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 )
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)
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.
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 sheen, 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!