ATV 2 – Assessment feedback and response

Overall Comments

Linda you have submitted a lovely body of work for this assignment.  There is evidence you have used your research material and drawing to come up with some considered textile samples.  The work is well organised and feels coherent.  Your learning log is easy to navigate with lots of imagery and commentary that maps out your creative journey.  Your next step here is to become more analytical of the work you are looking at; this includes your research and your own output.  This will encourage you to have a deeper understanding of what ‘works’ and how to develop this in your own practice.  I have outlined how to go about this below.


Assignment 2 and 4 Assessment potential

I understand your aim is to go for the Textiles Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, providing you commit yourself to the course, I believe you have the potential to pass at assessment.  In order to meet all the assessment criteria, there are certain areas you will need to focus on, which I will outline in my feedback.

Well that’s a lovely feeling of relief!  I have potential,  I’m on the right lines. I need to channel this thought and work with more confidence. The comment about commitment is very pertinent, I need to commit more quality time to my studies. Time management is key here. I’m considering a clearer timetable with written down tasks and tick boxes to track my progress. I have already broken down the next assignment into small tasks. My biggest problem is most of my time is little pockets , rather than long stretches, I think that I will try colour coding tasks by time, and focus needed, to easily see what I can fit into little spaces, then use longer blocks of time for focussed tasks instead of doing lots of smaller ones and realising that precious time has disappeared.


Feedback on assignment

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

You appear to have worked conscientiously and methodically through out this assignment producing a good number of experimental textile samples.  Your stitch work and handling of the materials has been carried out with sensitivity and skill.  There is an understanding of how to use placement to create a pleasing imagery.  Throughout the assignment you have used a wide number of materials to create texture and form.  You have been willing to take risks and be broad-minded in your expectations.  This is evident in your origami bird with its stitched surface.  There is sense that you have developed ideas through repetition of styles and forms until you have arrived at the right place.   This has enabled you to take risks and learn from your results.  I particularly like the stitched paper sample of the sleeve that has become a self contained abstract composition.

I suggest you continue to work in the way you have for this assignment.  Don’t be afraid to take risks, failures and mistakes are very much part of the creative process.  Be experimental in the materials you use and how you use your drawing to support your creativity.

“conscientiously and methodically”

Isn’t the same as excitingly, I need to take more risks and find time to experiment. My reflections need to be voiced in order to fully explore both learning outcomes and process.


Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

The drawing and mark making you have produced for this assignment is accomplished and works well with the stitch.  You have used a wide range of mediums and experimented with mixing mediums and using different drawing surfaces.  You have not been afraid to draw and redraw objects using methods like collage to learn more about what you are creating.  There is a good use of scale that you could probably push further.  Try using a role of wallpaper liner – you can cut off lengths and use it on a table or the floor.  Think about using larger movements to add marks to the paper and putting your pencil or charcoal on the end of a long stick.  Use methods like continues line drawing and blind line drawing to create a larger range of marks and compositions.

I like the idea of working large, like Alice down the rabbit hole! I am inquisitive and observant, I shall push my lines of inquiry in more directions. Getting messy on a large scale is very appealing – maybe not appropriate as part of the next assignment,  but I have put this idea on the back burner.



Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

You have continued to gather some excellent research material and collated it carefully in your learning log.  You appear to be finding it very inspirational both aesthetically and technically to look at the work of others. This is very important when working towards a degree as it enables you to learn about the context with in which you are working.  I am pleased to see you have looked at work in the flesh at exhibitions – this really helps your understanding particularly of texture and scale.  I suggest you also look outside the textile discipline to find influence and insights.  This could be as varied as painting, architecture and music, all these areas can provide stimulus.  When you have your research imagery and made the basic notes about it really look at it carefully, picking apart why it works as an artwork.  This could be to do with colour palette, shape and arrangement of forms or use of materials.  Note your judgments down in your learning log, there are no right or wrong ways of seeing visual art so don’t feel concerned you are not knowledgeable enough.  This process will help you develop a deep understanding of how pleasing and meaningful artwork is created.


Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

In your learning log you have been careful to map out your progress during this assignment writing articulately and clearly.  Including your emotional ups and downs and the decisions about your work.  All this stuff is really important, particularly the emotional part.  Making and creating is so personal and cannot happen successfully without the emotional investment of the artist.  The only room for improvement is the continued development of a critical reflective voice.  Critical here means to make judgments and decisions about your work.  As I have said above, pick a part your work thinking about what has worked and why.  You are probably doing this to some extent already whilst you are making decisions about developing your drawing and sample making.  I suggest you be more conscious of these thoughts and add them to your learning log.

