Having a stitchy time…

You know how it is, one day it’s January and the next it’s nearly May…

The very observant will also notice that this is not the palette I began 2016 using. That piece is sitting patiently, waiting for me to complete the one you can see in progress below.

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I’ve noticed it before, some pieces just demand to be made. They muscle their way past the other projects you were working on and insist on coming first. That’s the case here at the moment.

This chap is keeping me very busy. After having done so much couching in As Above, this one is being worked exclusively in tent stitch. This is also a pattern I’ve experienced before – where for some reason I seem to need occasionally to let go of the texture and return to a traditional flat stitch. (No doubt though after this is finished, I’ll be right back to texture again!)

But for now, I’m stitching along, with perhaps another few weeks to go before I can show you the finished piece.

We don’t call it slow art for nothing!

Exhibition plans for 2016…

Last year was the first full year I’ve exhibited my stitched tapestries and it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Meeting people and having the opportunity to talk about what I make is just brilliant – I love it. It’s also fabulous working with a community of artists who are so talented and so generous with their time and input.

But hand-stitching is a very slow process and I want to make sure that when I exhibit, I have something new to show, so I’ve decided that I may not exhibit in 2016, in order to give myself the time to bring some new pieces I’m incubating, from my head and into the canvas.

However, if there’s something you’ve seen in the gallery here you’d like more information about, or if you’d like to buy a work, please do contact me directly for more details.

 

Say hello…

If you’d like to see progress being made slightly more often, find me on Instagram where I tend to post ‘work in progress’ snaps a few times a week, along with daily shots from my walks through the countryside in the company of the Delinquent Dog.

Or if you’re on Twitter, you’ll find me there too most days, indulging in my history habit, retweeting arty things, drooling over lots of raven loveliness and other occasional quirky stuff.

And of course you can find me over at my blog Dreaming In Stitches, where who knows what will come along next?

It would be lovely to hear from you…

 

 

 

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Happy New Year!

A little late I know, but I hope you have a wonderful 2016!

What a year 2015 turned out to be. The highlights for me were meeting so many fabulous people at the Discover group exhibitions we held in June and November. I feel enormously lucky to be part of such a supportive and energetic group – and I’m very much looking forward to events in 2016.

But now it’s back to the frame! Lots of stitching to do.

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This is the palette for my current piece – not too difficult to guess what inspired it…

For more of the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of my stitching and day-to-day life, please pop over to my blog Dreaming In Stitches, or follow me on Instagram or Twitter.

Stitchy Purdah

Well, all that frenetic activity back in the autumn seems like such a long time ago now. I think it’s safe to say that I took the slow practice of hand stitching to the edge, in the run up to our exhibition last November, which with Christmas following hard on its heels, made for a decidedly busy time chez Pawley.

This week, the Discover artists met together to start making plans for our exhibitions in 2015. Much too soon to be talking about any of them here, but I’ll post details once we have definite confirmed events in place. Suffice to say, we’re all pretty much buzzing with excitement and looking forward to the spring.

As for stitching, well, for the last few weeks I’ve been relaxing and trying to free up the flow of creative juices – for which read playing. I’ve daubed acrylics and watercolours on a few bits of paper – and generally tried to stop thinking too much. I’ve been playing in stitches a little too, forgoing my ubiquitous spirals and moving around in straight lines instead. It feels quite liberating – so liberating in fact that I’ve let the whole long straight stitch thing get a bit out of hand. I’m waiting to see where that takes me.

Oh and there have been beads – just a few. We’ll have to have a think about that too.

So, more playing for a while longer I think, and then it’s down to grown-up planning and a period of stitchy purdah while it all gels together – I hope!

I do hope the first shoots of spring are starting to push through in your own creative endeavours! Stay tuned.

There’s more random stitchiness over at my blog Dreaming in Stitches, along with my motley ramblings about nature, history, books and occasional smatterings of everyday life.

Do wander over and have a look around if you fancy.

Back in the frame…

Well, the first Discover Original Art Fair was a great success! Very many thanks to everyone who came along to Ivinghoe and supported us. We couldn’t have asked for a friendlier or more enthusiastic audience – you’re all wonderful.

But for now, it’s time to pack the exhibition kit away and get back to stitching.

