Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Work in Progress

Thought I'd post a piece that is almost half completed. There is still much to be done but at the moment this is where I am with it. I think I'll leave the path painted rather than try to embroider it. At times, an overload of thread can cause the entire piece to be just too busy and heavy. I enjoy the contrast between the areas. It is a fine balance.
So for the many of you who have asked about my process, here is a quick run through.
I work from my own photos but do opt for creative license when it comes to moving things around. There is much prelimenary work that needs to be done before I even sit in front of the sewing machine. Colour choices for threads, design options, composition, size of completed work, a rough sketch, etc. This is not an art form for anyone who would like to start and finish a piece within a day.
Once these decisions are all ironed out (pun) I then begin to paint the cotton. With this piece I used a very light gray for the background, almost a wash. I really wanted the green of the trees to pop out against a neutral background. I then loosley painted in where my trees would be positioned as well as my grasses and shrubs. I used a much darker gray for the path and painted it about three times to not only achieve darkness but heaviness as well. Then off I went, the trees were completed in layer upon layer of five different threads. At this point I am following my basic painting of the tree trunks but winging it when it comes to the branches. I do find much of my work has now become spontaneous. Using a variety of browns on the trunks is imperative. Without many thread changes the work will appear flat and lifeless. I have just started on my first green and will probably end up using about eight before I'm done. I think I'll also add flowers to my shrubs to break things up a bit. So, after the work is completed I will then use a piece of quilt batting and loosely quilt it. I really like the added texture the batt brings to the piece and it also just pops everything out adding a three dimensional value to the artwork. Yes, it is an enormous amount of work but I love what I do and couldn't ever imagine doing anything else. I consider it a labour of love and a way to express myself that brings me unbelievable joy.
Till next time,

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