Assignment Two (Option 2): Exercise 2.2: Focus on embellishment and risk taking in experimentation. Hard Edges

–          Hard edges – What is it?  It is often seen in Applique, especially in machine applique.  It finishes off a piece nicely, as instead of any fraying, a clean (generally sewing machine) line is seen.  Here is an example and a contrast between what we would call a “soft edge”:

Above:             Hard Edges                                          Soft Edges

I wondered what would happen if I tried one of these?

I will look at Hard Edges first, in line with my textile practice at present…..

I feel that so far, I have only looked at my drawings from a surface point of view, using the whole thing rather than in part.  I wondered what could happen if I isolated a part of my work, say one of the pieces surrounding my mum?

I took one example to try: rrr

I isolated a cheek section of this and began to work to develop

it, simplifying the shapes, drawings them out………(see above)

You can note here, how I used the drawing as a point to look towards when making a fabric version.

Then came the machined hard edged piece above.

I used a vintage thick canvas like fabric as my base, then chose materials which I felt would work well with this technique.  They included hand dyed felt and leather scraps, colour matching them to the drawing as I progressed.

What do I think?

The materials worked well, as they were less “fray-able” than others anyway.  By drawing the shapes I saw, rather than literal representations, I was able to take my new image away from the original, making it new, making it something else and taking it out of the box.  This may be the time to have a look at the work of Matisse and Picasso….


Rather than a chapter and verse, I will concentrate on looking at a few of his facial representations:

‘Portrait of Lydia Delectorskaya’.  1942.  Oils on board, is seen to the left.  The pieces on the right were taken at his large Cut Outs exhibition last year at the TATE.

I was privileged to visit the Cut Out exhibition of his work in London last year.  Knowing the background behind this body of work, Gave me a greater appreciation for it.  Seeing the scale of it also helped me to be even more respectful of his work and taught me a strong lesson, that art should not be seen only on the internet, as there is no way of understanding the scale.


Another artist to look towards is Picasso.

‘Portrait de femme’39 see to the right.

The piece to the left, displays the quality of cubism; the black lines remind me of the hard edges in my textiles work.

In line with this, at the moment there is a Picasso exhibition at The National Gallery in London. Sadly I do not think I will be able to attend, however I can get a few thoughts from their website:

He shows his diversity, as he crosses a few styles.

Rather than a deep research project on Matisse or Picasso, this slight insight into their work, has help me contrast my own facial detail to theirs.  What I have learned, is that no matter what style you use, you can still portray a face and its character.  Strong bold blocks of colour, along with black line, bounce off each other and help us see the clarity of each facial feature.  I love how each artist highlights cheek areas especially.  In Picasso’s case, we see this just as much in his cubist work, as his more real oil paintings.

Matisse shows great skill, by his simplistic work, where he uses one strong colour for his background and then draws his face.  The features are not detailed, but are controlled in a way which makes them obvious.




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