“My life has been a tapestry….”

My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue
An everlasting vision of the ever-changing view
A wondrous, woven magic in bits of blue and gold
A tapestry to feel and see, impossible to hold

Carol King’s song has been streaming through my head lately. I love this first verse, and think it is a marvellous way to see my life. However, I remember that there is a bit in it about someone turning into a toad ~ I hope doesn’t apply to my life!

It has been in my head because I have done more work on my tapestries. It was my tapestry work that was inspiring me through a grey period of creativity.  This is how it looked when I last showed you; I had attached the woven boulder to the canvas and had begun free form sewing.

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Tapestry work in progress (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2016)

This is where I am now.

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Tapestry work in progress (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2016)

Still a work in progress, but nearing completion. I want to check the line of the mountain tops against the original photo. The tapestry is not a direct copy, but I need to get the perspective of the the ridges correct. The vegetation on the bottom left still needs work. If you look closely you will see how I mucked up the line on the bottom right. Annoying to have to sew one row. I may add some vegetation to the top left of the cliff. I also want to sew detail into the rock face, to build up its form.

Then there is the sky. I have light blue wool, but I think it will be too vivid. I may have to look around for a softer blue grey.

The focal point is the waterfall, and it is more obvious with the real thing. The photo has flattened out the colours. I like what I have created, and am certainly going to experiment more with the combination of weaving and sewing.

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Tapestry work in progress (Copyright: Anne Lawson 2016)

Tapestry

A big, warm thank you to those who responded to my last post about my brain taking time off. I am fine, but am artistically working at a slower pace. And I am so pleased to be back blogging again.

I know that I want to blog because I am hearing that blogging voice in my head again. Not a scary voice in my head, just me composing blogs about the things I come across during the day. Most of them never get written, much less published, but I enjoy them, sort of a diary of my life. For example, as I was driving to my hairdresser, about a 20 minute trip, I was musing about how contemplative I find driving and I started to mentally write a blog post about it. I hasten to add that I was still driving very competently. In fact what I was thinking was how doing the routine driving tasks ~ changing gears, monitoring the traffic, etc ~ freed up a part of my brain to think about other things.

Do you have that blogging voice too?

In that last post, where I was wondering about my creativity at the moment, I mentioned something that had fired my creative juices.

I have always loved yarns and textiles. They have been more of a constant in my life than paints. At school I did Craft rather than Art and I remember the delight of learning how to smock and embroider, and even basket weave. So while I don’t talk about much about these projects, I usually have something involving threads on the go. I made bags for a few years and used embroidery and beading to decorate them.

You will also remember how fascinated I became with the melaleucas on Flinders Island. EllaDee mentioned that from the photos she “could see the potential for a textural approach.” Gradually that thought about using the photos as a reference, moved from the back of my mind to the front, and I started working on representations. This is one of the photos I used as inspiration

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Mt Strzelecki National Park, Flinders Island (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2015)

One of the early tapestries

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(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2015)

This is the latest in the series of about four tapestries. You can see how I am much more adventurous with the stitching, and how it helps me to create texture and depth. I think it makes a more vibrant and interesting work.

About a month ago I was trawling Pinterest and saw a weaving loom that I just had to buy. I followed the link to the Etsy shop of the Unusual Pear and bought a simple loom about A4 size.

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My new loom from the Unusual Pear. The weaving is a sample that I used with kids from the holiday programme. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2016)

I immediately knew how I was going to combine some weaving with the tapestry. It was the answer to that excellent creativity question “What if…..I created a rock with weaving and added that to a tapestry?” After a short practice I had a woven rock intended to be the massive rock face that was at the entrance to a valley in the national park. And I had a little feeling of creative excitement.

This is where I up to at the moment.

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Tapestry, with woven rock, work in progress (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson 2016)

The white stuff are the threads for the weaving that I am binding into the back of the tapestry. It’s not quite how I envisaged it, and I think it is too tonally similar. Next time I will try for a lighter grey for the rock, and try to work more variation in it. It is very much a work in progress ~ I have to add the waterfall and the other side of the valley and the background, and I am gong to work into the rock some more. That said, I think the idea is an interesting one, and worth considering for other works.

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Close up of the work in progress (Art work and photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2016)

So something satisfying has emerged from the “holiday” I have been having lately.

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