Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Red Rock - Last day of September

I AM working on this almost continuously but I'm adding stitches very slowly and carefully.
I don't want to un pick anything. As
I add some thread in one place it calls for thread in other places. I had hoped I could work with a few colours at a time but I find I'm bouncing from colour to colour.

The view on the wall is always superior to the close up, but then you can't really see all the thread colours.

 If you look closely, I added pink today. :-)


Monday, 29 September 2014

Red Rocks in Cheltenham Ontario

Trusty old Weather Network. I do source a lot of inspiration from the photos posted there and yesterday was no exception. To the point where I dragged my husband into the car this morning and drove half an hour to the Cheltenham Badlands.

These are not rock as much as clay deposits that were exposed through poor farming practice. I've lived within 100 miles of this place for 40 years and never knew they existed. The site is only a few acres in size.
It is a listed UNESCO site and considered part of the Bruce trail complex.
Go there quickly if you can, as there is a movement to close the area to the public as they will not follow the rules of not walking on the sensitive surface.
As I stood on the edges this morning at least 10 adults blissfully walked up and over the rises...to get better photos?
Enjoy mine, taken from the edges.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Red Rock Thread Painting

I suppose in theory, I could have left it alone and gifted it as it was, but this is a pile of sedimentary rock and all those layers are all different shades of reds and oranges. How could I resist.

Finishing the mountains in the background was straight forward. Where I put a line, the mountain slope began. The sky is a different matter, which is why I left it. I'm leaning towards wavy vertical lines to imply heat waves. As I'm not sure, it remains unfinished.
 The sand of the desert is shaded a pale green as it's covered with the low growing vegetation. Sage maybe?

 For the main portion, I began with the dark shadows. I layered about three colours of brown before I decided I needed to introduce black to get the depth. Embroidery thread is lost here as its too fine. So I've been using my heavy quilting thread, sometimes double. or two colours combined.

Using the same combination of thread across different fabrics gives it a lot of colour depth and adds to the sedimentary feel. I have to stand back, often, to decide what pattern is in the rock as they are quite different even if the layers appear parallel.

This is a slow process, even for me!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Tofino BC - The Forest Path

This is my third project for the fall.

Another group I belong to is also doing a collective project. This one is based on a photo a member took while visiting Tofino, BC. This is a luscious rainforest as is evident from the deep greens, the buttressed tree at the top of the page and the weathered planks of the footpath. The wooden trail is designed to protect the flora and give a stable footing where the ground is soft and in places very wet.

This is a very complex picture with so much going for it. We rejected several other very different landscape for this one. And because the fine small cameras everyone carries, that deliver great resolution, I was able to play with this great photo.
 After close inspection and several months of dithering I focused up near the top where the lovely roots show their age, covered with mosses and lichens and the ferns can be viewed on an individual basis.

Here is my simplified version with the light areas enhanced and the dark areas, mysterious. This piece will have lots of raw edged applique. I'm still trying to decide if I can add some dimension to this with the deeply furrowed tree roots.
I have decided the I will paint most/all of my cloth, just the extra touch to make it mine.
I've got some great weather coming up so finding a day when I'm not working is my only restraint.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Red Rock - Day 4 - Final Cartoon

Here is the final form of the bare cartoon. It will be netted and then thread painted.

And here's the reference photo again! 
It's currently sitting at 23 x 27. Not the best dimensions but they will be altered after it is thread painted.  ( ps this is what my room looks like after all this creativity. It's got to be tidied before I can start the final work.) sigh!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Red Rock 3

Now up to 8 colours. I will finish all the large background rock this week and then move into the lighter scree in the foreground.
3:pm -
4 more colours

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Jelly Bean 2 - What a lovely Wakeup Exercise

This is a cartoon. And I think its in keeping with the 'joie de vive' that is found throughout Newfoundland. You'd have to have a real sense of humour to live there with all its hardships and incredible weather.

Is it finished? Don't know. Certainly I need to complete the background et al, but I'm going to leave this now, probably for a few months. I like the colour combinations. It worked very well.
Any further embellishment needs thought. So enjoy this little slice until I return to it.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Red Rock 2

My intention is to layer the materials so I don't need to fussy cut it all.
Spots of glue allow me to trim as I go and remove excess.
So here is day 2 . mountain detail and edge of the flats.
The deep shadows are marked by deep red and orange rock.

First Pass on the Jelly Beans - Yummy!

It never really occurred to me until now I should have chosen my favourite FLAVOURS.

