The focus for most images is a woman, or women within a situation as the work is a reflection of my experiences, remembered or imagined.
There are two very down-to-earth reasons why I use fabric and stitch.. First, I learned to stitch at the age of three, so it is an occupation and skill with which I am as comfortable as reading and writing; and second, the stitching I do is easily carried around, picked up and put down, and can be done in divers locations, in company, on holiday, or while watching television, etc.
My use of the medium is practical for me as well as personally enjoyable - and I do like the end result.
I did not attend any college of art, but I always looked at artworks, and was an avid collector of information about artists and art. I studied history of art and aesthetics as part of my university degree, and had a creative career in publishing. By the time I came to make my own pieces I had amassed a considerable mental archive of images, information, and ideas.
The development stages of my work are intuitive, embracing happy accidents, which happen at any point in the making - including the hand stitching. Digital work can be excitingly creative, yet is brilliant for getting results as controllably as possible, and for the facility of keeping files of progress - especially as my creative process can be a lengthy one. Large pieces can take months – which is why I predominantly make smaller work.
My figures are sometimes drawn digitally, or on paper, or sometimes using traditional print. I use real people, photographs, or previous drawings as inspiration. All drawings/prints not already digital are scanned- as are the backgrounds: drawings, pastel work, and/or digital photos, etc.
Corel Painter 11 is the program I use for all the digital drawing and collage work, the latter as enjoyable as making a splendid salad out of a wide range of ingredients, or like a DJ's mixing desk: sampling, scratching, creating individual sound experiences from disparate elements.
After the excitement comes the meditative stage: the stitching. Choosing the threads, the colours, the stitching pattern, all are decided when the printed cloth is ready. Mostly I use two basic stitches: running and seed. To me they make all the difference to the work, especially up close.