Making The Dancing Trees – All threaded up and lots of places to go….

Stage 3   Getting the image down –      I am using a medium weight linen; pale, not white, the weave is clear, slight soft sheen. Probably not the best choice – the uneven density of the stitching  is going to distort it but I like the feel and surface. Could of course use a stabiliser or heavier fabric! My current thinking is for work like this is that I am selecting fabrics for what they are, if I then alter their characteristics….. the distortions are going to be part of the nature of the beast, a side effect of the processes and choices…. ( the perils of an art education, truth to materials and all that )first trunks


The work area is drawn out,  17″ by 11″, the key shapes are drawn on very roughly. ( adore the  water soluble marker )  This is all  generalised – seeing how the positive and negative shapes work in the space, asking if the composition has a sense of life or drama? or is it stuffy or cluttered? Added in the tailors chalk to the shaded areas, hooped it  and started freehand stitching!, just establishing the hard shapes. With the trunks, doing outlines kills the sense of twisting straight away so they are worked more organically, lines travelling away from the edge, linking, joining, describing form not just silhouette.  Then blocking in the canopies with fabric . The first layers are sheers, Strips are  pinned and briefly scribble stitched over to secure.  ( Do look like shower caps at the moment. In fact it looks terrible, but just keep on going)first canopies


Stage 4 –  The idea is down, now to develop it – Time to play with all those other fabrics; torn scraps are  pieced and stitched on top. I find just using green comes out quite flat so a blue fine acetate is laid underneath, it will be revealed later.dancing trees3 close up

Can’t stop myself – quick unpick and snips at the ready and I started ripping through the layers, tearing  rough edges and pulling threads from the scraps.  Raggedy shower caps now, but with a sense of how it may work out.

I was going to stop here but….. just have to get the trunks done. The trees look so totally top heavy, I want to get  them balanced. Using directional stitching, varying the shedancing trees trunken, colour and thickness of the thread – quite intensive- but not trying for total coverage.


And what difference does this make?  Vast…….  okay it needs pressing, lots more work on the canopies and background and…… and…… and……..  but progress is made!

dancing trees 5


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