Inspired by Nature

Previously, I described how my recent doll making has been greatly inspired by autumn leaves motif, which I have explored and used extensively in the development of my ideas. So I wanted to expand upon this a little further.

Feathers and Leaves

I realised that, after my leaf obsession, I went through a similar process with feathers.  It occurred to me that when a feather or a leaf is simplified into its basic shapes and outlines, each mirrors the other in terms of shape and linear quality.

Drawing Autumn Leaves

Inspiration for a doll artist autumnal leaves

I really loved this photo, which I took of fallen autumn leaves. I made some sketches when creating design ideas form my autumn doll collection and incorporated the leaves directly on to the doll’s body.

The Fear of a Blank Page

To overcome the fear of a blank page, I normally put a background colour down first.  So a wash of watered down mixed red and orange acrylic paint was used to cover the page first.  I did not copy the image exactly but selected the most interesting leaves in terms of autumnal colour, which I loosely copied using dry watercolour pencils.  I have discovered that the pencils have a stronger vibrancy when kept dry and used on top of a background colour.

sketchbook page by vaudeville hippie

These ideas of colour, shape and line were then translated into machine embroidered handmade felt.


Pagan Autumn Goddess an OOAK Textile Doll Handmade Textile Art Dolls by The Crow's Secret

I then explored using free machine embroidery, over hand painted fabric in acrylic paint.  I love the line quality that is achieved from the continuous line of a thread when using this technique.  The sewing machine and thread are therefore used to draw the veins of the leaves.

Handmade Textile Art Dolls by The Crow's Secret

Printing Feathers

In contrast, I created simple prints of the feathers, using non-other than recycled pizza box polystyrene.


This was surprisingly effective, allowing me to explore printing the motif in both acrylic paint and screen printing ink.

Printed Textile Feather art by The Crow's Secret

I am looking forward to now experimenting with this further and will share the results with you.








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