‘Girl with Sofa’ oil on canvas board, June 2020

Have begun painting again! I made this small oil after a long time not painting because of my reaction to the lockdown. I have been sewing small patchwork pictures as shared on here, but not had the will to paint. It gradually returned after making a small canvas board and framing it with bits and pieces I had in the studio. I properly sized it with rabbitskin glue, and gessoed it. All this process was healing in itself.

A visit to a beautiful garden next to a lake was a real turning point for me. I made watercolours in my sketchbook and added pen marks. Nature enveloped me in this wonderful place and made the creative embers glow once more. Little studies in a sketchbook were not overwhelming, and I just gave myself permission to respond.

An old drawing of a sofa from our first house also inspired the new little painting as it seemed to resonate with all we are going through now. My recent skirt studies also formed a starting point. Click to enlarge images as usual folks.

Dovetail Box fabric picture

I’m still casting around the house and yard for motifs in this lock-down. The box we use in the living room has dovetail joints which have always fascinated me.  The are wider at the inner edge for strength and notoriously difficult to make. You can even see the pencil marks where the person who made the box lined the joints up. You couldn’t see them originally as the box was covered in black leather which I removed and varnished the wood.These little embedded shapes are all around us if we take the trouble to look. I then created the fabric picture after the little sketch with offcuts from a dresss and furnishing fabric, Dresses hold memories and meaning which add yet more dimensions to the pieces/ painted marks on the frame are first forays into brush work in the middle of this pandemic. I have ideas for a new painting which I will approach very slowly so watch this space! I can be slow now though, more than ever.

Square on Table fabric pic

Still seeing what emerges as inspiration around the house and back yard in this lock-down situation. It can be the simplest little tactile thing, like the squares of wood securing our plank table on the surface. On I go with choosing fabrics, creating a little pic, and even letting colour back in through choice of fabric and painting the sanded frame. Still have lots of ideas, some work some don’t. Will keep posting them on here. Locked out of Facebook again, hey ho!

Fern Fronds

I made this little fabric patchwork pic and drawn/dyed elements last week to go in one of the small frames I have. Am still finding it hard to approach painting and more ambitious drawing but am taking the pressure right off myself. I know this is because of the corona virus situation. I keep fretting about everyone suffering in hospital, but am able to sew and make stuff still.

I noticed these little fern fronds beginning to sprout in the pots in our back yard. I took some photos last Thursday which you can see just after it rained. I remembered a drawing of fern spirals I made a couple of years back which you can see too.They start to unfurl at exactly this time of year every year, and there is a comfort in that. The patterns of nature that are imprinted in the makeup of these plants goes on despite what is happening to us. They seem to be so symbolic of hope and potential. I incorporated sneaky drawn and painted elements into my patchwork as a low key way of getting back into drawing and colour. It seems to be working a tiny bit! Ideas are coming as I focus on my lock-down world of the house and back yard. So I will keep seeing what comes up next,and go with the flow in this micro rather than macro way of making and doing.

Patchwork Diamond

Here is my latest effort in the patchwork picture department made over the last two weeks. A little bit more tricky because of the diamond pattern which I borrowed off Angel from ‘Escape to the Chateaux’, where she covered the walls of the turret that was to take the lift they installed with a patchwork of diamonds made of vintage wallpapers. I just used my fabric offcuts (which are running out now). I pinned the fabric over card diamonds, pinned fabric on back, slip stitched the diamonds in place on front and glued on back (PVA). I then removed the pins when dry and mounted in frame. The making and stitching brings me into the present through repeated actions of cutting and stitching. I will gradually approach drawing and painting again but am not pressuring myself. Covid 19 has made it difficult for me to respond creatively as I would normally, but it is all percolating away! Watch this space folks and have a go at patchwork pics, they are fun!

Self Portrait A1

This drawing is from a very long time ago, another difficult time for me in my life for many reasons, and I got through that! The piece is barely there, discoloured and damaged but still exists. Art can help us through the tough times. Click to enlarge and see marks folks

Watercolour patchwork study : Droopy and Brown label

Here is a little watercolour study I made of some patchwork on the back of a jacket of mine. The label is from a dress I wore for the evening do at my wedding in ’79.  It was bought in York from the iconic designer ‘Droopy and Brown’. Now out of business, the dresses themselves have become highly collectable vintage pieces. You can see the skirt of the dress hanging under the jacket. I chopped the top off the dress to make the patchwork, but have not destroyed the skirt! The fabric is a Liberty print. You can see a study of the skirt on a previous post before the patchwork pictures.The  patchwork  pictures  shared  on  a previous  post  grew  out  of  this  study,  Watch  this  space as  to  where  this  takes me  next!

Patchwork pictures

I am finding very difficult to find the wherewithall to draw and paint because of the Covid 19 pandemic issues facing us all at the moment. I am trying to accept myself just as I am in this regard and am doing what I can. I find the repetitive action of sewing and choosing fabrics that work together brings me back into the present in a surprisingly comforting and yet still creative way.

These little pictures came after me doing some little watercolour samples in my sketchbook after the skirt drawings I have recently shared on here. Frustrated because my facebook account has been deactivated because it was hacked, but am taking the opportunity to connect through here and may revisit twitter which I used to really like. I am keen to keep in touch online as I feel it is an important creative way of connecting in these difficult times. Do have a go at patchwork yourself too, you don’t need a sewing machine just fabric needle and thread, glue and card! Click to enlarge folks!

Patrick at age 3

This is a very large drawing that I dug out today A1. A bit discoloured and fragile but still with me! It’s of my eldest son Patrick at about age three. He is 35 now and 36 in October. Please click to enlarge to see detail folks!

Some new skirt drawings

Here are some recent skirt drawing I have been making from favourite skirts from the past. They hold characters of their own I find. Sometimes I want to do more than one of a particular skirt. They will inspire a smaller painting I hope to do soon. Nostalgia is not the only motivation, but an acknowledgement that colours, textures and designs of such items that hold our bodies have resonance and meaning. I enjoy digging them out of my wardrobe and studying them anew. What do they mean now, if anything?