Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Weekly Sample Project 2015 – Newspaper Images

What do you mean the year’s nearly a twelfth gone already?!
I have been quietly getting on with my latest challenge, honest - just too busy to blog it.
I wanted challenge, constraints, variety, nudging out of my comfort zone. But also manageable, and shareable.
So, the idea is:
  • Choose an image from the Saturday Guardian newspaper (any section)
  • Create a sample inspired by that image (trying to think laterally not literally)
  • Mount on an A4 page with the heading and original image
And sharing?
I’d like to blog these, including showing you the original image and context. Easy – just find the same article on the paper’s website, right?
Wrong. Apparently, the articles and images aren’t always the same online. So if I can’t find the image I want I’ll have to work with another one.
Nothing’s ever simple!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Weekly Sample Project - History

Yes, I’ve been and gone and done it – started my NINTH year of weekly samples!
Before I tell you about the new one, here’s the rundown of my past projects.
It’s still January, maybe you’d like to start your own?
2007 Rothko
I bought the only image-per-week diary left in the discount book shop, Rothko paintings.
Each week the sample was inspired by the image and stuck in opposite with notes. The broad bands of colour became textural, patterned, anything! And I became familiar with an artist I knew very little about.     
2008 Van Gogh
The only other suitable diary in the same series. This one was much more varied and fun. Samples ranged from the pattern of a chair seat in slashed silk to a row of olive trees stitched on soluble.
2009 Earth From the Air
A photographic diary – tougher than paintings where the artist has already simplified the subject. Great fun when I got the hang of it.
2010 Earth From the Air   
Another set of wonderful photos to work with.
2011 The Guardian
I couldn’t find a suitable diary, so decided to pick an image from the newspaper each week. I used news, reviews and even ads. This one was about a flu virus!

2012 Underwater Eden, 365 Days
Chose one of the seven glorious sea life photos for each week. Excellent subjects for embroidery, including this anemone.

2013 John Muir Trust Wild Nature Diary
Lovely photos, but more limited subject material.  A bit of a struggle.
2014 Random 5cm squares
See just below! This didn’t really grab me, not challenging enough, but it was a chance to play with some new stitches and old favourites. I mostly kept away from the Bernina.
So, I think I understand what I want from this exercise now:
  • use the full range of textile techniques I’ve learned over the years
  • take inspiration from the images without trying to reproduce them
  • be challenged by subjects I wouldn’t normally pick
  • practise making a quick response then moving on without trying to perfect it
  • just a sample, not a fully realised work of art!
And what I’ve definitely got, is a collection of incredibly varied samples that are fantastic to browse through. Over FOUR HUNDRED and counting.
Go on, try it… but I warn you, it’s addictive!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Weekly sample project 2014

Did anyone ever wonder what happened to my 2014 weekly sample project?

Is there now an EIGHTH annual set of 52 samples jostling for space here, or was it abandoned?

And, which of those outcomes would be the biggest achievement for me?!

I’m a little disappointed to confess that once again I just HAD TO complete it.  

But I did manage not to blog about it all year, so here’s the catch up.

The idea was to do absolutely any textile technique as long as the sample fitted on a 5 cm square of card.
What did I learn?
  • not challenging enough, I could stay in my comfort zone
  • too much choice, for a quick weekly exercise I prefer more constraints
  • 5 cm is pretty small!
Techniques used:
  • Hand embroidery (lots – that was nice for a change; tried some new stitches too)
  • Machine embroidery (not much, I spend the rest of my time on that) 
  • Embellisher (love it but not much scope at this size)
  • Crochet (aaah... wish I had more use for this)

So, it still makes a nice change from the day job!

And I end up with a great collection of samples to trawl through when I’m looking for inspiration. Now I should really make all those little squares a special box, shouldn’t I…