Thursday, 16 April 2015

Dogwood and Birch Trees

I had intended to get right to work on this piece after I returned from collecting a quilt last weekend, but other things took priority.
I decided to get the last of the "must do"s before the show out of the way. So I applied hanging sleeves to everything, made a few muslin bags for transport, added labels where there were none and tidied up loose threads on everything.
But THEN I HAD to GARDEN.
It's SPRING and some jobs can't be put off. In spite of the fact we tried to keep fairly active all winter at the gym, I am appalled and dismayed at how hard this first foray was. But that established my routine for the rest of the season. Early mornings are spent in the garden doing all those endless things and afternoon on my art.
I've also been haunting the sightings charts for Hummingbirds. They're almost here so I put out two feeders today.

But ON TO THE BIRCH TREES!
We took a few more photos on the trip north just to get a better feel for how the two species mix in nature.



Before I left I had hand painted a background. Its very pale but most of it will be covered.


I spent a few days thinking on the size of this piece. I had made a whole meter and wasn't sure I wanted to make it that big. But as soon as I hauled out the material again it was decided for me.
The whole thing.
I cut a piece of light weight stabilizer for the whole sheet. There is a lot that will be applied to this before the batting and canvas.


I started by pencil drawing straight lines in groups to stand for clumps of trees. I will probably spend close to a week on this distant background. Even though a lot will be covered with the birch trunks it has to be there at the start. Several shades of greys and creams will go into this part.






This first round of bare trees went in. But this is spring and I want to show life returning.

When they were all stitched I went over the tips with an orange ink pencil. First flush of colour. Some trees are red, some yellow or orange and of course some lime green. Subtle colour, but there.



Hopefully I can continue this with a little more regularity. When I get started on a piece it like to work straight through. We'll see if this season allows that.