TRIP TO CASTELL COCH

‘While resting on ancient foundations, Castell Coch (Red Castle) is relatively modern, the by-product of a vivid Victorian imagination, assisted by untold wealth. The Middle Ages fascinated the Victorians as much as the Victorians fascinate us today. High Gothic was the order of the day.

The ‘eccentric genius’ William Burges was given free rein by his paymaster, John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, the 3rd marquess of Bute, to create a rural retreat to complement the opulence of his main residence, Cardiff Castle. He didn’t hold back. Dazzling ceilings, over-the-top furnishings and furniture were liberally applied’.

Having never been to Castell Coch, I decided that a trip was well in order. My Mum had described how fantastic the interior decoration was, not to mention the incredible attention to detail of observational and stylised floral designs/patterns!!

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Look at how simple yet effective the floral motifs are when amalgamated within a theme. I absolutely adore the patterns and shapes. I have some lino at home, could I have a go at incorporating some of these type of motifs within my own work?

Even these motifs on a fireplace and fabric are incredible!!!! Reminds me of some of my work too. Could I create some ceramic tiles to go with my collection?

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Floral panels!!!!! Look at the exquisite craftsmanship!! The observational studies against a metallic gold backdrop suggests luxury and wealth, something which I have explored within my own work. The colour of each individual flower/leaf has been careful selected to both harmonise and contrast against the gold. Could I create fabric/wallpaper looking at a panel effect? I wonder if this would translate well on a large scale?

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Each panel tells a story. The symbol of the Monkey in Victorian Times was seen as rather offensive, especially some of their habits. The Marquess of Bute ordered some of the murals/panels to be removed/repainted due to the risqué subject mater, after all it was still within the Victorian era. I am just bowled over with the attention to detail, skill and colour. Wow.

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I could not get over the attention to detail of everything……walls, ceilings, panels, furniture, windows, fabrics, wallpapers and paintings.

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Delicate florals carved into the Fireplace. The contrast between this subdued, yet rich colour screams luxury and wealth.

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I am so glad that I took a trip to this amazing ‘castle’. What have I learned from this experience? To keep practicing my drawing, and experimenting with colour!!! It’s amazing how much can inspire when we choose to explore.

LIFE IS A FLOWER

For research purposes I wanted to see what would pop up if I were to type a few specific words into Google…….FLORAL TEXTILE ARTISTS. Well, I am glad that I did!! I came across a wonderful webpage:

https://www.textileartist.org/textile-artists-inspired-by-flowers/

It was full with the most amazing Textile Designers, but the first that truly caught my eye was MELISSA ZEXTER.

‘Melissa Zexter combines embroidery with photography. She sews by hand directly onto photographs she has taken, combining a traditional practical skill, embroidery with a modern and mass reproducible process, photography’

Zexter, M. (2013-15) Portraits, Woman With Veil. Digital Print, Thread. Available at: http://www.melissazexter.com/new-colour (Accessed: 10 April 2018)

What once was a standard digital print has been made new and unique by the addition of thread. The image is now alive and describes something now beautiful; a simplistic addition to an existing story to create intrigue and dynamism. Could I now reinvigorate some of my old photographs with the addition of specifically chosen thread?

Dexter, M.  (2017) Embroidered Portraits, Schoolgirls. Gelatin Silver Print, Thread. Available at: http://www.melissazexter.com/embroidered-portraits (Accessed 10 April 2018)

SUSAN BRUBAKER KNAPP

Susan is not only a fiver artist, but a teacher and author too. She has been making quilts since she was 10 years old and has honed her skill over a lifetime to produce some of the most incredible finer art quilted artworks I have ever seen. The attention to detail exudes tactility and luxury in each stitch she creates.

 

Brubaker Knapp, S. (2016) Resurrection, Free Machine Quilted, Cotton. Available at: http://www.bluemoonriver.com/fiber-art.html (Accessed 10 April 2018)

Brubaker Knapp, S. (2010) Passion Flower, Free Machine Quilted, Cotton. Available at: www.bluemoonriver.com/fiber-art.html (Accessed 10 April 2018)

Brusker Knapp, S. (2010) Pink Rose, Painted Wholecloth, Machine Quited, Cotton. Available at: www.bluemoonriver.com/fiber-art.html (Accessed 10 April 2018)

These artworks are so sumptuous!! I could image a full-size bedspread of this design and would happily pay whatever price was advertised.

