Monday, 20 January 2020

More musings re my final design ideas for chapter 9

The brief is to design a non figurative image incorporating sky and water but with a focus on conservation.


In my last post I wrote about the repeating the image of my chosen design wondering if that would be acceptable as this wouldn't be following the brief required i.e. to just enlarge the A3 design in its own right.
I'm pleased to say that my tutor, Sian Martin responded by saying that this would an interesting way forward.

This was my original :

And repeated, I was pleased with the rhythm and sense of rolling waves:

And then worked with decorative papers:

I then tried to repeat the design using one colour and three black and white but this didn't result in the pleasing repeat I'd originally achieved :

But with further experimentation I came up with something more pleasing and rhythmic:

First in colour:

And then in black and white which helps to define the textural patterns of the decorated papers:

I feel this represents well the watery effects, rolling waves, power of the wind, sweeping wind  turbine blades. The central spherical shape reminds me of the global image showing patterns of wind and weather shown on my research images chapter 8.1.
I took another look at my collection of descriptive words : global, powerful, replenishing, harvesting, rhythmic, productive and beautiful.
My feeling is that this brings a suggestion of the sweeping turbines, powered by the wind harvesting power whilst reducing greenhouse emissions and thus protecting and replenishing our beautiful fragile Earth.


I also queried whether my slightly more figurative shapes might be too contrived but Sian felt this would be fine as the shapes involved are abstract in themselves:

And black and white:

My plan would be to repeat this x4 and suspend each separately.

Decisions, decisions! I have to choose..................

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Chapter 9 Decorative papers

The next stage is to create a range of coloured papers with which to design. These are worked at A3 size and will be cut / ripped to make up the wall hanging designs later. My final wall hanging will be worked at an enlarged A1 size

CoIour choices.
During my research I have enjoyed re-visiting the book Exploring Colour by Julia Caprara where she suggests that moving around the colour circle from one primary colour to the next offers harmonious colour combinations whilst moving to the opposite side offers contrast and vibrancy where the primary hue lies immediately opposite a secondary colour. I feel this explains the colour wheel perfectly.

[Google images]

Now I’m looking back at the colours I selected for my drawings in chapter 1 and how I might use them in the making up of my decorated papers. I used predominantly shades of blue from dark through to light with the addition of green for shades of turquoise. I’ve then added touches of yellow and then orange as a complimentary colour to add vibrancy.

With reference to the colour wheel blue it is the primary colour featuring strongly in this piece of work with the addition of small amounts of yellow in it’s own right plus addition to the blue to give shades of green, a secondary colour. Adding green to the blue then gives beautiful turquoise hues.
The yellow and orange sit on the wheel harmoniously as they merge with red to form the orange which, in turn, sits opposite the blue. Red orange also sits opposite the turquoise. Its all quite magical!
I love working with colour, it largely comes naturally but I have relished pushing my boundaries further in my Distant Stitch coursework projects as I have played around more with contrasts, loving how the colours dance and pop against each over the water and sky.

Colour symbolism

Colour is used to symbolise aspects of our everyday lives, our reactions to nature, events and emotions.
Blue is often associated with cold, distance and infinity so often affiliated with the ocean and clear skies whilst green often symbolises peace and tranquility. Yellow is a colour which brings brightness and cheer, the colour of the sun. Orange, however, a mix of red and orange denotes passion, power, fire and warmth seen in the rising or setting sun. These are also my favourite colours and I love the vibrancy achieved with the marriage of blue and orange. I associate the combination with beauty, positivity and optimism which are fitting with the concept of renewable energy generated by the wind turbines.

I’ve decided to make a colour chart [above] using my Brusho paints, it turned out to be less straightforward than I first thought. I’ve focused on blue and orange as my main colours but became drawn into tints and shades. Random experiments proved exciting too. I’ve always found working with colour easy and instinctive but I’m delighted to have this opportunity to play further.
My chart ranges from blue through to violet adding in tints and shades.  

