From Sarah Campbell's Paintbrush
I love to paint and I'm endlessly intrigued by pattern; both these fundamental strands of my creative life appear in the latest issue of Selvedge, Issue 102 Mend.
In my long career as a designer I've spent the greatest amount of time painting repeat patterns on paper for commercially printed textiles. More recently I've been fascinated by making unique and commissioned pieces handpainted directly onto fabrics. These two pursuits share a great deal – an understanding of colour, distribution, motif, scale – but their differences are equally important.
Image: Chris's handpainted chair - the back panel
Designs destined for production have a long journey, often across continents, from my hand to the customer's via manufacturer, cloth merchant, engraver, printer, colourmatcher, agent, retailer. From there they're subject to the wielding of the mighty scissors. Having no say in how they're used, I need to ensure that they'll withstand your cutting and sewing and still be recognisable as the pattern I invented on day one! For the Selvedge new subscribers' free gifts I've chosen three new patterns from my 'FreshPicked' range for Free Spirit Fabrics,US. They offer variety but also a camaraderie - two of them are large repeats, the third is small; they're held together by colour, florality and the little check motif which appears differently in each.
Image: Jungle jacket cuffs
Painting straight onto fabric is a very different experience – direct from me to you – no middle-men. For unique items like the chair and the jacket inside the front cover, the placing of the patterns and colours in relation to the form and usage is entirely in my hands. On Chris's chair I imagined that blue bird peeping over her shoulder, whistling softly; the tiny dots painted at the cuffs of George's silk party jacket make a great contrast to the ebulliant jungle scene - a very seductive detail when sitting at table or holding hands!
Written by Sarah Campbell.
Find out more about Sarah Campbell designs on their website: https://www.sarahcampbelldesigns.com/
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