A beginning

Daily paint doodles have produced these little pictograms, influenced by prehistoric art and the images found on rocks and in caves everywhere in the ancient world:

Daily paint sketches, watercolour on cotton paper with pen added

Prehistoric art is something I’ve always found really interesting. Not so much the figurative drawings of the various beasts fleeing from human hunters, but more the abstract mark-making and simple patterns. They seem to crop up everywhere from the same kind of time. Shapes like circles, spirals, wavy lines, squares, short lines – basic marks. These are the marks I make most often in my sketchbooks too, and a lot of the shapes will translate very effectively from pen to needle and thread.

Sketches for long cloths

I’ve prepared a few long cloths, about 10” x 40-ish”, for adding timeless marks with thread. Just to see where it goes. I’m using linen or cotton as the backing fabric, and brushed cotton in place of batting. The top layers are strips of hand-dyed silk, cotton, and linen.

Long cloth ready to begin

I’m beginning with circular blanket stitch on hand-dyed textured silk fabric and looking forward to following the thread.

Circular blanket stitch on textured silk

Author: Karen

Textile and mixed media artist

17 thoughts on “A beginning”

  1. Absolutely stunning. I live in the southwest US and have always been attracted to the petroglyph world.
    I love watercolor and textile -and now together.
    You have just set me on my second path of needle work. I am grateful. Thank you.

  2. This is just lovely. I used to live somewhere that there were many pictographs amongst the red dirt.

    This week, besides cleaning the kitchen and laundry, I’m working in my studio book to come up with a better plan (or not better so much as written down) for my current project. This is inspiring.

    (Also I love the concept of a “quiet corner of the virtual world” and want nothing more than to create that as well.)

  3. Already fascinating and with endless possibilities; such beautiful backing fabrics.

    1. Yes, lots of possibilities here – I wish I had more than one pair of hands 😁

  4. Your work is amazing I love the way you have moved your paintings (awesome) into thread paintings (equally awesome). You are a true inspiration.

  5. just as the rocks called to long-ago artists to make their marks, so too your strips of hand dyed cloth beckon

  6. Your creativity is inspiring and seems to be endless. I note you’ve changed colour palettes and I love it even though I am not a brown/taupe kind of person but it seems earthy done in your hands. Bernie

    1. Thanks, Bernie – yes, the purpose of this sketch book is to explore a range of colour palettes. Just for fun, really.

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