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

Exercise 2.2. Embellishing your prints

Introduction to this section and creating extra work to draw upon (including embellished pieces):

Drawing work, merging into hand stitched paper collage:

This exercise is all about further developing my work which I have already accumulated and more if I need to.  As mentioned above, although I do like my floral work, I am unsure if I want it to become the “meat” of my work.  Let me illustrate….If it was a meal, the more heart felt work, say the self-portraits would be the main course, whereas the florals may be the “side order”; still important, but not generally used on their own.

To further my work so that I feel I have enough to play with, I will begin a course of work on my mother, using some embellishing techniques as I go.  Once I have worked into this body of work, I can go back to any other work and think about any other embellishment techniques I may use.  I can refer back to my prior research, looking at artists such as Karen Nicol to inspire me.

The OCA notes mention the need to try out a variety of ideas within the exercise.  I need to look at this with a view to the work I am producing and tailor it to this.  It is a very open ended field, thus I need to be modest in my expectations.  As mentioned, I am being a tad unorthodox here.  Instead of using this section to simply progress with the prints etc already achieved, I want to make more, as I personally don’t feel my flower work is strong enough on its own.  This will mean that I may not have as much time to experiment; but I will be happy with the fact that I have not compromised in my work, I always want to being all my work with a solid idea and I just feel that the florals lack real depth.

As you will see, I mentioned looking at my mother and our connections, basing my inspiration of a few photographs of her at around the age I am now.  Here is a reminder:


To most, this picture would be like any other.  However, the dress she wears is one she has made herself.  Liberty Print fabric.  I tried to source the exact fabric and have found a few which are near matches.  As with a lot of my previous work, I wrote a few lines of prose, to give myself some solid sources of inspiration:

My mother and I

I knew we were tied,

Yes it took years,

For me to reach the hem,



 Starting stem.


Two paths,

Liberty print proof.

Worn by you,

Made by your hand,

The very one I turned away.


Years apart,

It took time,

For your inspiration to start,

Thrown off by my youthful stance,

Never a needles glance.


Now I stare at the florals before me,

Now I know the name,

Of the fabric you worked so hard to gain,

Yet gave up,

While I became your work in progress.


Your dress,


Liberty print proof,


I know my path,

Trapped in layers,

Stitches through,

Made by me,

Instigated by you.



You gave me Liberty,

In more ways than cloth.

The poem above has a theme, surrounding my mother’s love of fabric, which I refused to try myself, until going to college at 16.  She tried so hard to show me skills, yet it took a teacher to ignite my passion for this subject.  My mother loved to dress make with Liberty Print fabric.  I now often use the brand of fabric within my own textile work now and she always recognises it.  It has a distinct look to it, we can always pick it out.  Thus now when I think of the fabric, I always view it as a connection between us both.

I want to use this image along with the poem, to inspire a small body of work.  Whether I decide to build upon it, with a view to creating patterns and designs to print, will all be in the hands of the quality of work I produce.

You will be able to view all of this work within a named sketchbook, however I will also document some of it here, to explain the development.

Why am I choosing to look at creating new work at this stage?

Simply because although my assignment one work is very “nice”, it does not have the raw quality which some of my previous work has taken on.  I want my work to have a slight excitement to it, not too predictable. Thus I feel doing work which I can really put my heart into it, will help me to achieve this.

I began with drawing work:


My drawing work, is never about real life representations, it is all about learning how to remind myself of a mood, or how I feel about something, especially if it has an emotional connection.  I want to capture moments, as I have photographs for exact scenes.

Other collages built from the photograph of my mother:

I have often used mixed media to depict and highlight areas of my drawings.  The one top left has vintage lace to depict my mother’s shirt and PC printed liberty print fabric, the pattern which my mother used for the original dress.  Other papers which I have stored have been used and a slight amount of facial stitching to highlight areas. 

Other examples will be seen within my physical sketchbooks.



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