that too.) Kyneton is a regional town about an hour out of Melbourne. As well as the gallery there are other things to do, and lots of cafes for yummy lunches and coffee. So, if you live in or close to Melbourne, head out there for a lovely drive and exhibition visit. It’s on until January 20th.

The dilemma to exhibit these works was how to mount them, until I had a flash of inspiration one night while I was unable to sleep ~ to mount them onto shop bought canvases. Unfortunately the only canvases I could get were bigger than the works, which lead to the blank edge. It needed the line of sewing to give it some edge, to give it a frame. I even considered some form of quilting on that blank space. That might make some of you, especially Kate, smile ~ am I gradually inching towards being a quilter?!

Last night I set up another  work, this time based on my on going love affair with the texture and rhythms of trees. More on that one next SAL

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These SALs are organised by Avis. There is lots of lovely stitching to see on the following blogs, so do visit. And a warm welcome to our new member AJ.

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Linda, Heidi,Jackie, Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Jenny, Carmela, Jocelyn,Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ

 

SAL ~ starting on the next cliff

Welcome to this Stitch-A-Long, hosted by Avis. At the end of this post there are links to wonderful stitchers, who all do such amazing work. Do have a look.

You may remember that I had almost finished my work on the cliff at Portsea. I say almost, because the trunk was annoying me ~ it wasn’t quite right. I got lots of good advice, which would solve the problem. Unfortunately, I haven’t done anything about it, except think “I must finish that off”! Once something is finished it is hard to go back to. I think it is the process I love rather than the finished product. Do you find that?

So, in case you missed it, here is the cliff, almost finished.

Contemporary textile

Now, let’s move onto the next one.

But first, some background for newcomers. In June I was lucky enough to have a month as an artist-in-residence at Portsea, a small holiday town right down on the tip of Port Phillip Bay. You can read about my first week, and see some of the art ideas I played with. 

I came across the most wonderful cliffs that glowed in the afternoon light. They inspired me down there, and now, through the tapestry and embroidery work, are my way back into a creative practice. These are some of the little studies I did while I was at Portsea.

I have always been fascinated, if not slightly obsessed with rocks and cliffs, and it is good to be finally creating works based on them. This time I am using material, poplin, as background, rather than tapestry canvas.

The first step was to mark out the 20 x 20 cm square, and roughly stitch where the main crevices are going to go.

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Then the fun begins! I have couched along the yarns, following the direction of the marks, but also adding in random waves to create the look of the crevices. The colour of this material is awfully difficult to photograph correctly. The first photo shows the true colour.

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A close up. The colours of the threads are rather washed out too. They are more vivid in real life.

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I hope you can tell that the effect I am after is to show the dark and light striations with the different coloured yarns.

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I must give a shout out to Margaret. She has so many delightful stitching projects on the go that she blogged about how she organises her materials for each creation. She inspired me to put all my threads and bibs and bobs for this piece in a box! How sensible! You can also see that I have added quite a few more layers, and the colours are more accurate.

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Thanks for dropping by. I hope to see you in a couple of weeks with the next instalment.

Lots of lovely work to see at these blogs. Be inspired!

AvisClaireGunCaroleSueConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyLindaHeidiJackieSunnyHayleyMeganDeborahMary MargaretReneeJennyCarmelaJocelynSharonDaisyAnneConnie

 

Reference photo for tapestry

SAL #5 ~ Portsea Cliff

This is where I got to last time…

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Now I can reveal the finished work!

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As you can see I worked on the sand and cliff. I wanted the sand to be unobtrusive, so I chose to do it in a simple half stitch, which linked it into the sky. The cliff, however, needed to be more wild, to create the texture that I love.

(The yarn is another merino wool yarn from Fibreworks. This one was specially dyed for me. It is a colour that, surprisingly, occurs in Australian landscapes. It is wonderful for eucalyptus bark.)

Progress photo…

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The next stage ~ the trunk ~ was trickier, and to be honest, I am not sure it works quite as I wanted it to. I am not sure how the branches merge into the canopy. Any thoughts?

