Monday, 11 November 2013

a bit of something different

I am currently preparing work for 5 different exhibitions, which has given me an inclination and an opportunity to try out a few slightly different ways of working. One of these is working direct to canvas or paper, rather than working onto a wadded/quilted background. However - one of the reasons I choose to work with textiles and quilts, is I just love the texture these materials and practices produce. So a flat canvas was not appealing. I spied some textured craft papers in the Works, when buying canvas, and decided to see how I could use them as potential backgrounds. So here is a first try out - stage by stage ..
I started with  a blank canvas and glued the textured papers down after cutting them into squares ... you can tell I am a patchworker! ...
covered it all in a fairly liquid gesso(liquitex)

added setacolour pale blue and some iridescent acrylic medium and covered the canvas again

which gave us this ..

quite nice, so decided to try out some images ... these are all prints from the gelli plate

feeling background too blue, so added a glaze of setacolour wine and some interference gold

Oooh - wet! .... blotted with a paper ... which gave this little bonus
and resulted in this .....

decided to add some liquid acrylic ink in black

which after spraying with water and blotting a bit, looked like this

hmmmm ... too dark, so went all over top again with almost dry coat of original blue setacolour
I also stitched into  the imagery papers at this stage - and then tried them out

settling on this arrangement

too blue again, so added back a very little wine colour with water soluble crayons

and then rubbed over with my very favourite water resistant neocolour crayons in white, to bring the patterns back a little and add emphasis
Now for some hand stitch .. but the dog is moithering for a walk now .. so tomorrow I think ... hope to talk soon - Hilary x



  1. Intriguing ! And also 'setacolour'? Am I missing something, but I though that was a paint to 'print' in sunlight?

  2. Hilary - Setacolour brand covers a few paints - of which setacolour soleil are the ones you are thinking of. Should have said - I use setacolour opaque - in this case thinned with water and mixed with golden mediums x

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you! - I'm just stitching it now .. not as tough as I feared x

  4. This time? My comments usually disappear into the ether...whatever that is! Your work drives me crazy Hilary. I would be terrified of painting over such glorious papers...but look what you have achieved. Must be why you are an artist and I am a plodder! Genius work from a real live clever clogs...

  5. I LOVE your poem Bonnie - and I don't know who that bad pixie is who is nicking your comments .. but thank you for persevering. You know - being brave enough to keep going is actually an important part of creating I think .. you have hit on a little gem there. IT is a bit nerve racking when you already have something nice, but I always take photos and re-assure myself that I cam reproduce that initial piece if I want to .. and then I just blob in (technical term). Quite frequently I feel I have just spoilt a previous stage, but the nice thing about how I work, is that I just keep going until I like it all again. Or put it away for a few weeks and come back to it .. that usually helps too. It also helped that those lovely papers are not very expensive - and I have more!! xx

  6. Gorgeous, drawn to your work as stitch on paper is my passion. Glad I've found your blog to follow.

    1. Hi Beverley - I am increasingly using paper and fabric interchangeably .. and paper does take stitch so very well. I've done some more this last week whilst at the knitting and stitching show and will get them on the blog as soon as I get them all unpacked! - Hilary x

  7. Hi Hilary

    I'm a bit late with this comment, but just to say, as always, interesting, instructive and inspiring. It is very helpful to see all the steps in your process and to see the results at each step. It is quite a challenge (well I find it so) to create a background that is both interesting in of itself and yet not intrusive. (my goodness, what a lot of 'i's you've acheived!)

    Can I ask you an unrelated question? For the first time in my life I have entered some of my work into a quilt competition (South West quilters). Thinking about one of your previous blogs on how wavy quilts irritate you, I set out to block my quilts - also for the first time in my life (sorry!). From the net, I gathered the thing to do was to build a design board on which to stretch them, out of insulation board. However, my local builder said that insulation board would crumble if it got wet, and anything that could stand damp would be too dense to stick pins in. In the end, I put a towel on the floor and pinned to the carpet. That seemed to work - just a pain keeping the cat off!!. Can I ask you what you made your design board out of?

    And to answer the question you asked in your reply to my last comment, I live on the Bere Peninsula, which is between the rivers Tavy and Tamar, not far from Plymouth. It is glorious - used to provide London and the rest of the country with strawberries and daffodils. Which ever way you walk, you come to a river. The only problem is that it is then uphill all the way home!

    Hilary Florence

    1. Hi Hilary - you are right about background/foreground relative impact .. I think this challenge of having interest at all levels and yet keeping the focus where you want it is probably one of my favourites and features in everything I make - even including the book pages
      Delighted to hear you are entering a completion - it is a great way to make you finfish stuff and nothing quite beats seeing your work up on display. You are also right that blocking is wonderful for flattening quilts out. Carpet is good and I have used either carpet or lino flooring a couple of times .. it works fine, just can be a bit of a nuisance in the house!! Now I have two design boards (greedy I know - but one stands in font of the other). My favourite is an office divider screen - excellent to pin into and I can move it around for getting longer views and photos of stuff. Easy to pin into and brilliant for blocking. It's only limitation is size .. It is 6 x 6 ft., which is fine for most stuff, but occasionally not quite enough. So I have covered the wall behind with adhesive cork tiles .. which also works wonderfully. I am fortunate that I can do this in my studio - but if you wanted a moveable corky one, I would go for thin ply wood and cover it with cork tiles .. will be heavyish, but water resistant. You could also use foam board with cork stuck on top. You would have to join pieces though and put duck tape or similar round the edge to make it waterproof.
      And where you live ... Lucky you!! - Hilary x

  8. Really helpful. thank you very much.
    Hilary Florence