Art · ATV - Part 5 - Building a collection · ATV - Part 5 - PJ 1 - Developing Visual Research · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

ATV 5 – Strengthing a Theme – Light and Dark

Looking back through my textile archive sketchbook I was drawn to the shadows and the contrast in the shading. So I decided this was what I am going to focus on for the 8 to 10 drawing required for this first project. 


This will allow me to meet my own brief of working towards a series of more parred down simple designs.

I started with some nice broad lines and added some detail in white.
I really can’t help myself, the lines on their own were just not enough and before I knew it I had  added the little dots!

This was almost physically painful, but I did it. 

Clean lines, I know I know, there is some texture from the paper but I can work with that!

I can see lots of potential to work with these lines.

Flump! I just couldn’t help myself, I tried to draw some of the dog tooth shapes made by the stitching on the smocks and I soon found myself adding more detail.

But if I give myself a break I quite like this, it’s not one I’m going to take forward in this form. The shapes deserve some more attention but I’m not mad about their placement in this design.

Back to the sweeping lines. I used a softer paper here.

I’m working on a variety of different papers for these drawings and then putting them into the sketchbook rather than working directly onto the pages.

This design could be very easily translated into stitch but will it be interesting enough, would it give you a ‘wow’ moment? 

And then I went slightly off track!

I’d used a circle in one of my collages of the smock coat so I had a circle moment. 

These are very, very me but I want to try something new and challenge myself, so this will stay where it is!

The folding was interesting because I was trying to copy the folds in the clothes, this is okay but still very reminiscent of the work I’ve already done.

Okay, I’ve put this in but I’m not sure about it at all.
It’s just plain weird. It does have a bit of photo negative about it which I like but overall I’m calling it a dud. 

So that’s the first block of 8 drawings. I decided to take a break at this point and to come back the next day to work on the next couple of drawings with a fresh eye.

Art · ATV - Part 5 - Building a collection · ATV - Part 5 - PJ 1 - Developing Visual Research · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

ATV 5 – Strengthing a Theme – alternative shape

Whilst I agree with Bert Dodson in his book Key to Drawing with Imagination when he says that creativity works best with constraints I still like to have a plan B. So far my drawings have focused on curved lines and I have a completed one that I want to work on further so Ive decided it might be a good idea to try something different with the last couple of drawings. 

I had already had a play with these dog tooths and I thought they might make a good motif to work with in the clean simple way that was my original intention.


I also thought it might be a good time to bring in a little bit of colour, so I cut out some shapes and worked them into a couple of designs that also include the curved lines and the strong contrasts that I liked from before.


It’s amazing how far you can go with a single motif, constant repetition would be interesting and could form a piece using the Japanese stitch technique of shashiko.


Nice, but it’d be boring if I didn’t work it into a more interesting composition, thought I still like the idea of repetition. I’ll keep that stored away!


Um, then I started to work more at keeping the triangles on the curved lines and finding different placements, to look for how this changed the feel and energy of the spacing and final composition. 

I like the bottom sketch most; is this because it looks like the triangles are defying gravity by remaining upright when they are only just holding on by their tips. Also, somehow despite the fact that the sketch is only simple lines it has a feeling of depth.


I had a little go at developing the idea further but the colour and solid blocks seemed to drain away the essences of the original drawing. Maybe it would be best just as it is? 

Could it work well as something similar to the work of Debbie Smyth? Not sure how I’d get the finished article into the poly bag to send it for assessing though!


In the past few parts of ATV I feel I have worked in the 2 extremes of either having loads of sketches – textile archive sketchbook or hardly any – Part 4 and I am hopeful that in this part I am striking a healthy balance. 

My intention, after Rebecca’s last dose of feedback is to not restrict my drawing to the preliminary stages and to keep drawing all the way to the end. 

Art · ATV - Choices & Planning · ATV - Part 5 - Building a collection · ATV - Part 5 - PJ 1 - Developing Visual Research · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

ATV – Project 1 – Developing Visual Research

I had already decided that I would be returning to my textile archive work for this project during the time towards the end of part 4. This is where the most interesting inspiration and raw material is. 

I had thought about going back to the vegetables, I’d had lots of fun working with the cabbage and seeds and I could see lots of potential there too. 

But the textile archive had been thrilling, I’d loved being with these beautiful pieces of history, I’d created a sketchbook that I view with pride and that I enjoy going back to again and again. My only reservation was that I would like to work through this part of ATV at a good pace and the breath of potential ideas bought on by revisiting the textile archive might well hamper my intentions. So the onus is on me to keep to my original intend of not overthinking and using decisive decision making whilst I work towards the capsule collection.

I’m really quite excited about this part of ATV, it’s laid out well and I like the way it’s a consolidation of what I have learnt so far. It’s given me a framework to follow when developing a small body of work and I’m interested to see where the guidance will lead me this time.

So I’m not putting in place too rigid a plan; I’m going to build on what I have by reviewing and focusing on a specific aspect of my previous marking records, as the course states:


I’m very taken with this idea of light and dark, sitting side by side. It’s fits nicely with the smocks and the driving coat that I chose from the archive, I have lots of romantic, sun lit imaginaings when I think of them but I’m sure the reality was very different, especially the smocks. Life on a farm was hard work, back breaking, stomach growling, life shortening hard work and the dust coat was probably worn during the dark days of the 2 great wars. There could just as easily have been a dark side to life these garments have had and my use of light and dark would reflect this well.

Whilst doing my thinking I was immediately drawn to the work of Meredith Woolnough and her use of a single colour displayed on a single colour background in her beautiful nature based creations. I would like to do something larger and bolder.

I would also like to revisit some of the photographs that I took during the textile archive visit in Ludlow. There are some great shots of the reverse of the smocking that have some lovely movement in their wavy lines.


I would like to use my slightly haphazard approach to develop a series of pieces of work that are more striped back than I usually work. Dianne Firth’s work has caught me eye and she’s going to be the starting point for my journey looking for inspiration from another artist.

My plan is to have a working sketchbook and when required I will use display boards if I feel the sketchbook is too limiting. My sketchbook book started with a brief map of what I need to do.