On Wednesday I went to a great workshop with Janet Edmonds which was based on working with van Gogh as inspiration. I knew it was going to be a good day when I sat down next to lovely Nathalie who got her stuff out and told me I was welcome to use anything she had brought with her. In the end we didn’t use that much of each other’s stuff, but the offer made for a lovely atmosphere.
The exercises were designed around one stitching working in colours inspired by van Gogh’s paintings. So this one is based on his pairing of orange and blue:
The stitch was sorbello which is illustrated above and is actually quite straightforward once you get into the rhythm. I did it with thick and thin threads and strips of torn fabric. It looked okay on the day, but I took it home and added to it, and stood back from it, and thought it looked like the sort of aesthetic you got in the 1960s and all that creative embroidery that I grew up with, the work that Constance Howard did, for example:
The colours were okay and looked vaguely Egyptian to me, and I realised that they would look much better lifted with a bit of gold, so I stitched on some beads in the gaps left by the stitches:
You can also see the layering of the stitches in this photo with the finer thread over the strips of silk. I love the crunchy texture of this stitch:
I am not that huge a fan of van Gogh. I had my van Gogh phase quite early as my extraordinary school had a series of morning assemblies with my art teacher, the wonderful, Mrs Pandora Finlay-Broadbelt, reading from Vincent and Theo’s letters. I just went because I fancied a day learning something and just enjoying stitching, but it turned into a lovely day and I made some things I really liked, which I will post about as I finish them off.