With the arrival of a new year, 2015, Helen’s work is taking on a new aspect … as well as maintaining the ethic and concept of earlier decades. Continuing her “open ended Sabbatical” from teaching, Helen is concentrating on recapturing the excitement and innovation of being an independent artist. This “cornucopia” of good things is reflected in her first artwork of the year:
This study fulfils two criteria. It is a design which Helen created over 25 years ago for her first book “The Embroiderers Countryside” but which was only ever published as a line drawing. For all that time, she has been asked “Why don’t you work it?” The answer: Who knows? But now the time has been found to be right. Those who follow Helen’s popular Facebook page, “Helen M. Stevens’ True Embroideries”, will know that she has promised to publish it as a full design when her followers reach the magic 5000… which can’t be far away, as there are now only around 100 to be added before that figure is reached.
Whilst not undertaking “live” teaching engagements, Helen is pleased to announce that the long awaited new editions of many of her most popular designs will soon by published by Vivebooks. Keep an eye on the “Downloads” page to be at the head of the queue. The study at the top of this update is just one of a dozen or more such delights.
Newsflash!!! For those of you who have not been following this page for very long, and would like to see more of my pictures, go to my personal page Helen M. Stevens (Poodle Lover) where I am taking part in the "Three Pictures a Day for Five Days" challenge, to "keep art alive on Facebook"...
Three dragons for the price of one ... well, they might actually be birds, no one is quite sure! This is an interpretation of the boss on the "Great Shield" - part of the Sutton Hoo Anglo Saxon ship burial treasure. In case you can't quite pick them out: find the three pearls... OK? These are eyes, around them you will see golden beads and split stitched golden silk... these are the dragons (or whatever!). You have to remember that the Anglo Saxons saw the world rather differently!
Here's a lovely Celtic type dragon! The hatched black and white background is simply worked in straight, flat stitching, with the dragon himself - of course - in opus plumarium. Dragons in the Northern hemisphere tended to be longer and more snake-like: referred to as "grete wyrms" ... meaning large snakes in Saxon and other literature.
Oooh, an extra treat: two posts in one day! A DRAGON-fly, in one of the lovely little paperweights I have sourced. I think these may be making an appearance at next year's exhibition, too...
Here's a rather splendid dragon - Imperial five clawed and chasing the fiery peal of wisdom. Another idea I am toying with is BIRDS OF PARADISE...
Just had some exciting news ... it is a long time off, but I have agreed to hold an exhibition NEXT year... marvellous modern setting right in the middle of Bury St. Edmunds. I think there may be DRAGONS!
Hi guys and gals ... thinking of you all in New York and thereabouts as the storm hits... apparently we are due to get snow and high winds in the UK later this week; at the moment we seem to be in the lull before the storm: not sure where we go from here...
Well now, I should have saved the bulldog for today, shouldn't I? The 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill... but instead here is a Spitfire! (Worked in Bayeux stitch!)
And finally... not in the 100 Acre Wood, but as close as I can get to Kanga (no, you can't see Roo, he's in her pouch!) This is a picture from my book "Embroidered Landscapes", with Ayres Rock (Uluru) in the background. What an amazing country Australia is!
No donkey I am afraid for Eeyore, so we will have to go with a horse!
... Not too hard to find "Rabbit" either, who, of course had "hundreds of friends and relations" ... here's just one of them! Love bunnies! Their amazing fur can be worked with several strands of colour in the needle at one time.
... it was quite easy to find Owl, otherwise known, of course, as WOL, in the books! This is a tawny owl: he is the fellow that makes the "twit, twoo" call. Lovely markings and, very literally, a perfect subject for "opus plumarium" or "feather work"!
Hmmmm... I think the characters is MY 100 Acre Wood are going to be a little different. Anyway, here is "Piglet" ... this is actually a wild boar piglet, part of a picture I worked a while ago when involved in Anglo Saxon history! Cute!
Today has been official international Winnie-the-Pooh day! It's the 135th birthday of A. A. Milne. Well, I don't have a Teddy Bear to offer, but here's the closest I can get - a bit like a Teddy! I thought over the next few days I would see how close I could come to all the other characters in the 100 Acre Wood...