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Have you taken a look in my shop lately?

Have you taken a look in my shop lately?

I’m always ricocheting between my love of painting and my passion for stitch. There are never enough hours in the day for it all, especially when the fabrics are slow stitched by hand or the paintings involve many layers of translucent glazes. Let’s just say, I’m never at a loss for something to occupy my time! We’ve recently added a short course about the potential of simple running stitch to our designmatterstv site and I thought if you hadn’t seen that you might like to see a landscape I worked with the techniques. It’s a lovely rhythmical way to sew and the subtle colour changes are so beautiful. I think it’s a perfect activity for stress busting!

I love to sit and sew in the garden whenever I can and often the plants and wildlife I see there become my inspiration. Today was a perfect  25C and sunny so I took advantage of the opportunity to mount two appliquéd and embroidered pieces onto box panels ready for display. They are really heavily stitched and I’ve loved combining the slow hand stitching with free motion machine quilting too. I’ve added them to my online shop if you’d like to see more images or think you might like to find them a new home!

Now, after all that stitching,  it might be time to get the paints out for a change. The green woodpecker is acrylic on a wooden panel but I’m in the mood for some lovely watercolour now – maybe a few of the lilies that are just opening today will feature – I’ll let you know how it goes!

Bye for now,
Linda x

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Magenta Leaves

Magenta Leaves

The stitched panel measures 13.5 inches x 13.5 inches
34cm x 34cm

It’s mounted onto a black box canvas panel which measures
15.75 inches x 15.75 inches x 1.5inches
40 cm x 40 cm x 4cm

This piece was inspired by the persicaria that we grow in our garden. I used rusted fabrics as the foundation with appliquéd fine silk, tulle and gauze. It is heavily embroidered by hand and is ready for display  on its black box canvas panel.

Available

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Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

This appliquéd and embroidered panel was inspired by an ancient farm building I spotted on a walk near my home. The windows had long gone and the plants and trees were invading the space. The leaves were touched with the first signs of cold weather colour. I’ve worked with a wide range of fabrics including hand dyed cotton, fine silk and tulle. There is a combination of free motion machine quilting and lots of hand stitched detail and I’ve modified some of the layers with  a delicate touch of pale pastel.

The appliquéd and embroidered panel measures 13.5 inches x 13.5 inches
34cm x 34cm

It’s mounted onto a black box canvas panel which measures
15.75 inches x 15.75 inches x 1.5inches
40 cm x 40 cm x 4cm

It is ready for display and needs no frame.

Available

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I’m featured in Quilting Arts Magazine!

I'm featured in Quilting Arts Magazine!

As you may remember, since I’ve had the loan of an embroidery machine from Husqvarna Viking, I’ve been experimenting with using both the built in designs and those in the library of My Sewnet. The rosebud design shown here provided a perfect opportunity to add fabric paint within the stitched outlines of the flower and its leaves. I worked this in a grey Madeira rayon thread onto hand dyed cotton fabric, layering the fabric with cotton batting and a cotton backing so the stitched design quilted the layers rather than just embroidering on a single layer of cloth.

Sometimes I’ve chosen filled designs instead of outlines. They showcase the lustre of the threads and create beautifully rich and detailed surfaces. I’ve extended the digital designs with more fabric painted rosehips, rosebuds and leaves.  Lots of my examples are stitched onto old quilts that I’ve recycled. Embroidering onto an existing pieced and quilted fabric adds interesting colour and texture don’t you think? Of course it does present some problems too but I’ve chosen to ignore the existing quilting and simply work over it with both stitch and paint.

Working onto a quilted surface does mean that my leaves and especially the pears in the final image have strange linear patterns but I rather like the serendipity of that layered effect. The additions are hand painted with either fabric paints or artists’ acrylic paints mixed with textile medium. I particularly like the gleam of metallic paints!

I haven’t heard of anyone taking commercially available digital designs and making them completely their own in this way but, you know me, the control freak rears its head again! If you are interested to see more the Summer Issue 2022 of Quilting Arts Magazine has a feature.

Bye for now,
Linda x

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White Magnolia

White Magnolia

12 inches x 12 inches x 1.5 inches
30 cm x 30 cm x 4cm

This is an original watercolour painting of the Magnolia Stellata blooming in our garden against a backdrop of silvery artichoke leaves. It’s painted onto a deep edge box canvas panel that has been treated with a watercolour ground to enhance the texture and make the canvas receptive to the paint. The finished painting has been sealed with cold wax and is ready for display. It needs no frame.

