Butterfly WIP

I’ve been experiencing a tummy bug the last day or two and so have had to take time away to rest and take care of myself. It’s making me feel very tired, though I do have a little appetite back, which is good.

I started work on this butterfly yesterday morning, and have continued this morning. I think I’ve spent about 5 hours on it so far.

It’s giving me a chance to explore and familiarise myself with features of Autodesk Sketchbook Pro I’ve not used much. Tools such as the selection tool and different types of layers, for instance.

The butterfly is definitely not finished; I’m trying out ways to add pattern to the various sections on the wings. I’ll get there eventually I’m sure. At the moment I’m adding entangled/zentangle patterns to the sections using a ‘glow’ layer. Not sure if it’s working, yet. But I’ll keep trying things out until I’m happy.

But not today. I still need to take some time out for self-care. That means cwtching up, keeping warm, drinking plenty of fluids, and cross-stitching while binge-watching Criminal Minds! Maybe I’ll even see if I can do some reading too – I have a couple of books about Craftivism I want to read and digest.

Talking of craftivism, I do need to order some knitting/crochet yarn made of natural fibres to create some butterflies with for a yarn bombing project I’ve volunteered to help with. My yarn stash consists of yarn made of synthetic fibres.

Oh, back to the cross-stitch thing.

I used to cross-stitch years, and years ago, quite avidly. I always avowed that I’d never take it up again. However, as I searched for books on craftivism, a cross-stitch book popped up that was just way too intriguing! So, I ordered the book and some materials to cross stitch with.

The materials arrived yesterday, but the book won’t be here until tomorrow. So, I did a quick hunt around Etsy and found a cross-stitch project or two that were perfect! Both were quite simple, small, and had words and images and would work so well for craftivism as well. I do need quite small, fairly quickly finished projects in terms of needle felting, crochet, or cross stitch at least. When it comes to drawing, art, I can work happily on a piece for a long time quite happily. But not so with other crafts it seems.

Perhaps the satisfaction at finishing a craft project quickly gives me that little hit of achievement that helps me push through with projects, like this butterfly, that will take me a number of days to complete.

Even though I’ve left therapy, my healing continues bit by bit. I’m finding myself returning to crafts and activities that I once enjoyed, but as the CPTSD worsened and depression deepened I abandoned them

I am someone who needs variety in my artistic, crafty life, so I’m embracing this as much as I can. I need a change from time to time, and that change allows a freshening up of my other skills/talents. Doing different techniques adds new ideas for my artistic pursuits too.

So, I’m now going to sort myself out and settle down to finish the cross-stitch thingy I’m doing. And let my body recover from the tummy bug.

More mushrooms!

Just like hobbits, I believe there’s only one thing better than mushrooms and that is MORE mushrooms!

In my case that means more needle felted mushrooms.

needlefelted-mushrooms-by-angela-porter-2017

So, I’ve learned a fair amount about needle felting in making these mushrooms and I look forward to creating more items as time allows.  I suspect my own whimsical, doodly drawings will be a source of much inspiration.

It is, however, much quicker to draw and colour things than to needle felt them.

The large mushroom took around 10 hours to finish.  The smaller ones have taken between 4 and 6 hours to create.

Now, all I have to do is to decide what to do with them!

Needle felted mushroom

The last four hours have been spent happily stabbing – lots of stabbing.  All to create my first needle felted ‘sculpture – a mushroom.

The photo isn’t brilliant (it is after 2am here in the UK, and I lost track of time..), and grey isn’t my usual colour of choice; however I used it for the mushroom as I have lots of grey wool and if it didn’t work out, it would be no great loss.

However, it has worked out.  It’s been a bit of a learning thing, and I still have lots to learn, learning that can only be done by doing it seems.

I do have a few coloured ‘circles’ to add, and then I’m sure I’ll want to add beads and stuff to add sparkle (that inner raven of mine demands sparkle whenever I can manage it!).

Overall, I’m really quite pleased with the outcome so far!

I’ve not done any sculpting for many, many years, and only then with clay.  I enjoyed working with clay, but I don’t have the facilities to do that now, but I can use wool and felt it, and I really have enjoyed the felting.  It’s easy on my fingers too (apart from the one stab to my thumb when I missed the mushroom a tad!).  It’s sculpting in terms of building the form up, rather than removing material to reveal a form, such as you’d do in stone sulpture.  The building up appeals to me far more.

