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Sketching out an idea!

I have settled on my idea for the subject of my felt art piece that will be made entirely from fleece from Arran and dyed with plant materials grown on Arran. I felt it had to be an iconic #IsleofArran view so what better subject than #Goatfell.

This is a special piece as it will be the culmination of my 'Felt it on Arran' project, supported by #CreativeScotland. Over the last 10 months I have been learning how to prepare fleece from local farms: separating the locks, washing and carding the fleece in my studio, and experimenting with various plant materials to naturally dye the fleece to give me a palette of fibre to work with to create an Arran view. I wanted the view to capture another element of Arran - the standing stones. This view of Goatfell captures two standing stones and so I decided that this will be the subject of my new 'Arran Felt' picture. Last week I spent a wonderful couple of hours wandering around in the sunshine deciding on the view. There was a gentle breeze that played on the grasses in the foreground. This video shows the patterns it created....

I took some close up photos of the standing stones for reference:

I wanted something for the foreground: something to add interest, perspective and contrast. There are many stone walls around the castle grounds, but after a search nothing really matched what I was looking for, so I took a drive and spotted this wall and tumble of stones with a foxglove growing from within. Perfect!

I then started to work out a simple outline sketch as a plan for the piece:

You can see that I have used a little artistic license! The standing stones have moved closer together and to the right, and the stone wall has sprung into the foreground. You can see here how the different elements make up the plan:

This is just the initial plan. I will continue working on the idea and refining the plan, but projects like this can take on a life of their own and the picture will evolve!

Next stage is to card enough fleece to make the base ready for wet felting and to check that I have enough colours in my palette to create the piece.

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