It’s All About Line, Shape and Texture

Another glorious day here in Montevideo,  and it began as it often does with an early morning walk along the beach.  These days the sun is up pretty early and if I get there by about 6am or 6-30, the textures on the beach due to the erosion action of the tides are highlighted with shadows that  fade and diminish as the sun rises higher in the sky.  Also, an early start means other things in the day don’t interrupt me or completely divert me.   The music from Dirty Dancing, The Full Monty, Manu Chau,  Hotel California or Beethoven’s Sonatas among other firm favourites,  plus any marching music are wonderful to walk along with, unless I am engrossed in my current recorded book.  I generally have my camera. 

As you saw in recent posts, some of the small works have distinctly land texture themes, as does most of my larger quilt work.  It’s one of my lifelong preoccupations. I studied a bit of geography and geomorphology, then married a geologist.  He and I see ‘landscape’ rather differently, as I concentrate on the surface, he sees it in terms of structures and historic processes to say nothing of composition of rock types.  Since I began seriously stitching as an art medium in the late 1970’s I have always found inspiration in landscape textures.  My first solo exhibition  of creative interpretive embroidery I called “Sunburnt Textures” (1987)  and the following three pieces are from that exhibition:

This ?1985 wall hanging/quilt was made many years before I became 'a quilter'. Using paint, soft sculpture and masses of french knots, it is approx 1.25m x 1.5m. In our many years of living in Australia's dry and remote Outback I missed the watery environment of my Tasmanian upbringing which is why I called it "Distant Shores"


"Simpson Desert Sunset" is about 30cm x 20cm, a freeform bargello needlepoint, highlighted with masses of french knots, dates from approx 1979. The frame is not visible.


"Outback Landscape" is a framed embroidery from c1985, approx 30cm x 40cm, using paint with stitch and found objects. collection QueenVictoria Art Gallery and Museum Launceston Tas.


 Today’s collages are of pics I have taken here in the past couple of years, in all weathers, or following interesting weather.  The first is of actual lines left on the beach by water and wind:

The second is of the wonderful linear sets of shapes highlighted by the early morning sun on the fresh sand.  These were taken in the last week or so as at the moment the tide is on its way out when I get there.


 Today, and this is probably an age thing,  I see landscape as a metaphor for Life.  In simple terms, throughout the natural world there is an endless cycle of young, mature and aging landscapes, whatever the scale, from vast deserts, lofty mountain ranges to coastlines and beach profiles.  For over 30 years this fascination with the physical landscape has been at the core of my creative inspiration.  I’m still not sure where the myriad of tiny jellyfish I found on the beach this morning fit into this, but with a better camera tomorrow I will try to capture some of these amazing little 1cm – 2cm sized blobs like small wet blisters all along the water’s edge. They will probably be part of another collaged group… perhaps ‘flotsam’.

3 Responses to “It’s All About Line, Shape and Texture”

  1. These pictures are beautiful! The last collage looks so much like satiny fabrics that have been ruched and tucked.

  2. Wonderful photos and of the same topics I take photos of…what is it about all those textures that get inside your head and you just can’t forget them? Thanks for sharing.

  3. lisette says:

    gorgeous french knots! and i am also a great fan of wave patterns on the sand.

    lovely to have found your blog again 🙂

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