I’ll finish this mushroom, then I’m sure there’ll be more things to be made.

New Textile Art

Nebulous contours 7 June 2012

Nebulous Contours © Angela Porter 7 June 2012

Approx. 17cm x 11.5cm.  Needle felted dyed goat hair on a black felt background.  Patterns picked out with copper ‘Japan’ threads, various beads and metallic threads.

Inspired by the flow of gases in nebulae and of contour lines on maps.

Nebulous Rainbow 7 June 2012

Nebulous Rainbow © Angela Porter 7 June 2012

Approx 11cm x 10.5cm.  Needle felted rainbow dyed synthetic fibres on a black felt background.  Patterns picked out by gold ‘Japan’ Thread, various beads, sequins, polymer clay tiles and metallic threads.

Shapes and patterns inspired by contour lines and also the flow of gases in photographs of nebulae.

Planting seeds of love work in progress and a new little pretty…

Planting Seeds of Love – Work in Progress

Planting seeds of love WIP 8Apr12 © Angela Porter 2012

This is a work in progress, and I’m not at all sure about it.  I had the title first (I’m working on loving and accepting myself), then a mental image of what I wanted to do, but I’m not at all sure about what has resulted from it.  Usually by this stage in a piece of art I know if it’s working or not, and this one … well I’m not at all sure.  I have to complete the outlines, add textures/patterns and metallic/iridescent accents, but I’m not entirely sure I actually want to finish this one.  I’m wondering how much the resistance to this piece of art comes from my lack of satisfaction with the art itself and how much comes from what it is representing – my inner work at this time… An interesting point to muse, eh?

I’ve had a lot of emotional turmoil in the past few weeks while I’ve been off work with laryngitis, much of it to do with allowing myself to love, respect and care for myself and to let go of various negative belief systems from the past.  It’s also involved a change in my value system, and something that hasn’t been easy to do. The words/mental idea sprung up from this work, as I’ve already mentioned.  It’s been a bit of a tough time, and sometimes it’s hard to find balance.

It’s also had an effect on my creativity.  Instead of painting/drawing/sewing I’ve been lost in either reading or knitting and watching DVD after DVD.  A positive from this is that I have created, after 30 years or so, a knitted throw/blanket – which has amazed me as I’ve always got bored with the process after a little while, but not this time.  It isn’t a pretty thing, it’s very random in terms of colours and knitted patterns and crocheted squares, but it’s mine and I love it very much, mainly because it’s proven to me that I can persevere with a project such as this, and there is benefit for me in doing something that is simple, creative in a crafty way, and also rather meditative in nature.

I now have another blanket/throw on the go – and it’s certainly going to be ‘different’, but very much ‘me’.

Little Pretty 7April2012

Little Pretty 7 Apr 12 © Angela Porter 2012

This is a teenytiny piece of textile art, approx. 4.5cm x 4.5cm (1.75″x1.75″) that I completed yesterday. The silver japan threads were added during a sewing/craft afternoon at O’Callaghan’s Coffee House yesterday.  The other stitches and beads were added later.

It will eventually be for sale on Etsy, when I work out what price to put on it, and whether to offer it framed or ready to frame … I dislike trying to put prices on my creations.

Why is that, I wonder?  I think it’s linked to me still not quite believing my artwork has value, or that my ‘doodles’ are truly art.  I have made the leap to the recognition that what I think of doodling is really my version of intuitive art, art that expresses who I really am, what I am inside, and the richness of that inner self and my love of colour and flow and swirl and abstract pattern.

I really do need to work on a statement of me as an artist that fully expresses who I am in terms of art and what my kind of art represents.  Now that’s a scary thing to do as it will lay part of me bare -though those who read my art aright will already have sussed that part of me out!

Moments after the big bang…

Prehistoric fertility 2 finished and renamed!

I really need to learn how to take photographs!  This is a dreadful picture of this textile work.

It’s framed and renamed to be entered into a local art competition – Aber Valley Arts – along with two other pieces of my artwork, but I don’t know which two yet.  I have to choose then write some gumpf to go with them.  I’ll be asking my pal, the head of art at work, to help me choose the others.

So, it’s been a busy morning here measuring and cutting daler-board to mount the various art works (seven in total, phew!) and calculating any aperatures that need to be cut.

Time for a ginormous mug of tea!

