Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Beneath the Layers...

I'm still here...although I confess I've feel as though I've been away from home and studio far more than not in these past two months!

Since my last post I've been to Quilt Canada down in Lethbridge -- about 4 1/2 or 5 hours' drive south and slightly west of here -- for four days.  Almost immediately upon my return I worked three days in the shop (rather than my usual two), filling in for my part-time colleague who was off attending the university graduation of one of her daughters.

This past Saturday I spent the day in Stettler, Alberta inside The Cabinet of Curiosities, an art gallery, art supply and framing shop, showing several of my pieces at the annual Art Walk.  The rainy weather put a damper on the turn-out, though, so although I had some lovely inquiries, they were few and far between.  The best I can say about the day was that I got quite a bit of handwork done.  All my pieces are finished as to facings and sleeves, and I made great progress on my June Sock for the Socks-from-Stash challenge.

In between I've been catching up on correspondence, doing Rep work for SAQA and -- at long last -- working out my piece for the Master Class for June.  The theme is (wait for it)..."Layers".

Since the topic was announced I've been pondering trees, layered as the are around here in stands of aspen and/or evergreens...

I began the exercises with stencils bought recently from Joggles. com.  One is of tree trunks alone, and one, of a tree, which I traced without the leaves.

I enlarged the traced trunks, extracted a piece of the branches, traced it separately, enlarged that, and layered it over the trunks, thus, as assigned:

For the second, I traced the tree (leafless) several times, layering one tracing on the another:

I did a third sketch, placing the traced tree over a completely different sketch -- a landscape of prairie.  As it has been rejected out of hand by both myself and EB, I'll not include it here.  :-)

However, here's her feedback on the other two:

First, on the tree trunks:

This one is very interesting...nice stencils  I"m not quite sure  how the horizontal bits related but they make a good contrast to the vertical structures..if you can might be worthily printing the same image sideways over the original image...I think the white trunks and branches looked really good against the deep blue back ground...and the square format is very "in" right now - looks good!!
I had to remind her that the "horizontal bits" were there at her instruction. :-)  Once I identified the source of the "bits" she had more to say...

Identifying the origin
of the "horizontal bits"

Okay!!! thanks...I see it now..I'm away from home on a small lap top and sometimes it's hard to get a really good look at these things.  Looking at that detail what might be rather fun would be to take just the skinny branches, enlarge and overlay them - in the same orientation.  I do like the overall idea.

About the cluster of trees, EB wrote:

 This one would work well with cropping...try cropping right down to the edges of the branches and the trunk....I really like the way the branches overlap and interact.  I'd make this the one to work from.

As a result, I've gone with the tree cluster.  First, I cropped the sketch as she suggested:

I rather like the effect.  Then I played with layers on a batik background, thinking that I might in the end paint at least one of the trees.

I used painted fusible web (Wonder Under) for the top left tree, layering over it a tree cut from a brown sheer fabric (drapery), and then a white paper tree (the paper layer from the WU).  I originally thought I'd just stitch the third tree in a high-contrast thread; now, seeing how low value the whole piece is at present, I might go with fabric (as yet to be selected):

Original photo of layered trees

Same photo - "auto-enhanced" in photo editor (not PhotoShop)

Grey-scale of the original photo
You can see how the middle tree disappears...
I've sent these off to EB, acknowledging the challenges of the fabrics selected, and my thoughts about alterations.

And so...I await her feedback...and link up to WIP Wednesday on The Needle and Thread Network, which I've not visited in weeks.  Come along and let's see what's up there, eh?

And maybe Friday, if the rain stops, I'll get into the garden, where the peonies are in bud and the roses await...

"Never Alone" Rose


Judy Warner said...

Welcome back, Margaret! I have missed you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for explaining your process. That is SO cool! I love the results.

Laurel's Stitches said...

Your project is becoming really beautiful. Thanks for linking to TN&TN!

Maggi said...

I like the tree trees too although it is possible that you might have to re-consider the background which, although gorgeous in itself, isn't helping you to make the trees the focal point, if that is what you want.

Wil said...

I had not realised that the trees on EB's blog were yours:-). Love them, but indeed the middle tree completely disappears. Have you thought of using a dark background?

Unknown said...

I love it, Margaret! It's very beautiful, and you give a very helpful tour through the process.

Susan Hill

Bethany Garner said...

Love the projects Marg - but you deserve a break! We have a Regional Meeting here in Ontario Monday the 22nd and I hope in July to write a personal letter to all of my Central Canada SAQA friends and try to entice them to play along with MCOTW - Canada... and as a result, may just come up with enough ideas to enter both Calls to Entry.

Make time to enjoy your summer and your beautiful flowers.

elle said...

This is such a great class you are involved in. You are learning lots and so am I actually. Keep up the great work! Nice rose!

Anonymous said...

i love the potential in this 3 tree layers, and finding the right fabric/paint choices given a batik background will be an interesting and rewarding challenge - love the stencil - all natural and slightly wind blown. Looking forward to seeing its next evolutionary step. sha

Kathie Briggs said...

Margaret, I love the assignment you have and of course I love that you have chosen trees. I will refrain from saying which approach intrigues me more since both are wonderful. I do agree that with layers you really need to consider your values as you work but "bleeding" a bit into a batik can be interesting. I look forward to following your progress on this one.