I constantly draw, paint, photograph and collage in order to collect enough reference material to create a body of work. I begin by creating a background in mixed media since a plain white surface inhibits my creativity. Paperwork is my starting point for my textile pieces.
However the recent DIS/rupt exhibition challenged this approach. For 'Out of Tune' I worked directly in fabric, using words and phrases as my reference. Initially I created a word search puzzle. 'Phrases such as 'cracks appearing' led to making a cracked waxed surface, 'fingers burned' led to burnt edges, 'life in shreds' led to shredded paper being trapped between layers of net to form a background surface.
The title 'Out of Tune' reflected my personal relationship a number of years ago. The passage of time allowed me to take an analytical approach to divorce, a subject of a highly emotional and personal nature.
Since working on the theme of disruption I have become increasingly influenced by both text and music. Lately I have combined this interest with my love of Scottish landscape; drawing inspiration from a visit to Fingal's cave. I have combined the text 'weathering the storm' along with mark making to the music of Mendelssohn's 'Die Hebriden' Overture.
I love to use traditional techniques in a contemporary way, to stitch on painted paper alongside reverse appliqué or embellished fabric. I use a variety of hand dyed fabrics. Throughout my career as a lecturer these techniques have developed more into mixed media while maintaining stitch as an important element.
I have exhibited regularly with the Textile Study Group, with edge-textile artists scotland, the Embroiderers' Guild and with my friend and colleague Alison King. I am enjoying being retired, 'how did I ever manage to work' is a saying I can now concur with. I am grateful for the opportunity to concentrate more fully on my own work and The Textile Study Group provides me with a challenging environment as well as allowing me to benefit from the exchange of ideas and sharing information.