Almost the end of the Summer break…

Prehistoric Fertility 2 – A work in progress

Prehistoric Fertility 2 WIP © Angela Porter 2011

Dimensions – 23x30cm, approx.  Silk fibre needle felt on a black felt background.  Embellishement with beads, metallic and Japan threads, and custom-made sequins.

Photographs never seem to do my work justice, simply because I’m not a photographer.  There is no idea of the shimmery nature of the work, the way that the gold Japan threads used to outline various parts of the needle felt define the shapes and provide a channel along which the colours seem to flow like oil on water.  There is no sense of the texture and heights/depths that the needle felt has brought to the work, nor to the patterns and textures the beads give.  The colours still look garish in the photograph, yet in the actual piece they are more subtle and muted.

I have spent many hours on this so far – around 30 I would guess.  Every moment has been a pleasure, and I’ve even caught myself looking at it and smiling at how well it is working out – unusual for me as I’m my own worst critic, and it’s a step forward that I can appreciate the beauty in my creative work.

Last day of the holidays

It’s finally arrived.  Today marks the end of my freedom to a degree.  Tomorrow I return to work, to a structured day and all the ups and downs that go with the job that teaching is.  My time for art and other pursuits will become very limited.

I had a list of things to do over the Summer, and I’ve achieved few of them, however I have achieved other things, and that is good.  What is better is I’m not beating myself up about the tasks undone.  There’ll be time to do them…

I will miss the slow starts to the day, the spontaneity of trips and visits and time with friends.  Friday afternoon I spent with a friend in a local cafe-bar, drinking, talking about art and other things, working on art, having nice food and laughing before going to take the weekly meditation class I lead.  I will miss the opportunity to do those kinds of things.

On the positive side, it won’t be long until the next school break, and there are the weekends too…

There’s definitely a coolness in the air in the mornings and evenings.  It’s a feeling I associate with the coming of autumn, the return to school, the start of the new academic year and a sense of hope of better things to come, a hope that was usually misplaced, and still is.  However, I still hope that a new school year and a new term will bring new attitudes, opportunities and good achievements.

This year, the new attitudes must be towards myself and my expectations of me and how I react to the poor attitude/behaviour of others.  The Summer break has allowed me to relax, to become who I am meant to be.  I like this person, I like the contentment within me, I like the confidence that comes with it.  What I don’t want is to lose this with the stresses and strains of teaching.  There’s a challenge!

One of the tasks left mostly undone over the Summer was too look for an alternative career/job, one that will allow me to use all my personal skills/talents/gifts in a positive manner.  I’ve been stumped as to what to do, and looking around at available jobs there is nothing that seems to fit me, well not yet.

So that’s another task for the coming weeks – to keep looking at available jobs, to seek advice, suggestions, to continue the audit of my personal skills to help me focus on what  I could do.

I have been thinking about training as a hypnotherapist.  The biggest stumbling block for me is finding the money to pay the fees.  I’m making enquiries about that…so finger’s crossed!

The incipient return to work has been causing some anxiety and worry with me.  My meditation this morning was filled with thoughts of things that need to be done, ideas as to what to do, worries about things that cause me emotional pain …

More needle felting …

Rock Art 2 WIP © Angela Porter 2011

Just finished applying the needle felting to the black felt ground.  I have to admit the colours are a bit garish, even for my likes!  It is all a learning process, however, and as this is something new to me, I’m exploring how it works, or doesn’t, for me, including the use of colours and so on.  The ‘space dyed’ felting fibres (silk in this case) really don’t lend themselves to this kind of work…

The piece is approx 23cm x 30cm, so it’s a biggie for me!  Now the fun begins, with the stitching, beads, sequins and wires that will be added for more embellishment, and perhaps these garish colours will fade into the background …

Patterns inspired by prehistoric rock art once again…

Prehistoric Fertility 1

15×23 cm, around 12 to 15 hours of work/pleasure.

Needle felting in silk fibres, embellishments done with various metallic fibres, beads and custom made sequins.

Patterns inspired by British Prehistoric rock art and Neolithic/Bronze Age pottery.

I had my doubts part-way through whether this was going to work out, but I’m really now quite pleased with it. When friends saw it, they thought it was like cells expanding and reproducing – hence the ‘Fertility’ part of it’s title!

When I mount it for display, I’d like to put it onto a piece of slate, an old slate tile maybe; however, I have my doubts about the sensibility of that with the damage dust and fingers could do to it … I’ll work on the idea!