Sunday, 27 April 2014

Doodling in progress

As I work my way into my next set of larger pieces, I've been amusing myself with another stitch doodle, representing in an abstract way the local stone walls that form such a lovely part of the landscape near my home.


I feel at a loss if I don't have some stitch to do all the time so these stitch doodles are part of my regular practice and I really enjoy doing them. They provide me with the pleasure of stitching freely, always so far by hand, and are largely unplanned and generate themselves as I work.

Their function for me seems to be to provide an antidote to all the thinking and planning and the practical problems of putting larger pieces together. They give me space to think and also the chance to try out colour combinations, though they rarely contribute directly to the bigger work.




This time I'm working on a roller printed ground with pieced slivers of tree fabric off-cuts from a recent 3D piece. So far, I've stitched simply with perlé and machine threads using stab stitch. The little slivers of fabric were included to suggest the bushes and smaller vegetation that work their way into the cracks in the walls as they age and decay.

This is unfinished and I have a feeling it may form part of a compilation of similar pieces to be displayed together in the end... or maybe it won't ... time will tell, which is the point of these pieces. They are unpressured relaxation and the mere thought of planning to do others or preparing them for exhibition may just kill the whole thing. Still,  in this case perhaps there may be others as I can already see how things could develop ...

Other thoughts on all this doodling can be found here (again a stone wall - there must be something about them for me) and here.

12 comments:

  1. Hi Margaret, I've been all over the place for the last few weeks and am just catching up - I love this, it may feel like doodling, but sometimes I think that relieving the pressure of thinking too much actually allows our real expressions to come through. I popped over to Lydiard a couple of weeks ago and had a nice chat with Hazel. It was wonderful to see your pieces in the flesh - the way that your woven pieces communicate the landscape that inspires them is very effective indeed, I can see how important it is to your work, and this is coming through in your latest doodle too. Looking forward to more.

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    1. Hi Anny, how lovely to have your comments. I'm so glad you enjoyed seeing my work at Lydiard. I'm only sorry I didn't get to meet you. However, I'm sure I'll get thoughts from Hazel!
      You are so right in saying that it's landscape that inspires me most, but, if pressed, I'd find it hard to say which I find most satisfying - weaving or stitching. I like the way one medium complements and feeds into the other and, if I think about it, the only-loosely-planned way I approach weaving is very similar to the way I stitch the doodles. I know there will be more of both ...

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  2. This/these are magnificent. Stitch sketches. I think a compilation of them sounds ideal, whether or not they're "finished." Anyway, this one in particular makes me want to get out my scraps and threads and just stitch. Yours is very inspiring.

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    1. Thanks, Connie - 'stitched sketches' - I really like that - much less trivial-sounding than stitch doodles. Maybe that will change my mind-set towards them.
      As to 'finished', I usually just know when things feel resolved and when I want to stop and I'm not quite there with this yet, though I've started putting another one together so perhaps that compilation will happen. Sometimes though I admit with my doodles, I stop when I just get bored ...
      Do get your scraps and threads and stitch - I'd love to see what you come up with!

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  3. I LOVE this!!! Such potential and so very inspiring. How big is it?? It looks as if it would be a perfect piece to be working on in front of the tele or with a cup of tea. Keeping everything flowing. Lovely. Must get busy!!

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    1. It's 8 ins square - hence the thoughts about a compilation. How did you guess? - working with it in front of the tele is just what I do. It's small in the hand and very relaxing and it stops me getting too self conscious about what I'm doing ... definitely liberating!

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  4. Wow ... so gorgeous ... and peaceful !
    I love the old rock walls that we find occasionally around here (Irish & Scots pioneers left them behind) and they are lovely monuments that the property owners still care for.
    I would love to try one of these abstracts ;) ... maybe we could start a little group to share and learn from ? I'm not much of a hand stitcher but wouldn't be averse to adding more to small pieces like these (yours).
    I also agree that 'stitched sketches' would be a much better title for these wonderful little pieces of art !

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    1. Very many thanks for your message, Sharron. The positive comments I receive are so encouraging.
      The little group sounds very interesting. I haven't done anything like that on line before - how would the sharing and learning work?

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  5. I like the unfinished nature of this, is it freeing to leave something unfinished or does it nag away at you I wonder?
    The term stitch sketches sounds perfect.

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    1. Right now, it nags away at me! ... But I'm going to leave it for a while and do something else. Sometimes when I do that and I come back to a piece, I discover it's somehow finished after all.

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  6. I love the doodling and yes to stitching as a way to stop some of the thinking or over thinking...stone walls are such a perfect loose grid. I'd say you have it all ... stitch on!

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    1. Thank you for your comments. I've just returned from a trip to Scotland and now have a couple more little sketches almost finished. Perhaps I will post when my brain realigns itself!

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