Revisiting a less than successful design

Every now and then I find an idea I have been keen to develop for a scarf goes awry in the painting. This was the case when four years ago I attempted a ‘bluebells’ scarf.

The finished scarf was a delicate pale pink dotted with stems of bluebells. The pink was subtle in real life. It was a soft, easy colour to wear close to your face especially for those of us over fifty. However, this scarf when photographed, well, it looked totally washed out and almost dreary. And, now when reviewing the design, I see the overall appearance was too messy and busy, and failed to be dynamic. Time for change.

Initially I adjusted my creative process making some large and bold additions to the scarf. I overpainted with broad flowing brush marks of coloured resist in order to balance the small bluebell motifs.

I then added some mid-sized periwinkle like flowers in a bluey green and created depth to the whole piece by painting small areas of the background in black.

The scarf has been steamed again to fix the dyes and the finished, more interesting piece has now been added to my shop – click pic to see.

Author: agnesashe

Artisan, blogger and passionate East Anglian working from home.

12 thoughts on “Revisiting a less than successful design”

    1. Ah thank you. To be honest I never liked this one and obviously nobody else did either. It was crying out for some more work, and at least this time I am pleased with the outcome.

  1. Yes. I like what you did here very much. Sometimes it takes time for an analysis of a piece and figuring out what it needs. More than one try. It’s not always easy to pinpoint what would fix the problem, and I admire your work here in doing that.

    1. You know sometimes when you come back to a piece of work it is screaming at you to do something, virtually anything to improve it. When I was young I was timid about making drastic changes, but now I get out my bigger brushes and go for it. I think there is a confidence grown of experience to make bold, unchangeable additions – it’s only taken a couple of decades! 😉

      1. Yes, I understand it, I feel the same way myself. And there is that other important step – sometimes the item just can’t be saved, or you would rather put your creativity into something new, and being able to just throw it out. This is something new for me but I am finding as I get older I am better at knowing when there is something to be salvaged and when the opportunity to do some artwork should be used to move on to something new. (I have a hard time wasting materials or time but I am finally understanding that working on a hopeless cause is…doing just that!)

      2. Oh yes, the idea of wasting materials is ghastly, but wasting time not great either. On the whole I simply can’t afford to waste any silk, so a couple of pieces that showed up with visible weaving faults after dyeing have ended up with me. A business loss, but a personal gain!

  2. I sense you are going through some type of personal renaissance? Maybe on account of your move and settling to a new place to call home? Or perhaps I am reading your changes through the lens of my own recent experience. I seem to be losing patience with so many people and situations these days, that I can barely remember the time when I was a “Customer Service Manager.” Anyway, whatever is currently driving you, I am all for your bolder approach. Although, as you know, I love all your designs, and only wish I had a touch of that artistic creativity.

    1. Yes, I definitely think you have a point. Don’t you also think that you get to a certain age and know there’s a lot less in front of you than behind and it’s a case of ‘why not?’ and ‘if not now then when?’ What is the point of being patient and waiting for situations to right themselves, might as well be ‘proactive’ as they say even if you ruffle some feathers. I should have moved at least five years earlier.

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