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I tried to include the background colours too. I suspect my problem is that I hadn’t thought it through ~ the original planning was incomplete. That area may well come out. However, I value your thoughts.

One of the things that I do love about this work is that it has brought be back to being creative after many months of obstacles. It has helped me realise that while I am not ready to get back to paint, pencils and paper, I am ready to solve creative problems (which I love doing!) with something that I can pick up and put down with ease.

In fact I have already begun my next SAL project. More of that next time.

There is a great group of creative stitchers involved in this SAL group, organised by Avis. Do drop into their blogs for their latest SAL posts. Prepare to be amazed!

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Linda, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny,Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Jenny, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie

 

Reference photo for tapestry

SAL #4 ~ Portsea Cliff

I am a little late in getting this post out, but I have just picked up my computer.

I did a very silly thing. A friend supposedly sent me a message, via Messenger, about a video I was in. I am usually very wary about clicking links and I am far more likely to delete a message/email/link than click on it. The message didn’t seem my friend’s style, and I couldn’t image that she would have a video I would be in, but instead of the warning bells going off, I thought “Oh well, let’s see what it is”. Click!

Of course, her Facebook account had been hacked and the message sent to everyone. So, caution finally kicked in, and I took my laptop to the computer shop…just to be safe. Everything is okay. Phew! I am a couple of days older, much wiser and far more cautious, and a little bit poorer, as peace of mind costs money.

So, I haven’t had the computer for a few days and this Stitch-a-long post is a day or two late.

I have been working. My wild, freeform work is progressing well.

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As you can see I have worked on the bushes in the foreground. (The photo I am basing it on is the feature photo at the top of the post.) I used the same yarn, a variegated merino wool, as I used for the tree canopy. The stitches are random cross stitches. I wanted to keep them small to look like the small leafed foliage, and to make them different to the canopy. I enjoy the challenge of working the tones with the variegated yarn. Often the effects are quite serendipitous.

I left parts around the trunk. I can fill them in after I work on the trunk, as then I will be able to tell where the tones need to be.

I am moving on to the sand and cliff face next, and am really looking forward to working all those nooks and crannies in the face.

Thanks to everyone for your very encouraging comments on the last couple of SAL posts. I am part of a supportive group of embroiderers who regularly post about their personal stitching work. Do have a look at the others involved in the group, hosted by Avis, and be prepared to be amazed by their beautiful work! A welcome back to Connie.

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Linda, Heidi, Jackie,Sunny, Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Jenny, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy,Anne, Connie

(Apologies to those of you who blog at Blogger. I would love to leave a comment about your work, and I have tried, but I can’t. Is it something between Blogger and WordPress?)

Reference photo for tapestry

SAL Portsea Cliff #3 and a starting point for freeform embroidery

Well, I have been beavering away on the background undergrowth. I wanted to create the rounded shape of the bushes without being too detailed. The lighter yarn helps to add the illusion of highlights on the tops of the bushes.

Anne Lawson textile artist

The overall view shows me just working my way around the background, either using random stitches or a very loose form of cross stitch.

tree tapestry

I am happy so far. However, I am not sure what to do with the next elements. The tree (the blobby space in the centre) is the focal point, and so it need to be quite a contrast to the rest of the foliage. At the same time while the foliage on the right side of the tree is lighter than the background I have done, I don’t want it to compete with the tree. (The header photo on the post is the photo I am working from. Looking at that might make more sense!) I think I will have to work my way around the areas, looking to see what looks right and what doesn’t.

Thank you to everyone who left such supportive comments on my last SAL post. I got the feeling that some people would like to give freeform embroidery a go, but were not quite sure of where and how to start. A way to dip your toe in is by creating samplers.

An inspiration for my more over-the-top freeform style was Stitch Magic by Jean Littlejohn.

Jean encourages the stitcher to play with different stitches ~ exaggerating, layering, using different yarns and threads. So I did.

They are a small 10 x 10 cm square. Easy to play, without feeling daunted by filling a larger size. Little samplers that don’t have to be anything but experiments.

I love to use tapestry canvas, as it handles the bigger yarns, and I can work boldly and quickly. However, you could do exactly the same with linen or any other backing. Draw out a small square and see what your favourite stitch can do.

