Bluejay is part of a trio of commissions I completed recently. Check out American Goldfinch and Yellow Flicker.

The Bluejay with wings outstretched represents a rising a spirit. The background is hand painted silk habutai, with lots of acrylic ink splashed on it and lots of little flower shaped sequins and hand stitching to create the umbel headed flowers.

The body of the bluejay is hand painted silk dupion with machine and hand stitching and then finished off with some sequins. It was hard to capture the beauty of the bluejay’s feathers – the blue threads and inks never seem intense enough!  I’ve kept to a restricted colour palette in this piece, dominated by the cool colours of blue and white. I didn’t want to too much colour interplay to detract from the central image.

I had a debate with myself about how many feathers I should represent – as I want the bird to look anatomically correct but at the same time sometimes describing every feather could prove unnecessary to capture the essence of the image. So I try for a happy medium. I did have to adjust the length of the tail though to balance out the shape of the bird in flight. I really enjoyed adding the sequins in rows on top of the dense machine stitching and then doing a bit of random machine “drawing” on top of that to make it look less regimented.


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Nicky Perryman

Hey, I'm a textile artist based in the UK. I like playing around with fabric paint, stitching both hand and machine embroidery and I have far too many sequins. I'm inspired by nature, its mysteries, subtleties, delights and complexities. The outer natural world has its counterpart in the inner spiritual world and I am also inspired by folklore, poetry, fairytales, stories of long ago when the spirits of nature seemed less shy than they do today, as well as my own shamanic journeys into the dreamland.

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