Monday, 25 March 2013

Starting afresh

I am beginning to prepare for the next two exhibitions with Great Western Embroiderers - April 2014 at Lydiard House, Swindon, and November 2014 at Corinium Museum Gallery, Cirencester. The group has chosen to retain the theme Cotswolds - A Stitching Experience for these exhibitions.

Usually, at the start of a new focus for my work I am fired up by the novelty of the thing and this carries me along. In continuing a theme though, there is always the opportunity to develop ideas already half thought through. On the other hand, maybe there was a good reason why they were abandoned  in the first place.

Dionne Swift - Developing Sketchbooks
Advertising thumbnail for the workshop taken from her
I'm feeling that I'll have to find a fresh way to make the theme mine if I am to produce any interesting work.....An imposed group theme can be both a helpful focus for ideas and a restriction at the same time.

I love working in sketchbooks so, following advice from a friend (thanks, Maggie - this could be the inspiration I need), I have signed up for a short online sketchbook workshop with Dionne Swift.

I first came across Dionne's work at Art In Action at Waterperry, Oxford UK a couple of years ago. I really love her seemingly simple work, printed, stitched and often using felt.

Couching Dionne Swift
Another advertising thumbnail from Dionne's website
The workshop lasts a week and Dionne provides things to do each day, online follow-up, and comments on work for a further week. Judging by the lovely little sketchbook completed by my friend Maggie Harris when she did the workshop at the beginning of the year, lots of lateral thinking and new ideas should result. I am really looking forward to it.

Further details for Dionne's workshops can be found here.

Meanwhile, I am playing with basic pattern and colour inspired by my recent visit to Thailand. It's always good to go back to basics when the going gets tricky.

... and oh my gosh, it's snowing again - only a flurry this time, but very cold and so unseasonal for the end of March. My only option is to hunker down with those back-to-basics pattern exercises...!


  1. I did a week's course at West Deane with Dionne Swift,I'm sure you will find it interesting. Thanks for your comments.

  2. Thanks very much for your reassurance. I have my eye also on the course this summer at West Deane. As usual, it's fitting in all the possibilities alongside those much-enjoyed family holidays!

  3. You will love the sketchbook course with Dionne.Its brilliant that you have signed up... when yu have finished, we will have to have some studio meet ups to play!

  4. Thanks, Maggie, for searching me out and commenting! I am really looking forward to Dionne's workshop. Your sketchbook pages looked great today - as did the junior versions!!


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