Wednesday, June 07, 2017

The Artist UnSEWn Series presents Ghost by Nel Whatmore

The inspiration for any collection is always a gathering together of disparate images and impressions that have stayed with me over a period of time. That is what I like about the process of designing as it’s about creating from a palette of ideas and memories, and so it is with Ghost my new collection.
The palette of the collection, in fact of all my collections  evolve from and inspired by my originals paintings. I have found over the years that I tend to paint in certain palettes for a period of time and then move on, I suppose as I grow as a person my tastes and inspirations change. I am sure we all find that the colours we liked when we were younger are not the colours we would choose now. I know that is partly dictated by fashion trends but also I strongly believe by us just moving on in our lives. I work in pastel most of the time as I love the range of colours so much and also the tactile nature of the medium, which led me to textiles originally too. In the same way we create quilts, it’s all about drawing a palette of colours together.
So the rich array of blues and deep purples are a long held favourite of mine which you can see in the series of paintings below. 

The actually mixing of both pattern and painting also really fascinates as what brings everything together is the colour. Again in the same way when quilting you are always looking for a focus fabric and ones that then support and enhance it. It’s like trying to achieve a very beautiful balance.

The next colourway echoes my increasing love of greens and their calming properties and connection to nature. I find that as I now paint, my mind drifts off thinking of patterns and ways to use different palettes. There is this lovely crossing over between design and fine art, which I love, it’s rather like having two feet in two different pools with a common over flow into each.

Here are the paintings that inspired the palette of the Green Colourway of Ghost.

Finally I couldn’t not have a warm pink colourway, I am drawn a great deal to cerise pinks and find when painting that those are the colours that I often run out of  the quickest. There is something magical about a little bit of pink that can lift any painting or quilt.

Mix and matching  colours like paint on a palette is where all the fun begins.

So that is where the inspiration for the colour palettes came from. As to the forms and soft impression of levaes and feathers. I have become very obsessed recently with faint impressions of things rather than more obvious definitions of plants and flowers. So creating a collection that is full of softer lines and ghostly impressions naturally followed on.

As a child I was always fascinated by the unusual shadows or prints of leaves on pavements in the autumn that were created when a leaf had been pressed to the surface by the rain and could be peeled away later to reveal a perfect image of itself. Combined with recently getting more into printing I wanted to look at different ways of printing that left a soft edge rather than hard lines. So again this interest came to fruition in Ghost.

My daughter funnily enough is also now getting into printing even though she is doing a Fine art degree at Edinburgh College of Art. The bridging of that gap between painting and printing seems to fascinate us both.

We often share ideas and comment on each others work, we each know we can always get a very honest opinion, which is essential in order to move forward. Though you have to have a think skin!
I do hope you enjoy using Ghost. Personally I am going to make myself a dress out of the Ghost Blue main pattern, when I have a moment. Have a great time sewing and I look forward to seeing what you make!
Rope Tricks designed by Lucy Fazely

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