This weekend I discovered the Textile Study Group website and Facebook page. I love textile art and have several books on the subject; the TSG summer school photos were particularly inspiring as they demonstrated a clear link between the textile pieces and the drawing process, in particular (for me) drawing as a way of making. I am wondering how my White Noise line drawings would work with stitch added; so I’m drawing on fabric scraps, ready to stitch into later. Watch this space.
Suzanne’s book is packed up ready to go back…
And the memory box is gradually filling up…
Mary’s additions have come back to me; she has sent me some lovely colourful sheets of ink and wax resist. I’m unsure what I want to do with them so I’m letting things percolate while I’m busy with work commitments this week.
Mary’s contribution to our book arrived through the letter box yesterday morning, full of colour, inks and prints. I want to add to these pages of loveliness, but as yet I haven’t formed a clear idea of how to proceed, so I’ve left it to percolate for now.
Mary also sent me a book made from photocopies of portraits drawn by students. This resonated deeply with me; my own work is intimately concerned with personal narratives, landscapes of the mind, and journeys, and the portraits reminded me both of my teenage self in art class at school and my young daughter currently growing into an adolescent.
I dismantled Mary’s book and reassembled it to include some recent photocopies my daughter made of her own hands; both seemed to be deeply evocative of a stage in a life, a memory, a snapshot of a moment in time.
I am now considering how to work in and around the pages Mary and I have contributed to this next book in the series.
I have also been working on another project which I am thinking of adding to this interesting conversation; this book is in a scroll format and follows on from some of the ideas and techniques I developed in response to Suzanne’s bold and bright prints.
Again, a work in progress; I don’t want them to be finished pieces as I want to leave room for Mary to respond, to keep the conversation open.
I’m enjoying working in this very open way; I can work on pages Mary has sent me, and I can also work on new ideas as they crop up. We’re also not confined to a single format, which I’m finding liberating. I’m relieved that Mary has responded so positively to my January pages, and has embraced the less structured, experimental way of working together.
I am inspired and excited; the conversation has started well.
After an intellectually stimulating day at uni in Birmingham yesterday, I’ve needed some mental down time today. So I’ve been fiddling with final touches to my pages in Suzanne’s sketchbook. I’m going to have to pack it up and send it this week or I’ll never stop.
Here’s some of my favourite pages in progress.
My personal work continues to explore themes around movement, journeys, and the spaces between physical and imaginary landscapes. I am drawn towards a neutral, subdued palette of browns, greys and black, reflecting the rather introspective nature of my current preoccupations.
In contrast, this month’s sketchbook, sent to me by Suzanne, is full of printing, colour and doodling; I am inspired out of my navel-gazing and have fetched out my acrylic paints. I might look out the coloured tissue paper tomorrow and reconnect with my inner child.
I’m on a bit of a book theme at the moment. I’ve made some small books for my first Sketchbook Circle exchange of 2017, the idea being that Mary and I will create a series of books over the year, adapting the size and format to suit the developing conversation.
I’m also making books to explore ideas I’m following in my own practice; I’ve constructed a ‘drawing contraption’ which allows me to fix a mark-making tool and a book to my bag in order to capture my own movement as I walk.
I find constructing books oddly satisfying. I love the process of selecting and cutting paper; the physical involvement through the use of hand tools; the imperfect charm of the finished item. I am fascinated by the almost infinite possible formats and have been repurposing old book covers, CD covers and different types of paper. I’ve always had a bit of a notebook fetish.