We Hold The Paint Brush

A Paint Brush

“Life itself is just a thin coat of paint on the planet, and we hold the paint brush.”-Daniel Dennett

My latest creation-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.

 

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

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

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

Layered Pages: Creating With Cloth

MeI’ve always loved creating with cloth. There is something soothing about the feel of fabrics, slowly guiding needle through cloth, and layering pieces to create new textures and designs. Working with paper, drawing and painting has the same effect. Creating is my safe space. A time of rest, reflection and recovery-if you will. The act slows your mind down and brings you to present in this fast paced world we live in.

I love books and seeing what others are creating and this year I’m cataloging books in the mixed-media subject at Layered Pages. My wish is for you to be inspired and to find your peace through creating with your hands. There is deep satisfaction in hand work. -Stephanie Hopkins

The Textile ArtistThe Textile Artist: Layered Cloth by Ann Small

Ann Small’s imaginative use of cutting and manipulating techniques, and her layering and colouring tricks, makes this your ‘go-to’ guide for bringing form and texture to your fabric artwork. This book is a rich resource and reference for textile artists seeking new ideas and who want to experiment with reverse appliqué and related techniques such as layering, trapunto, stacks, puffs and fabric manipulation.

Packed with techniques suitable for quilting and other textile art

Three wearable step-by-step projects

Clear, close-up images make layering enjoyable and accessible.

Landscapes in Textile Mixed Media Painting on ClothLandscapes in Textile Mixed Media: Painting on Cloth by Cas Holmes

Combine the textural quality of stitchwork and the spontaneity of paint with this practical, beautiful guide to landscapes in mixed-media textile art. 
Renowned author Cas Holmes brings together the world of the stitcher and that of the painter as she demonstrates her technique known as “stitch-sketching” and shows how to develop your approach to textile art. Focusing on the common language between the two forms, she begins with basic advice on keeping a sketchbook, stitching on paper and fabric, and working digitally. Cas then looks at both urban and intimate spaces, capturing the changing seasons, the technical aspects of painting and dying cloth, experimenting with photos, creating stitchscapes, attaining inspiration from found objects, and so much more.

Stitched TextilesStitched Textiles: Nature by Stephanie Redfern

An inspiring step-by-step guide to creating contemporary textile artworks themed on nature.

Stitched Textiles: The Natural World is the fourth title in this successful theme-based series. It contains an extensive section on techniques, featuring step-by-step guides to machine- and hand-stitching, attaching embellishments and found objects to your work; painting and printing on fabrics including cotton, silk and Khadi paper; and using objects found in nature, such as leaves, to make unique and iconic prints.

The book includes four inspirational projects based on different facets of the natural world: Ocean, Rainforest, Botany, Birds and Animals. Stitched Textiles: The Natural World also features examples of the author, Steph Redfern’s own intricate and detailed works based on nature, exploring the means by which the pieces have been created, and the wonderful stories behind Steph’s journey as an artist.

The wealth of information and visual stimuli in Stitched Textiles: The Natural World is intended to inspire the reader to create their own works inspired by nature, beginning by exploring the use of sketchbooks and study pages, progressing to picking out iconic elements from sketches and photographs, and eventually assembling a stunning, personal piece of stitched textile work on fabric or on cotton-blend Khadi paper, applying handstitch in metallic threads, or machine stitch in whimsical and beautiful patterns, and embellishing with natural beads or found objects.

Another Relevant Post:

Stitch Mindspace

Stitch Mindspace: Knit Stitch/Embroidery Books

Layered Pages Journal BannerPart I:

My main focus this year on mix media projects are adding stitching, knitting and embroidery so I thought, “Why not create an online catalog of the books I want to acquire on the subject?” This blog post is part one of my catalog and I hope this will be a great source for my fellow mix media artists to follow. Down below I will add the links to my other books in this series are that relevant to this blogging journey. If you have any book recommendations on this subject, please leave a comment in the comment area. I hope you all have a great week and I hope to see y’all back tomorrow here at Layered Pages! -Stephanie

Stitch Dictionary by Lucinda GandertonStitch Dictionary by Lucinda Ganderton

Four Star Review on Goodreads:

‘The art of embroidery has been defined simply as the ornamentation of textiles with decorative stitchery.’

In this book, Lucinda Ganderton provides a clearly illustrated, step by step guide to over 200 decorative and practical stitches. A copy of this book has been part of my reference library for almost ten years, and I refer to it whenever I am looking for a decorative stitch for a particular purpose or when I need to remind myself exactly how to work a particular stitch.

‘It is an ancient craft which encompasses a wealth of history, and the same stiches are used by embroiderers throughout the world.’

After a section entitled ‘How to Use This Book’, this book contains six chapters. The first chapter covers the equipment, threads and fabrics used for stitchery, and the different techniques involved. This is followed by a library of the 234 stitches featured within the book, with the page reference to the instructions for each particular stitch.

For example: Back Stitch Rings (p102). Turn to page 102 for pictures of how to work the stitch, advice on what it is useful for and the method used and materials required to work this intermediate level stitch. I could have really used this book when I was attempting my first French knots!

