Monday, 21 October 2013

You have rather a lot of prints and stuff .. what next??

 And I really do mean rather a lot .. a very big shed loads. Never one to work in small quantities, recent demos mean that I have masses of material to work with .. not that I am complaining. So - taking a break from making materials, I have started to work some themes in to my sketchbooks. This has been a very happy couple of days. I have not made time in the last year for much of this sort of work, and I have missed it. All these pages are 'in progress' and can and will no doubt be altered and developed. But I'm pleased with the start ..
So I started with a page made whilst at Ally Pally and which features the willow leaves I was using on the gelli plate. These became so gorgeous, they just had to be preserved. So a quick background an plenty of matte medium later .. this is what we have .. roughly A3(ish)

The background is markal gold and both blending sticks, plus some matte medium and a colour wash of procion dyes. The leaves were covered in lumiere shimmering blue and copper and I have added some gold too. I've also added some neocolour 1 and 2 in to the background ...
and then a quick alteration in photo shop .. I could of course have any/all of these printed to fabric or use them as a basis for collage
Here is a cut out of one of the resist gelli prints (ie - the gap left by the leaves) I've added it to a sketchbook page, already coloured with gesso through stencils and dyes
Wanting the shimmer, I've added some of those yummy gold powders (bet you've got some somewhere!), mixed with matte medium around the leaf shapes
and also painted the resist leaf shapes left on the opposite page when I added matte medium to the back of the first leaf shapes .. are you keeping with me??
and trying out still more cut out leaf shapes on top
settling for this on (for now) - these are all still very much works in progress
bored of soft pink, I went in search of something a bit brighter .. and found these gorgeous red pages. I cut out more leaves from a photoshop altered image of a gelli print and tried them. They needed a bit of help to show, so I've sprayed through a stencil with a mix of water, golden fluid titanium white and golden fluid gold interference paint ... this white is light and shimmers gold when you move it .. impossible to show unfortunately on here .. but it does
Printed off stencil reverse on other side of sketchbook and started laying some leaves on there too - I love these colours
Decided I might try a split moonish sort of a thing
Like that, but decided to tone down the red a bit - using neocolour 2 (water soluble) crayons on background, and  bit of neocolour 1 on leaves to blue them up, as it were
Looks nice (better?) upside down
and on end -
off cuts working well too ...
Now bored of willow - so move on for a while - to pears. I printed bowls full of these at Ally Pally - they just worked so well with the gelli plate. So I've just cut out some of the prints and started placing them in to my new favourite sketchbook. This is a soft back, khadi book, roughly A3, with  thinner pages which are still very strong. Gorgeous deckle edges and a stitched spine to dye for. A joy. Anyway - this page had been brushed with some matte medium to show how it resists dye .. which it obligingly has! Two favourite colours here of teak and bottle green (and no doubt a bit of brush pollution) The pears are in a gorgeous shimmery copper - which isn't showing so well - but they are wonderful. I suspect (although don't know) that there is a bit of blue interference in them as they seem to change colour (should make notes ... never going to happen)
Working with neocolour 2 crayons to help the pears show and knock back the background a bit.
I've actually put neocolour 2 in pale blue all over the background and washed it in and I'm now adding more highlights with a huge lump of yummy white water-soluble graphite. This paper is just gobbling up the texture
Overexcited with the charcoal possibilities - I've added some grey around the pears and some writing .. not sure if I like this - might get covered up again. But that is the joy of collage and sketchbook work .. you can try things out and just cover what doesn't work. I shall give it a week or two first though.
New page - more cut out pears
neocolour 2 getting worked in
 and lots more - here before water added
and after water added
Love the colours on this one .. not sure about the composition ... but if I crop it ..
I'm really liking those. Then I felt the need to play more with those big fat water soluble charcoal and graphite sticks. I bought these at the ICHF show in the Spring, where Steph and I both fell for their charms on Derwent stand .. but have not really had much chance to try them out. So - I found a nice page with a background sprayed stencil .. but needing a bit of a lift and started just laying down some colour with the sticks
and added water
and more charcoal .. couldn't resit drawing and writing with it too
softened and smudged and then some markal gold highlight added - I will definitely be trying thses out some more .. they are such a joy to use. You know I say playing - and it is .. but not without a bit of purpose. My colleague and friend Jenny Rolfe and I are preparing an exhibition for a joint gallery we have at Fashion and Embroidery at the NEC next Spring. Our gallery title will be 'The Shape of Nature' .. so all this sketchbook work with fruits and leaves may well feed in to that .. I'll tell you more as it gets closer and I hope you will come and see us . it is a great show
but moving on from pears now .. I do like to work a few things at once - gives drying time and stops me getting bored .. I started working with some of the very many prints, stencils and rubbing I have made to use in making my pieces for the Art Textiles MIB 'Identity' exhibition.
Some images here just printed to page, and some collaged down .. this page is working towards a piece called 'Lost in the Crowd', which will be about the personas we adopt to survive and how that affects our identity
I used charcoal and neocolour 1 to blend the page
and tried darkening and distressing it a bit, via photoshop .. I like this
and other page - towards a piece called 'can you see me?' again about the effect of personas on the self
words too obvious I though, so I've added gesso, plus crayons, charcoal and some white markal
more ideas for 'can you see me?'
Crikey - long post, but I wanted to share how some of these pages are developed .. hope you haven't dropped off
and   just because  we all love it ... here is my table, mid process !... oh to be tidy
Lastly - but not at all leastly .. the new website for Art Textile: Made in Britain is now up and running - thank to the hard work of Stehanie Redfern. Here's the link - do please go and visit .. and maybe add us to your favourites? I hope so - talk again soon ... Hilary x


