At Mr X Stitch we love to review textile art and embroidery books for you. There are so many great books to discover, packed with needlework inspiration and textile techniques, so we dive into each book to find out what’s good, what’s bad and let you know why you should pick it up.
We love Cas Holmes, heck she’s even written posts for us, so we are pleased to review her book Textile Landscape: Painting with Cloth in Mixed Media.
About The Author
Cas Holmes is an experienced textile artist and teacher, with an impressive back catalogue of books as well as years of teaching. Her passion for the natural world and using found materials in textile art is inspirational, and she is one of the UK’s best loved textile artists for good reason.
Who Is This Book Aimed At?
Textile Landscape is ideal for anyone who wants to broaden their personal creativity and explore landscapes as a subject matter. Nature is a constant source of inspiration if you want to use it, and this book gives you practical tips in how to produce textile work across a range of media with a natural focus.
As you’d expect with an author as experienced as Cas, there is a mix of the informative and the practical. Cas explores the history and context of landscape-focused textile art, with a good amount of time spent on the skills needed.
As suggested by the title, this is more than a book about stitching, it is a book about using cloth in textile art. The cloth underpins most of the book, whether it is being stitched on or printed onto, and Cas encourages you to tear the fabric and release it from two dimensions if the art requires it.
The book has new starting points for your creative journey and Cas is generous with her ideas and insights. Her wisdom flows naturally throughout the text, and you feel supported in trying new techniques, while inspired on what might be achievable.
As with any good textile art book, the fundamentals of art practice are included, so if this is your first foray into this world, Cas has got you covered.
The book covers a broad range of techniques, from stitching to printing and as well as her own practice, Cas includes examples from other artists. This gives you a sense of community and a broader perspective on the subject matter; you don’t just get Cas’ singular vision (don’t that there’s anything wrong with that, believe me!).
What Makes This Book Special?
While the field of landscape art (pun intended) has been explored many times, the real pleasure in this book comes from Cas’ curation of the textile techniques you can try, and the involvement of other artists.
The book honours the landscape as much as it honours the textile art traditions; if you were uncertain of the value in stitching landscapes, you will feel encouraged and prepared to have a go.
The layout of the book is an additional benefit, with plenty of white space giving freedom to what may feel like a difficult subject to learn. The photography is strong and there are plenty of detailed elements that help you understand how to apply the techniques in your work.
Whether you are an experienced textile art practitioner who wants to explore the landscape as a subject, or you’re a new textile artist who needs to start from scratch, Cas Holmes – Textile Landscape: Painting with Cloth in Mixed Media is a great book for you.
From the broad range of techniques, from basic to advanced, to the insights from other artists there is plenty of inspiration to get you started. But it is Cas’ voice and her passion for both textile art and for the natural world, that really shines through.
You might not make it to an art class with Cas, but this book allows you to share her teaching in the comfort of your own workspace. You’ll love it.
Textile Landscape: Painting with Cloth in Mixed Media by Cas Holmes is published by Batsford Books. Click here to buy your copy today.