Thursday, May 31, 2007


Well, I thought it was finished, but putting it up on the screen has once again revealed a couple of areas that need balancing and massaging. Can you see where they are?

I have been adding beads and other bits and pieces, and finally some hand embroidery.

When I am working on something like this, every step of the way I am seeking to bring balance and harmony to my work, in colour, texture and tone.

Coming from a painterly background (I am not naturally a needlewoman) I feel I have found a medium with which I can really express myself. I love the tactile quality of textiles, and the colours too, but have always been trying to find ways of making my work look more flowing, organic and pictorial.

The colourwash technique, where you piece together small squares of fabric whose colours and textures blend into each other, was satisfying for a while. Then I "discovered" crazy patchwork, where one could work without the restrictions of measurements etc, building up a piece in a painterly fashion, having regard to creating something that is pleasing to the eye. It also gave me an opportunity to use those little bits and pieces I was enjoying collecting, such as beads, charms, ribbons, laces and other trinkets and precious bits and pieces.

Maureen C. in Queensland tells me that now I have discovered fibres, it is time I invested in one of those new "embellishing machines." They are a little like a sewing machine. except that they do not use threads. Instead of an ordinary needle, there is a cluster of barbed needles that embed fibres and fabrics and yarns in a base fabric, crearting a sort of felt- like surface.

Well, do I need a new toy? Or will it become a white elephant, as move on to another medium and way of expressing myself?
Meanwhile, this piece has ended up just a little bit bigger than I intended, and some of the sky does not show up on the scan. I am quite pleased with the way I have finally managed to soften the horizon, by appliqueing down some silk ribbon, and adding some texture to the sea with straight stitches.
I will definitely get it framed, but first I must decide whether it should go behind glass or not. As someone who loves to touch stuff and enjoy it through my fingertips, my inclination is to leave it open. It is better for it to give pleasure in a tactile as well as a visual way for five years than to have it protected behind glass for twenty.


crazyQstitcher said...

Mary I would go for 5 years of sheer pleasure rather than have the glass over this fabulous art.
DH thinks your work terrific and said you should stick to handwork rather than get a machine as you do it so well.


Anonymous said...

I am the same Mary, I love touching and would have to touch this gorgeous piece. I wonder why we do this? A way of 'reading' the work maybe?
You have done an amazing job of this gorgeous piece, it is a piece that would look just beautiful in a gallery with a first prize ribbon on it. :-)

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