here is how I developed my prints ..
making a repeating pattern takes a lot of time, concentration, editing, blending, then thinking about scale, depth of colour....
AutumnA country drive in Daylesford, Victoria took my breath away ... the colours! This area has many old European trees which in autumn transform into a majestic, fiery display, shimmering in the crisp country air. I was compelled to stop near the Farmer's Arms Hotel, to capture the myriad shades of red, orange, yellow and burgundy, towering above and all around me. Later I noticed a stand of purple irises and patches of sky peeking through the trees... more colours !
Noticing fine details in our surroundings is something we usually don't have time for.. but Melbourne lockdown gave us plenty of time for this, a kind of mindfulness..
We all had our suburban exercise routes, and in my Thornbury streets I discovered beautiful sinuous curves in the trunks of the street trees. At certain times of day the sun highlighted the curved lines and finger-print like swirls of the brushbox bark.. a mix of pinks / copper / bronze and grey, light and shadows .. So of course I took many photos, comparing waves and swirls on each tree... and later drew my own version of them, a combination of which grew in waves on the page...
Sea - The Prom
We all love our summer holidays and many of us flock to Wilson's Promontory, a National Park with clean sand, huge rocks and clear sea water. One day I was standing in the shallows at Squeaky Beach, when I felt the rhythm of the tide and then suddenly that still moment, before it receded back out.
The sun was glowing through the water, outlining each ripple onto the sand below. I took a few pictures of this mesmerising and magical moment....my textile tribute to the Prom.
Heide is an iconic modern art gallery and sculpture park in Melbourne. But it also has some bush and parkland to wander in. One lazy Sunday there, I stumbled upon a stand of white poplar trees with incredible patterns all over their bark. The tiny diamonds on them were like a language, decorating their slender trunks ! After many hours of collaging my favourite trees, I reached my repeating print.
Our World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef is so entrancing with its turquoise waters, atolls and incredible underwater animal and plant life... beautiful but endangered by global warming. This is my homage to such a special but threatened place.
Luckily I bought an aerial image license, enabling me to use a great panoramic photo and develop a print of this tropical wonder for my textiles. You'll see how differently it looks on a cotton jacket and a silk top, and the newer midnight version in deep dark blues.
Some prints have little resemblance to their original inspiration. This one with its subtle mauve, grey, buff yellow and many other tones, was derived from an unlikely photo of dead leaves. Outside Bendigo art gallery were several small birch trees with withered leaves beneath them, they became one of my first and favourite prints. It seems to match and complement so many other colours you can wear with it.
Many people might think native Australian flora is boring, only shades of yellow or white, apart from Calistemon (bottlebrush) or Waratah. At Maranoa Native Botanical gardens in Balwyn I found some shrubs in the Arid Garden, covered in tiny delicate pink and white flowers, some cup-like clustered desert flowers from W.A., in strong pink with fraying edges. I made a collage of these and some dark pink boronia and some other fluffy white natives, and a native bush background in green tones. I'm in love with pink and green together, hope you enjoy my flora.
In 2016 I was lucky enough to travel around Persia (Iran) for 3 weeks. I was drawn to this ancient land with a rich history of art, design, the Silk Road, pomegranates, tiles, carpets, textiles, poetry, gardens, wine, perfume and the most charming elegant people. Many design and engineering innovations have come from this country, for example natural air conditioning, water supply and classical garden formats.
The Lovers design is adapted from a piece of wall art adorning our traditional house hotel in Kashan, a city of incredible architecture, velvet weaving and beautiful carpets and which has an annual festival of roses. Persia holds a sweet place in my heart, so I wanted to begin my tribute with this print of lovers.