Although I haven’t attempted much embroidery/stitch work within this project, seeing these incredible works of art has inspired me to explore the wonders of my Bernini and hand.

 

 

 

RESULTS ARE IN……DRUMROLL PLEASE

What is the best way to understand a demographic? I decided to create my own survey, asking poignant and specific questions that would enable me to further expand my research, both visual and market.

7 questions were put forward via Survey Monkey, which was available to my Facebook friends and the friends of friends. The information collated will be broken down into the most popular answers, which in turn could influence my final designs. What were these questions you may ask……well, here they are:

  1. WHAT WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOUR FAVOURITE FLOWER TO BE? Daffodil, Rose & Tulip
  1. WHICH 3 FLOWERS WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO HAVE IN YOUR GARDEN? Daffodil, Rose & Lily
  1. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE COLOUR FLOWER? Yellow, Purple & Blue
  1. WHICH 3 COLOURS WOULD YOU ASSOCIATE WITH FEMININITY? Pink, Purple & Yellow
  1. WHICH 3 COLOURS WOULD YOU ASSOCIATE WITH MASCULINITY? Blue, Black & Green
  1. WHICH 3 ELEMENTS ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU IF YOU WERE TO CHOOSE A FLORAL FABRIC/WALLPAPER? Colour, Design & Simplicity
  2. WOULD BE MORE INCLINED TO PURCHASE FLORAL FABRIC/WALLPAPER IF IT WAS MORE GENDER NEUTRAL? Neither Agree or Disagree, Agree, Strongly Agree

60 people took my survey and I am absolutely fascinated with the results!!! I knew exactly how some of the questions would be answered, but was blown away by some of the results!!! For example……PINK would always be the most obvious answer when asking what people thought was the most predominant colour of FEMININITY, and BLUE being the most obvious for MASCULINITY. The 3 favourite colours of flowers were quite surprising…..YELLOW coming top, followed by PURPLE & BLUE. BLACK & GREEN surprisingly were the second and third highest chosen colours!!! I couldn’t have asked for better results; my chosen colour palette has so far incorporated most of the colours picked by my survey demographic. I will however incorporate some metallics within my designs, which will lift and inform the buyer of it’s quality and luxurious design.

The information I have gathered so far from this survey has been invaluable; one of the core ingredients/themes of my chosen trend, BUSY BLOOMS, is to inform the viewer/buyer of the importance of GENDER NEUTRALITY when looking at the design of Floral Wallpaper/Fabric for the Interior. I was really pleased to learn that the overall consensus of my survey favoured the idea that more people would buy Floral Wallpaper/Fabric if it was GENDER NEUTRAL, specifically looking at the Top 3 elements when choosing Florals………..COLOUR, DESIGN & SIMPLICITY.

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My next step will be to continue my visual and market research combining elements from the survey results, and allowing me the opportunity to create something fresh, unique and with broad appeal.

 

WHO KNEW……ROBERT KUSHNER

People say the internet is both a good and bad thing, and I wholeheartedly agree. However, when it is good……. it is very good. One of the great things about being creative is the endless search for inspiration, and today I did not fall short:

ROBERT KUSHNER!!!!!

http://www.robertkushnerstudio.com

It is rare that I am speechless when it comes to another artist/designer, but this guy’s work is TO DIE FOR!!! What words would I choose to sum up his work?

SUMPTUOUS, DESCRIPTIVE, EXPRESSIVE, RICH, OBSERVATIONAL, INSPIRATIONAL, COLOURFUL, OPULENT & INVENTIVE

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Fascinating introspective into this artist’s work. I think I am so drawn to his work as I can see a similar passion for line, form and pattern. Looking at his work has given me the idea to invert some of my own work so the dark will become light and vice versa; could these new white lines be enhanced with metallic pen, pencil or stitch? I am extremely excited to explore this new avenue of visual research.

Decided to buy one of his books……WILD GARDENS!!! Absolutely incredible, think I can learn a great deal from this artist.