Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Colour from the season - Bramble leaf green

There are times when you have to put things that upset you out of your mind and look on the bright side. (Have I said that already? - well I'm working hard at it).

This was the most positive green I could find in the woodland! Moreover, it was the brightest green stalk on the entire bush. Drawn with dip pen and as a radical departure from the usual black, Dr. Ph Martin's Bombay Grass green ink mixed with a dash of Sepia.

It happened to have a dead leaf impaled onto it's stem, so I noted these browns alongside.

Nice thorns..!

Scaling up one of my favourite notebook drawings in the studio today..!
Listening to this..!

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Colour from the season - Curly Kale - Purple

Getting burgled at the studio was a bad start to 2014. It affected my sleep as well as my spirits and I didn't feel like drawing. When this happens I begin to think I may never draw again(!) the designer's equivalent of writers block. The only way round this I've found from past experience, is to make myself draw, something...anything.

So I collected rose-hip sprays from a Rambling Rector and they've shrivelled in a vase for a week! I picked up some interesting Oak Galls (or Apples) attached tightly to Oak leaves, spent an hour drawing them, but tore the drawing from my notebook! Gathered shells on the beach (still in my pocket)!

Finally, It was the fabulous dusky purples and deep magenta of a curly Kale leaf (and it's ridiculously intricate frilly fronds), that helped shift my mind away from everything else and put pen to paper...

...from my seasonal colour sample notebook.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Land, Sea, Sky

Yesterday I wrote a short statement and emailed it with photos for a group exhibition I've been invited to take part in called 'Land, Sea, Sky' (May/June 2014!). As my proposal for this exhibition relates entirely to my colour notebook/blog 'Planet Sam' I thought I'd share this, as well as work in progress as it develops.

I'd been asked for a statement of 250 words which had to answer specific questions (by Flora Pearson, exhibitions officer at The Devon Guild of Craftsmen), these were...

"I need a statement for each exhibitor of up to 250 words. Could I ask a few questions to give you pointers for the statement? They may not all be relevant to you but please can you answer as fully as possible or elaborate where you want to, thanks. If I already have a statement from you perhaps you could tweak it with these questions in mind please.
-          Can you define your relationship with the land, sea or sky (or all)?
-          In what ways do you draw on land sea or sky in your work? For example inspiration, materials, tools.
-          What processes in your work link you to your surroundings? For example sketching, harvesting, etc  (have you got any photos of these?)
-          What are you focussing on for this exhibition?
-          Have you got any ideas or plans to take this work further in the future?"

Here's my statement, which covers some of her questions (in 248 words!)...

Sam Pickard
Land, Sea, Sky

My studio is situated in a small market town close to Exmoor and the surrounding North Devon countryside or ‘Land’ is a rich source of inspiration for my fabric and textile design. For the past three years I have been collecting samples of flora and fauna specifically to document the colours I find in them. What began as a reaction against simply following global trend colour forecasts, and to look instead at “seasonal” or “local” colour, has become a rich source of reference material for my work.

In the winter months I sketch in the studio, but in Spring and Summer I often sketch outdoors using pencil and dip pen and ink. Using a dip-pen helps me to capture the vitality of the subject, the blots and smudges adding to the imperfections and scruffiness I find in nature. These sketches and colours are then translated digitally from Moleskine sketchbooks, scanned into the computer to create digital pages, bringing the colours and drawings together into pages of a blog ‘Planet Sam’, (which had 43,714 page views in 2013).

Some of this imagery has already filtered into my textile products, for example, a Pheasant is now immortalised onto cushions and trays, a Monterey Cone is super-sized and screen printed in bronze foil onto linen. 'Land, Sea, Sky' is an opportunity to develop these notebook drawings and documented CMYK colours from ‘Planet Sam’ and take them into screen-printed textiles using both the colour and drawing together for the first time.

(not entirely sure what I'm going to do yet, but I'm working on it!)

and the example images I sent (Corn Grass from July 2013)..

In the (French) landscape, (unusually) caught in action taking photos of the subject.

Photo of that subject...
Pencil sketch...
Pen and ink...
and lastly from the 'Planet'...

More to come on this...

...Hope this made sense but if I've failed to sound my usual fairly chipper self - it's because my studio was broken into and burgled last night - and I'm feeling upset and totally fed up - not a great start to the New Year! At least (looking on the bright side) - no-one was hurt, most of my design work is backed up, plus they didn't trash the place (so all sketchbooks/fabrics intact) but can't even begin to think about the things that are lost...