I must make a concerted effort to express myself outwardly , more. I think that I’m too used to being inside my own head! In the same way as noting something down , or making a quick sketch clarifies things, I expect that this blog will clarify my thoughts and judgements when I find my written voice.


Suggested reading/viewing


Blind continuous line drawing


Critical Thinking Skills: Developing effective analysis and argument.  Written by Stella Cottrell, part of the Palgrave study skills series, published by Palgrave MacMillan. Critical thinking skills book

This book looks excellent, just flicking through it made me feel more professional! I have started reading it and have set up a blog post to  reflect on findings and record my progress.

Steal Like an Artist: 10 things nobody told you about being creative by Austin Kleon published by Workman, is an excellent book about how creative people explore the work of others to influence their own output. Steal like an artist

This is on my bookshelf and due a revisit. So what is research?

Oh the irony! Research is not just looking at things, but recording and  analysing and reflecting. I copied this when I first read it, it made such sense – this is something I must apply not just read…


Look at the oca Pinterest site to see what tutors and other students are looking at.

Love Pinterest – ‘though it is a dangerous place when you’ve not much time. Often not good use of research time for me….


Pointers for the next assignment

  • Reflect on this feedback in your learning log
  • Maintain your excellent working practices
  • Continue to take risks and experiment
  • Draw regularly in a range of mediums, on different surfaces and at different scales
  • Develop your critical thinking and analytical skills

ATV assignment 2 Surface and Stitch research point 1 – Used materials

Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary
Research point 1
Stitching to mend or darning could be another consideration in your translation from paper to textile. You may find that your drawings and stitched paper pieces suggest a feeling of mending or repairing and refining. Is this something you can introduce into your textile preparation and stitch work? As already suggested, you may decide to use imperfect textiles or found/recycled materials as your basetextiles rather than employing brand new unused
or virgin materials. Consider how you can work with the characteristics,imperfections or  patinas of the textiles you’re using as base materials. An element of repair may give another layer to your work.
Many textile designers and artists choose to work with found, recycled, worn or even discarded textiles and materials. Try to find an example of one such designer or artist and analyse how they select, apply and alter their chosen materials. Make some notes on this research in your learning log

Some thoughts on environmental concerns – just a few of many….

Used materials sounds so harsh! reuse, reduce, recycle,  is like a mantra in schools and society but there still seems to be a little stigma attatched, a late twentieth century mill stone around our planets neck. something that I feel very passionate about.

I would like to live in a world re-appropriating materials into something else was such a natural thing that no body would notice the difference.

Environmental expressions used as a marketing tool – a disgraceful hypocrisy.




little ghost butons

Tom of Holland


ATV assignment two – Drawing with stitch part 3

Continuing with the last of my paper stitched samples

I am very much enjoying the process of stitching into paper. Common sense is telling me to avoid stitches that are so close together that they act as ‘tear here’ marks. The whole process must be approached with delicacy, thicker threads have to be pulled slowly, thin paper held firmly by the needle to avoid ripping.

Here is the latest batch, and the final for now.



I glued the tracing paper substrate to a scrap of my handmade paper stash             ( bargain 5 rolls for £2  – knew it would come in handy!) The drawing that I used is of fabric that is faded, so that the tops of the weave are light and worn, the dips are darker and shadowed. In another sample I used blue stitches to represent the shadow of the weave, in this sample I used a  blue background, with white stitches to represent the faded raised part of the cloth. I could call this sample buttons three ways but its sounds like a strange TV food programme. I experimented with different stitches to make the circles, I prefer the middle one, the slightly cream thread forming a shadow under the bright white.

Back to the bark – experimenting with thread textures with simple running stitches for the bark marks. From top to bottom the threads are; Raffia, fluffy knitting yarn, an assortment of cream threads, sari silk, jute garden twine. For the purpose of the sample I think they are all suitable and interesting in different ways.


I couched one of each thread and blanket stitched another column, I really like the way that the blanket stitch forms a small shadow, this adds a sense of depth and added texture.



I like that on the reverse the couching stitches form a subtle continuation of the lines.


Using stitch to join paper, simple but effective representation of the birch bark texture.


Stretching the seams apart, I like that the stitches just peep through.


My final sample. I have been observing and interpreting the bark marks, It occurred that as birch bark has so many traditional craft uses, that I could stitch on to it. The white paper bark birch sews beautifully! The red bark was quite brittle and unforgiving. It will be interesting to see what happens as the bark dries out.



