Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The 'fragility of life' and a bit of embroidery...

I have been out of the 'information superhighway's blogosphere' a little bit lately and haven't felt like there's much to write about. But if I lose momentum with writing this blog it will be like all the skincare regimes I've ever tried - it will come to an end. 

I haven't managed to get much done on my illustrations, but have played a lot with my new camera... And have started thinking about chapbook number three. Since working in this medium I have noticed something quite interesting (to me) - I have been working on images sometimes before text and I have taken a lot longer over those images. I don't mean images of scenarios or stories, but cover images for the little books. An image for the cover of number three is forming in my head at the moment - it's a tingly feeling!

I promised myself that I would address another comment that came up after my reading at Greenbelt. Someone mentioned that both the extracts I read dealt with the idea of the 'fragility of life.' I'm sure this is right, and I fear that all my work is like that. One of my big worries is that I am writing the same thing over and over again, but I hope that someone will tell me if this is the case. Over the last few years, I have become increasingly excited by the seasons and the natural world. Not wishing to sound too much like Henry David Thoreau, I spent some time one summer repeatedly drawing the clematis leaves outside my window. There is, of course, a long, long tradition of 'writing about nature' (I'm sure there's an expression for this), but I have only recently begun writing with the natural world in mind. With the seasons in the back of my mind, then, the fragility of life comes to the fore whether I like it or not. And life is fragile, isn't it?

Below is a rather primitive embroidery project I started last year, my mum is a great one for cross-stitch, but I thought I'd have a go without a pattern and with just the threads an old lady gave me. It's drawing on fabric, with a needle. Some of the shapes are a bit dodgy, but I am rather pleased with the result (however unfinished)... I realised whilst doing this embroidery that I can do what I like with plants and flowers when I draw them. You can see here clematis leaves, rose hips and holly leaves - why not? They are all pretty shapes and I like pretty shapes!

Should have ironed this...

A bit of a close-up!

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