Stitched stories of indigo, sea creatures and other small things

I have been working on new ideas developing a new universe inspired by Japanese Boro and folk art imagery. I’ve been collecting Japanese indigo textiles with their beautiful hues faded by time and wear. I’ve created these small squares using traditional techniques and vintage bits of kimonos and these came out. The fish, the 4 legged octopus and the sea urchin.4 legged octopussea urchin

This is a textile illustration on hemp / linen fabric inspired by American old quilts and using Japanese textiles. I’m very happy about it. It’s a good path to follow and I would love to use this technique to illustrate a book!chicksMore chicks

 

Of fishermen and the sea

Hooded fishermen, small boats, my small obsessions .They’re recurring images in my work as the sea is a luminous source of life, calm or rough. I love it anyhow. Sometimes it’s the memory of the sea that draws me in and makes me want to paint it. Some details from a new project. I’ve been playing with the same image over the years and it’s so interesting to see how it changes depending on what media I’m using. This is watercolour on paper.Right manLeft man

Star soup and waxy moods

I finally finished this new work experimenting with a new technique. I love working with wax, mixing things. Love the alchemy of it all. Never really liked chemistry in school but the way I work now my table is always covered with bottles and jars almost as if I was creating an interesting recipe. There’s no rule just a beginning and an end. In this case the end came late as I kept adding things. Mother rabbit couldn’t have enough stars in her pot… Is it successful? I like it as it is a step towards something new… And I like new.star-soupRabbit -mama

Cool place

I’ve only been to Eastern Europe once and that was in Hungary and I absolutely loved it. I grew up with folk culture from all over Europe but it has always been the eastern European one that has struck a special cord with me. It’s in the colours, the melancholy, the general spirit that pervades this tradition. I really can’t explain and don’t quite know but I was happy to see, on this recent trip to Poland, that there is a renaissance, a rediscovery of this beautiful land. I really wasn’t expecting it. Wonderful food, amazing exhibitions, great bookshops and architectural beauty restored to its glory but not over-polished like it often happens here in the UK or in other richer European countries. If only I could have mastered the language, just a little bit. Really hard… Here are some of the images I came back with which will inspire me for a long time, I’m sure.MeWindowsKrakow1FoodLovely restaurantsKrakow2Wooden architecturechurchChurchesOpen museumGreat exhibitionsShows

Urban charm

I spent sometime in my old town visiting my mom I hadn’t seen for a whole year. It never happens as I always make time to go and visit her. Not this year though as many things have changed. I live between two places at the moment and summer has been pretty hectic with the b&b in my old house ( keeping two places is really hard work) and trying to be creative with lots of ideas in my head that not always get the attention needed. Ideas, sometimes I find, are like ghosts : you think you see them but they’re mere illusions till you grab them and make them real… The town I grew up has certainly changed, it’s not functioning properly and I found almost everybody I know going through a bad patch. But the place is charming with incredible architecture, unique cusine and blessed with eternal blue skies that almost hurt your eyes. I love going back as I’m an islander at heart after all… Some images below capturing some of it.October-Sicily