Some drawings lately

…In different notebooks. IMG_9308IMG_9302IMG_9299IMG_9294IMG_9287IMG_9309IMG_9318IMG_9241IMG_9266IMG_9236IMG_9275IMG_9324IMG_9322IMG_9229

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Self-portrait

I hoped to finish ten new embroideries this summer, but it looks like I’ll have maybe three. I did embroider a lot, but I started a large self-portrait and I really enjoyed doing really small stitches and taking my time. The hoop is 35 cm in diameter. It’s my favorite embroidery I made thus far, I’ll probably frame it. I stitched it on cotton canvas that I have dyed with onion peels and turmeric (it’s from the same old bed sheet that I used for sewing a blouse.) I used the sewing machine with a thread in a very similar color to the canvas for larger surfaces (like the forehead), but I stitched most of it by hand. I like the “watercolor” effect this embroidery has, even more so in reality (the photo makes the lines just a bit harsher).

When I finished it, I was kind of sorry to lose such a pleasant way to spend my free time, but I have already started another, very detailed, embroidery.

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Diary blouse

This blouse is something I partially sew by myself as a school assignment, but also as something for myself to wear. My friend helped me with some of the sewing, but I made a lot of things by myself, too (I copied the pattern, I cut the fabric and I did some of the sewing). Also, I dyed the fabric (an old cotton sheet) with onion peels and turmeric and I embroidered the text. So, I can say I did a lot of it :).

The fabric is really nice, the old cotton has a softness that only something that was used for a long time gets. Also, I like the color that turned out after dyeing it. I lose some of the color with each washing (even if I fixed it with vinegar and I wash it only by hand in cold water), but still it becomes paler and paler. But, at some point, I can dye it again, because the embroidery thread I used is synthetic, so it won’t be affected by the dye. But, for now, it’s fine.

I embroidered on it a text in my handwriting that you can see only if you come close enough and you make an effort to read. There are random thoughts that I had while working a lot at home during this spring, but if you don’t read them, they are just a vibrating color and texture. The text, roughly translated, says: ” …the small noise that the needle makes when it goes trough the fabric…I listen to the news and a sea of anxiety and despair overflows…sometimes, hope…when you get closer to reaching the age of forty, everything is the same, only you judge yourself a little less harshly…and getting legitimization from others is much less important…sometimes…this body that carries me through the world so well…maybe there is some more ice cream left in the fridge… ”

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Felting

I started this embroidery at my favorite class in the M.A. program I joined this fall. I used for the first time a needle felting machine and I was really excited to use a new technique for my embroideries. I did an outline of the self portrait, I felted the lighted parts and then I stitched the above the felting and the shadow parts. I didn’t want to use wool and I wasn’t sure if artificial fibers will work, but they did, and I’m glad I can still use this technique even if I try to avoid using animal products. It was really relaxing to do this and I like the result. It’s not perfectly similar to me physically but I do recognize myself in its atmosphere. img_5917img_5920img_5911img_5907

My favorite flowers

From time to time, I remember that I would really like to draw more, even if it is something that I do quite rarely. One of the things that I would like to have till the end of the year is a notebook full of small drawings of things from nature. I was thinking to have 100 of them (till now, I maybe have 20 or 25). I took some photos of dandelions next to our building and did two drawings of them. I have always loved these modest flowers.

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Plein air

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I have found this box yesterday at the flea market, for quite cheap. It’s a small size case, with some of the original tools still inside: a metal bottle for turpentine, a dipper and a metal charcoal holder. The palette is not there, unfortunately. There are also some pastel sticks and 2 old brushes with bamboo handles marked Japan. Also some newer pencils. Obviously, this box was used in a really long time span or had different owners using it.  It was made by Sennelier Paris, an old and famous art store. Their logo is different now and I couldn’t find any listing of their previous logos, so I could have a definite answer regarding the age of my box. But, I think the box and the original accessories are from the thirties or forties, from the feel of them.

I don’t plan painting en plein air again (something that I was very fond of when I was 15), but it’s a very nice box to store some of my drawing and painting supplies in, while trying to imagine who were the ones using it before me.

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Linking up with Vintage Bliss Tuesdays.