ATV assignment two – Drawing with stitch part 2

I appear to have a(nother!) technical hitch and my last post is shorter than when I left it! I’m hoping the content will turn up again so decided to continue in a new post…


I made this blind drawing in the park, on a rainy day using carbon paper inside a plastic bag! I particularly like the paper clip shaped bark marks  and the underneath texture of the tree ‘eye’


I used the thin packaging paper that I textured in the same park , using a mallet to imprint a gravel texture. The smudge marks were represented by using ordinary sewing thread and a single strand of DMC rayon. I used simple running stitch with a long stitch visible and just a short stitch under the paper. the lines are of an uneven length and parallel but of varying distances apart.


The larger bark marks reminded me of paper clip shapes. I used a thicker thread which in hindsight looks a bit to dark, I started by doing a sort of chain stitch with a bit of couching, I then found the three tiny running stitches could be woven into in a spiral shape – this was easier and looked more effective.


The tree eye I stitched using a grey darning wool, I used an open, uneven chain stitch underneath and couched down a spiral for the center and top. This bit of the paper was quite textured by the mallet and ripped quite easily. I like the texturing and natural flecks in the paper, it could be strengthened with bond-a-web and then the center of the eye could be more detailed.



Whilst I was sorting out threads for this exercise, I wondered what would happen if I ripped a piece of gauzy ribbon,  this! I thought that it would be interesting to use as a heavy line with a soft edge, graphite stick in this case was the drawn mark. I also chose a mix of threads in the needle again, fluffy and sharp, but this time thinner.


The marks worked well. The substrate is unfolded tea bags on packing paper. It was not quite strong enough for such heavy thread so I stopped at this point




I love my home made thread and will definitely experiment more to create interesting line types.



Back to the Akha Jacket. I used the folded paper to give me a guide for the rectangular weave marks and to utilise the light and shadows that the folds give.


I enjoyed mixing different colours and textures of threads in the needle for the binding. It gives a good sense of wear and the light and shadows I think. The rectangularish shapes could be interesting as a continuous line using a sewing machine – something to try and it will be interesting to compare, side by side.


I really like the way the reverse tells the story of the path of the needle, It kind of tracks my thought process as I stitched.

ATV assessment 2 – project 2 – Drawing with stitch

Choice! what a dilemma, I am not yet very good at choosing. Making a decision about which drawings to take forward to stitch samples was a huge stumbling block. I really enjoyed experimenting with drawing in the previous projects but this task was asking me to identify which of my drawings were best suited to stitch, good enough even. I dutifully laid them all out on the floor and found myself lacking, I didn’t enjoy this part. So I put it off, procrastinated and did research and other safe tasks. Eventually I started to progress by using a view finder, then I took close up photos and found that things started to look more interesting.

Cropping, zooming , rotating all make such a difference. I didn’t manage to narrow things down much (aiming for 6 images!!!! ) but I do feel ready to move on. Hurrah.

I’ve been studying Drawn to Stitch by Gwen Hedley, she may just be my saviour!



This drawing of the Akha jacket was drawn partly with a toothbrush, which gave different line thicknesses and suggested quite strongly the weave of the fabric. I chose different thicknesses of thread and used a tube of paper to raise the white dots and add an element of depth.


The close ups show the detail of the holes, you can see where the needle came up and where it was pushed down, also how the folded creases of the paper add a feeling of weave.


The reverse has a charming sense of disorder.


Scandinavia 2015 notebook

What an amazing summer I’ve had.

Campervan adventure via France and Germany to Denmark, Sweden, Norway and back. I managed to see several amazing exhibitions,  drink in some amazing landscapes, and pick up some handy textile techniques.

If you click on the link you can see the video I have made of  my notebook!

Not very professionally, and not very exciting but figured it may be useful to learn how to embed videos into my blog – had to start somewhere!

Traces of life exhibition at Dalarnas museum, Sweden

As part of planning for my summer 2015 Scandinavian adventure I was delighted to find out about the Traces of Life exhibition, a collaboration between Textile Study Group in the UK and Swedish group Textil13.


So added Dalarnas museum in Falun in Sweden to the route and was far from disappointed.There are links to a couple of articles about the exhibition that are quite descriptive with some good photos.

My first impressions, noted in my travel journal are; first the generous space -light and airy with natural light filtering through gauzy window coverings. Five rooms with different wall treatments, work wall hung, suspended, or on plinths,  to optimize the presentation of the work.

The Rebozo exhibition at the Fashion and textiles museum was an eye opener. This is the first exhibition dedicated to contemporary textile artists, specifically stitched work in this case, that I have seen, and it was wonderfully exciting and inspiring.

