I love the winter landscape. You can see a long way. The shapes of the trees are sharp and clear against the sky. Each species has it’s own special form, and each tree grows in its own way. After some time observing, sketching and taking photos it is time to put marks on fabric. Paper isn’t my medium but I love fabric and especially silk organza and crepeline. . I enjoy the feel, the transparency, the handle, the way it reflects the light, and the way it takes up the dye. last week I went on a 2 day textile retreat. This is an Independent Study class run at her studio in Sussex by Leslie Morgan of Committed to Cloth. Here I can work uninterrupted, with a group of like minded textile artists each doing their own kind of work. We get support and challenge, ideas and inspiration as well as the use of excellent facilities. So I spent 2 days printing and drawing on silk crepeline and organza . I made lots of images of trees, branches hedgerows and leaves. I use thickened procion dyes and make marks with anything that works including edge of credit cards, nozzle bottles, paint brushes and thermofax screens. I took home loads of lovely printed fabrics and have washed and ironed them all ready to start the next stage of composition and collage. The image above shows some of the printed fabric.
I am participating in a project that is being run by Dorset Visual Arts (DVA). This is the organisation that organises the very successful biennial Dorset Arts Weeks- open studios and exhibitions across Dorset. Their website gives information about their activities. DVA is looking at ways of supporting artists including facilitating collaboration and development. Currently this takes the form of working groups of artists in 3 areas; Interrogating the Landscape, Interrogating the Figure and Interrogating Materials. My landscape group had its first meeting last week where I met someone who shares my passion for trees and woodland. since the meeting we have already been for a walk in the woodland above Lyme Regis. It was a very enjoyable afternoon (after a nice lunch), walking and talking and taking in the woodland. Walking with someone who shares an interest and who brings their own perspective and experience was very enriching. The intention is that the Interrogating groups exhibit the fruits of our interrogations, not in finished work but whatever arises- sketchbooks, photos…it could be anything. it will be intriguing and inspiring to see what emerges.
The image at the top is a sketch I made at Coneys Castle -a hill fort managed by the National Trust when I started my personal Interrogations informally in November 2014 .