On location, inspirations and drawings in lockdown.

A difficult time for us all, but I have had time to reflect, do some drawing, and make a few new pieces of work. With no visit to Spain this summer, I’ve gone back to my local landscape of the South Downs which I love equally. I will let the images speak for themselves, and hope to make textile pieces for my next post.

Drawing and painting from memory

My first pair show the wonderful views from Amberley, in West Sussex UK and a sketchbook painting I did. I don’t copy my drawings or photos, they are there to start me off and then memories, direct experience and my imagination take over.

The South Downs near Goodwood follow, a very short drive from home. I did an observational pencil drawing on the spot, then came home and did the small sketchbook painting, playing and changing my ideas and colours as I worked.

Finally two drawings of trees done in a friends garden, drawing with a group of local artists called Artel. No textile thoughts yet, perhaps they are just sketchbook memories for the future.

Isolating, Artel and Alchemy

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No need to explain the word Isolation, but Alchemy is the title and theme of an exhibition that has been postponed. This is a group of contemporary artists  I belong to in Chichester, called ARTel. We all practice different art-forms, including painting, printmaking, sculture, photography, film, textiles. Motivation, whatever we do, is so important to everyone now, not just artists, so my “alchemy” is this-

I have found old embroidery threads and little bits of fabric hidden away in my studio. Some threads are 40 years old, others may be 10 years old but not used since then. I am using light in the sky, over land or sea, and machine embroidering as usual, but trapping fabric fragments and adding tiny areas of hand stitching ! I have never done this before. Hope you enjoy my efforts so far. The aim is to increase the hand stitching as I develop my ideas. You may need to search for the stitched in fabrics and added threads! COMMENTS welcome!

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Above, “Golden Light of evening ” 5 in sq/13cm sq embedded fragments of fabric and fibres Below “Early evening sky” 6in/15cm sq– remembered from my last train journey back from London 4 weeks ago – added threads are hand stitched over machine embroidery with embedded fragments

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Below, “Scattered Light” with embedded gold fabric and hand stitching, 6 in / 15cm sq

Scattered light

“Orange Sky” sunrise, hand embroidery in the skies 5in/ 13cm sq

Orange Sky

Chichester Cathedral and Homeward 1994-2019

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A very much overdue post by me but here it is. An article has just been published in Stitch Magazine issue 123, on my piece for the Embroiderers Guild UK touring exhibition “Home” in 2019/20. You can still catch this at the Spring Knitting and Stitching show. Sally Stirling, managing editor of Stitch says this about this edition. “Stitch 123 is out now! In recognition with International Women’s Day, this issue is packed with projects, features and inspiration – all either by or about women. Embroidery may be dominated by women, still the depth and breadth of skill and talent continues to astound, and as ever, the best is brought to you by Stitch magazine”

My piece has Chichester Cathedral as a small but vital focal point, and this reminded me of early work I did in the 90s. So for the first time I’m showing some of this work alongside a glimpse of my piece for Home.

The South Downs have long been an inspiration but I haven’t used the Cathedral in my work since way back when I was still lecturing, and had two commissions for St Richards Hospital. I’m showing one of these here, as although the image of the final piece is low res, the drawings give an idea of how I developed the piece. Luckily I do have the sketchbook I developed and these haven’t been seen before! Some of my very talented students produced pieces as well, but I havent access at present to their work. The theme was A Sense of Place and the work was made in 1994 I called this piece Cathedral Vistas

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And now for 2019 and the ideas I developed. You can see my drawings and progress, and read the article in Stitch magazine. I also have a link on my Instagram account @naylorcarol

These were my inital thoughts for the theme “Home”

Like a beacon guiding you to safety, Chichester Cathedral can be seen from which ever direction you approach the city. It is the only medieval English Cathedral that can be seen from the sea, and the only one with a separate bell tower. I have lived in the city since 1972. When you stand on the Trundle near Goodwood, on the rolling South Downs, the spire is often shrouded in mist, a view I’ve drawn many times. You can see it from the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth on a clear day, from the coast just a few miles south of the city and from the trains that run from Brighton or London.

