Progress does not always have to be linear.
The first of these factors has a direct effect on the size of the work that I can produce and the other means that my time is not given entirely to my work, as I have other interest that I wish to follow. One of these is traveling which is something I have enjoyed as a child, and have gone on to experience with my own family.
The result of this pattern of living is that my work cannot always progress in a linear manner. An example of this has developed recently and has proved to have a had a surprising benefit.
I have been away from home recently so could not continue with the digital embroidery, but it has given me the chance to sort out a niggling problem before I start on the portrait panel.
I wasn't all together happy with 2 of my portraits as it occurred to me that when the piece is displayed in an exhibition setting the reverse side will be seen, as I intend to display it in a position that visitors can walk around.
The 2 portraits in question were definitely better viewed from the front, so I decided to rework them, especially as these 2 did not seem to fit the personality of the ladies as I had imagined it.
I started with this one which is the original.
As seen from the front of the piece.
And flipped to represent the back of the piece.
I wasn't happy with this version as it's not symmetrical and so it doesn't work when seen from behind.
Also it doesn't really feel that it fits the personality of the lady I modelled it on.
I started again with a different sketch, trying to use the original, and the the tiny half profile I had of her in the Pathe News photo as a guide.
These 2 new portraits have been checked for suitability for front and rear viewing and as you can see the bottom one stands up better than the top as far as symmetry is concerned, I also think her personality shows through a bit more but it is a more complicated image.
Other ideas were tried but I felt I wasn't quite there, personality wise, and the first 2 in the above lineup were too young, the middle is an ink sketch done with the idea of loosening up.
As I didn't want to use the first image, above left, and it occurred to me that in order to prepare the portraits for digital stitching out it might be easier to make the marks manually rather than doing it in the software.
I used a fine 0.5 roller ball pen and traced over the sketch and then rubbed out the pencil lines.
I'm still not happy with any of these portraits, so I will continue sketching till I get one that does resonate with me.
The process is the same as doing it in the software, where the skech is scanned into the art program, convereted to an embroidery file and then drawn over with a stylus and a Wacom tablet. I just found it more intuitive to make the actual marks for the stitch on paper instead of the screen and now all I have to do is copy the the pen marks.
By having the time to experiment with the procedure of producing these portraits I have given myself the opportunity to create a method of working for further pieces on this, and other similar subject orientated projects. I have very much enjoyed trying to tease out the possible personality traits of these amazing ladies and with this experience I hope I can carry it on to a differnt set of people that I already have in my thoughts.
These preliminary sketches are not something that would normally be seen when displaying the final piece, but I wanted to record the process that I'd worked through to get to the nearest interpretation of the lady, who's personality I was trying to capture from a very blurred black and white photo.
The second portrait was just a small adjustment as I felt I'd been quite hard on this particular lady and made her look quite aggressive.
This was the original
check for front and back view
And this is the revised view.
And I have changed it to this, I feel it fits her possible personality better.
Apart form the portraits I've been thinking bout ideas for presenting this piece and came across this wonderful piece of weathered ironwork on the beach.
I would like to do something with this idea, the colours of the rust are amazing, and the structure is so strong and heavy that it would make a great starting point for a support that would be a good foil for the lightness of the organza.