Thursday, 24 September 2009

Experimental mode

paper bags painted in 'Autumn' colours
waiting to be folded and stitched into 'pocket pages'

I am in a whirl; it's Malvern weekend again (food and flowers and edible gardens; a veritable 'celebration of nature's harvest' that must be captured one way and another, apart from in words for two commissioned features. For personal 'art from the heart' enjoyment, I will be taking photos - up a ladder this time, and making notes and sketches, for I do not have my pocket pages ready. Painted, yes, but folded and stitched, not yet. But while the farmhouse fruitcake is baking to take with us in the motorhome, I determine that photos at least can be taken. The sun streams through the window, making lighting difficult as I lay out pages to photograph, and then I can't find my camera. Panic as usual!

Colours are those that to me convey flaming Autumn (Fall) though we rarely experience a real blaze of colour. So I think dahlias and ripe plums dripping from the tree, Gascoigne Scarlet apples in the orchard and all shades of red and orange.

'Pocket Pages' have in fact almost done their turn - they were my chosen experimental project for this year's travel journals, ranging from verdant spring green, through summer gold to these reds and vermillions of autumn; the soft blue-greens for the Shropshire Hills (which we never did capture for it rained most of the time), right through to slate blue - payne's grey- veins of stone and mountain colours for my Welsh pages. See previous posts for ongoing pics and explanations. When all are complete, they will form 'my year of travel': always working you understand, but these are my personal memories and thoughts.

I turn to my beloved fabric once more - a lifetime of it, combining it with paper and paint and whatever takes my fancy. I am again in experimental mode (having said only recently that my brain was numb, it has come alive again). So I am working upon little hand-stitched patchwork pages for a grand-daughter's birthday keepsake, combined with a couple of turquoise/indigo paper pockets to hold tiny secret notebooks; and then out with the muslin, gesso, inks, neocolor and gel medium. Her book will be a collection of my experimental samples, themed in shades of blue, with linen coloured backgrounds for the poem inserts I have written her, pearlescent buttons and tiny jet-blue beads with stamped or embroidered fish. Lace? I can't decide; somehow it does not fit the watery swimming theme, though it would make superb surf.

watery blue fabric with patchwork snippets attached,
awaiting hand-stitched embellishments
(the fabric will be folded to make a double-sided page
measuring approx 6ins square)

I made my first usual exploratory notes last week - but for once I have progressed beyond the notebook stage and have started stitching. I have five weeks to complete this. And now the cake is ready, my 'technicals' for tomorrow must be prepared - laptop, camera, tripod, notebooks, etc, and a little light reading for evening on progressing my website - I hope to create an online journal page on the Malvern Show, but need to learn how to do so first!

my notes of last week: click on the pic to enlarge it and read
from top left, top right then bottom left and bottom right.
(Then click on the back-button to return to the blog post)


  1. This is going to be so nice. The colors are wonderful! You mentioned beads possibly not working for this...I used clear seed beads once for a water themed project and they looked like bubbles. Just a thought for you. You are doing a wonderful job and can't wait to see how it turns out.

  2. Yvonne, lovely idea re the clear seed beads. I will certainly incorporate some - thankyou so much. Ann.

  3. Hi! I love your handwritten journal page! I always enjoy seeing other people's handwriting, and I love the little doodles... very charming! Thank you very much for visiting my blog, and especially for taking the time to leave me such a kind comment. I really, really appreciate it! All my best, Kathy

  4. ann, this is all so exciting to me... it *feels* so rich - your combination of paper and fabric, your energy running through it all... it inspires me and i thank you for that.