Sylvie Millen – Textile artist

Can you tell us about yourself and your background as an artist/maker?

I’m a textile artist living and working in Worcestershire. I’ve always been passionate about working with textiles, starting with teaching children how to develop their love of art and encouraging their creativity. My own art is inspired by nature and the natural world around me, images captured from walking through the open countryside, often stopping to photograph interesting close up images of watch catches my eye. My textiles are my interpretations of how I see the natural world and I use mixed media to capture the colours forms and textures, using recycled fabric, paint and stitching to produce unique interpretation of the world as I see it.

My studio

Tell us a bit about your creative process.

“A feeling, or moment in time “ where I am stopped in my tracks by an inspirational landscape, a small flower or even a cobweb. Finding beauty in nature is my motivation, starting with a photograph, a quick sketch, then moving on to painting, dyeing, layering and stitching.

Where you do usually work from?

I am lucky enough to have my own studio, set in a beautiful rural garden.

Have you developed any unique or unusual techniques in your work?

I am increasingly becoming more intuitive in my practice and enjoy exploring the properties of fabric, often distressing and manipulating, as seen in many of my larger seascapes.

Tell us about a favourite piece of work and what it means to you.

My recent favourite piece of work shows the movement and power of the ocean ‘Turning The Tide’ has many layers of fabric folded and stitched to capture the force of the tidal waves.

What is your biggest source of inspiration?

I’m particularly drawn to Impressionist art style featuring vibrant colours and the impression of a subject as perceived by the artist. Monet is a particular favourite of mine, especially the Water lily garden collections.

What advice would you have for artists who are just starting out?

Enjoy making art and experiment and play with different styles and techniques.

If you sell your work, can you tell us more about how you do this?

I sell my work at exhibitions and through my website and Instagram page.

My space

How has lockdown changed your creative process?

My time spent in lockdown has allowed me to study nature, more closely and to experiment with different materials , in particular my ‘nature’s lace work’ where I have developed a method of emulating lace through multiple layers of stitching.

Tell us about any future projects you have planned.

I’ve just completed a large piece of stitch collage work based on the Covid experience, which will be part of a large joint tapestry.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I will be taking part in the open studios weekend in August Bank holiday.

See more of Sylvie’s work on her Worcestershire Artists page.

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