Canoeing is one of my fondest hobbies as there is nothing so relaxing as gently paddling down a river, watching the banks pass you by. My favourite place to go is the Tamar River as it is a short distance from where I live and it is filled with a great variety of life from Salmon to more unusual birds, like the Reed Warbler. Last year whilst paddling along side the reed beds hoping to see a Heron's nest a little closer, I was surprised when a small bird shot past me going straight into the reeds. It stopped and looked in my direction, in it's beak held a red Mayfly. Within that moment a load cluster of chirping came from deep inside the reeds. I sat patiently floating on the water making sure I did not disturb them as the parent disappeared into the reeds. When the parent left I gently edged a little closer. There is was a nest threaded around the reed and inside five babies sat. Worried that I would disturb them I moved away from the nest, and as I did so a parent flew in, I...
With spring on its way and exhibitions too, I have deiced to make a piece capturing a moment only to be seen in spring. In these months hares come out into plain site, on moorland, farmland and meadows. As part of their mating ritual, they box for mates and dominance, it is a spectacular sight to see, one that it is becoming rare. However there is a scheme on Bodmin Moor where they release hares onto the moors every ten year to increase the wild numbers. I have never been luckily enough to see them in real life, though this year I will go to the Cheese Wrings where I hear they can been seen, in the hope that I too will see them. Until then I have created this piece capturing a snapshot of two hares box over moorland. As they do so, one jumps up and sending fur flying into the air. I have used an number of techniques within the piece including, machine embroidery, hand embroidery, quilting, fabric painting and three dimensional textile techniques to capture the moment.
People often say to me, I must get through a lot of thread and have a large collection in order to achieve the very many different colour tones and shades within my work. Well it's true on both counts, to give you a idea of how many threads I use, here is part of the collection I used on my latest piece whilst embroidering one hare.
I say part, as whilst I was embroidering, I realized there was a lot more tones of grey than I had first observed in the hare. It always amazes me how many different colours animals have that you just don't see straight away, but on inspection there are a vast amount, even tones you just wouldn't except like purple, blue and green! You will have to wait and see the finished hare on my next post which will be coming in the next few days.
You may be wondering 'Why so many threads?' well embroidering is very different to painting. When painting you can easily mix colours to adding light and shade, and fade colours together creating lots of different s...
This piece was inspired by the Common Frogs found in my garden pond. They come back each year to spawn, the noise of croaking throats fill the air for many days and nights. Whilst siting on a bench over looking the pond I observed a spectacular sight of frog gymnastics. This piece shows one male frog leaping off a reed as he sees a female, in doing so he bellows his blue throat. This sends the reed up and out of the water with the other two frogs resting beside him up into the air. As they cling to the reed their legs sprawl and for a few seconds manage to hold on until finally they slowly fall back into the water with a splash.
A number of techniques and mediums were used in the creation of this piece. The background is fabric painted with detailing achieved through embroidery.The frogs and reed are partly three dimensional through quilting and applique with has been both fabric painted and embroidered.