Sunday, 25 August 2013

Getting back in the saddle

You may wish to skip the pre-amble and go straight to the pictures...

As many of you may know I finished my City and Guilds way back at the end of May and it has taken me all this time to really get the creative juices flowing. I have been dabbling at all sorts of things, but nothing has really grabbed me. I felt empty and everything seemed like too much effort, mind you the heat wave didn't help. I filled my time reading a lot of books, something I haven't done for ages, many of them rather fast moving, best seller,  detective novels bought on the spur of the moment in charity shops. Not my usual genre. (I really enjoyed Philippa Gregory's "The White Queen" bought while  watching the TV series and I now have the rest of the series of books waiting to be read.  It was a period of history I know very little about, but found totally fascinating). But this wasn't helping with my lack of fulfilment on the create front. I had no energy.
One of my traits is that I am like a sponge always soaking up new ideas, techniques and styles. So over the last year having done several workshops, bought books, seen exhibitions and so on, I felt that I wanted to emulate all the work I admired, use colour like Ruth Issett, print like Bobby Britnell, use discharge techniques like Clive Barnett as well as quilt like the Kemshalls, but not being able to do it. All the while forgetting that the purpose of all of this study was to find my own voice and apply these techniques to my own purpose. Positive action was needed as I was beginning to feel seriously fed up and perhaps verging on not wanting to get up in the morning.
Firstly I joined the local branch of the Embroiders' Guild.  Gina Ferrari is a committee member and I have met  members Gill before, as well as Pam at an Art VAn Go workshop, so I shall be in very good company. This will give me regular contact with other like minded ladies.
Next, after feeling disappointed that I didn't get to this year FOQ, I took myself out and bought a new car - well not a new one, but a newer one, something I have promised myself for a couple of years.  My old faithful was beginning to need money spent on it regularly and like every single-motor household I wanted something I could rely on, so after a couple of weeks of self imposed stress, it is accomplished.  I now own a shiny black nearly new Vauxhall Meriva. I have also changed my energy supplier and managed to fit a new front door bell!!! Things are beginning to look up. You may ask, where is Mr T in all of this?  Well, he is right behind me, but being a stroke victim he finds it very difficult to be up front in the big household decisions. This is an endless source of frustration for him as he doesn't want to leave all the responsibilities in my hands, but it is something we have to accept. So with my self esteem feeling bolstered is was time to get back to the creative stuff.
Finally, to get me going I made a list.  These are always useful, although often I don't get beyond the first couple of items, especially if they are none essential. I thought back to what I had enjoyed making right at the beginning of my quest, what I had started selling and what had brought me confidence. So I thought if I went back to these things it would get me going again. So on my list went:
 A purse 
A book wrap
A bag
A brooch
A box
A wall hanging

Over the summer I had enjoyed drawing and painting in my sketchbook the poppy that had appeared in my garden so that was my starting point.
 I started with a couple of purses and a book wrap, so I raided the fabric stash for suitable colours and bonded them onto a couple of pieces of acrylic felt.


Meanwhile I had a created another sketchbook page. I had been looking at some work on line - although I cannot remember what or where and I had the idea of an image appearing out of an abstract arrangement of colour, or an imaged disintegrating into its component colours. I was rather excited by this and got out one of the three 8"x 8" ready stretched canvases that have been kocking around for months.


The sewing got pushed aside, meals were late and after a day and a bit intensive painting I ended up with this. I had some Golden acrylics which I have been using on fabric, but I hadn't actually painted with before. The colours are so beautifully intense only drop seems to go a long way and produced glowing colours.


Now I was on a roll so I had to paint the other two canvases as well.




 Here are the three of them on a radiator. I haven't really got a good spot to photograph them and I'm too busy (yippee) at the moment to set up a photography session.


The paintings got a lovely response on my FaceBook page and I can't tell you how delighted I am with the comments. 

I am taking part in the ANB Beds Art Trail in September and although I shall exhibit my C&G quilts I think these will fit in too. After that I may put them in my Etsy shop which is empty at the moment.

Back to the list...

Two purses finished and one book wrap on the way.


What next ... well I have several ideas!
Fingers crossed the momentum will keep me going. Whatever you're doing, have a great week.
Jill

15 comments:

Clare Wassermann said...

What a fabulous post...I felt the excitement mounting all the way through xxxxx

Gina said...

I think you are finding that voice Jill. And what a great asset you will be to our EG branch.

marigold jam said...

Looks like it was all worth waiting for. Those paintings are stunning and the purses beautiful. Do hope you will find time whist on your roll creativitywise to let us know what else you achieve. Keep going!

Maggi said...

You've certainly found your way again. Your poppy canvases are just so dynamic and the purses are lovely.

Julie said...

I didn't skip the preamble and know just where you're coming from. Well done for working your way through your lack of muse. The paintings are fabulous and I understand them more having read this post. Keep up the good work and enjoy your new group membership.

ju-north said...

Fabulous work as always! Love the paintings and their vibrancy - here's to a creatively filled year ahead!

menopausalmusing said...

Lovely to see vibrant colour bursting from your blog this morning. I seem to have missed your last post so am sending a belated scratch under the chin to your little toothless one,,,,,

Pearly Queen said...

Such beautiful things...

Penny
x

Printed Material said...

Jill, these heartfelt words gathered momentum and built into a fascinating post. I am positive you will be an asset to the EG with your level of stitching ability but as ever, it is your drawing and painting which takes my breath away. I really love those poppy canvases, particularly the third one. Such detail! They will be snapped up if you put them in your Etsy shop. Will they go in as a set or stand alone? Even better than the real thing.

Leenie said...

Nice work! I really like the loose, bright colors and the design of your poppy paintings. Hope you can keep those juices flowing and continue to create!

Linda Vincent said...

Jill...I can totally empathise with what you've written. I feel the same a lot of the time. When I'm really bad I can't even go blog visiting :-/
But glad you've found your way again....and HOW! Those poppy paintings are stunningly beautiful.
Keep going....you're on track. X

the woolly dog said...

I'm glad I didn't skip the pre amble because suddenly seeing all the beautiful work you've produced wouldn't have been such a surprise.

Sandra Hall said...

Jill, I so enjoyed reading this post. I joined facebook and lost touch with blogging for a while and now google reader has gone I've lost the easy/quick links to blogs I followed :( So I'm glad you visited because I could click on your name and get back here!
Anyway, like I said, its lovely to read what you've been up to (or not!) ...glad to read that you've now got a plan and have been making those lovely purses again :)
Those canvases look amazing too - quite liked seeing them lined up on the radiator! Sandra x

Sandra Hall said...

Jill, I so enjoyed reading this post. I joined facebook and lost touch with blogging for a while and now google reader has gone I've lost the easy/quick links to blogs I followed :( So I'm glad you visited because I could click on your name and get back here!
Anyway, like I said, its lovely to read what you've been up to (or not!) ...glad to read that you've now got a plan and have been making those lovely purses again :)
Those canvases look amazing too - quite liked seeing them lined up on the radiator! Sandra x

Liverpool Lou (Anne) said...

Gorgeous stuff as always Jill :-) Glad you managed to get out of the slough of depond.
I haven't blogged since May and no inclination to. I am on Facebook though so am going to search for you.
Anne x