This is my latest needle felted Harris Tweed painting of a Barn Owl out hunting across snowy fields on a very moonlit night. We are very lucky in that where we live we often see Barn Owls at night and I have even once seen one hunting during the day when the ground was covered in deep snow.
I loved using a pale grey and white Harris Tweed to suggest the feathers on the birds wings. The white Harris Tweed I have used for the face is a very rare tweed that I bought a few years ago. I am led to believe that it was specially made to make a wedding dress for the finale of a Harris Tweed fashion show held on the island. I've certainly never seen it for sale anywhere since.
I had hoped that this picture might be ready as a card for this Christmas, but unfortunately I didn't get it finished in time. However it is is available now as a print in two sizes - 12 inch square - £75 and 7.5 inches square - £25 with free postage and packing.
The original itself is 15 inches square (without frame) and costs £500. It is framed in a plain, flat contemporary wooden box frame approx. 1. 5 inches wide and deep, with a white lime wash finish. Postage and packing with full insurance is an additional £25.
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A long time ago when I was a doing my foundation course at Northampton Art College I'm ashamed to say that I never dared to venture into the printing department. At the time I was only 16 - 17 years old and I regret that I was just too intimidated by the seemingly very gruff, loud, large black bearded Scottish tutor in charge. As a consequence I never learnt about printing and yet I really love prints and I very much regret that I didn't tough it out.
I especially love the relationship between flat blocks of colour and patterned/textured areas that you often find in prints. For years I have loved the work of printmaker John Brunsdon and my landscapes are heavily influenced by his work. He simplifies landscapes down to lines and blocks of colour, a design approach that lends itself well to building collages out of Harris Tweed. I use plain tweeds for the flat blocks of colour, patterned tweeds for textured areas and wool yarns for the lines.
More recently I came across the work of Mark Hearld, in a wonderful exhibition that he has curated at York Art Gallery called The Lumber Room: Unimagined Treasures. Mark is a painter/printmaker who makes fabulous paper collages of landscapes on a much more domestic scale than John Brunsdon's. I love the way that Mark's work is very humorous, lively and almost cartoon-like, but still very much grounded in the careful study of wildlife and landscape.
Because my work is built using needle felting, even drawing a line with yarn is a slow and methodical process. So it's just not possible to dash off a quick slash of colour or scribbled line and a result my work is quite calm. Seeing Mark 's work make me wish there was something I could do to liven my work up. But don't know what or how just yet. We shall see.
I am a Northumberland based textile artist and I create needle felted paintings with Harris Tweed and wool yarns.