Available

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Having fun with more painting!

Having fun with more painting

I tend towards the obsessive – once I discover something I like I have trouble resisting the urge to indulge completely. Watercolour ground is the latest obsession! The roses I’m showing here today were painted from photographs I took on a visit to David Austin Roses before lockdown. You’ve probably heard of the very famous garden centre I mean. If you visit in early summer the gardens are a treat for the senses with the perfume as heady as the sight of the flowers. The June day we were there was perfect – hot and sunny. I can’t wait to visit again but in the meantime I can enjoy the photos and use them to make a painting. The unconventional support I’m working on has an interesting origin itself – it was a panel taken from an old wardrobe we were getting rid of. When the wardrobe was broken up to be taken away it seemed a pity to waste the panels although, at the time, I had no idea what I’d use them for.

I mentioned watercolour ground in my previous post but then I’d only used it on canvas. When I spotted the wardrobe panels in a corner of my studio I thought they’d be ideal candidates to see how the ground would work with wood. The panel was very dark so the first thing I did was to give it a coat of white acrylic paint. Once that was dry I added a layer of the watercolour ground to the raised central section and put it aside overnight. It’s difficult to photograph anything that’s just white but the picture here shows the rough surface the coarse ground produces. That’s the effect after one application but you can add more or even create more texture if you prefer. Depends on the sort of painting you intend to make I think. I’ll let you know how I get on with a more textured landscape painting soon!

I often make a pale pencil sketch before I start painting with watercolour but the surface I had created was quite coarse and didn’t really lend itself to much of a drawing, so other than to mark vague outlines of where the flowers would sit, I didn’t spend much time on preliminary marks and just went straight in with the paint. This is still very much a work in progress but I am itching to get back to it and add more detail to the petals and more deep darks to the shadows between the leaves and buds. I’ll also be tidying up the border frame of the panel with another layer of acrylic paint.

It’s curious to discover how different it is to paint onto the surface prepared with the watercolour ground than it is on rough watercolour paper. I’m still learning how the paint reacts but  I’m loving it!

 

 

Bye for now,
Linda x

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Loving Painting!

Loving Painting!

At Designmatterstv we’ve been focussing on Laura’s 31 Days of Art Journalling course lately and I have loved working along with her prompts into a little sketchbook but it has meant that my other painting has been neglected. I’m not sure if it’s the return of spring and all that means in the garden but I have been inspired to get the canvases out and get stuck in! Our magnolia blossom has been gorgeous during the early warm, sunny weather but sadly, with the return of frosty nights, the delicate petals have suffered – not before I had time to try and capture their loveliness in watercolour though. That’s the beauty of a painting – the flowers will always be perfect! The still life shows a few of my favourite possessions with the orchid from Marks and Spencer that my mom gave me for my birthday nearly four years ago. It’s getting a bit unruly but flowers its heart out every year.

Part of the rekinding of my passion for painting has been the discovery of a watercolour ground that means almost any firm surface can be prepared to accept watercolour paint. I understand this product has been around for quite some time but it’s been a complete revelation to me and I’m always up for new experiences! The manufacturers say it can be used on wood, cardboard, plastic and even glass but I’ve applied it to canvas panels and I’ve loved experimenting to find out how similar or different it is to painting onto paper. We’ve added a little video about it over on Designmatterstv if you’re interested to hear more details but essentially, the ground is applied to the canvas and allowed to dry – the surface will then resemble the texture of watercolour paper. I’ve used the course ground made by Schmincke but lots of manufacturers have their own versions. One of the advantages of working this technique is that a canvas panel that has been primed for use with acrylic or oil becomes receptive to watercolour paint and of course, a deep edge box panel doesn’t involve the cost of framing. As long as the finished painting is sealed with cold wax it’s protected and ready to hang without the need of glass or frame. I’ll definitely be making more of these paintings on canvas but there is always room for traditional techniques and the two paintings of jugs of flowers sitting on lace cloths shown here are pure watercolour on watercolour paper. I’m not decided yet which I prefer as the paint reacts differently on the ground to how it works on paper – only way to decide is to keep painting I suppose. At the moment I love both!

Bye for now,
Linda x

PS If you fancy owning one of these original paintings all of the above are available to buy in my Shop!