Part 5 – Personal Project – Stage 1- Reviewing your work so far

For this part of the course we are asked to look back through our work to stimulate ideas on how to tackle this part of the course and to ask ourselves a series of questions:

  • What approach to drawing works best for you? Looking at objects? Expressing a mood? Working from a postcard or Photographs?

I prefer a mix of several approaches: I quite often make a rough sketch and take a photograph to refer to later, in the hope of capturing a mood as well as having something more detailed to work from. I am not very comfortable drawing or sketching in front of other people  so this enables me to record the information I need. I regularly use a camera as a ‘viewfinder’ to help me focus on an area and digital manipulation of photographs to stimulate new ideas

  • Which materials and ways of working do you enjoy most? Gouache paints on smooth white paper, oil pastels on coloured and textured papers, charcoal and inks on newspaper or torn papers assembled in collage – or something else altogether?

I find collage, and working with pastels and watercolours most enjoyable and often combine several of these materials together.

  • Which ways of developing ideas have proved most fruitful? For example: Playing with photocopies, selecting parts of drawings and redrawing them at different scales, changing the colours to create different moods, using cut or torn pieces of coloured papers to interpret a drawing or using words to evoke particular moods. 

I love playing with photocopies and digital images in a photo editing package I find it a quick and easy way to create a wide range of ideas I also like using cut and torn papers, and redrawing several times over without looking at the previous versions to develop ideas.

  • Which textile technique appeals to you most? Is it printing and painting on fabric, stitching into or manipulating fabric, or constructing a surface by weaving? If you enjoyed both printing and stitching onto fabric, for example, you may want to combine them in this project.

I am predominately a stitcher having studied it for a long time so that is my automatic go to technique. I do enjoy a selection of other techniques as well but I must admit that printing is not one of my favourites.


About Julie Hooker

Having recently returned to my roots in Surrey, I am currently studying a BA Hons degree with the OCA. My work is often inspired by the local countryside in the beautiful Surrey Hills area and the wild rugged nature of the North Cornish coast. Steam engines and abandoned industrial history are also recent themes. A free machine embroiderer and felt maker; I like to explore the use of natural, found materials to create my art, whether that be as raw materials to stitch or weave with or as a material with which to produce dye or print with. Previously, I completed City and Guilds parts 1 & 2 Creative Embroidery at the East Berkshire College in Windsor in 2007. I was also awarded first place in the wearable art section of the National Quilt Championships 2008 and 2009 held annually at Sandown Park.
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