Friday, 10 April 2015

Thinking on a New Piece

Now that all (most) of the prep for our guild's Quilt Show is out of the way I can begin something that's been simmering for a long time, always at the back of my mind. ( Trust me.. there are always new ideas trying to push forward. When their time comes, they happen!)

I have a large collection of internet images of birch trees. Trees in summer, winter and fall. The stark white of the trunks makes for a really dramatic piece. 
I put together this little one a few month ago using the ink pencils. They were pretty good but better suited to highlights here than for the whole design.

I've been working this one in my mind for a long time and now its finally going to emerge. There are really only two basic images in my mind.

I was torn for  long time between these two ideas. Autumn or Spring with the Dogwood.
The Dogwood won out. I do a lot of orange/Autumn and I want a change.

The colours in Spring Dogwood range from cerise to maroon and purples, not a combination I have used often.
A few days ago I started by making birch tree fabric. It was one of our first mild days and the snow was gone and the sun was shining. Why not paint!!

I wanted a very delicate approach because I knew I could add more intensity through thread painting.
So I used a very simple technique: spatter painting

Using black and a muddy orange I "covered" a meter of fabric.
Then I sprayed it with water, and up ended it so the water would run.
Some of the areas are smeared and some are crisp. This is now ready to be sliced into a large number of Birch trees. (I probably have enough material here for several pieces. That would be a bonus.)

This may not look like much now but sliced vertically this material will give me the horizontal patterning found on both the younger and older birch trunks.

So that's ready and my work space is clear.. but I have to go north for the weekend to pick up a quilt that I will be entering the show. So this will simmer a little longer till next week.