Sunday, 23 August 2015

Gaining inspiration from Van Gogh

Last month I went on Janet Edmonds' 3 day summer school where we looked to Van Gogh for our inspiration. For most people the course involved design work and some stitching but I was more than happy  just working through my design ideas without doing any stitching.

We started by making print blocks inspired by the textures in Van Gogh paintings and used them to take rubbings and to print with and created enough papers for all eventualities! Well once you're on a roll and you're enjoying yourself why not?

I used the Chilean salt flats as my inspiration and this is probably my favourite piece. The detail is not clear in the photograph but I like the textures in the sky and wouldn't have created this if I hadn't been looking at Van Gogh's work. I must confess that this included some papers that I had created previously, albeit with the salt flats in mind.

I was thinking of his broad brush strokes when I ripped up these papers in the foreground but by the time I coloured them them they started to take on a rock-like quality.

Looking at Van Gogh also made me be bolder with my colour choices and made me move away from the more obvious colours that I would otherwise have used but I'm sure I could be a lot bolder still.

The piece below is the first one I created and I think you can see more clearly the textures in the sky and I started to introduce more 'unusual' colours like you see in the purple bands.

With a little nudge from Janet, I started to use ripped up papers to imitate his broad brush strokes and I liked the effect it created.

Again, I used colours that I wouldn't naturally use and I tried to include some complementary colours too.

Now the observant amongst you will have noticed that the top section of the above image is identical to the top section of the image below, and I have created two options for the foreground. which was created with texture paste and then painted and rubbed to add colour and to highlight the textures.

So what next? Well I have another Idea that I would like to progress and I had hoped I would have that to show you too but they seem to be making Sunday's shorter these days and tomorrow I'm back to work. Ultimately I am to get my images printed on fabric and then to stitch into them.  I'll let you know how I get on and I hope it works because one thing's for sure, this approach is a lot less messy than dyeing fabric.

Janet had a new book out in September From Art to Stitch and I'm looking forward to seeing which other artists I can look to, to help me step outside my comfort zone.