Friday, 12 March 2010

..trying to understand and relate to....

..the Berber (Feija) henna designs that I've been studying.

These textiles really intrigue me....

...and I feel that I want to know and understand more about them.....

..and the women who created them.

I find that working in a sketchbook allows me to "get inside" the subject a bit more....






















..no rushing it....

...just sitting quietly with drawing/painting materials....

...and "feeling" what happens...

9 comments:

ArtPropelled said...

... and feeling happy too, no doubt. Brewing ideas is thrilling. In between carving I am sitting with my sketchbook and jotting down ideas like there's no tomorrow. A good feeling!

Your pages are lovely and the symbols so intriguing. Love the shades of henna. Have you tried walnut stain at all?

Chris Gray said...

..very happy indeed!

Glad you're "back in the groove"!

I've got a walnut stain stamp pad...and a bottle of ink too...

I like the depth of colour you get with it

Most of the sketchbook stuff is done with Sennelier ink and burnt sienna aquarelle....I've to wait until I get some woollen cloth to try the henna...it only works properly on protein fibre...

Eva said...

Henna should work on silk, then.
Love these figures! Something between pictograms and letters. Did you copy these or develop your own symbols?

Chris Gray said...

Yes! ...I hadn't thought of silk...too busy moaning about being in a country full of sheep and not a single metre of wool cloth to be found anywhere nearby!

These figures are from original Feija pieces....which also use some ancient Berber letters.

I'll mix and match when I come to do mine.....I think I prefer to use ones that have been used before...I'd feel more of a "connection" then.....

..but who knows....

....something may just move my hand when the time comes :-)

Sweetpea said...

I have really been enjoying following your blog & this current process/direction you're exploring -- yes, so intriguing!

I am fascinated by the symbols and wonder what they mean. And I wonder how *universal* they are....for instance, I see things in some of them and question if its similar for others. There is one shape -- the one that looks like a traditional beehive oven (your first photo) -- that symbolizes for me fire, heat, warmth, cooking but what are the REAL origins of these marks? What are they really saying? I also see plants...and crops...

Looking forward to where you go with this. So SPLENDID!

Guzzisue said...

I'm just enjoying watching your journey, my groove seems to be on holiday at the moment so its rythmic knitting and spinning for me at the moment :-)

Chris Gray said...

...my spinning wheel is feeling very lost and neglected by now I'd guess :-(

...but....

...when the sun shines and it's warm....I might take it onto the patio again :-)

JP said...

I just love these - i bet you are pleased with your new direction in your work

LOVE STITCHING RED said...

Not too dissimilar from Egyptian and Mayan heiroglyphics. I too am loving following your research and samples on this project. I love your new header too with your dyed fabric and hand made embellishments. I would love to see your sketchbook if you feel like bringing it! :o)