I know that I have been very quiet over the last year, and my followers, I am really sorry. 2020 was a year that did not happen for me. emotionally it was a bad year and I found working from home a difficulty thing to adjust to. Even though I was not driving 15 hours a week to get to and from work , my mojo took a nose dive and after the initial creative spurt, I did very little quilting last year. However, I discovered Luna Lapin, and needle felting, as well as rekindling my love of crochet. Great for me, but gave me nothing quilting related to blog about. At the start of 2021 I challenged myself to be a lot more creative. and with more creativity comes more blogging. So here we are in a new year, full of good intentions. Lets see how long it lasts!
Lowry has been a favourite of mine for as long as I can remember. I don’t have many child hood memories, but I do have a memory of dancing along to the song about him as a child and I was fascinated by the idea of people being made out of matchsticks. It worth searching youtube for that one.
Although Lowry painted North west scenes rather than my fathers home lad of Yorkshire, I always loved the song as it made me think of what it must have been like “back in the day” living and working in and around the Industrial North. Bit like the Hovis Ad. Very idealized I know but humour me, I was a child!! Its still available to watch in youtube if you search hard enough.
Confession time: When I chose L.S Lowry for this Artist challenge, I had already created a piece. The walls of my sewing room are already jam packed with mini quilts, posters, postcards, fairy lights (yes I am that girly!). Working from home has given me the opportunity of 4 new walls in guest bedroom room / home office to cover – much to my husbands chagrin. (if I have to sit here for 40 hours a week, and I want to have pictures and inspiration around me!) Anyway I digress. During early lock down (May / June ish) we had a recreate an artist challenge at work. I jumped at the chance to create a Lowry inspired piece for my work space.
As I said before my quilting mojo was next to zero, so I took a different approach. Using a price of vintage linen (thanks to my dear friend Shari, who is my primary source of all manner of vintage goodies including haberdashery) and an embroidery hoop, I had a DIY canvas to inspire me.
I used Lowry’s 1928 piece called “Coming Home from the Mill” as my inspiration. Why this piece? I’m not even sure It just called out to me. Maybe its because of the light and dark play of each other(those dark satanic mills in the misty background, with the street as the focal point), or the way all the matchstick people all look how I feel after a day of work… anyway It drew me in.
I started by tracing the lines to the back of the linen. Then using my rediscovered inktense pencils (purchased in back 2012 when I was going through my arty phase) I drew out a section of the picture , taking artistic liberties (of course). Then used embroidery floss to pick out outlines. I used fabric medium in places, but I kinda like the pencil lines showing through, as it shows a rustic naivety that I found artistically appealing. I like that it adds to the “rough round the edges” authenticity of the original subject matter.
As I said before,in 2020, I discovered needle felting, so I had some loose fibres that just called to me, as the smoke from the mill towers.
I then had to add the matchstick men (as well as the women and children). I took inspiration from Lowry again and I used embroidery floss to draw” outline figures, rather than try to be too detailed.
Unfortunately, I did not win the recreate a picture challenge at work, but I am blessed with a mixed media piece that has pride of place in my work space. I know its not patchwork, or quilting, but I hope you will allow me this little faux pas. It’s not perfect, but I adore it and it has brought a smile to my face, many many times over the last 9 months. And now for the big reveal…….Please forgive the shadow, trying to get a good shot has taken ages!!!
Till next time, happy sewing.
love from Dotty xxxx
Image of Coming Home From The Mill by L.S Lowry courtesy of The Lowry Gift Shop website