So here it is, very different in every respect to my piece from 1994 which is still hanging in the hospital and I’ve just posted one drawing below as there are lots in the magazine!

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Drawing with the Isle of Wight in the background.

and hope you enjoyed the two pieces and their very different feel. It does show how my work has changed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travels and drawings, Cantabria, Spain

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A much overdue entry here from me, but after a month of travelling in Spain I am ready to start working again. I find the contrasts in the land and sea utterly inspiring, and never tire of looking at looking at the way  in which things change hour by hour. I often re-draw the same views. If Cezanne could draw and paint endless views of Mt St Victoire then I think its allowed!   So this blog entry is about Isla in Cantabria, Spain, a place I first visited in 1983, and my next one will be the landscape.

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Above, drawing of rocks and sea on a stormy day, and rock studies below

Isla rocks

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Isla, Cantabria, just a few of the many photos I’ve taken there

 

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and finally 2 pieces I made a year ago inspired by these visits both now in new homes. I never copy drawings or photographs, but they inform my thinking. I have ideas for new ones, so we will see what happens! The first is called Cantabrian Nightfall, and the second  Summer Storm, Cantabria.

Cantabrian Nightfall

 

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Drawing, Threads and Stitching

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A long overdue post by me, so I thought I’d look at drawings and embroideries  where I sometimes simply take a small aspect of something I’ve seen to translate. I always say that once I start a piece, the threads and machine seem to take over! I close the sketchbook up and then see what happens. Still working on skies, here are a couple of quick on the spot drawings and the work that came from them, with a selection of my threads as well.

The very quick drawing on the left helped me start the embroidery, 5in /13cm square. I started with the idea of form and colours, began to stitch and put the sketchbook away.

 

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I was able to record these mountains in Palermo,and then had to try and remember the skies I had seen. The richness of the sun was my main interest, and the way the colours of the sky changed from pinks to pale yellow and blues. I love all my threads! I always make a limited selection to begin with, then add or subtract others as the stitching develops. I use heavyweight metallic threads, weights 8, 12 and 15, as well as metallic no 40, plus lots of rayon threads, mainly weight 30. Madeira classic no 12 is a huge favourite of mine,  but Wonderfil also make some glorious threads and I love their rayons, weights 8 and 12. I use cotton embroidery threads of course, and woollen/acrylic mixes as well.

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—and then sometimes I draw simply to record where I am. My sketchbooks are my diaries. I used to make architectural pieces, so maybe I’ll go back to looking at buildings, but I suspect  they would be much more abstract!

Cepeda drawing 2018

My next post will record the development of a piece I am to make for the next touring exhibition of the embroiderers guild called “Home”,  so look out for it although I have only just started it!

 

 

 

 

Sunbury Gallery Exhibition

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I’m delighted that my exhibition A Stitched Timeline will shortly be opening at the purpose-built Sunbury Embroidery Gallery. It runs from Feb 26th to April 7th. Details are on their website, http://www.sunburygallery.org  The gallery is well worth a visit, beautifully situated by the river Thames, with easy parking, stunning gardens, and has a great cafe that serves lunch, coffee and tea. I can recommend the chocolate brownies, but you may need to save half for another day! I’m also giving a talk on March 14th at 7.30pm , tickets and information from the gallery.

At the Knitting and Stitching shows, the response to my early work and to my sketch books was tremendous. So you did hand embroidery before? You made paper? We all have our own journey to make and its been a joy and privilege sharing it. Here are a few drawings and images but you’ll have to visit if you want to see the early hand stitched work as I have no photographic record and some of the work was too delicate to take out of the frames.

Drawing “Garden” 1980s-this way of drawing with oil pastels led to the delicate hand stitched work in the 80s

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Different ideas that have led to textile pieces, although the middle one is from an old paper making piece I found recently, and have chopped up! It’s waiting for me to work into it…..

