Tuesday, 4 January 2011

A New Year - 2011

Every January, despite the weather in the UK,  there is always a feeling of optimism for the new year ahead.  Looking forward to spring…. more sunshine and longer days….. buds on trees…… new leaf green, and the prospect of flowers and summer. And if you live ‘down under’, with the holidays finished, the glorious colour of autumn will begin soon.  It is a time to get inspired for all the creative challenges ahead of us in 2011.
I love the 4 seasons and in southern England, with low sun, long shadows, foggy mists, water reflections, and subtle green/browns in the landscape. There is so much beauty just around the corner - it never ceases to amaze me.  Yes, we have had our fair share of snow this winter, but last week it all melted, the sun was shining and I am looking forward to what January has in store.
Photos from Henley-on-Thames, New Year's day, 2011 
Playing with a new camera, I had great fun taking photos of grids and pattern for future design exercises. Wandering the streets in Henley, I saw them everywhere.  From shop windows, the pavement below, to gates and fences – grids and patterns were everywhere.  Laying a geometric pattern in front, or on top of any image, can give the information a completely abstract appearance. 

The background would change as I walked slowly from left to right by parallel iron bars or an ornate gate, showing different aspects of the background view.  Here, I have taken a section between the bars and enlarged it for detail.  To make the connection between design, composition and stitch, I would consider patterns with wire and threads…. holes burned in regular shapes from painted or dyed lutradur, woven networks made with stitch through soluble fabric surfaces. 
I have worked with repeat squares for many quilt art pieces in the past and found a satisfying symmetry to that regular style of composition.  Look at my gallery on www.sandrameech.com for some of my 'square' art quilts.
For more ideas on stitch possibilities have a look at Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn’s book Grids to Stitch.
Another book worth recommending is Pattern, Colour and Form by Carolyn Genders - an inspirational connection between other art and craft disciplines (ceramics, and glass) and art textiles with stitch.

Resolutions for 2011???
They are all too familiar ……  keep up the sketchbooks……allow more time for my own work…find more time for playing the piano …work on a language (you would think being Canadian I would be fluent in French – sadly not!!!)…go on a diet!      
'LESS IS MORE'  -  simplifying, de-cluttering, focusing on new work and writing.

Wishing you all a healthy and productive 2011.  
My year will include travel and teaching in Australia and Canada.   I will keep you posted.                
Thanks for reading. 


  1. So glad I found your blog today. I love your work and books. So inspirational!

    Best wishes
    Carolyn Saxby

  2. I love my sketchbooks too! It's a great way to keep the juice flowing for me. What great art you make! Love your style and eye for color. xo

  3. I too am so pleased I found your blog - loved the talk at Broughton last week; am bowled over by your work and will be following you from now onwards.

  4. This could be my resolutions:-) I agree totally - but was not successful right now:-) I own two of your books and love them. You are a fantastic artist. Wishing you a wonderful time and lots of inspiration, Inge