Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Altered Photographs - local field

In a previous post I showed you some examples of the photographs that I had worked into and I thought it would be interesting to see what would happen if I took one photograph and worked into it using different techniques and at last I have something to show you....

Scratched into and painted with koh-i-nor

Oil pastels over painted with koh-i-nor and some scatching into on the horizon

Emulsion painted over photograph and worked into
Black and white photograph over painted with koh-i-nor
This is the same image that I used in the earlier post, and I must say I prefer my earlier version. So much for 'practice makes perfect'!  There is one thing that I think has made a difference and that is the size of the photograph. On the course I used professionally printed photographs which were 5X7 inches and these photographs were only 3.5X5 inches.
If you were  thinking of drawing into your photographs I would recommend using a larger size, as it's much easier to see the details and to work into it.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Printed and stitched Christmas Cards

Each year I like to make a few of my Christmas cards and the number I make depends on how much time I have and how long they take to make. This year I have made some very simple and quick cards. This card was printed using a thermofax screen I bought from here at the Knitting and Stitch Show. I covered up the berries, so they didn't print which allowed me to add them later using a high tech skewer dipped in red ink.

But I couldn't go without stitching any cards and when I saw the Kutch Christmas Card in Stitch Magazine I thought I would have a go at making it. I really enjoy hand stitching but this made me realise that I don't enjoy it quite so much when every stitch stitch is dictated by a pattern, I find it more enjoyable to stitch more freely. After a number of attempts at this card I just had to give up, it wasn't turning out how it thought it should and the time I was spending on it didn't justify the result. Perhaps I needed to read the instructions more carefully?
So I needed a plan B and I found this Pattern on the internet, which is intended to be stitched onto card rather than fabric. I liked the simplicity of the card and it was something I could achieve in the time I had.
The background fabric was left over from the cushions I made recently. I have been using a number of leftover or discarded pieces of fabric recently and I find that very satisfying. I always knew I right to keep all my 'rejects' and left overs!
I reduced the pattern to 80% of it's original size but this taught me a lesson. Instead of reducing the image to a size that pleases me, I will reduce it to a size that fits comfortably inside a readily available aperture card. Actually it's got to be easier not to use aperture cards at all, as I find it difficult to get the fabric taut inside the aperture. As I was stitching these cards an idea suddenly came to me for next year's cards - I just have to try to remember it! Mmm...
But this year's card making is probably not over yet as I hope to make some fun cards with my nephew when I see him in December. I've been collecting a few bits and pieces for these cards and I am really looking forward to it. I hope he's as enthusiastic as me because if not ,it'll blow my cover and I'll have to confess it was me that wanted to make them all along!
I started this post yesterday and it seems that blogger and/or me had a wobble and so I apologise to anyone who saw an unfinished post. Now onto my Christmas cards....

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Inspirational weekend in Italy

We're just back from spending a lovely long weekend in Italy with Peter, a friend of ours. We were very well looked after and spoilt with nice food, beautiful scenery and a packed and interesting itinerary. I really enjoyed seeing the autumnal colours even if it was sometimes through the rain!  Here are just a few of the many photographs that I took.

I love the colours of autumn and was really pleased to see these beautiful landscapes and seeing the autumnal colours of the land reflected in the lakes was a bonus. I wouldn't be surprised if these didn't inspire some work in the very near future. Watch this space but don't hold your breath!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Altered Photographs

On Wednesday I spent an enjoyable day at  Art Van Go  on a course led by  Vanda Campbell. The course promised to 'show you how to work directly on photographs to create exciting new images'. 

I was inspired by the techniques to create new images but early in the day, when I worked into this sliver of a photograph, I realised how these techniques would allow me to simplify my landscape images and potentially inspire new work. The colours need refinement but I think it has potential.

This field is a picture of two halves. The left hand side of the photograph was left untouched and I have worked into the right hand side. On the left I see lots of stems of plants and trees and on the right hand side I see a series of colours and which could be  used to inspire fabric printing. It wouldn't be easy but it would be possible.

This artichoke picture was cut in half and one half of the image was turned upside down. The aim was to make the two halves appear as a single image again. Unfortunately, it just seemed to call for me to redraw the part of the artichoke that I'd cut-off! But the process made me look more closely at the artichoke and I was pleased how the bottom part linked across the two sides of the image.

The left hand side of this image was one of my tulip fields and the right hand half was one of Gill's landscape photographs.  Again the aim was to work into the photographs in order creating a coherent single image. 

This tulip field was over painted with emulsion and worked into with water colour pencils whilst still wet. I was really pleased with how this simplified the photograph and into something that seems a bit more 'manageable'.

I've been looking forward to going back to my theme of landscapes and I think these techniques will give me some useful tools which in turn will inspire a piece of textile work. I fancy taking (say) 5 copies of the same image and work into them using different techniques and seeing where that takes me. If anyone has other techniques for simplifying or abstracting landscapes I'd love to hear about them.