A Day in the Studio 2

Autumn Mist, Trees and Quilt Design

This is the final repeat for my Autumn Collection.  I have combined a quilt design, Dalia, autumn colours and mist all into one design.  I cannot wait to see the fabric samples and have chairs covered with the new designs.  As always the chairs will be re-upholstered and up-cycled at the Woodworks in Bath. http://www.genesistrust.org.uk/page20.html

I hope I shall have the time to play around with the designs and experiment a bit more. It has been really interesting to take sections of the designs and enlarge them, showing the painterly marks and textures.  Here are a few examples:

Autumn Design Section 1 for Blog

Autumn Section 3

Autumn Design Section 2 for Blog

A Day in the Studio


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Autumn Flower Design

This could be a painting but I have been working on putting this image into a half drop repeat.  What a fiddle and quite challenging!

I have been thinking quite a lot recently about the boundaries and challenges of where fine art meets design and vice versa.  This has lead me to explore the textiles and paintings of John Piper.  Here is a link to a particularly interesting design of his put into repeat: http://bit.ly/ZOLMmp This is certainly an artist I will research more in future.

I woke up this morning thinking there must be another way of doing repeats.  This lead me to play around a bit with one of my other designs.  Not only did John Piper’s image influence me, but also the way quilts are put together.  As mentioned earlier, I am a great admirer of the quilts of Gees Bend.  Here is a link to the image google page http://bit.ly/120r0wD  This poor African American community in Alabama, creates amazing powerful art quilts out of their old clothes and fabric remnants.

Here is one of my experiments.  Very rough and ready, but I think there are possiblilties for development.

Autumn Quilt Design

Mood Boards


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I would not consider starting to design a collection before constructing a few mood boards.  They are an invaluable resource while designing.

For my new Autumn Collection the key inspirations are:

  • Autumn fog combined with colourful autumn leaves
  • Warm wooden interiors with an open fire
  • The structure and stitching of the quilts of Gees Bend
  • The paintings of William Crozier, Wolf Kahn, Emil Nolde and Judith Cain

Mood board 1 for Blog

Moodboard 2 for blog

Mood Board 3 for Blog

Weekend in Pembrokeshire


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Last weekend, my designer friend Louise and I, booked a cosy cottage outside St. David’s for a well earnt break, away from family and work. It all seems like a dream now, our sunny 10 mile walk along the Pembrokeshire coast last Saturday, especially as the weather here in Bath has been grey and wet all week.  It was quite a treat, after our long hard winter. We were delighted with our accommodation as well, booked through the company http://www.underthethatch.co.uk/.

Here are a few photos to give you a flavour of our walk:

Wales Walk for Blog 1

Wales Walk for Blog 3

Wales Walk for Blog 2

Who could fail not be uplifted by such a walk.

Autumn Collection Drafts continued


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It has been a frustrating day with a lot of interruptions.  I spent all morning on my Autumn Flower design, only for Photoshop to crash which meant loosing several hours of work. However, I had another go this afternoon and here is the result.  I wanted to add some Autumn florals to my collection and I think this is definitely a design worth refining and putting into repeat.

Autumn Florals

Autumn Florals

First Drafts of the New Autumn Collection


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It is a grey drizzly February day, so working on my new autumn collection with the glowing colours is quite a contrast.  I really cherish the days when I can work uninterrupted on my designs. I have been thinking of foggy autumn days with the autumn leaves appearing as a brilliant contrast. Inspiration has also been drawn from  Wolf Kahns pastels with their scratchy colourful marks and the quilts of Gees Bend.

Here are my first drafts of the New Collection.  They still need a bit of work and I need to put them into repeat.  I am quite excited about how I combined the composition of a quilt with my hand drawn designs.  The intention is to make the designs “painterly” and quite free.  I hope I am succeeding with this.

Autumn Design 2 for Twitter

Autumn Gees Bend

Autumn Design for Twitter - Blog

Preparations for Lucerne


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I am really pleased to have made use of my fabric scraps.  A friend of mine has   transformed them into these lovely bags and purses which will make good Christmas presents.  Each one is unique and has a matching silk lining.

All the preparations have been done now and I am leaving tomorrow for Switzerland. The Expat-Expo is on Sunday 11th November in the Transport Museum (Verkehrshaus) in Lucerne.

Here is a small taster of the items which can be used as make-up bags, pencil cases and purses.

Autumn Inspiration 3


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These past few weeks have been rather challenging. The builders have been with us for a month now.  Walls have been knocked through and mounds of earth removed, but our new conservatory is up, letting a lot more light into our kitchen.  I have also been preparing for the Expat-Expo in Lucerne, and designing my new collection.

I feel rather sad that I missed out on some autumn sketching outside.  I have had to rely on some old sketches and autumn paintings as reference material. It is late autumn now and there was such a beautiful light on the trees this morning when I drove my son to school.

As if reading my thoughts, Richard my photographer friend sent me some images of beautiful autumn shots taken at Westonbirt Arboretum. Here are some tasters, celebrating autumn in all its glory; very inspirational.

Autumn Inspiration 2


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It has been a busy time in my studio preparing for the Expat-Expo in Lucerne. However, some mornings were spent working on my new autumn collection. For further reference and inspiration I re-visited some of my old paintings inspired by Autumn, particularly golden Autumn evenings.  They bought back memories of many hours sketching on Exmoor and in the Botanical Gardens in Bath.  Here are a few examples:

The cottage on Exmoor overlooked a valley and hill full of trees which were spectacular in Autumn.  This painting is based on the sun setting behind the hill.  The time when day meets night.

The valley on Exmoor looking out of the cottage window.

This is the valley again, looking from the cottage window.  I named this painting “Exmoor Requiem”. There were several reasons for this, I was listening to Verdi’s and Berlioz’s Requiems while working on this painting.  Also, I was pre-occupied with the concept from “darkness to light”.

This is based on sketches done in the Botanical Gardens in Bath.  I was still thinking about the time when day meets night.

Autumn Inspiration


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I am planning a new collection for fabric designs inspired by the autumn trees and landscape.  The golden light of autumn, the mists, the colours are very beautiful; but there is also something sad and melancholy about this time of year.  To gather inspiration and ideas I have looked at old autumn sketches, photographs, images of warm cozy, wooden interiors, work of the artists Wolf Kahn, Breon O’Casey and Judith Cain.  I had such a rich source of research material that I ended up with not just one but three mood boards and lots of images in my sketch books.

Here, I would like to give you a flavour of my autumn mountain photographs, taken on a visit to the Berner Oberland in Switzerland a few years ago.Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau

Chalet Window in BallenbergView down to the Lake of Thun