Monday, 23 April 2018
I have long had a soft spot for trees & the way they are represented, in a visual format, throughout the time that different communities have resided here on planet earth! I even have a dedicated sketch book for keeping my favourites in. Therefore it will be no surprise that I went absolutely ga-ga over the cyprus tree tiles photographed above! Tall & elegant, constructed from simple shapes & restricted colours, yet so effective! Their beauty is in keeping with the saying; "less is more"!
Naturally they were the first of my tree tile photos that I wanted to take a closer look at, but I had a problem.... I am only working with an A4 size limit! What could I hope to achieve with such a minimal amount of space using a technique which doesn't lend itself to very small components, when inspired by such a long thin muse?????
After a couple of pen sketches, where I looked at the very top of the tree & the base where it joins the trunk, I decided to save a bit of time (ahem...always a teensy bit of an issue!!) by folding my A4 in half lengthwise & drawing a design possibility directly onto what would effectively become my pattern. I drew onto only half, because I was going to trace that half onto the other side, open it up , and...voila....a beautifully symmetrical mirror image design!
It was time to let the cutting back begin. Here's how it went...
I have really enjoyed this month's art projects, & this delight has led me to consider whether I might make a big 'Istanbul' art piece after this series of WAP explorations. We'll have to wait & see! In the meantime....I played with my phone app again & this is what I came up with...
Please respect that all photos in this blog post are my own. Therefore, please don't use without permission. Thank you.
Wednesday, 18 April 2018
Leaves have been on my mind quite a lot lately. Partly because;
- we have had bizarre weather which has included strong winds & consequently a MASS of leaf litter wrapping itself around our home like extra insulation.
-partly because I have been thinking about a cloak art piece I made a few years ago inspired by leaves, so I got it out to relook & rethink about it.
-and partly because this week I'm was scheduled to look at the leaf designs on the Turkish tiles & use that focus to inspired my own unique design.
Out came a handful of photos, my sketch book, pens & coloured pencils. I like leaves, I like their shapes & colours in real life as much as I enjoy seeing how other artisans create leaf designs. Looking at the photos of tiles & trying to draw them was a pleasurable way to spend two hours.
Yes, that really IS how long I spent on those few sketches above!
As I'd done a symmetrical pattern the last two weeks with the tulip & carnation designs, I thought I'd be consistant & do the same with my leaf design as well. It took me quite a while to create a design I was happy with, but I must admit I was very disappointed not to be able to incorporate more of those leafy designs. Out came the drawers loaded with fabric & after...ahem...quite a while...my chosen few were on the ironing board & ready to be layered up, stitched through and then cut back.
Here's how the cutting back went...
And then finally...
I absolutely love this colour combination, however, I would have liked a bit more variance in tonal value between the two greeny colours. If I were to do it again, I'd make a couple of other changes too, I'd not have the outer branches in the pale bluey mauve & I would allow myself to NOT be consistant & make this piece asymmetrical instead of symmetrical. In this case I think that particular decision hampered my design making.
That being said, this isn't toooooo bad...even if it looks like an egg.
As I often do with outcomes that I'm not totally in love with, I played around with this design using an app on my phone. Keeping with repeat patterns, look what I came up with...
What fun. Then when I put them together, this was the exciting outcome! Wow!
I have absolutely no idea what I'll be focusing on in next week's WAP, but it will definitely still have me returning to the stunning city of Istanbul, source of endless inspiration! Until then...happy creating!
Wednesday, 11 April 2018
Whilst, in itself, this story has absolutely nothing to do with the tulip tiles adorning Topkapi Palace in Istanbul... the source of inspiration for this weeks art project... it does highlight the value of a single hand crafted object; initially made as an adornment, but is then transformed through time to become a receptacle of historic & personal meaning.
Much like another story I heard from a friend this week...which does actually include Istanbul! My friend received a piece of tile in the post, sent from another friend's niece, who picked up this fragment of tile in the very street my friend's mother was born in...in Istanbul... many years ago! To anyone else that small token would be considered broken rubbish, but to my friend, it is a treasure imbued with significance & meaning.
And someone made it in the first place.
Who knows where our creative efforts will lead us, our clients & our descendants! Will my weekly art projects mean something to someone other than me one day? Who knows, but for now...we have today!
Of course, if I had also included my books & the internet as a tulip-hunting sources, I may well have been drawing for days!
Then it was time to let the cutting back begin! Here is how it went...
At this point I was somewhat disappointed with how flat the design looked. It definitely needed a pick-me-up! I was also aware that the effectiveness of the variegated thread was lost in the blue outlines. The third thing I was disappointed with was the lower tulip...it kind of looked...well, boring!
It was time to do some serious embellishment!
The Turkish tiles are such a rich source of inspiration, I think I'll keep looking at them some more next week as well.
Until then...happy creating!
Tuesday, 3 April 2018
Out came my tile photos & once again I wished I had a decent magnifying glass! If I had been working at the computer I could easily have enlarged images, but that was not possible in this case. The good thing about not having a perfect source to work from, is that I can fill in the gaps with my own creating...making a design that is more unique, than a perfect copy!!
This took rather longer than I had hoped....I've said that a few times havent I!!!!
Eventually, all the data was collected (drawings done & coloured in), so I began to create a design incorporating some of these carnation variations.
First though, I used my white pen to mark where I wanted my first cuts to be.
Here's what happened with further cutting back...
It was fun looking at carnations...next week tulips... maybe???
Wednesday, 28 March 2018
And once again, I have focused on a single pot shape found in amidst the wonderful foliage-oriented tiles that enhance Topkapi Palace in Istanbul.
Using a sketch completed last week, I leapt straight into designing for this week's art exercise.
Folding an A4 piece of printer paper in half length wise, I used my little sketch as a guideline for the shape outline of the pot. After drawing it in with pencil & then going over it with a thick black pen, I then traced it onto the other side, revealing a beautifully symmetrical pot!
I could have worked out my design for the pot decorations in my workbook... but given the stop-start nature of my week, I chose to play with design ideas directly onto the pot shape itself. With frequent use of the eraser & my my circle stencils, I eventually came up with a design that could be worked in contemporary reverse applique.
The choice of fabrics was particularly critical, as I didn't aim for a bold pot this week, I wanted something that looked more intricate . As luck would have it, I had a piece of curtain fabric in the same pattern as last week's background, but in a different colour combination. This serendipitous find was an excellent starting point for working out my colour range.
Once cut, ironed & the design transferred, it was time to machine sew the outlines in. Then I was ready for the fun part...time to let the cutting back begin.
Here's how it went...
Before cutting back the second layer, I chose to paint some outlines before cutting away from them. the reason for this was that I wanted to get the interwoven effect & the cutting alone wouldn't have achieved that. Once dry, out came the scissors again...
Just as I felt that this bold patterned background didn't really work for last week's exercise, it hasn't worked brilliantly here either. Having said that, it does give the effect of being part of a bigger intertwining pattern, which fits with the original source of inspiration.
I am very pleased with my pot, all things considered & am grateful for an opportunity where I could just focus on one small, yet important feature of the stunning tiles of Topkapi Palace in Istanbul.