Decorative papers

I've used a range of paper surfaces that relate to my theme including plain cartridge paper, tissue paper, bubble wrap.  
My colours are based around blue, turquoise, orange and yellow including light and dark tones.

The following examples list the media I used:

From left to right:
a. Tissue paper was randomly pleated and brushed with Brusho inks in aquamarine on one side and and turquoise on the other. This was opened out and allowed to dry before being ironed flat.
A rubbing was then made using a yellow ochre over a shaped rubbing board.
b. Tissue paper randomly pleated horizontally and painted with aquamarine and yellow on one side and turquoise on the other, carefully unfolded, ironed when dry and then painted with diluted PVA to add a sheen.

From left to right:
a. Cartridge paper randomly sponged with blue/black Brusho paints and allowed to dry. Spiral shapes added using Inktense sticks in darker blue and orange.
b. Tissue paper with candle rubbing over a relief surface [glued down hole punch waste] and two colours of Brusho [blue and orange] added at random.
c. Cartridge paper previously used as backing for tissue paper samples, rubbing made with blue oil paint stick and washed with blue Brusho.
d. Bubble wrap painted at random with orange and yellow ochre acrylics.
e. Tissue paper laid over a rubbing board, silver wax crayon used to create pattern, Washed with blue, turquoise, blue and orange Brusho.

From left to right:
a. Tissue paper crunched into a ball, backing of cartridge paper covered with PVA onto which the tissue paper smoothed evenly over and flattened with a dry paint brush. Allowed to dry and then a wash of blue Brusho applied, Chalk pastel rubbed over the raised surfaced when dry.
b. Tissue paper laid over a cardboard rubbing board and silver wax crayon used to create a rubbing. Aquamarine and turquoise Brusho sponged the surface over at random.
c. Tissue paper laid over a relief surface [ punch hole waste] and rubbing created using a silver wax crayon. Horizontal strips of light and dark tones of blue Brusho brushed across.
d. Cartridge paper coloured with deep blue and turquoise acrylics and allowed to dry. Over printed with lighter blue acrylic using bubble wrap.
e. Bubble wrap sponged with shades of blue, turquoise and orange acrylic paints at randomly
f. Tissue paper glued to bubble wrap backing and surface rubbed with blue, turquoise and yellow oil paint sticks. Painted with Brusho in turquoise, Aquamarine, blue black.
g. Corrugated card used to create swirls on cartridge paper. When dry more swirls added a pearlised paint.
h. Ochre yellow oil paint stick used to create a rubbing on cartridge paper. Turquoise Brusho sponged over dry surface.

I realise I’ve produced too many decorated papers but I wanted to experiment. I’ve recorded each process so I look back for future reference. I’ve chosen decorative, patterning and textural techniques which will represent effects seen in water and sky. I don’t as yet have any ideas about my final design
so I am keeping an open mind.

Designs into full colour

Original design

I used 3 of my decorated papers.
Base layer 9.2.b – Tissue paper with candle rubbing over a relief surface plus 2 layers Brusho paints [blue and orange].
Middle layer 9.2.d – Strips of bubble wrap painted at random with orange and yellow ochre acrylics.
Top layer 9.2.e – Cartridge paper previously used as backing for tissue paper samples and rubbed with blue oil paint sticks and washed with blue Brusho.

Lines cut in top layer to reveal negative spaces and tissue paper layer below. Curved strips of bubble wrap inserted into the space to add a suggestion of bubbles below the surface plus a flash of a complimentary colour and vibrancy against the blue.

Wider spaces cut from negative spaces and placed to reflect cut lines, to add rhythm and texture.

I’m very pleased with this and loved the coming together of the contrasting colours within the layers. I liked the effect of the horizontal brush strokes on the top layer and the suggestion of depths below. The addition of the painted bubble wrap makes the colours dance and adds rhythm to the ebb and flow of the ‘waves.'

Original design

I used 3 of my decorated papers:

Base layer 9.3.d – Cartridge paper coloured with deep blue and turquoise acrylics, Over printed with lighter blue acrylic in paler blue using bubble wrap.
Middle layer 9.3.g – Corrugated card used to create swirls on cartridge paper . More swirls added in pearlised acrylic paint.
Top layer 9.2.a – Cartridge paper randomly sponged with blue/black Brusho paints, spiral shapes added using Inktense sticks in darker blue and orange.

