Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Bringing Colour to my Cheeks!

The group of friends that I am meeting once a month for a bit of stitch and support (the same group that I made my "snow" piece for) have more than just a weather challenge on the go. We also have to produce something on the theme of self portrait.

When I was doing my degree I did quite a bit of work on portraits, including this very rough brush and ink drawing of yours truely.

"Green Stripe" A portrait of Matisse's wife

Then taking inspiration from the work of Matisse and his vibrant use of cool and warm colours, I translated the portrait into a little colour sketch.

"Woman in a Hat" 1905, Matisse

 A very quick little sketch (done on a train journey)... that makes me look rather jaundiced!

 However... not one to be put off easily, I took further inspiration from the fabulous work of Sue Dove...

"Facing It" Sue Dove

And ended up with this hand stitched "sketch", which I actually think is a great improvement on my original colour drawing.

So roll forward a few years...and given the challenge of working on the theme of self portrait I thought I would resurrect this brightly coloured version of me and see if I could produce a machine stitched version.

I started by laying down some coloured wool tops onto a felt backing, using the embellisher and this is the result at that stage. I have clearly not mastered the art of using the embellisher as a painting tool!

But never fear... I can add a bit of textural machine stitch... and completely mess it it up!

Although the reverse might still work for the project I've got in mind... as long as I don't mind "the bearded lady" look

I would say watch this space but there is a good chance I will bin this... and possibly not start again. Not my best effort... must try harder!


  1. picasso it??

    chop it up - layer it onto some different coloured felt squares and then hand and machine stich into it?

  2. Oh Gina, you are harsh on yourself! I love the freeness of it, it has definite joie de vivre and a lovely smile x

  3. I agree with Julie! It looks so enjoyable all those different methods.
    V xxx

  4. I'd recognise you anywhere! What great fun.

  5. Such fun! I like the colours too.

  6. My favourite is your version à la Sue Dove but they are all excellent. I agree, don't be so hard on yourself!

  7. You certainly set yourself some stiff challenges. I think all these pieces are amazing, and I particularly like your wonderful use of colour. I'd be delighted to have created any of them especially as the next module of my course is all to do with faces and I am terrified!

  8. Bet you learnt all sorts of interesting things while doing this - and yes, I agree with everyone else, it looks rather fun!!

  9. Photographs of you that I have seen from time to time, Gina, show you as a beautiful lady, for whom I would chose a lighter, more golden collection of threads.

    Isn't it difficult to see ourselves?


  10. The knowing smile just wouldn't go away! Full marks for colour and perseverance - it's certainly inspired me to have a go.

  11. That machine embroidered version has a look of Renaissance glass about it Gina. I love the vibrancy of the colour, maybe because Matisse was your original inspiration and he has to be one of my all time favourite artists!

  12. It all looks very good and clever to me! Don't bin it!! Lucy xx

  13. If you get anywhere near binning it then send it to me. Then just as soon as you start to like it and regret losing it I'll send it back. I shouldn't have it long!

  14. I think they're great, love your bold use of colour, and I agree with others who said you're too hard on yourself, it's a great exercise in freeing up, love the looseness of them all.

  15. How wonderfully free and animated all the versions are - no way can you bin any of them! Cheers

  16. i always enjoy the posts that show the progression of your work Gina and this was another fascinating one. I think the final products is amazing. - probably you need to go away from it for a while and come back in a week to appreciate it! lol

  17. You should be very proud of yourself
    - they are really good

  18. I think I agree with Frances - some lighter threads would pull it together and be much more "you". Looks like a jolly hard project you set yourself there but don't bin it because it's hard! Leave it and come back to it, or have another go soon.


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