05 April 2014

What's wrong with "pretty"?

After almost a week of not touching fabric or a needle, a stint of quilt-stewarding at the Creative Stitches show (and a bit of a wander round the traders...) has left me wanting to make something "pretty", which seems to astonish anyone I tell. But ... why not?

Perhaps what got me going was looking through a World of Interiors magazine, in which this appeared:
It's oriental wallpaper, and I'd love it in my bedroom - but it's unaffordable of course ... so the only recourse would be to paint the wall oneself - which I don't have the courage to do, because my halting copy would be a lame, sad thing. But I feel more confident about developing the design into a fabric piece, using those low-key colours, trying to keep the spaciousness. Maybe adding more birds. Making it long and narrow, scroll shape.

If this madness about "making something pretty" persists, I'll start by using shapes cut from newspaper to determine where the bird(s) go (will any be flying?), then where the main branches go; next decision is how many colours to use for the branches, which will be painted onto fabric and outline stitched ... or will they? Maybe hand stitch along the lines of crewel work...?

Compositionally, that loopy vine seems important (contrast of type of line), as do the thin branches (contrast of scale) and the round shapes of the berries. Also the change of direction at the joints of the branches (that needs to be examined more closely, out in the garden).

The garden is visited by blue tits, goldfinches, sparrows (the magpies and wood pigeons are too large for these artistic purposes, unless they are flying in the distance) - if the birds are to be realistic, and there's no guarantee they will be, it would be good to use their actual colours, which would affect the colours chosen for the branches.

Ah, so much easier to plan than to do! And very much easier to find some delicately-sprigged fabric in sweet colours and ... what ... hand-sew hexagons? No, that's not quite what I meant by "pretty"!
this could be pretty, too...


irene macwilliam said...

When I studied the image I presumed that the twisting, looping line must go round and round the room and wondered how living with that rather horizontal presence would feel. I presume there would be repeats every so often, this is me knowing that your image comes from wallpaper. The tracery of the branches is beautifully balanced.
As usual you give words and images to ponder on.

Sandy said...

I suppose by 'pretty', they were thinking you meant the saccharine popular sort.

Connie Rose said...

I painted a "pretty" 8x8 inch piece this week that I'm afraid to post on my blog...because it's SO different for me. But I really love it!

Jane Housham said...

The wallpaper is the best sort of pretty -- I think you should throw yourself into whatever it inspires you to make. Lovely