Stitch Stories: Personal Places, Spaces and Traces in Textile Art by Cas Holmes

Today I’m highlighting one of Cas Holmes art books about creating art inspired by place, space, objects and more…Below I share a link to her website and I highly recommend taking a look. Her work is extraordinary and expressive with each stitch and collage. I could spend hours looking at all the detail and escape in the story she tells. -Stephanie Hopkins 

9781849942744.jpgStitch Stories: Personal Places, Spaces and Traces in Textile Art

by Cas Holmes

The events of your life, from local walks to exotic trips, can provide endless inspiration for textile art. This inspiring book shows you how to record your experiences, using sketchbooks, journals and photography, to create personal narratives that can form a starting point for more finished stitched-textile pieces. Acclaimed textile artist and teacher Cas Holmes, whose work is often inspired by her life and the journeys she makes, helps you find inspiration through your own life and explains how to record what you see in sketchbooks and journals, which can often become beautiful objects in themselves. She explains how you can use photography, both as documentation and as inspiration, and sometimes incorporate it into the work itself, along with found objects and ephemera. Throughout the book are useful techniques that can be harnessed to add extra interest to your work, such as methods for making layered collages, how to ‘sketch’ with stitch, and advice on design and colour. If you want to create beautiful, unique work inspired by your life and travels, this is the perfect book for you.

About the Artist:

Cas Holmes was born in Norwich, U.K in 1960 and graduated from University College of Creative Arts in the mid-eighties. For thirty years she has traveled, taught and exhibited and is renowned for her use of ‘the found’. Her many-layered, atmospheric pieces have been shown and collected around the world. She received a Winston Churchill Memorial Award and Japan Foundation Award for research into paper-making and textiles in Japan.

Since 2005 she has run courses for the Edward James Foundation at West Dean College as well as continued workshops in the UK and overseas. She works to commission and has pieces in the collection of the Museum of Art and Design New York, Rochester Cathedral and Arts Council England.

More recently, an Arts Council Award led to research in India and subsequent exhibition. This led to a Pride of Britain Award by the NRI Institute for excellence in her field.

The Found Object in Textile Art is her first publication for Batsford.

You can see her profile and work  HERE

Start Living Today

“Who you are tomorrow begins with what you to today.” -Tim Fargo

“Keeping a journal of what’s going on in your life is a good way to help you distill what’s important and what’s not.” Martina Navratilova

Art Journal Pages by Stephanie Hopkins

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(Images may be subjected to copyright. All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work, photos and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

This is one of many Collage Art Journal pages I created in April. It holds a lot of meaning to me and its powerful. I really enjoyed creating these two pages. The image of the girl is from a art magazine I subscribed to a few years ago. I believe she had a British flag image where I placed the Liberty Bell Stamp.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Art Journal Pages by Stephanie Hopkins

A Life Liberty II Edited

(Images may be subjected to copyright. All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work, photos and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

Art Edition

Today I’m sharing a little about stepping outside of my comfort zone in regards to my Mixed Media Art. My usual styles of creating are using darker hues, vintage grudge, steampunk, doodling, fluid art and abstracts. A few months ago, I made the decision to step out of my zone and explore different ways of creating mixed media art and my journals. The piece below is a prime example of what I’m talking about.

A Sweet Mixed Media Art Page I

I had created these two pages on one example of a background for a friend to see. I had put it aside for a while knowing I would come back to it eventually.

Last week I opened the book to complete these pages without any thought as to where they would take me. As I got to what I thought the final layer would be, I was discontented with it. There wasn’t balance. I was completely unsettled.

I shared photos of the pages to my friend and she told me to keep what I had-in so many words… Normally I would but I just couldn’t let these pages stay as they were. I decided to step away from my work desk and went in the kitchen to fix a glass sparkling water. I stood in the kitchen for a bit and started having a conversation with myself. Yep. I talk to myself.

My thoughts included: Why are you not happy with these pages? What is your problem today? -laughing. What do you want to express? What do you want? Then it hit me. I wanted to go all out and get girly with it. Yes, girly.

A Sweet Mixed Media Art Page

I marched back to my desk, sat down with determination and grabbed a box with embellishments and chose the “Sweet” embellishment to cover up the word, “Love” and proceeded to add a few other mediums-including more doodles. These pages are completely out of my comfort zone but I’m glad I created it and the story it tells is a good lesson learned.

What are ways you step out of your comfort zone when creating art? Or do you ever step out of that zone? How have you grown as an artist?

Stephanie

The Art of Mixed Media

 

A Mini Pocket I

Paper Crafting and Mixed Media Art are my two favorite mediums in creating my Art Collages, Bookmarks, Cards, Tags and Journals. More times than not, I am combining both mediums in my art projects. The last few days I’ve been creating mini pockets for journals out of pages from a book and using different craft mediums to complete the pockets. Let’s take a look at the two mediums and their usage. You’ll find they go hand in hand.

