Monday, 14 August 2017


There is a lot happening in our garden at the moment.  Irises are beginning to burst into flower, more daffodils are dotting the garden with sunshine, and...finally...our agave bud has begun to bloom!

It has been extraordinary to watch the slow development of this plant's flowering process.

The flowering seems to happen in bands. As one layer opens into flower, the layer below begins to die. 
The local bees are having a festival of feasting!!

As I printed off copies of the photos above,  I really had no idea what I was going to do in terms of design, for my art project this week.  Having the self inflicted restrictions of size & technique meant that my options were limited.
Sometimes when in a place of stuckedness, the only thing to do is move forward anyway & hope that something will budge!  Out came the pencils & water brushes.

In the process of recording, it was the watercolour play that I was most enjoying.  The way the colours bled & blended with each other, having begun in a controlled way, but then taking on a direction of it's own... was exciting to watch.  It was the uncertainty that created the magic.
A blank white piece of paper could be transformed with water & colour .
I asked myself the question... what would happen if I tried this with white fabric instead of paper?

Not just one layer of white fabric...

...but another...

...and yet another, sewn in layers on top of each other, with two further layers below...

...and then cut back... reveal a white-on-white-on-white-on-white-on-white flower motif?  Each of those white layers having a design already printed onto it, adding texture & interest... what would happen if I applied water & painted on dye?

This would happen!

Oh...but then the I paint the background as well, to cover up the colour bleeding, or do I leave it in this gentle subtle state?

Out came the brushes again.

This is the result.
It could easily be a hibiscus for a Hawaiin shirt couldn't it?
Whilst the colour match is not perfect with one of the flowers on my agave bud that was the all important starting point in a process, THIS is the result.

It has been a very enjoyable play today & I am happy with the outcome.  I am particularly pleased with how the patterning on the different 'white' fabrics, show in relief to the colour I have applied to each layer of this piece.  Whilst a strong part of me was inclined to leave it as all white, ( because I liked it like that!), and then another part of me was inclined to leave it at the painted flower point, (because I liked it like that too!), I'm glad I experimented with it to this end.


  1. I like each stage but I particularly like the white on white on white with subtle textures showing through.