  1. Loved reading this Hilary.... great
    to see work in progress.

    1. Thanks Dorothy - I always enjoy seeing WIP - so hope others do too x

  2. Hi Hilary
    Love those willow leaves - great results, but where are the onions???
    Thanks for the fabulous demos at Ally Pally - hope the iron didn't end up in the wash-up tray!!
    Jean NZ

    1. Jean!! - home safely .. my other NZ girl. Thank you so much for the link with the Onion song .. even I think that is fairly odd - so it definitely is .. but also rather appealing. Will get some onions on the go I promise - they really were a revelation and very beautiful. I was thinking a bit of Marvin Gaye - The World is just a Great Big Onion?? - but have suddenly been overcome with doubt about whether I've got the onion right .. was the world a great big potato? or some other veg?? I'll be so pleased when my memory returns (am assuming it will at some point). Lovely to hear form you - keep in touch - Hilary xx

  3. Oh lucky woman! It would be just the best to see Hilary at work...but the next best thing is reading the blog. I love what you have done. Do you buy pads of A3 paper or single sheets? Is Bockingford paper okay? I'm still working on ideas from your delicimo book!

    1. Now I need to do the introductions ... Bonnie .. this is Jean .... and Jean .. this is Bonnie - you both live in NZ so are absolutely bound to bump into one another often. It was a very joyous demo Bonnie - we must make sure I am doing one when you get that trip you are saving for. Now - paper wise I am a real scrooge .. I use anything. A3 - I usually buy the cheapest pack of photocopy paper I can find .. although I am now being seduced by flip chart pads. Bockingford is quite gorgeous - but keep that for when you are working on to it with your coloured papers - or for some gorgeous prints. I have just been tempted in to a rather nice khadi paper sketchbook - soft backed with beautiful stitched spine - can you get khadi over in NZ?? - they are from India so you perhaps can? - if so, I'll give you details. Delighted to hear you are working through the old book - excellent!! xx

  4. Hello Jean from sunny Hastings, Hawkes Bay. Very nice to meet you! Isn't Hilary's work inspiring? I want to get to see her in imagination tells me she is a manic it true? We are madly saving for a trip to Paducah in April! When two of our daughters heard we were going they also joined will be a crazy three weeks. Poor old Muttley will have a hard time keeping up with the flying witticisms and mad eccentricity of the three girls accompanying him! Already they are talking of getting a family photo in the middle of Intercourse... One of the girls is scooter mad and wants to buy an Amish scooter. She has already booked in a scootering tour of New York while we are there. BTW...these girls are 38 and 36! Mad as meat axes! Should be a lot of fun... We will get to see Hilary in action though...just might be a couple or three years away yet. The pension don't go far...!

    1. Your daughters sound quite wonderful Bonnie - as I would expect being partly you. And what a holiday that sounds ... very brave husband .. but he will love it really. Pensions are a pain (unless you are a banker of course ... hisss and boooo) - what I really need to do is make a DVD!! xx

    2. Yes yes yes! PLEEEEASE? I am drooling all over my crossword...

    3. Nothing wrong with a bit of good clean drooling ... I just need to find someone who can cope with filming me!! - it is in my mind though ...

    4. Better late than never, but Hi Bonnie from Jean in Auckland. so nice to hear from Hilary's other Kiwi girl. Her demos in London were really fab and I'd love to participate in a 'proper class'. Maybe a DVD or even an online class Hilary!!! Considering saving to go back to Ally Pally next year, but like you say Bonnie - the pension certainly doesn't go far!!!!

    5. Jean - you slipped that comment in so quietly I've only just spotted it! Crikey - online class ... BIG learning curve .. but hey - if I can write and publish my own book .. why not?? You two Kiwis are quite amazing - I hope I get about so much when I retire. I will be teaching a two day Make it Personal workshop at FOQ again next year .. but I know that is probably a bit too soon. Will have to make sure I am doing something when you come .. so both keep in touch xx