contemporary embroidery

SAL ~ The forest regenerates #3

Only a little bit of progress in my sewing this time. However, each stitch takes it one stitch closer to being finished! This is where I was last time:

Contemporary embroidery

This is where I am now:

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It’s almost like one of those old fashioned “Spot the Difference” cartoons! (Remember them…two almost identical drawings, and you had to find a certain number of things that had been changed or left out of one.)

I have been sewing though. I finished three little works that I have called the Jewelled-Sea series. I will post more about them at a later date.

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After sewing these I felt I needed to look after my hands a little, and give them a break from sewing. That’s one of the reasons why progress on the purple one has been slower.

There is a group of us who join in this Stitch-A-Long, organised by Avis. They do wonderful stitching, so do go and have a look at what they are doing. A couple have finished a work, so celebrate with them! Welcome back to Linda, and a warm welcome to Laura and Cathie, two new members of the group.

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny,Hayley, Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ,Jenny, Laura, Cathie, Linda

Contemporary embroidery

SAL ~ The Forest Regenerates #1

This SAL post is a couple of days late. Time seemed to slip away from me. This stitch-a-long is hosted by Avis, and should have been up on Sunday. At least now you will be able to check out everyone else’s posts (check the list at the end of this) and see wonderful stitching from around the world.

I have been working on free-form stitching of late. I enjoyed couching the threads on the last works, and have been carried away with couching on this current one. It is based on my love of trees. Many of you will know of my love of trees ~ not only individual trees but also the shapes and rhythms of them as a canopy. (If you would like to read more of where my tree obsession comes from, this post might help.) As I am stitching I am thinking of all the trees that have been lost in the fires over the Summer.

I am calling it “The Forest Regenerates”, but I may change forest to bush, to give it a more Australian flavour.

Its size is 25 x 30 cm, because that is the dimensions of a canvas I found to use when I am ‘framing’ it. I started without really thinking much about where it was going, only to find I was having problems with the tones. I couldn’t see which trees may be behind and which in front. Fortunately couching is very easy to pull out. (This photo doesn’t give you the true colour of the cloth, which is actually a vibrant purple.)

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So I began again. (The cloth colour is better, but it is still a more royal purple than shown here.)

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I was merrily couching along, until it dawned on me that it was becoming rather repetitive.

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Inspiration came from Patricia Brown who stitches over her paint cloths. I love her work. My work demanded some overstitching to help to make it zing.

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This is where I am up to…

Contemporary embroidery

And a close up

contemporary embroidery

Lots of lovely SAL projects at these links

Avis, Claire, Gun, Carole, Sue, Constanze, Christina, Kathy, Margaret, Cindy, Heidi, Jackie, Sunny, Hayley,Megan, Deborah, Mary Margaret, Renee, Carmela, Jocelyn, Sharon, Daisy, Anne, Connie, AJ

And a quick follow up on my reorganisation of my studio/playroom. I had some great suggestions in the comments about getting my table to fit so that I could face the window. It is all sorted ~ thank you!

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And again, while I have got you, a reminder about my Letter from my Studio, which comes out each fortnight (although lately it has been more erratic than I would like). In it I chat about my art and direct you to places where you can buy it. Jump to this link if you would like to sign up.

 

SAL ~ starting on the next cliff

Welcome to this Stitch-A-Long, hosted by Avis. At the end of this post there are links to wonderful stitchers, who all do such amazing work. Do have a look.

You may remember that I had almost finished my work on the cliff at Portsea. I say almost, because the trunk was annoying me ~ it wasn’t quite right. I got lots of good advice, which would solve the problem. Unfortunately, I haven’t done anything about it, except think “I must finish that off”! Once something is finished it is hard to go back to. I think it is the process I love rather than the finished product. Do you find that?

So, in case you missed it, here is the cliff, almost finished.

Contemporary textile

Now, let’s move onto the next one.

But first, some background for newcomers. In June I was lucky enough to have a month as an artist-in-residence at Portsea, a small holiday town right down on the tip of Port Phillip Bay. You can read about my first week, and see some of the art ideas I played with. 

I came across the most wonderful cliffs that glowed in the afternoon light. They inspired me down there, and now, through the tapestry and embroidery work, are my way back into a creative practice. These are some of the little studies I did while I was at Portsea.

I have always been fascinated, if not slightly obsessed with rocks and cliffs, and it is good to be finally creating works based on them. This time I am using material, poplin, as background, rather than tapestry canvas.

The first step was to mark out the 20 x 20 cm square, and roughly stitch where the main crevices are going to go.

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Then the fun begins! I have couched along the yarns, following the direction of the marks, but also adding in random waves to create the look of the crevices. The colour of this material is awfully difficult to photograph correctly. The first photo shows the true colour.

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A close up. The colours of the threads are rather washed out too. They are more vivid in real life.

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I hope you can tell that the effect I am after is to show the dark and light striations with the different coloured yarns.

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I must give a shout out to Margaret. She has so many delightful stitching projects on the go that she blogged about how she organises her materials for each creation. She inspired me to put all my threads and bibs and bobs for this piece in a box! How sensible! You can also see that I have added quite a few more layers, and the colours are more accurate.

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Thanks for dropping by. I hope to see you in a couple of weeks with the next instalment.

Lots of lovely work to see at these blogs. Be inspired!

AvisClaireGunCaroleSueConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyLindaHeidiJackieSunnyHayleyMeganDeborahMary MargaretReneeJennyCarmelaJocelynSharonDaisyAnneConnie

 

Reference photo for tapestry

SAL Portsea Cliff #3 and a starting point for freeform embroidery

Well, I have been beavering away on the background undergrowth. I wanted to create the rounded shape of the bushes without being too detailed. The lighter yarn helps to add the illusion of highlights on the tops of the bushes.

Anne Lawson textile artist

The overall view shows me just working my way around the background, either using random stitches or a very loose form of cross stitch.

tree tapestry

I am happy so far. However, I am not sure what to do with the next elements. The tree (the blobby space in the centre) is the focal point, and so it need to be quite a contrast to the rest of the foliage. At the same time while the foliage on the right side of the tree is lighter than the background I have done, I don’t want it to compete with the tree. (The header photo on the post is the photo I am working from. Looking at that might make more sense!) I think I will have to work my way around the areas, looking to see what looks right and what doesn’t.

Thank you to everyone who left such supportive comments on my last SAL post. I got the feeling that some people would like to give freeform embroidery a go, but were not quite sure of where and how to start. A way to dip your toe in is by creating samplers.

An inspiration for my more over-the-top freeform style was Stitch Magic by Jean Littlejohn.

Jean encourages the stitcher to play with different stitches ~ exaggerating, layering, using different yarns and threads. So I did.

They are a small 10 x 10 cm square. Easy to play, without feeling daunted by filling a larger size. Little samplers that don’t have to be anything but experiments.

I love to use tapestry canvas, as it handles the bigger yarns, and I can work boldly and quickly. However, you could do exactly the same with linen or any other backing. Draw out a small square and see what your favourite stitch can do.

Which has made me think…maybe the trunk of the tree would work well if I couched it? Hmmm…..

A big thank you to Avis, who organises this stitch-a-long. We post on the third Sunday of the month, local time. I think, like me, you will be blown away by the beautiful work that the other stitchers create. Jump over and have a look, but remember, the time zone may be different.

AvisClaireGunCaroleSueConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretCindyHelenLindaHeidiJackieSunnyHayleyMeganDeborah, Clare, Mary MargaretReneeJennyCarmelaJocelynSharonDaisyAnne