I am increasingly drawn to the study of water, and light. This has resulted in a series of abstract and semi-abstract paintings exploring the contrasts of calm, still waters with violent storms expressing an inner landscape of turbulent emotions with moods of more reflective stillness.
Covid-19 and lockdown has had a huge impact on my work. I have always blurred the lines between art and craft, with bookbinding and dyeing forming part of my creative practice alongside my abstract art painting. However, since lockdown, I have felt much more drawn to dyeing than anything else and have been using the time to experiment, producing dyed wool fibre, yarn and silk.
Free from the constraints of composition, I have been able to focus purely on colour and tone, learning new colour mixing skills along the way as fluid dyes mix very differently to acrylic paint. Pure play has developed into a more scientific approach, requiring measuring and accurate recording to enable me to create repeatable colours.
As well as dyeing yarn for knitters and crocheters, I have been dyeing unspun wool fibre, raw silk and silk scarves and using these materials to experiment further, creating translucent fused silk “paper” for use as a collage or layering material in future artwork.
Another avenue of exploration has been looking at Shibori, the Japanese art of preparing fabric for dyeing. Techniques include folding, pleating, clamping, wrapping and tying fabric to create areas that resist dye. My results have been mixed, but even the ‘failures’ can be overdyed and those have often produced the most exciting patterns.
I have also spent some time researching different types of dyes and discovered European and global initiatives aimed at minimising the impact of textile dyeing on our natural resources. I am pleased to say the dyes I have been using are low impact and I now have a better idea of how to source dyes and which ones to avoid.
The focus on play and experimentation has been the right thing for me to do to combat the anxiety and stress of being separated from friends and family.
Spring Fling online experience
I will be sharing new work, videos, blog posts and sketchbooks on my website and social media platforms throughout the Spring Fling weekend and will be available to answer questions and chat with visitors via phone, email and FB messenger.
I will be preparing a video showing the studio, works on display and beautiful views, to give visitors a taste of what they would see if they were actually here themselves.