Book Review – Textile Landscape


 

Mr X Stitch Book ReviewIntroduction

Textile Landscape:  Painting with Cloth in Mixed Media by Cas Holmes, published by Batsford.

This is the latest insight into her exceptional world.  Having already written and co-written books, does this one live up to the high standard she has previously showcased?

Who is it for?

Anyone with an interest in Mixed Media, Textiles, Print Making or even the bored Fine Artist, wanting a new idea for their skill toolbox.

Content

The title gives the content theme away, however this is one publication which cannot be judged by it’s name.  Holmes manages to defy our traditional views on landscapes and present a whole new approach with exciting results.

Lets have a look at a few examples as evidence…

A glimpse into the contents.  There are seven main sections, each with sub-sections.

There is a mix of the informative and the practical.  Some pages deal more with the history surrounding this subject, while others are more skill related, for example, the areas dealt with in the sections ‘Cloth, Colour and Mark’.

Practical, even down to the basics of colour mixing.

We loved how Holmes doesn’t just give us examples of how she herself has tackled the subject of Landscapes in her own personal way.  Yes, she can talk from personal experience, as observed on page 62 where we learn about the Edges of Australia; but she doesn’t ‘talk at’ us, she guides us, so that we really learn – a clear sign of a good tutor!

In the section ‘Painting with Cloth’ Holmes guides us through a few Mixed Media and Print Making tutorials. We learn how to Screen Print and even how to create ‘Stitch-Print Plates’.

Because Holmes works in both Textiles and Print Making / Mixed Media, we are getting so much more than a book relating to simply fabric based Textiles.  We love how she doesn’t create a skill ‘divide’ as it were, categorising Painting and Textiles as separate worlds – she shows in practice how they can naturally be married together.

This example clearly shows how she links Painting with Textiles.

What makes it special?

Holmes encourages us to get out and discover the Landscape for ourselves.  The examples she gives us are great templates to follow, but it is up to us to take this inspiration and interoperate it in our personal way.

We are the explorers, with Holmes as the guide.

Photography

Generously, she has included many other artists within this volume.  This is helpful, as it means that there is a wider scope to be inspired by (a list of the ones included is printed at the back, so we can easily access the artists websites for further viewing).  Imagery of the artists work is dotted right through the book……..

Imagery whether the artists own or another artists is first class quality. This example is by Jane Fairweather.
‘Scripts’ which have been wrapped around syringes are detailed beautifully .  One of Cas Holmes’ own pieces.

What is wrong with the book?

We found it very difficult to choose which bits were the highlights to include in this review.  It is impossible to decide on the priorities, the content is all so valuable!  Holmes covers so much – yet this can only be a positive – Cas you cause us problems!

Conclusion 

In the actual conclusion of this book, Holmes recalls a personal example of a time when someone viewed her work and questioned how a Textile artist could ‘do’ Landscape.

Does this book give us evidence of how this is possible?

Absolutely, in Holmes own words ‘Yes, Textile artists do ‘do Landscape’ and many other things besides’.

Maybe this will be the book to open up your views and challenge your own approach…give it a go!

Textile Landscape by Cas Holmes is available to purchase right here!


xAilish
As a freelance artist, designer, lecturer and tutor (how do I narrow down that description?!) I have been contracted by numerous arts organizations to provide Talks, Workshops’ and Masterclasses’ in Textiles, Print Making and Fine Art subjects.  These include branches of the Embroiderers’ Guild, Textile Study Groups and The Women’s Institute.  Every year I teach at The Knitting and Stitching shows and exhibit with the Artist in Action stand. I had my first solo exhibition in March 2016 and have been part of numerous group exhibitions.  Currently I am columnist for textile art publication “Be Creative with Workbox”; having also written articles or had work illustrated in Stitch, Inspired, Embroidery, Selvedge, Daphne’s Diary, Prima (online), Cloth Paper Scissors and the Batsford book ‘Be Creative with Textile Art.'
xAilish

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One thought on “Book Review – Textile Landscape

  • Ailish, a generous and insightful review. The contributions generously given by other artists to the book adds to the visual and written context. Balanced with the beautiful photography of Jacqui Hurst and masterful and sensitive editorial content by the Batsford team allows for the voice of the writer to come through the content. I can only write as I learn from others. Thankyou.

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