Making Pixelated meadows

Pixelated meadows – Painted and woven meadowscapes

During the period of COVID movement restrictions we spent a lot of time walking on Hampstead Heath. Through Spring and Summer, wildflowers filled the meadows, filled us with joy and gratitude and I knew I had to paint them. There was however a constraint in terms of space and time with my husband working from home and my daughter doing her summer term from home. I needed to work in a way that executed the imagery I had in mind for these pieces but also allowed me to be flexible in terms of where I was working and when.I decided to create these meadows by weaving together painted meadowscapes. I think weaving gives a lovely sense of movement that mimics the wind ruffling the meadows.

Weaving paintings together is so satisfying but challenging to execute. You have to think about what details you want to incorporate in the two separate landscapes and how those details will merge when you cut and weave the landscapes together. You also have to have the courage to shred your carefully painted pieces into strips!  Keeping the pieces small allowed me to work in whichever space was available in the house on a given day. I decided to paint with gouache because it dries quickly, you can layer it beautifully and you can make a big impact with little paint because the colours are so beautifully saturated – perfect for flower meadows. I did little thumbnail compositions to help me decide what I wanted the final piece to look like. I don’t always stick to my thumbnails but it sets my mind working in the right direction.I chose to work on vintage book paper rather than regular paper because, well I needed to have some fun! There was a constant background thread of stress and uneasiness running through those early days of COVID and working on these pages with chess pieces and little illustrations of queens and kings and knights popping up really made me smile.

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