Nina's Textile Trail

My OCA Textile Tales

TEXTILES: Preparing for Higher Education – Sketchbooks – Exercise 4.2 Customising a sketchbook – Stage 1 Research and preparation

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Elizabeth Blackadder b. 1931

British painter and printmaker who studied at Edinburgh College of Art and Edinburgh University.  She paints in oil and watercolour.

In a number of the still life paintings, the objects are painted quite small in relation to the size of the work making interesting use of negative space.  The flowers are well observed and detailed.  The colours are often vibrant but overall the paintings were the least appealing to me of the four artists. (accessed 21/02/2015 & 22/03/2015) (accessed 21/03/2015)

Cy Twombly (1928-2011)

American abstract painter and draughtsman.  The website dedicated to the artist states that he was “Inspired by ancient Mediterranean history and geography, greek and Roman mythology, and epic poetry”.   I find it difficult to interpret his work.

What do I like?  The texture of oil on canvas; house paint & earth on canvas; bitumen & oil based house paint on canvas; oil based house paint, wax crayon and pencil on canvas.

I also like the energy of some eg. Free Wheeler 1955 oil, crayon & pencil on canvas.

Gallery 1  ( includes about 200 paintings.  Although as mentioned I like the texture and energy of some of the paintings, they don’t appear to relate to specific objects to me, rather an all over style of seemingly random scribbles and scrawls,   I can only assume that he is expressing his emotion at that point, channelling his own energy.  They are abstract, emotive paintings which have movement and a rawness that is interesting, but in this instance I cannot relate to them or imagine how to paint ‘tea time’ in the style of Cy Twombly.

Ben Nicholson (1894-1982)

Influential British painter and sculptor, said to have painted some of best known abstract paintings in 20th Century British Art and one of the first painters in the community of artists know as ‘St IvesSchool’

1930 (Plate, Cup & Jug)  Oil & graphite on board.

What do I like about Ben Nicholson’s 1930 Plate Cup & Jug painting?    I like the texture of the background and the jug, the limited colour palette with some red as a contrast.  I prefer the more irregular curved representation of the jug and plate as opposed to the flattened planar, angular representation of objects in some of his other still life work.

Patrick Heron (1920-1999)

British painter, writer, and designer. His early paintings were influenced by Braque and Matisse, but in 1956 he turned to abstraction. Like Ben Nicholson, he was a member of the St Ives School in Cornwall.

I chose to use Patrick Heron as my inspiration for this section.

I was particularly drawn to his use of colour, the complementary and split complementary combinations give the paintings vibrancy.  I liked the energy created by the sketchy, quickly drawn look achieved with the use of charcoal or a dry brush for the outline and the background paper showing through.

I though his style would particularly lend itself to being painted in an old book, allowing the text to show through.

I used the following paintings to inspire my customised sketchbook: (The Blue Checked Tablecloth:1948) (The Long Table with Fruit:1949) (Kitchen at Night:1950) (Anenomes and Lemons:1950)


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