Connecting the dots from inspiration, to design, to a fully resolved piece of textile art, is a leap of faith!

I’m always taking a leap of faith.  That’s the way I look at those difficult moments I experience throughout the process of making new work.

My Beautiful Boy, 2009, Cathy Jack Coupland

‘My Beautiful Boy’ 2009

Who knows if something’s going to work?  I certainly don’t.  But the question I continually ask myself is ‘how will I know, if I don’t try?’  That’s the kicker for me and that’s why I’m willing to take that leap of faith.  I’m not willing to miss that opportunity to move forward, try something different and push myself.

How will I know, if I don’t give it a go?  It all began in my Creative Journal 2009!

Follow my design process for some of my past works.  It’s fun to look back.  Wish I’d taken more images though!

Design 'My Beautiful Boy'. Creative Journal 2009. Cathy Jack Coupland

Initial design on paper for ‘My Beautiful Boy’ 2009 from my Creative Journal. It certainly didn’t begin this way.

What I was actually trying to do with this work, was emulate a stunning painting of a flower.  The colours were magnificent, the flower was beautiful, so I thought I’d give it a go.  My finished effort was horrendous.  A painter I am not!  However, I firmly believe almost anything can be rescued, so I cut the painting up!  What remained were the yellow/gold stems (in various sized squares) which created vibrant visual interest across my new design.  The idea of using a dragonfly was from watching one hover over our pool, he just hung there.  He was amazing.  The three swaying dandelions were inspired by my morning walks, seeing the long, thin, elegant stems with the petals pointing downwards after flowering.  The dancing golden stems work in this piece as they entice the eye to travel round the entire design.

So the sampling began….

I love beads and beading along with the texture hand embroidery brings when worked in conjunction with machine work.

Sampling for dragonfly wing. Creative Journal 2009. Cathy Jack Coupland

Here I’ve sampled the wing using metallic thread in a lacy pattern on soluble fabric.

Quilting ideas. My Beautiful Boy. Cathy Jack Coupland

Drawing the quilting design on an overlay of clear plastic really helped me ‘see’ how it could look finished.

And here’s the finished work….
Detail My Beautiful Boy, 2009, Cathy Jack Coupland

The final result from a discarded painting. Stems painted, then hand and machine embroidered.

Beading on My Beautiful Boy, 2009, Cathy Jack Coupland

Beading adds visual interest.

Beading detail, My Beautiful Boy, Cathy Jack Coupland

Beading and embroidery detail used on dragonfly.

I rarely give up on a design.  There are some that are definitely better than others, but with time, I can usually find a way around most obstacles.  Sometimes I need to be ruthless, sometimes it’s just a tweak here and there.  I just need to re-evaluate, re-work and think.  It takes time.

Do you take that leap of faith, or is it just me?

Cathy

Cathy Jack Coupland, Australian Textile Artist