Paper Crafting: When it comes to Paper Crafting, I think of scrapbooking, journaling, cardmaking, paper cutting for patterns, decoupage, collaging, creating backgrounds, quilling and the many other craft projects.

Mixed Media: Mixed Media is taking different materials and combining them to create a whole piece-if you will. The medium tells a story and gives the eye many different details to explore.

When you begin using this form of art, you’ll begin to see your surroundings in a new light and discover many ways you can use materials around you.

Stephanie Hopkins

(Images may be subjected to copyright. All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

The Road Less Traveled

The road less traveledLast night I created this piece for a journal page and thought to put it in my Smash Book. I was super tired and it had been a long day. I thought to myself that I just need to go to bed but instead I sat at my desk and created. This piece is a reflection on how I felt yesterday. The windows are crooked and the doors look like they have seen better days. I was frustrated, tired, unsteady and had so many different thoughts running through my mind. I wanted to cover the page up and start over again. I posted this art page in The Paper Outpost Facebook Group I’m a member of and have had all sorts of different reactions from it. I wanted to their opinions before making a final decision. I needed some clarity one might say.

The members of the group are amazing and so encouraging. They lift each other up and all share the same passion of Junk Journaling. Many people don’t understand the term or premise to Junk Journaling and I’ve seen people criticize the past time. Not this group. I feel at home with them and our fearless leader, Pam is an extraordinary lady. The group also reminds me that art isn’t about being perfect all the time. Its a self-reflection, expression and that not everyday goes the according to plan, just like our creations. That is a big part of what makes creating so special. We learn, we grow and we inspire. My decision to share to the group was the right one and I’m glad I did.

 

Judy, one of the members, made a comment saying, “If you want my humble opinion, this turned out really well. It reminds me of a street in St. John’s Newfoundland (brightly coloured houses.) And the woman in the foreground is remembering…” I quickly googled search St. John Newfoundland and wow, wow! She was right and she opened the door for more inspiration! I want to go there and explore! I’m adding St. John Newfoundland to my bucket list. Meanwhile, I’m going to be doing some features and inspirational art based on this discovery.

Judy also said, “The woman in your picture was such a contrast. Newfoundlanders are resilient people. She could represent their stamina and determination.”

Other inspirational comments about the piece:

“Keep it. it’s cool. Plus, if you look at any museum, they have all kinds of art that isn’t perfect. That’s the beauty of it. I like it. I vote to keep.”

“It’s abstract.”

“I think your houses have charm. Get some rest and start fresh tomorrow.”

“I think you should add it. It’s a reflection of how you got your daily art in despite being tired, thereby winning. And besides, I think it’s quite charming.”

“Keep it! Shows you don’t have to be perfect to do beautiful work. By the way, I think it’s fab!!!!”

“I like how the figure stands out in the foreground as though she represents that she is bigger than all of it!”

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To further add, there are a couple lines in The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost that reminded me last night of what I was working on.

“Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way…”

A big thank you to Judy and to everyone who commented about the picture. Your take on the piece and compliment put me back in the right frame of mind. Love to you all.

~Stephanie

(Images may be subjected to copyright. All book reviews, interviews, guest posts, art work and promotions are originals. In order to use any text or pictures from Layered Pages, please ask for permission from Stephanie.)

Art of The Restful Collage

Nightly Art III

I added a bottle cap and metal from a tin can for the flower..

There are times my collages aren’t ready to tell their story and they need a rest. I patiently and gently put this piece aside and would often look the design, not knowing what story lay ahead. What is it, I asked myself? What story will be told?

On Saturday February 1st, in the late afternoon, I was looking at a gauzy textile scrap with strings attached to the fabric that had a familiar shape. A kite, I thought. Then the memories came flooding back and I knew what story this collage was to tell.

In the 1980’s-early 90’s, my parents were on staff at Clearwater Baptist Church in Clearwater Florida. My parent’s ministry there was memorable and my mother was the Children’s Director and held many events for the children. There have been many changes to the church over the course of its history and the original building is no longer there. I felt deep sorrow when I heard the Old Building was torn down. Anyhow, my mother would contact the city to use Coachman Park that was near the church down by the water front for events. One of the events was, “Come Fly with Me”. We made our own kites and would fly them down at the park and have picnics.

Those were the best times and I remember the feeling of much joy and carefree. How the air smelled of salt from the ocean, the breeze carrying our kites up and up in the sky, soaring to and from. The sounds of laughter and happy chatter from everyone. The kids running around back and forth to their parents and friends, sharing their adventures. Happy times, indeed.

Kite Textile Collage

This textile collage represents that amazing time in my childhood. All is left for the finishing touches are to sew thread through the buttons and to bond the fabrics together with fabric adhesive and cotton thread. -Stephanie