Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Happy New Year!

(Oil rig, Qatar; Iraqi tank graveyard; trees amongst karst pillars in Madagascar.)
As another year ends, so does another sample diary. This is something I’ve done for four years now – I get a large diary with a picture per week and then each week I make a little textile sample inspired by the picture and stick it in. They don’t all work, but it makes a lovely bulgy book to look back through.

(Indian marble quarry; boats in Nile clogged with water hyacinths.)

I started with a cheap leftover Rothko diary – quite a challenge. The following year it was Van Gogh – more variety. Painters worked well, plus I must surely have learned a bit about their art along the way? Then I did an Earth From the Air diary of aerial photos, which was much more difficult at first, but in the end I loved it so much I went on to do another one this year.

I don’t do this for anyone else to see, but I’ve scanned a few examples here just to show what I’m on about. And maybe spread the idea?

(Shadows of camel caravan, Niger desert; the Eye of the Maldives.)

I don’t want to copy the pictures – all I aim for is a little sample inspired or suggested by the picture (or sometimes the accompanying words), using whatever I’ve got to hand. For me it’s a valuable exercise in quickly responding, completing and moving on – not endlessly reworking in search of perfection. But it could work with any rules or none, depending on what you need or want to achieve.

It’s also a great chance to have fun with techniques and materials I don’t use much in my everyday work. So as well as machine embroidery, there’s hand stitching, embellisher, appliqué, etc.

(Autumn trees, Quebec; Sao Paulo apartment windows; dugout canoes in Mali.)

The big problem now is, I can’t find any diary that appeals for 2011. But I can't stop, this is addictive. Going to have to do something radical. I’ve decided to take a picture from the newspaper each week instead… hmm, could be a challenge too far?!


Mags said...

The Guardian do good photo galleries:

Or you could use a random flickr generator, like its 'interestingness' page:

Beverley said...

I think these look brilliant, and such a good idea to continually find a way to challenge yourself. News pics will surely be a new direction to consider. Remember to share at least one pic at the end of the year!!!

chocolatefrog said...

Thanks Mags, good idea - I'm a Guardianista but I forget about the online stuff, maybe I don't have to hoard the papers all week then choose a pic!

Carrie said...

What a fantastic idea! A great way to find new inspiration and try out new ideas without having to worry too much about the end result. Thanks for visiting my blog, it's great to see you there, especially as it has led me back to your lovely blog. PS. How about working in a National Geographic magazine? Their images are amazing and you can pick them up for next to nothing in charity shops.