I’ve been promising myself a trip to the The Handweavers Studio in London for months, and yesterday I finally managed to squeeze it in.

Over the last few years, as I’ve experimented more and more with alternative yarns for tapestry stitching, I’ve constantly been on the look out for suppliers who can offer yarns that will suit my style of stitching, in a range of colours that gives me the total palette I want. Every so often I find something wonderful – mainly dyed by artisan dyers, who create some astonishingly beautiful effects, but as these tend to be designed predominantly for knitting, they’re rarely available in quite as large a range of shades as I’d really like to have, and so I end up delving into the dark places of my yarn stash, hoping to find complementary tones.

My search for some elusive colours for my newest piece was getting pretty desperate, so I was really hoping, as I braved the grotty weather along The Seven Sisters Road yesterday, that I’d find something suitable at The Handweavers shop.

And I think you can see from the picture above – it was a very successful trip.

Apart from seeking specific colours, I was keen to spend time looking and crucially feeling the different yarn bases available. Although their website is very informative, I find that I have to touch a thread to know if it will work for me. Which is why I spent such a long time, studying every option and writing notes for myself for future reference – at least now I should be able to order online and be certain about what I’m choosing.

So, a very happy and successful few days all round.

Too soon to show you the new piece – but now you know some of the colours that will feature…

Happy stitching.

Don’t forget to pop over to my blog dreaminginstitches.wordpress.com for stitchy and occasionally non-stitchy updates on life around here.

It’s the final countdown…

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There’s a wonderfully informative and motivational book I once read, called ‘I’d Rather Be In The Studio’, by Alyson Stanfield. (You can read her blog here). When I first discovered the book, I was just beginning to recognise that I’d found my preferred medium, and was simply stitching, all the time, so I read Alyson’s ‘how to market your work’ advice as something of an outsider – maybe hoping that one day I’d be part of that world.

Roll the clock forward a couple of years, and how things change. For someone who’s art definitely counts as slooooow, I can tell you that the last couple of weeks have certainly seen a change of pace for me, as I prepare to take part in the Discover Original Art Fair this weekend.

Until fairly recently, I’ve been happy to just do the stitching, and the moment the last stitch has gone in on a piece, it’s straight on to the next one, with no thought given to mounting or framing or, let’s be honest – selling.

But with a real-life exhibition to prepare for, all that has had to change and at last I’ve begun to realise that making art is only part of the story. Now I’m rapidly learning a whole new set of skills and finally getting to put into practice some of Alyson’s advice. Inevitably it all takes far longer than I’d anticipated and for someone who regularly takes 3 months to make one piece of stitched tapestry, having a deadline can feel both exhilarating and intimidating.

Nevertheless, at the moment, excitement is outweighing the fears and although I’m beginning to understand how it’s important to strike the right balance between making and marketing our work, I’m now really looking forward to spending a couple of days out of the studio, and having the opportunity to show visitors to the Fair what I’ve been up to!

If you’re in area this weekend, please do come along and meet the artists – you’re sure of a warm welcome.

Preparations…

There’s something you need to know about slow art…

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it doesn’t like to be rushed.

Preparations are going on at as fast a pace as I can manage for Discover.

I’m going to be showing a selection of my large stitched tapestries at Ivinghoe, and in addition, I’ll be introducing two new stitched triptychs.

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You’ll notice that spirals feature – yet again.

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I’ve been enormously happy recently to find a new supplier of hand-dyed silks. People keep asking me if want to try dying myself, and of course there is a part of me that is very interested, but there are only so many hours in a day and I use most of them for stitching – so when I discover someone already creating exquisite yarns, I’m just delighted to try them out.

There’s quite a lot of the new silk worked into the blue triptych, which is providing a gorgeous sheen that I find both lovely to look at and which feels beautiful too.

I’m sure I’m not the only person who gets a thrill from the sensation of stitching with silk – and it’s definitely not something you’d want to hurry…

Discover…

I am absolutely delighted to be part of the forthcoming Discover Original Art Fair.

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If you’re anywhere near Ivinghoe in November, please do come along. There’s some seriously fabulous talent in the group and who knows, you might even find the perfect Christmas gift is just waiting for you there…