for my first project I was asked to choose a theme so I chose nature’s larder. It makes sense as at this time of year I have it all at my door step. I gathered different materials that make me think of nature’s larder.

I chose a piece of wood which has been weathered and where so many insects and creatures have used it for their homes. I also chose leaves which are patterned and interesting not only in texture but also colour. I also chose a selection of pretty and delicate flowers as it’s a constant reminder of the provision of food and nectar to so many animals including my tortoise.

I started to arrange them in diferent ways and these are some of the arrangements and compositions.

  

With the first image I have just gathered the different leaves and flowers without any particular order creating a looser more natural feel,  I don’t really like it visually apart from the contrast of tone and colour.

With this second one I have gone for a more minimal look so you are able to see the different indentations on the wood and different shading where the wood has dried out. The flowers look lovely as the colours contrast beautifully against the wood. You can also see the shape of the fern much easier apreciating the shape of each leaf. I like that the wood is against the texture of the grass with little speckles of the flowers and mushrooms.

  

With this composition I aligned the flowers and zoomed in to see in detail the different textures, appreciating the lines and markings on the wood,  creating different depths. Although it looks simple I found it very difficult to recreate the markings on the wood.

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This is more of a richly clustered layout. I prefer the background of the grass as it adds more texture.

  

This arrangement is less forced and more organic. The pinks give accents of colour against the browns making it also one of my favourites. I really like the delicacy of the flowers and leaves and the solid and dark wood against the textured grass.

This is  my  favourite composition as its been arrange in a repetitive pattern. It looks like a celebration of natural patterns and colour. I love the contrast between the delicate rose petals and the solid robustness of the wood. 

  

And finally just to show that nothing goes to waste, the rose petals were not wasted as they were enjoyed by my tortoise, recycling and not wasting any of the materials …thats what I call sustainable waste!

 In this collage of photos I have taken away the colour to focus solely on the texture and shapes.Without the colour the flowers look heavier and more solid.

STAGE TWO- observing qualities.

On this part of the project I had to do a series of drawings to record and observe the qualities of the items I gathered.I drew this sketch using repeated patterns simplifying the shapes of the dalhia and ferns. This sketch is made with ink.  

 
I repeated the picture  to create a mosaic effect. Sketched using pencil and ink. I used small markings to recreate the marks on the wood, this is a more controlled drawing.

                         

A quicker drawing using simple media like pencil and ink, trying to recreate the materials in the previous photos. I like how the white ink looks 3d.
Repeated to make a repetitive motif.     

  This is one of my favourites. I like the looseness of the drawring.Its     drawn with water colours and ink. Concentrating on the edging of the shapes.

 I tried to express the  distant textures with matt effects  trying to concentrate on the edges and seams  of the flowers and fern.   

    With this drawing I used pencil, its a more controlled picture using the motifs repeatedly to make a pattern. I tried to express the delicate nature of the leaves and petals making them more into heart shapes. I would like to try this on a more delicate paper.

  

  I couldn’t resist adding some colour and detail using small and larger markings. In this drawing I used inks.
 

 I used tiny detail trying to add a different dimension to this drawing making the dhalia look more delicate and detailed.             

   
These are some of my sketches and markings in my sketch book studying  and trying different markings and methods. The one above is the markings of a tree on wax paper using water colours and ink. 

The one below I used repetitive shapes on white card contrasting a black card drawn with white charcoal.On the left I used cuttings and glued them randomly creating a scattered effect. I wanted to use the layers of paper to create the texture inspired by grass.

  

 Practicing different ways of drawing ferns using some of my photographs.  

   

 I like the diffrent shapes and colours of the autumn leaves. I tried to recreate the textures and colours with water colours allowing the colours to merge and loosing some of the defined shapes. 

                                                                               One of my favourite artists is Debbie Smith – Drawings with thread. So I used thread to do a marking of a spider web and to add texture to the leaf above. 
These photos inspire me as I think they are a good representation of not only Natures larder but the amazing different colours and textures combined. The photos are from faerie Magazine.

“The metaphors in nature are very strong, nature is a mode of communication” – Loise Bougeois.

           AND RESEARCH

Debbie Smyth is a textiles artist mostly known for her drawing with thread. She very cleverly places nails on the wall and joins them with thread creating very playful 3d pieces of art but still looking like embroidery on the wall. Her illustrations are fun and humorous. I love the idea of drawing with thread I find it fascinating.

Hilary Ellis another inspiration for me. I like her soft and simple textures and shapes. Hilary Ellis studied fine art in Liverpool, she liked print making using lots of repetition. Her work looks simple very ordered almost effortless, she also uses layering to build surfaces which is something I would like to use in my future work.

 I like Roanna Wells because she was trained in embroidery. I can relate to her fascination by the similarities of the effect of pen on paper and thread on fabric making them her focus in her art. I love the way she marries the traditional with the contemporary.

    “Art is a gurantee of sanity” – Loise Bourgeois. Loise Bourgeois I can relate to some of her work in the sense that she looked for expressions of procreation and growth. I like how she saw the similarities in between the human body and nature, she said “it seems rather evident to me that our own body is a figuration that appears in mother earth” I can personally identify with those thoughts and will apply some of her views and techniques to my future in textiles.

-WRITTEN ANALYSIS-

Initially, when presented with the theme “natures larder”, I thought I would try to illustrate the various textures of different natural objects. I then came to the realisation that I was struggling to simplify the shapes and markings of these objects and found myself taking a slightly different direction to what I had originally anticipated. It made me feel almost like a child going back to basics, trying to simplify the object in front of me to just shapes and markings, taking me completely out of my comfort zone.

My first impression of the project was that it looked like a simple and easy one, especially as I had picked my favorite theme but as I got started I realised it wasn’t easy to just drawing the markings of my chosen materials especially the wood. I found it very difficult not using colour as my natural way of expressing what I see is through the use of colour.

The techniques I explored were with simple media like pencil, chalk, ink and water colours. I used repetitive techniques and some fast drawings, trying to concentrate on the edges and seams while on other drawings I concentrated on observing the details of my objects.

I think my strong points are observing and the drawings in my sketch book. My weaker aspects are my inability to be descriptive in my analysis in conveying what I see. I find it very hard to express with words what I see so I feel I am going to have to work much harder at it.

The new skills I have already gained with this introductory assignment are many for example; researching textiles artist that I didn’t know existed but who have already tought me so much. Artists like Roannah Wells, Debbie Smyth, Hilary Ellis and Loise Bourgeois. also I am already starting to observe and analyse materials and objects in different ways, ways I wouldn’t have looked at before.

I would like to have had more time to practice and develop this project further maybe instead of doing markings on paper, I’d used different media. I look forward to taking a similar approach on fabrics, as I feel I will enjoy that is something I would enjoy a lot, maybe because I found the chosen media for this assignment difficult. I find that I can express myself better with fabrics or maybe its just a question of me practicing more on paper, we shall see. I look forward to seeing my progress but I’m a bit nervous to start the next assignment. 

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