Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Seasonal Leaves ... for my solo show at CITY ART!

 (Above:  Seasonal Leaves, a series of four pieces.  From left to right, Summer, Spring, Autumn, and Winter.  Each piece is roughly 27" x 15".  Each has been stitched to acid-free mat board and placed in a linen liner.  The photo was taken before the linen liner was put into a frame with glass ... to avoid unnecessary flare.  The final, framed dimensions are 33" x 21".  Click on any image in this blog post to enlarge.)

It's official!  I'm having a solo show at City Art in Columbia's downtown "Vista" area, the arts and cultural district!  More exciting is the fact that the opening is scheduled on November 17th during "Vista Lights, the annual holiday arts event.  City Art has a gigantic space for solo shows.  This is a perfect opportunity for me to act on ideas for new work ... bigger, using a limited palette, and exploring a range of metallic finishes that I've only dreamed about doing.  To celebrate, I made the first works in this vein: Seasonal Leaves.

 (Above:  Summer.  Scroll down for "in progress" photos of this piece.)

These four pieces are made using the same materials and techniques as I employ for my "In Box" series, but there are a couple of major departures.  (My original techniques can be found on a free, on-line tutorial.)  First, I'm eliminating any previously painted Wonder Under.  I'm using this product straight from the bolt. Second, I'm limiting the color palette to hues reflecting each season and increasing the amount of metallic foiling. Third, I'm only stitching leaf motifs. Finally, I'm not using my soldering irons to melt holes into the individual boxes. 

 (Above:  Autumn.)

Several years ago, I couldn't have made these works.  I didn't have access to polyester velvets in a wide range of colors.  I also didn't have as many metallic foils as I do now.  Plus, I didn't have confidence in my own, self-guided machine embroidery skills to draw all the leaves.

 (Above:  Winter.)

Time changes ... just like the seasons.  After years of practice using my own techniques, I am filled with new ideas to explore.  The upcoming solo show gives me the excuse to act on all these daydreams.  I'm really pleased with how the first idea has unfolded.

 (Above: Spring.)

I am to deliver the work directly after the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show in November.  What an exciting time November will be!

 (Above: Detail of Spring ... showing my threaded needle as I mount the artwork to mat board by stitching.)

Each piece is stitched to a piece of acid-free mat board.  In some of these images the mat board looks "pink".  It isn't.  It's called Sea Mist ... a great grey that looks excellent with both warm and cool tones.  Below are several photos of Summer in progress.

 (Above:  The first layer of Summer with plenty of metallic foiling.)

It is difficult to get a good photo of the metallic foils.  I work under a bank of lights.  The foil is highly reflective.

 (Above:  Detail of the first layer of Summer with metallic foiling.)

I used copper, gold, fuchsia, and purple on Summer.  Autumn had copper, gold, green, and red. Winter had silver and several shades of blue.  Spring included gold, greens, and pinks.  I am now getting my metallic foil from General Roll Leaf.  Opening my first order felt like Christmas!

 (Above:  Detail of Summer, in progress.)

Much of the foil is covered by the additional layers ... but ... they still shine through beautifully!

 (Above:  Summer, almost ready to stitch!)

At this stage, I added strips of chiffon scarves ... selecting the appropriate seasonal colors for each piece.  Then I stitched.  Finally, I melted the boxes apart using my industrial heat gun.  This is a perfect variation on my own theme!  Can't wait until November to show the results off.

I am linking this post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber arts.


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PJ Howard said...

I have always loved your InBox series, but these are especially wonderful! I read your blog entries regularly and continue to be amazed with the creativity and VOLUME of your output! Stay well & productive.....

Sandy said...

I love these. I especially love the Spring and Winter ones. They are more of a peaceful colour palette I am drawn to. So, I think you will find a new set of clients!
Love the leaf aspect, too. Machine stitching is basically sketching. I actually am more confident to sketch with a machine than a pen/pencil!
Hope it goes very well.

Vera Holmgren said...

They are all so beautiful!

Unknown said...

Must go and see this. They are beautiful!

Wanda said...

I believe I commented on these on facebook but they are SO WORTH another comment!! These blow me away! Awesome! Beautiful!

barblichtman said...

Such beautiful work...did you make up the patterns for the leaves on paper first? How do you learn free arm you take off the presser foot?