“Always love a little challenge!

Firstly my challenge was to produce something small. My paintings are all large scale using oils always standing up and not knowing what I am going to produce until I put that first brush stroke on the canvas. And within doing so making a lot of mess around me.

So to do something like embroidery on the size of a postcard, sitting down drinking tea (I might have swapped it for a glass of red on occasion) definitely made me work in a way I haven’t done for a very long time.

Although similar to my art the embroidery just evolved whilst making.

Several memories surfaced whilst doing so. My first one being back in the classroom as a 9 year old in Holland. Mums used to volunteer to come in to teach us how to use needlework.

I was told I was not to use such a long thread as it was not how you get do needle work properly. So first thing I did when I started this little project I put on the largest piece I could manage on my needle (I have never liked being told what to do, without it proving being not the right thing!). I think this particular mum with her dark sunglasses and 80’s hair smelling of hairspray was kind a right though!

My other thoughts went to my now 98 year old grandmother who was a great seamstress. Being offered a place a the fashion academy which she was not to accept as she was a married catholic and had to look after the family …she had 8 children in the end…But all children without a lot of money always looked fashionable and grand children and great grandchildren all came to Oma with any sewing requirements until her eyesight could not cope with it anymore.

The last memory I will tell about is that only little tangible things are left from my childhood as my mother was not a sentimental keeper of material things (she threw her silk wedding dress in the bins after a week of being married as she thought mice had been in the cupboard). But one thing which makes me smile is when I go back to Holland to visit my family there in the needle box is still the same little cushion to keep the needles in.

So this little project had made me think of past, time to sit (which I do not often do) and reflect.

Me in a colourful world standing on the path of life. Trying to figure out where to go next. The black frayed edges symbolizing the fragility of life and the not knowing.  But within those edges I am a very positive person and excited to see what life brings next.”

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