Which has made me think…maybe the trunk of the tree would work well if I couched it? Hmmm…..

A big thank you to Avis, who organises this stitch-a-long. We post on the third Sunday of the month, local time. I think, like me, you will be blown away by the beautiful work that the other stitchers create. Jump over and have a look, but remember, the time zone may be different.

AvisClaireGunCaroleSueConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHelenLindaHeidiJackieSunnyHayleyMeganDeborah, Clare, Mary MargaretReneeJennyCarmelaJocelynSharonDaisyAnne

solo exhibition, the Old Auction House Gallery

Next painting for sale

Okay, if you are interested, this is the second painting I am offering to you for sale. There are more details below, but if you would like to know more, or like to buy, contact me, leave a comment below or email me      annebags@optusnet.com.au

Anne Lawson Art

I love the contrast between oil pastel and ink. The ink creates such fine detail, like the dead bits of the branch, while the oil pastel has a wonderful complex abstract textures and layers. This work is different in that I used brown ink with a nib pen. Usually I work just with a black pen. This time the black was layered over the brown.

Original tree painting

original tree drawing

original tree drawing

So, to the details:

  • $150.00
  • Oil pastel with brown and black ink
  • Paper size: 38.5 x 25.5 cm      15 x 10 inches
  • Image size (approx): 35 x 19 cms     14 x 7.5 inches
  • Horizontal
  • Free shipping, and I will happily send it anywhere.

Remember, contact me, using the ways at the beginning of the post, if you would like to know more.

Also, I have set up a page with the paintings I am offering. Like to see the first one? Check it out here, or use the tab at the top of this page.

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Curious about knowing more about my art? Sign up for the letter from my studio

Reference photo for tapestry

SAL#2 ~ Portsea cliff

Well, I am now officially part of the Stitch-A-Long group. Thank you Avis for hosting it. There are a quite a few people who show their personal stitching, so do have a look at their lovely work. The links are at the end of the post.

Last time I was mulling over the cloud in my tapestry.

Anne Lawson Art Textile artist

I was happy with how it turned out. Time to work out the next section, the bushes on the cliff in the background.

Using the photo as a guide ~ that’s the feature photo at the top of this post ~ my stitching interpretation needed to include:

  • the dark mass behind the tree. The tree is the focal point needs the dark tones to make it stand out. However, the mass is not a uniform darkness, it has different tones within in it.
  • some of the sky showing between the bushes, especially at the top of the cliff.
  • a suggestion of individual trees and bushes, without too much detail.
  • a density

These were the yarns I selected from my stash. The big browny/green ball is the main colour. My notes tell me I got it from Swish Yarns, but nothing more than that. It is quite a wiry yarn, which may be linen, and I think it works well.

Anne Lawson textile artist

The others I used as highlights and extra tonal contrast, which you can sort of see in this photo.

Anne Lawson textile artist

The stitching is very random, although I tried to show the direction of some of the canopy; trying to give the impression of individual trees rather than stitching each individual one.

Anne Lawson textile artist

This is where I am at the moment.

Anne Lawson textile artist

And the overall view

Anne Lawson textile artist

I think it works. I know from my other art works that a work in progress is very hard to judge. Although I can compare what I see in my mind and how I want it to look, in reality this section can only be compared to the sky. How will it blend in with the other elements, especially the focal tree? If it doesn’t work I will remove it and try something different.

Many of the yarns I use, like the sky and the shadow area, are merino wool from Fibreworks. They are a delight to stitch with. However I have found that the moths find them delightful too, munching holes in the balls. Fortunately I use shorter lengths, rather than needing the continuous yarn for knitting or crocheting. Any thoughts on how to keep the critters away?

Anne Lawson textile artist

More stitching adventures can be found below. We post on the 22nd of the month, so, depending on your time zone, some posts may not be up. Drop back later.

AvisClaireGunCaroleSueConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHelenLindaHeidiJackieSunnyHayleyMeganDeborah, Clare, Mary MargaretReneeJennyCarmelaJocelynSharonSusanAnne