Capturing The Essence Of Springtime In Textile Art


 

BENEATH THE FOLDS EXPLORES CAPTURING THE ESSENCE OF SPRINGTIME
                                   

Capturing the essence of a season can be achieved in a number of ways. In this month’s column we will look at building a colour palette of new shoots and Spring flowers using traditional applique and patchwork techniques,  layering off-cuts of fabrics, adding texture with wool and naturally frayed fabrics, embellishing with light reflective beads, jewels and sequins to create light and depth within the surface, and hand embroidered poetry capturing the essence of my childhood at Easter in a crochet thread.

CAPTURING THE ESSENCE OF SPRINGTIME – BUILDING A COLOUR PALETTE

”Spring Garden” and ”Springtime” captures the essence of the season with a vibrant colour palette of rich greens (new shoots) and blues (bright skies), brown (soil), purple, pink, yellow, orange and white (Spring flowers of hyacinths, cherry blossom, daffodils and snowdrops).

A rich colour palette of new shoots and Spring flowers in 'Spring Garden'
New shoots and Spring flowers in ‘Spring Garden’
A rich patchwork of colour capturing the essence of the season in 'Springtime'
A rich patchwork of brown, green, blue, pink and purple in ‘Springtime’

TRADITIONAL APPLIQUE AND PATCHWORK TECHNIQUES

Layering fabrics (applique) and stitching fabrics together (patchwork) builds a strong colour palette and establishes depth within the surface structure.

Traditional applique and patchwork builds a rich colour palette and surface depth in 'Springtime'
Traditional applique and patchwork builds colour and depth

LAYERING TECHNIQUE USING OFF-CUTS OF FABRIC

Collecting off-cuts of fabric is a fabulous way to produce depth within a colour palette. Individual panels of colour can be created by overlapping edges of similar sized pieces (use a running stitch to secure), building long lengths which are then layered and stitched to establish a surface of texture and depth within the naturally frayed fabrics. Additional lengths of frayed curtains and blankets have been used in Spring Garden. There is a natural rhythm established within the stitching and contouring of the surface.

Layering techniques using fabric off-cuts is effective in building depth and colour
Layering fabric off-cuts creates texture and rhythm within a flat surface

ADDING TEXTURE WITH WOOL

Wool is a fantastic medium because of it’s diversity. The greater the thickness (ply) the greater the volume and 3D structure. I love creating wool pompoms for fringing because it adds a mobile depth within the textile.

Using wool pompoms to create depth and structure within a textile
The immense wool pompom fringe in ‘Springtime’ adds volume and structure

Embellishing a surface with mark making embroidery is effective in layering colour, pattern and texture. ‘Springtime’ applies a simple running stitch and cross stitch to enhance panels and over sews to anchor large buttons.

Using wool to embellish textile panels with traditional embroidery
Traditional running stitch and cross stitch embroidery

ADDING TEXTURE WITH NATURALLY FRAYED FABRICS

Naturally frayed fabrics and woollens (roughly cut ) are a great source of texture, adding volume and depth to a flat surface. Use a wide variety of materials to establish a rich density within the structure of your textile.

Naturally frayed fabrics add texture, volume and depth to a flat textile
Naturally frayed fabrics promotes a rich textural depth

EMBELLISHING WITH LIGHT REFLECTIVE BEADS, JEWELS AND SEQUINS TO CREATE LIGHT AND DEPTH

3D buttons, beads and jewels are very effective in establishing surface contouring, with a play of light upon the surface casting shadow, creating depth within the structure.

Creating a rich surface contouring of light and depth
Buttons cast shadow, adding depth within the surface contouring

Light reflective sequins captures the delicate light of Springtime

Capturing the delicate light of Spring with sequins and buttons
Delicate light is captured using sequins and pearl buttons

CAPTURING THE ESSENCE OF SPRINGTIME  WITH ORIGINAL POETRY

‘Easter Sandals’, hand embroidered in a gold crochet thread, captures the spirit of Easter when I was a child growing up in the North East of England. The viewer is transported back to join me in ”the hunt for brightly patterned eggs… church bands parading through South Shields…” A personal experience establishes an emotional layering to which the viewer can relate.

''Easter Sandals'' captures the essence of my childhood at Easter in the North East of England.
join me in ”the hunt for brightly patterned eggs”

I do hope you have enjoyed CAPTURING THE ESSENCE OF SPRINGTIME. If you would like to explore more seasonal abstracts visit my website and gallery  .

 

 

 

Christine Cunningham

Creating art from recycled materials using traditional methods (applique, patchwork, quilting) with a modern exploration into fabric manipulation and padded structure. Unusual materials include hair, plastic, rubber, metal, disintegrating fabrics and found objects. I source my treasures from carboot sales, charity shops and freecycle. Original poetry captures the essence of an experience, an emotional layering to which the viewer can relate on a personal level. I have two bodies of work. The Natural Collection explores abstract flower design and the seasons, religion, visions of India and Buddhism, childhood nostalgia and the seaside. The Womanhood Collection explores natural states of being including breast cancer, sexuality, the ageing process, anatomy, love, fragility and independence. I was inspired by my own experiences of breast cancer, both the physical brutality and fragility of living in the aftermath.

Recent Content