Basic shape cut out in middle layer to reveal the negative shape and base layer below.

I experimented with arranging the cut away negative shapes around the basic shape……..

………but then decided to cut out the negative shapes in a contrasting top layer and arrange them over the basic shape.

I’m delighted with this! I love the bubbly textures in the basic layer, the metal appearance of the ‘turbine’ and the rolling waves of the upper layer.
All through the previous chapters in this module I’ve wanted to represent the turbine in this way - see image below worked in ch 6:

 but I realise that the final piece has to be non figurative so maybe this is too contrived?

I envisage this worked to the A1 format  as a repeated pattern i.e. my A3 repeated x 4 but this wouldn't be the remit - would this be acceptable I wonder? I'd like to see them worked individually and suspended as 4 but represented as an A1 piece.

Original design

I used 4 of my decorative papers

Base layer – 9.3.d - Cartridge paper coloured with deep blue and turquoise acrylics, Over printed directly with lighter blue acrylic in paler blue using bubble wrap, I then added some monoprinted textures using bubble wrap again but in turquoise and orange.
Second layer – 9.3.a - Tissue paper crunched into a ball , cartridge paper covered with PVA onto which the tissue paper is spread and flattened with a dry paint brush, Allowed to dry and wash of blue Brusho applied. Chalk pastel applied to raised surfaces when dry.
Third layer – 9.3.b – Tissue paper laid over a cardboard rubbing board and silver wax crayon used to create a rubbing. . Aqua marine and turquoise Brusho sponged over the surface at random.
Fourth layer – 9.2.d – Bubble wrap painted at random with orange acrylic paint.9.6.1 and 2
Basic shape cut out of second layer to reveal base layer below

9.6.1 and 2
Basic shape cut out of second layer to reveal base layer below

Negative shapes from second layer placed and arranged to enhance the rolling waves and the power of the turbines.
Third layer arranged on top and then curved strips of painted bubble wrap placed to represent bubbles below the water’s surface.


Further layers of papers from 2nd and 4th layer added to add more movement and drama to the positive spaces.

I can also see this as a repeated pattern of my A3 design to make an A1 wall hanging. I find the rhythm of the design very pleasing. This is a proposal but again, would it be acceptable as it is not sticking to the brief.

In any event this sample 9.6.4 has always been my favourite, it’s representative of the power of the waves and slicing of the turbine blades as they seemingly harness and replenish power. I love the sense of drama, rhythm, and movement. I find the watery effects of the second layer very compelling and feel drawn in by the atmosphere created.

I'll wait to hear from Sian before I proceed.

Friday, 3 January 2020

Chapter 8. Research for a conservation theme.

The first part of this module has been about studying the colour and textural effects of water and sky. The next few chapters will now prepare me for the study of a theme related to water, sky or both whilst looking at the development of designs and compositions based on the theme for the resulting wall hanging.
A simple sea or skyscape is not the intention but a theme or story line from which I will develop a design. With this in mind so I have selected a theme relating to the wind farm situated off the coast of Brighton and Hove.
The ideas generated from this chapter will give me the shapes I need to enable me bring together a composition.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the first half of this module, I've taken time to explore and experiment with the colours and textural effects of water and sky. I feel especially lucky as I live on the south coast in Brighton. The sea and sky here are forever changing from calm and tranquil to tumultuous and powerful. I love looking at the sea and its mesmerising beauty. The recent winter storms raged with huge waves crashing against the sea wall displacing shingle from the beach to cover the Promenade. Such was the power in force.

By contrast we have since enjoyed some beautifully clear and calm wintry days with tranquil seas and clear views across the horizon bringing us magnificent sunsets.

Looking out to sea on clear day can also bring us a different vista altogether and serves to remind us of our planet’s vulnerability and how this force of nature is being harnessed to contribute in the fight against climate change. It is often possible to see The Rampion Wind Farm on the horizon if you look closely on a calm day.

