The Summer Tree

It began so well.  The chosen tree posed elegantly,  the sketch came together nicely.  Very,  very pleasant sat  drawing.  but a day or two later disliked the sketch so tried washing over the canopy –  it ended up in the shower and scrubbed.  Always a worrying moment  – but  I hated the controlled stiffness.  Some reworking later and it is a happier, softer sketch.

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Friday – This is now a textile piece – at about the same point.     Shoving it into the shower will not work so I have to decide how to progress. It is a combination of techniques and ideas, some areas have been worked separately  on vanishing muslin, some scrap fabrics embedded and others are direct scribble stitching.



amorphous blob of light foliage. The vanishing muslin has gone, now ready to be stitched into the tree.


Building the density. Layers of stitch over chiffon with some added areas.


The canopy is a constant evolving dialogue – the area was defined with a  single piece of chiffon and then the dark areas were stitched on. Layers of fabric scraps and  the vanished stitching were sewn in and then  top dressed with more stitching

The vanishing muslin doesn’t vanish very well, so it ended up with me picking out shiny plastic with tweezers- very time consuming but also pulls and distorts the stitching   so some of the panels are now quite fluffy and loopy, the ones I tried to iron out are more like cardboard.  The image below shows the end of several hours of work – on the cusp- it could go either way. The colours are too flat, not enough contrast or depth,  the shape is also rather staid – it looks stuffed in places.  The trunk is also too clumpy. On the plus side the techniques are combining to give a tree like effect, just have to refine how I use them! Just.


Sunday – ( the bottom image) the tree now.  I’ve shaded out around the work area to get an idea of the piece mounted as part 3 of the series.  More layers added, darker shadows and sharper lights.  What I do like is the translation of the sketch into textile – better than expected.

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I’m still not quite convinced, I won’t know until I see the whole trio together.  On this principle I haven’t done anything to the trunk, yet.  Not convinced by it,  it is too symmetrical, but not so offensive that the trouble of unpicking and remedying seems worth  while.   The colours are richer …….. damn it. Going to finish typing and sort that trunk!   Happy Sunday.

summer tree


2 thoughts on “The Summer Tree

  1. Thank you. The subject is a beautiful mature tree, it wears its history in its asymmetry, but manages to look serene and so very alive. If my work has managed to catch even a part of that I will be more than pleased.


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