Being a slow artist has its challenges – not the least of which, is how to blog about a ‘work in progress’. I quickly realised that a weekly update here on my stitched tapestries would end up more like a ‘spot the difference’ competition.
In recent months, I’ve gravitated towards Twitter and Instagram as the places to share occasional stitchy updates, where it feels more natural to post a simple picture as I settle down to stitch with the Delinquent Dog curled up alongside.
If you use these platforms, please do keep in touch that way – it’s always lovely to receive messages ‘in real time’.
But today is one of those special days – a day to share for the first time, a work no longer ‘in progress’, but finished!
Very often I find it difficult to know where the inspiration for a particular piece comes from, but at least with this new work I have a pretty shrewd idea.
It all begins with that ages-old fascination for watching water moving over stone. I wonder how many generations of people have felt transfixed by watching waves glide over a pebbly beach, or have felt the hypnotic power of staring into a pool of still water at the edge of a river flow, or indeed have been caught up in a fountain’s magical dance.
I for one, can easily lose myself, simply staring into the water.
Now, clearly only a lunatic would attempt to capture that watery, mercurial sensation in a medium as distinctly static as thread – ahh well…
But as ever, the process of stitching has itself been a meditation, a way to drift into a flow of sorts, an escape to another realm, if not a watery one…
Stitched between June and September 2015. Wools, linens and silks on linen scrim.
29 x 39 cm
If you’d like to see it ‘in the flesh’, I’ll be showing it at the Discover Original Art Fair on November 28th & 29th 2015, at the delightful Ivinghoe Old School Community Hub.
19 thoughts on “Rock, Water, Cloth…”
Yes, it’s tricky to write about things which develop in small sections. “Spot-the-Difference” feels a little unfair, somehow! We all need to find the most natural way to think about what we do and to share what we want to share, and it’s never as easy as everyone not doing it thinks it will be!
You’ve created an interesting imaginative response to the inspiration there – how much do you plan before stitching, how much “just happens”?
Oh well, that’s a really good question. Some pieces start out as nothing more than a few lines and a bundle of yarns that appeal to me – with others, I might go so far as to paint or draw some preliminary ideas – I don’t try to copy those, they’re more of a way to explore something. Then I’ll use alcohol pens to sketch the outline. I never have a very detailed plan – everything else develops as I go along – I think it’s the latent painter in me.
You might write a post about the process one of these days. It’s always fascinating to watch someone “think aloud” about what they are doing…!
Good idea – I’ve often wondered how to make it interesting, but I like the idea of ‘thinking aloud’ – I’ll certainly bear that in mind 🙂
Stunning work, this is such a beautiful piece 🙂
I’ve only just joined Instagram , like you I am finding blogging not the right medium for this slow woman ha! I’ve found you there … should you wish to catch up I’m under the name ‘divine_ragbag.
Jill, so pleased to find you. Yes, I think there are a lot of people questioning the balance of their blogging etc. I’m feeling my way along, but I’m a big fan of IG – much to my amazement!
Those little shimmery pools of light are lovely. You’ve really captured the watery feeling so beautifully, and I love the water weedy contrast.
Thank you Catherine – I think it’s a subject I may well return to again, water always fascinates me.
I love your interpretation – beautiful and your words about watching water resonnate with me too. Lovely and as a disicple of the Slow movement I’d say where’s the hurry anyway.
That’s lovely – thank you. Yes, there’s much to be said for the benefits of slow art, it’s just of of those things you have to ‘do’ to understand fully 🙂
It works for me.. the movement and the colours. Absolutely gorgeous Anny, well done.
Brilliant, thank you x
I love this. I know just what you mean about blogging. I do love it and would miss it if I stopped but Instagram is very good at capturing the moment.
Yes, you’re right, I was reluctant to try IG at first, but I’ve found such a lovely community there and I’m sure it’s possible to complement blogging, it’s just a case of finding your balance between them. Loved your US posts 🙂
I find Instagram complements blogging very well too.
Anny I can’t believe I missed Midwinter of the Spirit -saw it being trailed but completely missed it. I like Anna Maxwell Martin too, was it good? I must say I came to a bit of a standstill with Merrily Watkins -I think I’d read too many too quickly and had really had my fill.
Umm, well – I’m wondering whether I’d feel differently if I hadn’t read the books. I thought Anna Maxwell Martin was very good, and I intend to watch again tonight, but last week, I found that instead of following the plot, I was thinking about how closely or not it matched the book and which locations they’d used. I feel that the early books were stronger than the later ones, I suppose there’s only so much you can draw from the basic premise before it tires – mind you, I wish there was a Gomer Parry in my life!
Beautiful, Anny! It has a kind of perspective, as if you’re looking at a lily pond, and I love the colours.
Thanks Jo, the colours were a bit of a departure from my usual go-to palette, glad you like them.
I love the colour palette you chose and looking closely at the number of tiny stitches am impressed you finished it in just three months! There is so much detail and it feels as though there’s a lot of ‘you’ in there, how a scene stayed in your memory and the emotions it invoked. I find that is the frustration of a photograph of water, it may turn out to be beautiful, but there’s no way to convey to others how it made you feel when you were looking at it.