I’ve always loved the wind, it makes me feel so alive and conjures up many emotions in me. We cannot see the wind - only it’s effects and looking out to sea and witnessing the combined powers of sea, sky and wind has brought me to the conclusion that this will provide an exciting basis for my conservation theme.
Acknowledging that a simple seascape design is not the intention for this module I feel that this set of ideas will come together well as a collection of shapes to form the composition required.

I therefore started to investigate the Rampion Wind Farm. Their website states that a significant amount of power will be provided from a clean, green and renewable energy source which will contribute to the fight against climate change. It goes on to say that every unit of electricity generated from the wind saves a unit generated by fossil fuels thus reducing emissions of greenhouse gases as well as the UK’s reliance on international supplies of coal, gas and oil.
It is estimated that the project could avoid the emission of almost 600,000 tonnes CO2 per year which would otherwise have been released through fossil fuelled power generation. [https:///

My visual reference

My final wall hanging will therefore not be pictorial or realistic but a simple pattern design based on elements of my research. I have therefore collected a display of images, photographs, artworks to inspire ideas and kick start my design:


Verbal information

Shapes, colours and textures are relatively easy to translate into design work but words can add an abstract element:


I also realised that a certain song was repeating in my head as I worked, in fact I’d been humming it for days!

‘Oh, the answer my friend is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind’,
this must surely have been telling me something! Written by Bob Dylan in 1962

Click on the link to enjoy Bob Dylan singing this iconic song.

I searched for other relevant songs or poems such as I am the wind that blows upon the sea by Amairgen, first Druid of the Gaels in Ireland as recorded in the Irish book of invasions 11th century

I am the wind that blows across the Sea;
   I am the Wave of the Ocean;
I am the Murmur of the Billows;
   I am the Bull of the Seven Combats;
I am the Vulture on the rock;
   I am a Ray of the Sun;
I am the Fairest of Flowers;
  I am a Wild Board in Valour;
I am a Salmon in the Pool;
   I am a Lake on the Plain;
I am the Skill of the Craftsman;
   I am a Word of Science;
I am the Spear-point that gives Battle;
   I am the god who creates
in the head of man the Fire of Thought

I added some of the words collected and selected lyrics to my pin board to add more abstract meaning.


The next step was to make drawings inspired by the visual information I’ve collected to record shapes, patterns, textures and colour.
I made some quick drawings to interpret some of my visual information  using paper cut outs of both turbine shapes and spirals shapes cut from a background of wax resist and Inktense sticks to which I've added water to intensify.
The upper spirals are a further combination of wax resists and Inktense crayons.
Pencil and crayon in middle background.


Design exercise

The brief was to select a few words from the following list:

bend combined compressed conflicting confused controlled crushed enclosed entwined enveloped expelled fast frenzied gentle imprisoned married peaceful quiet restful rhythmical separated soft 
suppressed vigorous

Then to form simple compositions from small pieces of black paper [4cms x 4cms] by cutting, ripping, manipulation with glue and sticking down to interpret meaning of my chosen words either in 2 dimensional form or in low relief.

8.4.1 and 8.4.2

8.4.3 and 8.4.4

8.4.5 and 8.4.6   I then used some words of my own relating to my conservation theme: 

8.4.7 and 8.4.8

8.4.9 and 8.4.10

8.4.11 and 8.4.12

8.4.13 and 8.4.14

8.4.15 and 8.4.16

8.4.17 and 8.4.18

The next task was to re-work the compositions using the coloured papers [15 x 20cms] selected in earlier chapters. I've selected just a few.

8.4.9 re-worked:

8.4.10 re-worked:

8.4.11 reworked:

8.4.13 reworked

8.4.14 reworked

8.4.16 reworked

8.4.17 reworked

8.4.18 reworked

Further selection of 3 designs to take forward. These are enlarged versions [A3] using decorated sheets of paper appropriate to my conservation theme.

Decorated papers are covered in chapter 9..............