Today’s 100

I’ve been thinking a lot about design. I have an exhibition coming up, and, of course, lots of teaching, so I’m always on the look out for ways of showing things. We’ve had a very wet few days, no floods, but there is a fair bit of water around on our local (within walking distance) nature reserve, and also along the canal. I went for a walk along the latter today, and have to say it was a very informative walk. I managed to count out 4 separate sections of 100, so I have some ‘in the bag’ for future posts. I’m looking at them with a view to using them in textiles, but you may be able to use them for other crafts too.

My alternative title for this post would be ‘behind bars’, and that doesn’t signify that I’ve misbehaved, the reason will become obvious quite soon. This first picture shows the road bridge at the start of my walk. The path to the right is currently blocked as there is a lot of work going on. It was difficult to take a picture of the whole area, so you will have to put it together bit by bit. All those pipes are connected to pumps which are removing the water from under the bridge. Note the angular lines, the perspective of the bridge, all of these are easy to translate into a design.

Now you can see the level of the water a little more clearly. Sludgy colours, browns, green, greys and a touch of blue with mustard at the bottom. The strong lines lend themselves to patchwork. The colours could be interpreted in the same technique, with artistic licence you could move them around a little, but it would all work.

When this barrier was inflated I’m presuming that the engineers hadn’t expected so much rain. You can see that the water level on the left is very close to the top. The blue is temporary, but a bit of a blot on the landscape. it is however, a contrast to the copper which is just in vision, also on the left.

This above, and the previous two pictures, are all elements of the same photograph. Blue greys, blue, silver, cool colours warmed with a flash of copper and yellow.

Greens, yellow, gold, copper and blue. The reflections suggest stitching, maybe some seeding, running stitches….. And look closely. Reflections. Different shades and tones. Just what an artist needs!

The water from under the bridge is being pumped back into the canal. Every now and then it pushes out a little burst which causes lovely ripples in the water. These would be wonderful reproduced in machine stitches. Analagous colours, hilighted with silver.

And there is that copper again! The blue/green of the plant on the right is a good foil for that. More stitching patterns in the water. Do you get a feel of what I am doing?

The ducks are just there for good measure! This is really a colour study. Find threads of the same shades and wrap them around a card. It’s a permanent keepsake while the day is fresh in the memory. You can even try to wrap a proportionate amount, but this isn’t easy.

This view shows a strong foreground. This could be portrayed with applique or hand stitching. The patches of light in the sky are echoed in the reflections, the copper on the right is also on the left in the bottom corner. Strong verticals at the top are echoes of the foreground. There are some really strong design elements here.

Horizontal and vertical lines. Reflections, foreground, contrast, analagous, break the picture down and you can almost make it fit into any format. I love the strong uprights at the top and the echoes of them reflected in the water. The grass at the bottom just helps to soften the edge.

And here endeth the first 100! You can see the bridge on the left in the middle, and the puddles show how wet it was overnight. Fortunately one of the householders is well prepared. The boat is there for all eventualities – rain or shine! I hope you enjoyed the stroll with me. It’s surprising what you can see if you actually look, and even if this 100 doesn’t result in a work of art many of the elements will remain with me and be present in others. I hope you will take part and go on a walk of 100 steps. You don’t need to break it down in the way that I have, just show us what you find. More details are here, but don’t forget to return and leave your link for this week here in the comments below.

Enjoy you walk, and I look forward to coming with you……

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