Sunday, 12 May 2013

A welcome return to the East

Heavens! - it has been absolutely yonks since I posted on here - and for good reason ... it has been that long too since I finished my last piece for the Orientation exhibition. Some of the group made extra pieces for the Bramble Patch show, but I just didn't find time. But I knew I would make some new works before we moved to Minerva in the summer, and I have finally reached the point on the calendar where it says 'make SiX pieces'. I'm hoping it will actually be a series of six pieces as it happens, but for the moment I am working on the first four. The series will be called 'Many Moons' and has been percolating in my head for a while now. I knew almost from the first mention of the theme that I wanted to do some cranes flying in front of a moon. I made a sample for my C+G course with Design Matters, which featured birds in front of a moon/sun and I do like that imagery:
Just as an aside - I couldn't resist seeing how this image would transfer to B+W for a possible thermofax screen ... this will definitely be getting made!
I also considered  moon gazing hares in front of ... yes, a moon ... I have used this image in silhouettes before and have a couple of bronze ones in the garden. But the birds stuck with me .. I have been making swans recently -  also seagulls and osprey. Magpies also attract me as I see them as a lucky symbol for me. So I decided that I would do a series of various birds, with moons on collaged backgrounds.
So next up was some quick sketches, using a selection of  books as inspiration sources for imagery and composition from the east:
Apologies for the awful photos - it was dark when I took them! I hope you can see enough though. I started with a square format in mind, but realised I was struggling to put my moon in an interesting position. It needs to be fairly big and was ending up almost in the middle - not a composition I like. So I changed to a longer format and sketched up four favourites, with the moons happily over to the sides.
Background collages came next - using the sketches as guides.
This one will be the moon with bamboo to the left ... I shall quilt the background before  appliqueing the bamboo and moon.
This will be the grasses and moon
checking colours for grasses and possible moon .. if you look in the top left of the table you can see where I have been paper cutting some possible patterns for moons
This one will be the willow to the left
and the willow to the right .. in each I am again checking the fabrics I plan to use for applique, work ok
Perhaps I should say that the patterned cloth in the background in each is my ironing pad - not part of the work. I am so used to it, I really don't notice it, but it might be confusing!
So now I need to machine quilt those backgrounds then I can apply the applique and choose final moon colours and patterns. When that is done - I shall start considering my bird shapes. I'll try to keep you up to date as I work.
Hope it is not too dull to see step by steps - I know I love to see how people get from A to B and onwards ... Hilary x


  1. I'm looking forward to watching these develop Hils, the drawing/ideas are suitably oriental and quite mysterious, as befits a moonlit piece. I love all those images of the ingredients set out and ready to go, some lovely fabric, but I think you should include that ironing cloth too, it's obviously been waiting too long for a role.

  2. That cloth sadly has a lot more abuse to take yet before he is allowed into the stash .. far too smart at present. Nothing like a nice pile of ingredients - all optimism at that stage! x