Continuing on from the the Monday session with Sasha, I decided that I wanted to take my colour/paint layering studies a little further. Having been pleased with my initial attempts, it now became apparent that I really loved the process of creating fantastical and creative surface pattern, which could be used to inspire my stitch and print.

How to begin? Time to get out my box of ‘mark-making’ tools and run riot with anything and everything that comes to hand/mind.

Beginning with two images I had already created, I wanted to enhance and change their colour value and depth. Bubblewrap became one of my most unbelievable allies; acrylic paint was layered over the top by method of a large flat brush. Using only the primary colours to coat the bubblewrap, secondary and tertiary colours were created within the process; influenced from my Colour Theory session with Helen.


Photocopies of original work. Masking fluid added on top of photocopy. Bubblewrap coated with primary colours, using brush. Bubblewrap pressed on to photocopies. Further colours were layered onto bubblewrap to create secondary colours, and again to create tertiary colours. Overall effect is highly textural, aesthetically pleasing and harmonious. Could I now stitch over the top? Would this chronicle a sorry into abstract embroidery? Does stitch need to be incorporated/embellished on fabric, or could my material of choice be paper?

Before starting to experiment with stitch on paper, I had unknowing created another piece of art. When applying the colour to the bubblewrap, I had been to wipe off the excess from the paintbrush onto a random piece of white paper. The paint had undertaken a process of it’s own; the beginnings of yet another exploration within surface pattern. A fortuitous delivery of polystyrene allowed me to incorporate layered square prints on top of the accidental paint design.

Initially, the design was nothing more than a throwaway fun 5 minutes of paint and print; it grew into a rather successful endeavour, fitting in perfectly with my ‘nothing is wasted’ mantra.

The free and easy approach to layering with paint reverberates a fun and joyous approach to surface pattern, not everything has to be prim, precise and properly planned out. How would I take these experiments to the next level? Would I now continue with Colour Theory exercises? Could I now incorporate contrasting colours using stitch/thread/embroidery?

The possibilities of surface pattern are infinite!! Taking a page from a Natural Encyclopaedia, adding masking fluid to the surface, and layering colour (blue & black) colour via a polystyrene block (4″ x 4″). A yellow paint was stippled over the masking fluid and paint, and left to dry. Look at all the wonderful patterns within the design. Whilst stepping back from my work, I noticed that the juxtaposition of image and text binds my ideas together incredibly well. The context of my design would change with a different context of text.

Thought I would construct a little design with offcuts of photos, letters and pen and pencil; really basic, but fun. Listening to Tori Amos whilst undertaking little experiment. Neil Gaiman is one of her closest friends, and he is quoted within one of her songs….TEAR IN MY HAND.


Author: vmhtdesign

First Year Student @ Cardiff Met University, Lllandaff. BA Textile Design.

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