Sketchbook Scans: Mesembryanthemum Studies

Carrying on from Part 5 of the Course, I thought I would draw some more flowers…

Some representative drawings in felt pen, and a couple of stylised versions, and a small sample cut from felt and dip-dyed in ink.

Many years ago I simplified a painting I’d made of mesembryanthemums, to become three overlapping circles of colour, which I went on to use in a lot of small textile pictures and a couple of rag rugs, so they are definitely a favourite subject of mine.

I can imagine these appearing on printed fabrics, mugs, wrapping paper, etc, or stylised versions being made into brooches or joined together as scarves or shawls.

Part One: Observing and Capturing: Mark Making Drawings

Project 2: Recording and Capturing

Exercise 1.6 Detail and Definition

I started with a pencil drawing of the rag rug hooked fabrics in close-up, and decided to try out some different marks within the same drawing for representing different fabrics (the rag rug has a mixture of knitted and woven textiles in it).

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There were lots of frayed and worn areas, and flattened loops of the hooked textile strips.

I decided to take some of the marks forward into four more drawings, and settled on a set of 3 inch square boxes with almost cartoon-like representations of two of the objects, drawn in coloured and black felt pens of different types.

Two drawings taking in the front and reverse of the quilt. The left hand drawing shows the reverse of the quilt with quite a coarsely woven fabric, large quilting stitches and the edge where the binding is sewn to the backing. The right hand drawing shows some damage to the front of the quilt: three moth holes and a stain, along with more of the quilting stitches. I felt that these areas added to the narrative of the quilt, in showing the hand of the maker, and the wear and tear that the object has been through since it was made.

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This shows the back of the rug, focusing on the irregular hessian weave and a repair made in white string by the museum (left) and a worn loop of knitted fabric at the edge of the rug, that I think might have been a ribbed sock in a former life (right).

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These details add another layer to the story of the rug, showing the use of recycled clothing and the care that the museum has put into looking after this article.

Although I didn’t particularly like the first pencil drawing that I did, it was useful in providing some representative marks of the fabrics that I could use in the subsequent drawings. I was very happy to include colour again and enjoyed making these drawings. I had never tried this style of representation before, but its simplicity and exaggeration appealed to me.