Monday, 6 July 2020

Chapter 12 Take three artists

Chapter 12
Study three artists
The brief is to look at the work of two artists Jae Maries and Barbara Lee Smith and then select another of my choice who has inspired has inspired me in any aspect of the of the work studied in this module.

Jae Maries

Sian has provided a little information about each starting with Jae Maries who is a free-lance artist and tutor who has exhibited widely, including solo shows in the USA and Switzerland. She is a member of the 62 Group of Textile Artists and the Designer-Craftsmen Society.  She chooses themes for her work which are based on stories or comments on society and  uses simple shapes and colours to create a mood and to tell the story in a visual way.  She makes her designs in coloured paper collages and interprets these freely into embroidery,  colours her fabrics with dyes and paints and then uses appliqué techniques with hand and machine stitchery.

Ebbtide’ (BBC collection)

As I researched further I was fascinated by information available on both the 62 Group website and

In her work, Jae explores her personal environment through a Visual Diary. She combines several techniques including oil painting, printing and hand and machine stitching. She has work in several public collections and it can be seen in various publications including her book ‘Contrasting Elements’.

For many years, Jae’s work explored the relationships between people and their environment but recently her work has taken a much more personal slant. She is now interpreting, through stitch and paint, her immediate environment using sketchbooks to record her daily life, using symbolic and abstracted marks and forms which are then translated into larger artworks.
Her work is unplanned and evolves through a series of processes each exploring certain events, actions, feelings or memories on a daily basis. The subsequent layers, maybe in paint, overlay the previous marks suggesting the fading of memories as time passes
Jae enjoys the challenge of using mixed media techniques in her work especially that of combining oil paint with stitched textiles relishing the contrast between the hands-on sensual quality of working with fabrics and threads and the thrill and spontaneity of brush marks.

Jae works full-time on artwork and  has work in several public collections . She is a freelance lecturer and tutor and has published a book Contrasting Elements.
 Jae has BA Hons. Fine Art and a Diploma in Creative Embroidery from Brighton University. She exhibits internationally and has now returned to being an ordinary member of the 62 Group having been Chairperson from 2009 – 2013.

Water, water.

Barbara Lee Smith

By painting, spraying and printing colour on fabric which is then collaged by heat fusion and stitched with machine embroidery, this leading American artist and teacher creates powerful, large scale work. This celebrates the space, time, light and colour associated with landscape in a series of atmospheric, lyrical impressions.

On further research and via her website I discovered that Barbara describes her work in three stages - painting, collage and drawing. She paints on an industrial grade polyester non-woven fabric which serves as her artist’s canvas before bonding several layers together to form a heavy base on which to collage small elements of the same painted material. When the composition is complete she machine stitches a line resembling a topographic map which visually ties the layers of paint and collage together.
In an interview for Barbara recalls being taught to stitch by her sister as a child and then as a young mother discovering books by Mariska Karasz and Constance Howard. It was coming across an Embroiders’ Guild exhibition which finally influenced her.

I can so strongly identify with this – the family connections with creativity, discovering the work of contemporary textile artists and then as a young mother happening upon an Embroiders’ Guild exhibition in Glastonbury, Somerset.

White caps:

Carol Naylor

Carol Naylor is a contemporary textile artist specialising in machine embroidery.
In an interview with she recalls a love of drawing as a child and an appreciation of the work of Gaugin and Klee from an early age.

Having studied Art Foundation at Hastings School of Art Carol moved on to Goldsmiths where she gained a BA and post graduate diploma in Textile Art. Following a successful career in teaching and lecturing she became freelance in 1997 and went on to develop a unique style in machine embroidery. She is a Fellow of the Society of Designer Craftsmen, has exhibited widely in the UK and Europe and has worked as a guest lecturer in USA and New Zealand.

Translating her ideas from her drawings and notes taken on location Carol stitches directly onto artist’s canvas using a wide variety of threads and changes in tension. Working mainly in cable stitch she creates a surface which undulates and flows directly as a result of intensive continual stitching. These are then complimented by the addition of a sculptural quality which develops as a result of the tension and thread changes.

Carol describes her work as an exploration of surface and mark making looking at qualities of light and colour observed on land and over water, shadows and tonal contrasts are explored through heavily stitched surfaces.

I have selected Carol as my third artist for her machine embroidery skills which reflect somewhat the directional free machine stitching, whipped tension effects and cable stitch I have used to represent the sea water and opposing tidal currents in my final project.

I love this piece below, Sea Divided, for it's textures, tonal qualities and colourways.


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  2. Very informative

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