The stitches are organised into four categories:
Line and Border Stitches
Filling Stitches
Openwork Stitches
Needlepoint Stitches

The colour illustrations for each stitch are clear and uncluttered, and there is an illustration of the completed stitch as well.
I most recently referred to this book for decorative border stitches for some applique I’m attempting. The only problem I have is that there are so many different stitches to choose from: an entire world of possibilities.”

-Jennifer Cameron-Smith

AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary 200 Modern Knitting MotifsAlterKnit Stitch Dictionary: 200 Modern Knitting Motifs

Break the rules–knit outside the lines!

AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary takes an unexpected look at stranded colorwork with 200 new motifs. These non-traditional colorwork charts are perfect for the creative knitter looking to break away from the ordinary. Derived from graphic design elements, these fresh motifs include everything from geometric mountains, waves, and spirals to modern bikes, skulls, and sheep.

Dive into stranded colorwork with confidence with a section on reading charts, working floats, and choosing colors. Learn how stranded colorwork can be used in design with five accompanying projects including mitts, cowls, and sweaters. Plus, use your imagination to modify, deconstruct, and combine the unique motifs to create your own designs.

Be inspired to break the rules and use charts in creative ways with AlterKnit Stitch Dictionary.

Embroidery A Step-by-Step Guide to More than 200 StitchesEmbroidery: A Step-by-Step Guide to More than 200 Stitches

Embroidery is the ultimate stitch dictionary and the ideal guide to embroidery, whatever your level of expertise.

The perfect reference guide to needlework, Embroidery is a comprehensive guide to inspire and inform sewers of all levels. Find advice on which thread, needles, or fabrics work with which techniques, and take a look at an incredible 200 stitches — with levels of difficulty, step-by-step instructions, and ideas on where and how to use them.

This practical guide covers sewing tips for dressmaking, needlepoint, and embroidery stitches, with detailed information simply presented in illustration-rich pages. With Embroidery it’s easy to find exactly which stitch is right for your next sewing project.

Other Relevant posts:

Book Wish-List: Visible Mending

 

Book Wish-List: Visible Mending

From what little I’ve read so far on the subject of Visible Mending AKA Sashiko Stitching is that it is traced back to the Edo era of Japan. The translation for Sashiko is “little stabs” refers to running stitch through fabric that is visible to the eye. One would find these visible mending on clothing of Japanese working people. This method of stitching extends the life of the clothing…

Furthermore, in my opinion shows an appreciation for the value of fabrics and the respect for resources that go into making the clothes. To take value of what one has no matter the quantity. Sashiko is important and I hope it continues to grow in awareness, is learned by many more people and will never be forgotten. Today you will find many different patterns of Sashiko and as the trend grows you become educated on how important it is to up-cycle your clothes for various reason which I will share in another post. Today I’m sharing three books that I have added to my wish-list and hope to acquire them soon to better educate myself in the art of visible mending, to educate consumers and the for my own preservation projects.

Side note: The Edo era of Japan is the period between 1603 and 1868.

Stephanie Hopkins

Mending Matters“Mending Matters explores sewing on two levels: First, it includes more than 20 hands-on projects that showcase current trends in visible mending that are edgy, modern, and bold—but draw on traditional stitching. It does all this through just four very simple mending techniques: exterior patches, interior patches, slow stitches, darning, and weaving. In addition, the book addresses the way mending leads to a more mindful relationship to fashion and to overall well-being. In essays that accompany each how-to chapter, Katrina Rodabaugh explores mending as a metaphor for appreciating our own naturally flawed selves, and she examines the ways in which mending teaches us new skills, self-reliance, and confidence, all gained from making things with our own hands.”

 

Slow Stitch“Sometimes less is more—and quality is more important than quantity. That’s true in textile art too, and this much-needed guide brings a meaningful, thoughtful, and sustainable approach to stitchery. See how to slow down and experience more joy in your craft by trying simple techniques based on traditional practice, reusing and reinventing materials, and limiting equipment. Richly illustrated throughout, this inspirational book will connect with those who seek a new way of working—whether it’s starting a stitch journal or joining a community of like-minded artists.”

 

Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook“Sashiko, the traditional Japaneses technique of needlework quilting, uses simple running stitch to create beautifully decorative patterns ideal for patchwork, quilting and embroidery. Sashiko (pronounced shash-ko) means ‘stab stitch’ and refers to the small running stitch that is worked to build up distinctive decorative patterns, of which there are hundreds. The book begins by exploring the origins of the technique to strengthen clothes and to make them warmer. Getting Started describes everything you need to begin stitching, including selecting suitable fabrics and threads, marking out patterns on the fabric, as well as the stitching technique itself. Ten project chapters show how easy it is to use sashiko patterns to make beautiful items for the home. The sashiko patterns are described in step-by-step detail in the pattern library, showing you exactly how to achieve each individual pattern with ease. Finally a gallery of work by contemporary Japanese textile artists provides extra inspiration.”