I let the clarity of the organza blends make the choice and these two shades of red and blue produced the clearest colour.

So this first pass was to put on the board siding.
I need to think now about two things.
a) whether to cut out the windows and replace them with White, Yellow or Grey
b) what colour trim for each ( right now I'm leaning towards their opposites) So for Blue, Purple and red I might go Yellow, Orange and green. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Jelly Bean Houses of St Johns, Newfoundland

As our group entry for next years Quilt show we finally settled and agreed on the fabulous and fun Jelly bean Houses of St Johns. There are hundreds of photo of these Heritage house. They are an icon of Newfoundland and are in danger of disappearing s they are made only of wood. Restoration is costly and there is little assistance. Hopefully this will change as their value as tourist draw is great. I think they need to be declared a World Heritage Site. (if they aren't already?)

They are such a piece of eye candy my group thought they would have great appeal (for the judges??)
So I've wrestled with how to approach this assignment so it would be interesting and different. All out piece will be group mounted as a collage.

I ALMOST settled on doing a fish eye lens view. But then I came across this photo of a child's art class.

as well as this kooky interpretation.


And voila an idea was SET. Only blue and red organza  there folks. Lots and LOTS of detail to come.

Red Rock Canyon

My son is a climber. This site is outside LasVegas and he played there last March. I OFFERED (what was I thinking) to make him a tapestry from his favourite photo....this one.
Christmas is coming and I've put it off long enough. We (the creative Mary and the practical Mary) finally began today. This is not going to be easy even for me. And it will not be a continuous effort.

I have two more pieces under deadline, both part of group efforts for our Guild's Quilt Show next May:  Tofino Woods and Newfoundland's Jelly Bean Houses.

So I'm going to bounce between them as the mood and my energy allows. (Going out to work may actually help keep me sane)

But first Red Rock Canyon. The colours. Not having been there and relying on photos is never accurate but these are my choices. In his words - Orange

 The original photo is deceiving. My son drew a sketch of himself on a printout and it was barely more than a millimetre. These rocks are big, though in the photo they look like a rubble pile. After photo shopping and cropping I settled on the upper two thirds of the photo.

Here it is, enlarged on my design wall ( roughly 24" sq.) and reduced to 8 layers. And here is my working reference sheet. There are three colours of lines to indicate order of assembly. Really.

How do you start this? With a lot of thought. I decide recently that instead of using fusible web and fussy cutting, I'm going to take a "crumb" approach and anchor materials first with glue and then netting. I want to keep the thickness to a minimum. After assembly it will require a lot of thread painting.

I'll keep you posted.
2:00pm This part, the EASY stuff took 2 hours.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Finishing up the Leftovers

If only we'd had today's brilliant sun on our retreat. My friends could have done so much more!

I mix these paints very sparingly as a little does go a long way. There were a couple of colours leftover that I decided I would finish as I had a few pieces started that could use those colours.

This started as one of my demo pieces where I showed how to make a very sharp line and then how to continue with a wash. There was enough of this olive colour left to wash the rest and highlight it with yellow and gold. This will develop still when I have a need. Pale blue sky and terra.

I had started this piece at home with the idea of fall leaf colour. Finishing it with reds, purples orange and olive, its ready to be fussy cut into leaf shapes for a future piece.

The other half of the cloth was green. Now it is ready also. with more depth and variation.

This last piece is "stormy". Done in two stages, washes of blue, green and black, dried, heat set and then rewashed with black. The "rumple" moves the paint again. The finished piece looks like it has wrinkles and deep chasms but it is perfectly flat on the wall. Too much fun.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Post Retreat Reflections

It might have been cold and rainy for most of the long weekend (5C at night) but it was a relaxing and fun time with my quilting friends.

I'm fortunate to have a friend with a second home on Lake of Bays and she generously opens it to this group each year. Though the group who attend changes each year as not everyone can make it, we still have a great time, and yes we do quilt. This year we produced an overly large piece of fabric that will become three comfort quilts for our charity of choice in Guelph.

And while the crazies among us did this .................................................... brrrrrrrrr,

a few of us retired to the boat house to paint fabric. After a quick demonstration I turned them loose. It's always fascinating to see what comes from someone else's brain. (note the coats and hats...it was rainy and cold).

The pieces of cloth were varied and exciting. I think everyone had fun. And they all went home with an interesting souvenir.

It's too bad the weather did not cooperate but at least my friends got a feel for the addictive nature of this new obsession of mine.