When Susan Leslie was alive we discussed this ability to draw directly on a backing at great lengths. She was also quite particular about being neat with her designs but we both thought a little loosening up wouldn't hurt, after all that stick can be painful when you sit. So we came up with this brainstorm in hopes to lighten us up a bit and we always planned to work it into a fun evening with friends, after all there's nothing like witnesses, I mean supportive friends to help cheer you on!.
I came up with the name "In the bag and out of the box", a fitting description to the lengths I would have to go to let my hair down and draw directly on the backing. Yup, I'd have to be tipsy to appreciate the free flowing ability to create a design on the fly, throw away the red dot and put the lines down, make corrections so that the backing would be less then perfect or hen scratch!!! I cringe just thinking about it in my anal, precise little world. Of course this would be fine for personal use but to sell patterns in the shop drawn with an unsteady hand and corrections, that wouldn't fly.
I think this is a throw back from the days when I drew people and animal portraits. Trying to reach the highest degree of realism is work. For patterns I can be less concerned with detail but I don't have the skill set to be loosey goosey. My patterns have lots of details, that's my style and the way I roll. I won't be changing any time soon. It's working so don't fix what ain't broke.
So wine will be involved and bags of random wool, or maybe bags of wine? None of this tedious, long winded colour planning, fussing over placements and contrast. Nope, just free flowing and spontaneous creativity with a slurring hand.
Of course there is potential for cheating. To nip advanced preparation in the bud, there will be ideas put in a hat by each participant and drawn out randomly. No one will be allowed their own submission. Then a time limit on the actual drawing and right on the backing with a marker, a permanent drawing device that will show your warts. Next all the wool will be chucked on the table and we will have to work within those parameters and make your project come to life with the limitations of working on the fly and limitations. I would really like to try something a little different, get the T Shirt but I will most assuredly go back to wearing my regular clothes, they fit well and I'm comfortable in them.
I've watched friends draw directly on the backing and little inconsistencies became part of the primitive charm. I marveled at the easy flow of the marker, and wondered if they were of this world. Surely aliens were controlling the strings as we humans are uptight and have been trained to follow the road in search of perfection, a destination point that has never been found. Most free flowing artistic thoughts have been long since ripped from our brains, some say as early as 13, replaced with worries of fitting in or avoiding failure and criticism.
My drawings have to be perfect because those who come after me have to be able to make replacement red dots to transfer them to the backings. I might not always be around or maybe employees take over that task so I can move on to designing 24/7. When I'm satisfied with the design it is ready, whiteout and all to transfer to the backing.
Below are some pen and ink drawings I did in the early 90's and an oil painting after a brief flirtation with oils.