I have been painting for almost 20 years and have always had an interest in mixed media. I joined the Bath Textile Artists in the spring of 2022 to be connected to like minded people and to expand my knowledge and application of textiles. One of my key aims is to introduce textiles into my paintings and I am looking forward to that journey of discovery.
A member of Bath Textile Artists for over 25 years, I enjoy working with other like-minded individuals towards themed exhibitions.
‘Seven Birds of Paradise’ was produced for the last exhibition at Bath Royal Scientific and Literary Institute. I studied the cases of stuffed birds in the collection, many of them faded and dusty looking. My birds are brilliantly coloured as if they are still alive.
During the last two years I have produced several pieces reflecting my feelings during the lockdowns and also several based on local walks. I am fascinated by maps and the patterns within them, and used print as well as stitch to represent them.
My most recent Community Arts Project was working with over a hundred adults and children to produce butterflies painted on silk, these will be hung in the entrance lobby of our revamped Village Hall.
I have always made things and enjoyed doing so. This has usually, but not exclusively, been in the field of Textiles. I started making quilts a few years ago and learnt a variety of techniques through workshops. I fairly rapidly moved from traditional to art quilts which enabled me to increase the range of techniques I could use.
The initial inspiration for my work has often been photos of places I have visited. However this is only the starting point, and I usually let the work itself inform the direction the final piece will take. These last few years have, for everyone, been rather different. Some people have been very inspired by the lock downs, restrictions, etc which have given them more time to be creative. Others, like me, have struggled to find inspiration, a creative spark, and even the impetus to create, and have turned inwards.
I now do much more mixed media work and my pieces are often semi-representational and more abstract.
I create fine art embroideries and paintings. I’m most inspired by medieval art, tapestries, 17th Century Dutch/Flemish paintings, intricate patterns and vibrant colours. Thread painting is a contemporary embroidery technique I use to recreate traditional still life and portraiture. I embroider initial silk paintings with hand and free machine stitching, bringing painting skills and fine detail to my textiles. I went to school in Spain as a small child and was taught to sew by the nuns. Later in my teens, I made my own clothes. Then when my daughters went to school I enrolled on a City and Guilds course, which gave me the confidence to become an artist. When I see beauty, inspiration challenges me to recreate it in paint or embroidery. Each time, I tell myself ‘I can do this if I try hard enough’, stretching my skills to higher and higher levels. There have been lots of mistakes along the way, but hard work and perseverance have enabled me to complete each piece to progressing standards.
Fabric, thread and yarn have been a central part of my life for as long as I can remember. Like most people, I was taught by my maternal grandmother and encouraged by my mother. After time I knew I wanted to develop these skills into more exciting pieces of work and so I joined the Embroiderers Guild. The experience and knowledge of the group led me on to other paths and ways to expand my love of textiles; various workshops gave me the opportunity to learn more techniques. For many years I spread my time between working as a Child Protection Nurse, raising a family and studying for City & Guilds ‘Creative Textiles’, alongside sewing, drawing and embroidering!
Recently I became frustrated by having unfinished projects resulting from tutor led sessions and workshops. Now with more free time, I have begun to find my own ‘voice’ and am enjoying experimenting with design, mixed media and mainly machine embroidery. As a member of both Bath Textile Artists and The Textile Set, I have been encouraged and supported by like minded people, thus enabling me to continue my personal development of art textiles.
I take my inspiration from nature and the surroundings of my Somerset home, also from artists, both classical and modern and incorporate colour and texture wherever possible to produce my original art work.
My passion for textiles remains as strong as ever and I’m enjoying finding new ways to extend my ideas by stitching paper, adding paint and mixed media to my work.
I began sewing in my teens, preferring my choice of fabric for clothes to that available in the shops!
Patchwork, quilting, crochet and knitting sustained my creativity during my years of employment and bringing up a family but on retirement I have found new and exciting techniques. These give me the possibility of producing my own resources and allowing greater expression in fabric and mixed media.
I take inspiration from the ever-changing Cotswold landscape of my home. My pieces flow from collecting resources with colour and texture suggested by the overall idea of the intended outcome, embroidery and embellishment completing the design. I work mainly with hand embroidery but employ machine stitching and embellishing on occasion.
I am a member of Cotswold Embroidery Guild.
I currently have work on display at Beckford Silk Mill and have exhibited in a number of exhibitions in the area.
I’ve enjoyed sewing since I was a small child learning from my Mum. I’ve explored many other crafts over the years, feeling the urge to constantly create but was always drawn back to stitch, first with dress making then bag-making. Having become very frustrated with commercial fabrics and wanting to make my work truly my own, I started developing my knowledge of various techniques and became obsessed with combining textile and mixed media art.
In 2016, I enrolled on Kim Thittichai’s Experimental Textiles course and spent the following few months trying out many different techniques and experimenting as much as I could. When the course came to an end, I didn’t want to stop learning and so enrolled firstly on to the Advanced Textiles course and then the Masterclass in Textiles course at The Windsor School of Textile Art. I’ve realised I will never stop learning and developing my style and I’m determined to enjoy every minute of it!
I find experimenting with fabric, stitch and mixed media fascinating and have used fruit net and cassette tape within some of my work. More recently, I have been exploring the use of metal and have taught myself to solder in order to look at ways I can use wire to create 3D structures.
I have always been interested in needle work and crafts. The first embroidery I can remember completing was a tablecloth in satin stitch and lazy daisy for a teacher who was getting married. I have attended various day and weekend courses and have taught textiles at children’s summer schools.
I attained my City and Guilds Creative Embroidery Parts 1 and 2 and after completing this a group of students formed Materialise, where we continue to develop and exhibit our work. I also belong to a small group of Quaker artists working in various media. I joined Bath Textile Artists in February 2018.
The appeal of modern embroidery or textile decoration for me is the wide ranging and eclectic nature of it. The joy of using fabric and threads is in the vibrancy and subtlety of colour and the variety of textures that can be obtained. I like to make my own base for embroidery using papers, paints and inks as well as working into a variety of fabrics. I also like to use recycled materials wherever possible and enjoy seeing something old take on a new life.
I often use the machine initially to texture the piece and then work and rework into it using hand stitch. The feel of the thread and fabric in my hands is integral to my enjoyment of the embroidery process.
My main source of inspiration comes from walking in the local country side and enjoying my surroundings. I do take photos and make sketches. I use both hand and machine stitching in my work. I also use an embellisher to blend various fabrics together. I often use cold water soluble fabric to make light lacey pieces. Mostly I work in an intuitive way and experiment with fabrics, colours and mixed media.
I came to art and embroidery late in life, after training as a scientist. The ‘discovery’ of the texture and colour in fabric and thread came as a revelation and left me looking at the world through very different eyes from which I had observed it before. I now see beauty in unusual places. Even the water stains on the concrete of an underground car park send me burrowing into my bag for a camera or a sketchbook; while passers by look on bemused.
To express unlikely patterns and colours in the wonderful array of threads and fabrics available gives me great joy, which I hope passes on to the observers of my work.