This is another duplicate post from my other blog, I feel it fits in better over here and helps contribute to my learning timeline!
At my first ever craft fair I met and befriended an amazing lady called Angharad Jefferson. In addition to being a really awesome, friendly and funny gal, she literally blew me away with her artwork. Each piece is created using a combination of hand embroidery and freehand machine drawing. Click on her name to see some of her work. Do it.
I am the very proud owner of an Angharad portrait of Dolly Parton, she beams down on me as I sleep.
I love Dolly and I love my Dolly.
I mentioned before that I tried to make all of my Christmas presents in 2011 and have provided little evidence of this so far but it occured to me with about four days to go that I had nothing for Mr Kapow! We’d agreed not to buy gifts but I felt a wee something was required and gazing up at Dolly I whispered, “I wonder….”
It started off as a laugh. I knew I would never be able to create anything like what Angharad does and I wouldn’t have disrespected her art by even beginning to imagine that I had the time or the skills required but Mr K finds much of my artwork hilarious. You see, don’t tell anyone but the thing is I’m really not very good. My approach to drawing for example is incredibly direct. I draw shapes rather than lines, it’s just the way my brain works. While Mr K builds up a sketch or a painting until it captures the life of something, I basically draw the most important bits and leave the rest blank.
I don’t do shadows, I can’t do colour.
It would be hilarious, thought I, if I attempted to sew a portrait of my darling husband for his Christmas. Furthermore, I was tired of him stealing my hot water bottle (our flat has no central heating and is very very cold) so decided I should make him a cover.
So I went to good old Watt Brothers, stalwart of Sauchiehall St, and purchased a bottle. I figured that fleece would be a good base and one of the many perks of working in a fabric shop is you don’t have to go very far to find some. Since Mr K has been building bridges with his Dad, from whom he had been estranged, I felt it would be apt to use a Royal Stewart Tartan. Stewart being his former surname (changed by deed poll aged 21) and also since he’s a bit of a punk fan, Royal Stewart being the punk tartan of choice.
Armed with my fabric and some Bondaweb, I locked Mr K in his studio and went for it. Tentative at first, I shook off my hesitancy knowing that no matter how it turned out he’d love it. It was more applique than stitch sketching in the end. The hair and eyebrows are black velvet and for the nose and mouth since I have no hand embroidery skills to speak of I used the machine entirely. I don’t think it turned out half bad?!