I have the catalogue for the exhibition, it has an artist statement and one example piece of work. it was useful to have some insight whilst looking at the art. It is interesting to see which pieces were chosen for the catalogue compared to the impact the individual works had on me. It was interesting to compare what I read into the actual work before reading the statements, and also just how much more richness there is in seeing the pieces in real life compared to a book or website. I was almost as enthralled with the shadows cast, and slight movement of the fabrics as I was with the beautifully textured surfaces. I also really appreciated that there was enough trust in the general sensibleness of the public, that there were no alarmed barriers and you could peer closely at all the treasures. (I forever embarrasingly set off alarms in UK exhibitions- never with intent to touch, but just to really look closely)

In the first room on the opposite wall to the entrance I couldn’t help but be drawn to ‘Between me and the sky’ by Sian Martin. hung in front of a voile covered window with the ghost shadow of a steeple from the world beyond it hangs jewel like, moving gently with infrequent drafts. It really doesn’t compare with the photos that I had already seen

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mixed media woven textile – silk organza, linen, photo slides.

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This work by Kay Greenlees connects the copper mining community in Falun and the British coal mining industry, Kay investigates through her work, worker exploitation, poverty, death and political manipulation. I found it a very powerful piece, raised thoughts about the generations of miners, treasures, pillars of the earth – miners and minerals, the dark colours spoke to me of the oppressiveness of  govermnents destroying communities.

I really like the book Kay produced – Creating sketchbooks – its been a real treat since coming home to look at her sketch work and that of other artists in the exhibition that she included, really puts things in context.

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Gwen Hedley, what a joy to see her work , her book Drawn to Stitch is fabulous (again it has sketch and development work of several artists in the show)  I love the contrast between the warmth and humour in her Casual Conversation pieces, Gwen paired up with Renee Rudebrant and they reflect some of the exchanges between the two artists, and the observation and execution of Bark Marks , and Restoring – which investigates erosion and represents patterns in old Swedish braids.

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Kerstin Sapire – Beautifully observed and stitched works

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Elisabeth Kalvenes Skallsjo does not use sketches!!! she prefers to work freeform, and very lovely her work is too, very calming with some incredible textures – I think she must be super observant with a remarkable memory.

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Sarah Burgess

Growing within the gallery this thicket of pruning celebrates the extraordinariness of being alive whilst acknowledging fragility and frailty

Burgess is interested in found materials which become objects of myth, metaphors for life and loss. wabi sabi. poetic simple beauty.

Anna Granberg 

These creatures are over a meter lond and suspended so you have to look up at them, the shadows are magnificent and prolific due to multiple lights. The  accompanying headphones played a soundtrack that took you from gentle buzzing insects and fairy piano to sirens and industry to bleak wind and disjointed piano, a post apocalyptic world where leached chemicals and over exploitation of nature takes its toll. The stuff of dark fairytales using reclaimed materials. Loved this. The sound made it a really imersieve experience.

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Alison King

This powerful piece recalls a sermon by James Black at the end of world war 1. I’ve taken a look at her website for some top tips about incorporating paper, image and stitch.


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Sheila Mortlock

A completely different perspective, looking down really felt different, I was big like Alice for a while…

Again some really interesting colour application and stitch marks.

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Jenny Bullen

With the hindsight of seeing the painting Double Brown at ARos this now reminds me very much of a birch tree, though there is nothing in the artist statement to suggest that this is so..

(I am super proud of learning hyperlinks in this blog, now I will endeavour to link to my own posts- like time travel!)


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Jan Miller

I loved this work, simple in some ways, a very carefully considered less is more. I really want to investigate incisions and slash marks, my note book questions –  Different implements will make different cut patterns ; blunt = ripped etc – I can start experimenting with the next project, preparing paper for stitch.


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Kristina Blixt

In her artist statement Kristina says ” ‘Traces of Life’ is such a broad theme, therefore, the images and works have become very diverse.”

I found all her approaches interesting in different ways and although differing in approach they still felt cohesive.

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Nature Skor 2015 –

an intriguing collection of nature, I can imagine thinking about the ancient landscape, walking through Sweden like the ancestors, gathering, this feels totemic, shadows again seem an important part of the piece.


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Beautifully textured felted bust. Stilla Liv? is this a husk of body with life moving on?

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Lovely stitch work and interesting textures

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These took me back to the ancestors,  like cave paintings I saw in France.


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ATV assignment 2 – End of part one – consolidating my folio of drawing – written reflection.

Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary
Feedback at the end of Part One
Consolidating your folio of drawing
This is not an assignment, but your tutor will want to see evidence of your progress in Part One.
Collate your work from Part One into a drawing folio. There is no need to mount or crop any pieces; simply place them in a simple lightweight card folio for protection.
Don’t send your drawing folio to your tutor at this point as you’ll need it to inform the textile and material developments you’ll work on in Part Two. However, you may wish to email up to 10 of your drawings (send scans or clear photos) to your tutor for some brief comments.
Alternatively, if you have your learning log online as a blog, you may wish to place your 10 drawings there for your tutor to view. Email a link to your blog to allow your tutor to give you some brief comments on your progress.
Written reflection
During your work on Part One, you should have made some notes that form a written record
of your decision-making and reflections as you progressed from project to project. Draw your thoughts together by further reflecting on what you’ve learned over the course of the projects.
Write about 250–300 words. Think about what new knowledge you’ve gained and consider what you’ve learned from observing and drawing textiles and other visual sources in this way.
Include this written reflection, clearly labelled, in your  blog.
This folio of work will serve as a point of departure for your future textile development.
There must be some point of departure; a beginning is to develop an awareness of the visual background, so that looking with purpose and intent becomes second nature. This kind of observation takes some time to perfect and entails concentrated and conscious effort but with this increased awareness, familiar surroundings take on a new meaning and interest.
(Howard, 1996, p.14)
I feel sadly really disappointed with the work I have produced and it has been difficult to narrow it down to 10 drawings, I have managed 18 mediocre ones…
I think the main problem is that I have progressed massively with understanding  the task, my knowledge of mark making for a purpose has grown enormously by researching into contemporary practice, and museum visits – particularly the Traces of life exhibition in Dalarnas.
My favourite drawings are probably the oak, yew, and birch drawings. This is good because I did these last!
I will approach the textiles drawings very differently next time. I really loved the research stage and got very engrossed in world textiles, at the time I think I experimented with different mediums and techniques – I know that I should not expect perfection when I am getting used to the drawing process, but I haven’t yet developed the gentleness to myself that I need to develop a more graceful acceptance of the learning journey. The journey is a gift I can embrace, rather than be so concious of some future, unknown , end result.  I’m quite worried about which elements of my drawings will be useful for the next stage of this assignment though, and expect that my view of mark making will change considerably again after this exercise.
The second issue is with subject matter for the plant drawings. When I started the task, choosing to focus on my garden plants for convenience was a cop out. Perhaps I need to choose subject matter that I resonate with. In response to seeing so much amazing textile work over the summer, I have started to apply some thought to what my textile story might be – I feel doubtful that it will be connected with conveniently located plant life!

ARoS – Aahus museum of art vist.

Aahus museum, Denmark

A wonderful educational experience, a visit to Aahus museum encourages interaction and has free wifi and a free phone app with extra information about many of the art works. There are information boards around the galleries, with introductions to art movements and gallery themes that are informative, and not in the slightest bit condescending. The gallery walls have a changing colour palate with no fear of bold combinations.

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Not much textile work evident but some very thought provoking works. I particularly appreciated Botanical portrait by Richard Mortensen and Forest track by Edward Weie, I have been drawing plants for assignment two and these paintings really gave a fresh perspective on marks that represent plant forms.




There is a beautiful painting of Birch trees called Double Brown

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I love the patchwork of paint used to represent the tree bark and have all sorts of ideas about using paper collage, and fabric and stitches to make bark marks.

I was also delighted to find a whole gallery relating to colour.IMG_3177 IMG_3178

Olafur Eliasson  is a name that has cropped up several times in colour studies and experiencing his instalations was delightful.




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I am working out how to make a flikr gallery to upload the rest of the ARoS photos as a future reference source I will put a link here when this is achieved!


ATV assignment two – Observing and capturing – David Hockney- research point 3

David Hockney ipad drawings

I can’t for the life of me put Hockney images on this page but the website links work well.

David Hockney wowed the art world when he first started showing his ipad paintings. He has really embraced the technology and apparently said if Picasso and Van Gogh had the technology they would use it to!

The works that I am already familiar with are his landscapes like this one on his website and on the Annely Juda Gallery website. This New York times article is quite interesting and has a good link to some other works, I did some searching and found some really lovely flower drawings like these. I love the marks, in the wild flower drawing, they really represent the scratchyness and wildness of the meadow

The video shows how the ipad has enabled Hockney to display work in an entirely new way. This looks like an almost cinematic experience, rather than walking around the gallery, images on the screen are constantly changing. I think that this is important for ipad drawings as they are created by light, they work better viewed this way rather than prints of the image.

David Hockney uses an app called Brushes that I have installed to experiment with. I am also using an app called Paper by 53, I received a 53 Pencil for my birthday- an electronic stylus that unlocks some interesting in app features. This is an early Linda Baker iPad drawing.


My attempt at drawing on my ipad using the paper app by 53