That is a question I get asked a lot and it is impossible to answer. I spend a lot of time taking photos of what I see like the way the light hits something, different colours next to each other, textures and shapes of things. Each week I take about 1000 photos! One or two of those will be a seed and will begin to form an idea in my head. Now usually this takes months, of this seed growing.
While the idea is growing in my head, I am gathering supplies to achieve the look that I want. thinking about how I can make it look that way, and so that it evokes that feeling I had when I took those photos.
While this seed is growing, I’m still taking 1000 photos each week and there may be 4 or 10 seeds growing at the same time (although during lockdown I’d say that number has been 2-3). I have never been able to sit and copy a photo, I prefer to take different ideas from lots of them and mash them all together.
Then I book a day in my schedule when I don’t have to do anything other that create (it’s not always that simple… I can’t plan creativity). So if I can start building the layers, I do. If I am not feeling it that day, I’ll make a mini art piece and play around with texture ideas.
Once the piece starts being made, layering up the colours and textures, I kinda get in the zone and then the whole day is spent getting all those ideas out. I wet felt it and needle felt it a bit and then once I’m happy with the background I leave it to dry.
Over the next month or so I add lots of needle felted details to it… sometimes this is just 3 hours to add a hare…but usually it’s over the course of the month, me adding and taking away until I am happy with the way it looks.
So how long does it take? Years of playing and experimenting with every so often an artwork being created.
I have taken photos of reflections in puddles and ponds for the past 15+ years. My final university photography project was reflections of Boston, Ma in puddles. I have tens of thousands of photos of reflections. The piece above, Pushing Through, was the first felted piece I made exploring reflections. I’m sure there will be many more…