Ailish Henderson

Drawing is where I begin.  Having originally come from a Fine Art background, it is my safety net and solace.  Before I ever learned how to stitch, a pen and ink were my first love.  Within my practice I like to first imagine up stories and poetry in my head, which I write down on paper immediately so I don’t forget my thoughts!  This inspires me to “draw out” my ideas, again onto paper.  Some of these stay in this pen / pencil sketched form, whilst others are chosen to be developed and continued into a Textile medium,  becoming “embroidered illustrations” or even garments.
There is something reassuring about putting a pen to paper, it can be therapeutic, as in order to produce a quality outcome, I need to be fully immersed in my idea.  Drawing is my visual diary, in general I don’t keep a written journal, but through sketchbooks I keep visual documentation and mementos of the past with ideas that I can use in the future.  As for drawing mediums, I favour using a traditional ink pen or a non-waterproof marker, so that I can paint and blend my lines.  Sometimes I use watercolours and Koh-I-Noor dyes to add definition.
If I feel that my piece needs something more, then I will stitch into it with hand or machine embroidery, even adding personal objects when I feel appropriate.  I work in many other mediums, such as Screen Printing onto Textiles and creating wearable Art Garments from Vintage Lingerie and Lace; yet all I achieve is thanks to my sketched designs.   If I had to choose between Textiles and Drawing, when it comes down to it, my weakness will always be in favour of my pen’.
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