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and finally my piece “The Lake at Petworth” made for the Embroiderer’s Guild touring exhibition  “Capability Brown” in 2016

Sunbury Gallery Exhibition

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I’m delighted that my exhibition A Stitched Timeline will shortly be opening at the purpose-built Sunbury Embroidery Gallery. It runs from Feb 26th to April 7th. Details are on their website, http://www.sunburygallery.org  The gallery is well worth a visit, beautifully situated by the river Thames, with easy parking, stunning gardens, and has a great cafe that serves lunch, coffee and tea. I can recommend the chocolate brownies, but you may need to save half for another day! I’m also giving a talk on March 14th at 7.30pm , tickets and information from the gallery.

At the Knitting and Stitching shows, the response to my early work and to my sketch books was tremendous. So you did hand embroidery before? You made paper? We all have our own journey to make and its been a joy and privilege sharing it. Here are a few drawings and images but you’ll have to visit if you want to see the early hand stitched work as I have no photographic record and some of the work was too delicate to take out of the frames.

Drawing “Garden” 1980s-this way of drawing with oil pastels led to the delicate hand stitched work in the 80s

Journey garden 89

Different ideas that have led to textile pieces, although the middle one is from an old paper making piece I found recently, and have chopped up! It’s waiting for me to work into it…..

hi.res.print_the lake at petworth_detail_1

and finally my piece “The Lake at Petworth” made for the Embroiderer’s Guild touring exhibition  “Capability Brown” in 2016

Getting ready for Dublin, Nov 8th-11th at RDS Simmonscourt Hall

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After the full on experience and excitement that is Ally Pally I am trying to sort out my plans for Dublin. I last went there 10 years ago and loved the more leisurely experience. The Irish people, always so appreciative, were delightful, and I anticipate some gentle questioning and comments in November. Several nice pieces found new homes after AP but I have much to show in Dublin. Some shots to show the Ally Pally gallery first though.

Some of my many sketchbooks from the past 30 + years, talking to visitors, and lovely textile artists Amanda Hartland, and Gina Marjoram, one of my super helpers. Then a couple of shots plus “the red corner” where old works from the 70’s hung next to a recent commission. Lovely Chrissie Davies, another amazing textile artist came to help me!

There were wonderful galleries by many other artists who will be at Dublin or Harrogate or both. Cas Holmes with her wonderful display even acquired a little Carol Naylor for her collection. I feel honoured! Here it is alongside the delightful water colour of a redshank she gave to me!

Below are some new little 5 inch sky and seascapes that always go down well, and they will be there along with many other works.

Finally, the centre part of one of my personal favourites. I don’t always like what I make, but this one resonates for me, “The Downs in Bloom” 2016 so it’s my featured image for this post. I look forward to hearing your thoughts! And if you are in Dublin, please come along….

5 The Downs in Bloom 2016 detail

Knitting and Stitching Shows 2018

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Its too long since my last blog entry, but a very busy summer has been compounded by preparations for my one woman show at the Knitting and Stitching shows this autumn.

“A Stitched Timeline” showcases my work from the 70s to the present day, and is the first time I’ve shown this work together. It’s been a fascinating journey, searching out old, forgotten pieces in the attic, and contacting people who I know bought pieces from exhibitions, especially in the 80s and 90s. There is a really lovely catalogue to accompany the exhibition, which goes to all 3 K&S shows at Alexandra Palace, London, Dublin and Harrogate. It’s also going to the Sunbury Gallery in 2019.

From the 70s, never been seen before, hand embroidery onto hessian. The threads are as vibrant now as they were then!

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the 80s and 90s, some drawings from my sketch books follow, which will also be on display

the 2000s, hangings based on maps- this was from my local landscape near Arundel in West Sussex UK and only exhibited on two former occasions, its quite large, about 120cm x 50 cm per panel, and includes some felted areas.1 Arunscape, diptych 2004

….and finally work from the last ten years includes land, sea and skyscapes from the UK, Spain, Italy and France. You’ll have to visit to see most of them, but a few follow. So for UK friends I do hope to see you if you come to the shows, and for those further afield, I hope you enjoy seeing these.Its a slide show (clever !)

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Your comments are always appreciated. Carol