Where do you get your inspiration?
This is a question, I often get asked. There is no single or easy answer. I find inspiration in lots of places and I think that, more often than not, INSPIRATION is a combination of ideas and impressions. Sometimes it is instant and sometimes I am not even aware the inspiration is there, it is just vague, intangible ideas that simmer, bubble and brew away in the back of my mind until one day...
|Embroidery panel designed my May Morris, 1890s. |
Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum
I have had this picture of embroidered tulips in my stash of inspiration photos for ages. From the moment I first saw it I fell in love with the colours and the beautiful flow of the overall pattern; the way the tulips and other foliage intertwine. Tulips are so often depicted in a very orderly, upright way - almost like toy soldiers on parade, but here they meander gracefully and slightly wild to fill a surface. Looking at it, I knew it was 'Morris' but other than that, I had no details until only recently, I came across this little snippet:
"Embroidery panel (probably intended to be a fire screen) designed by May Morris, 1890s. As head of the Embroidery section at Morris & Co, May worked with a team of embroiderers. One of its most skilled embroiderers, she designed pieces like this, and designed and embroidered large, elaborate special commissions | Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum"
A few weeks ago, when I was flicking through one of my favorite books: May Morris Arts & Crafts Designer I spotted a small(ish) picture of yet another tulip embroidery.
|TULIP – (also ‘Tulip and Acanthus) Embroidered sideboard Runner (166cm x 32cm wide). Design by May Morris (1890) V&A|
It remembered the more vibrant coral reds, greens and blues in my 'old favorite' and started sketching right away. Sometimes the drawing can take some time but this new design 'Tulips & Forget-me-nots' quickly fell into place. Now I just have to finish stitching it, to see if it works out how I imagine.
|'Tulips & Forget-me-nots' work in progress|
Silk shading pattern
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