Sunday, October 05, 2008

Westport Island Series and TAST

(Click on image to enlarge.)
Above: Westport Island Series: Sky Meets Sea. Approx. 12" x 9". Polyester velvet shapes on acrylic felt with free motion machine and hand embroidery. Melting.

I've started a series of studies based on my impressions of nature here on Westport Island, Maine. There's so much to see, feel, and absorb; and I'm constantly remembering the changing seasons from my youth. In South Carolina there really aren't four distinct times of the year. Autumn doesn't last very long and doesn't have the same shifting temperatures, decay, hibernation, and overall sensations as it does here in the northern part of the United States. The night sky is a Milky Way of stars....seldom seen outside my downtown home. Also, I've never had the time to simply enjoy a fall landscape or fog gathering in the early morning.

(Click on image to enlarge.)
Above: Westport Island Series: Maple. Approximately 12" x 9". Polyester velvet on acrylic felt with hand and free motion embroidery. Melting.

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Above: Westport Island Series: Seaweed. Approximately 12" x 9". Decorative "moon crater" paper on acrylic felt with painted tyvek, assorted hand stitching, background machine embroidery, and real seaweed. Detail below.

Thus, each new piece reflects on the texture, color, and unique features of the environment around the MacNamara Foundation. I've adopted my "In Box" techniques for some of the pieces but have expanded the approaches as needed. I've already finished Seashells (on an embellished ground of wool, chiffon, millnery netting, and silk fibers) and have started Milky Way.

(Click on image to enlarge.)
Above: Detail from the first piece in this series. I posted a full view earlier. This is Westport Island Series: Acorn Caps. Polyester velvet on acrylic felt with free motion machine embroidery and hand stitching, acorn caps, and beads. Melting.

I've got plans for several other works....including something for the porcupine quills. There might be a beaver in my future too as there's more roadkill just begging for art options. One of the artists here has already clipped some fur for experimental paint brushes. I've been thinking all day about how beaver fur might embellish....but I've never actually seen a beaver (dead or alive) up close and personal!

Below: Westport Island Series: Autumn Elm. Approximately 12" x 9". Polyester velvet on acrylic felt. Free motion machine embroidery and hand stitching. Melting.

Okay, I'm behind on my TAST (Take a Stitch Tuesday) Challenge but I'm trying to catch up. Here's my examples of COUCHING and the KNOTTED CRETAN STITCH. Please notice that there are a few porcupine quills on the couching example. Anyone who's slightly familiar with my work knows I LOVE COUCHING. The knotted cretan stitch does not engender such enthusiasm but it is completed!

(Above: Couching...including a turkey feather from my parents' home outside Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania and eight porcupine quills from here in Maine. Click on images to enlarge. Below: Knotted Cretan Stitch.)


Doreen G said...

I love your Westport Island series Susan and the Tast samples are beautiful as usual.
Ebony is back working on her quilt again--I was starting to doubt it would ever eventuate.

lindacreates said...

I came across your blog on another blog and have so enjoyed your Westport Island Series. Your work is fabulous and what a beautiful environment to work in. I am in awe of your melted and handstitched work. Enjoy the remaining time and I look forward to more. Loved the tattoed lady too.

Jane said...

I found these pieces so interesting to look at, beautiful

Julie said...

Lovely work Susan. I am intrigued by the seaweed - I did wonder myself whether you could include real seaweed in a piece. Now I know!

IDESIGN said...

Susan--The enlarged view of the Seaweed is luscious! What wonderful stuff you are creating there!!--I also love the couched quills--fabulous textures!!
Hope you got to watch the game--it was a good one. We tried to grab Steve, but he missed my email...
Can't wait to see your Roadkill Series ;)


sharon young said...

I love your couching sample, Susan, and the knotted Cretan stitch, it has bags of possibility and you've done it beautifully.
Lovely idea for a project too and your samples for this are splendid, very original approach.

Wanda said...

What a wonderful series! I absolutely love the pieces...all of them! They remind me of the geodes. Your TAST pieces are so great and I love couching too! I think the Maine experience as opened many doors to ideas, feelings and wonder. I am so happy you are experiencing everything. I remember your thesis and how you needed roadkill for the brushes. You are about the easiest person to get presents for...your delight in anything from nature...and awesome. I love you and miss you!

arlee said...

Holey moley, woman, you are on FIRE! The experience and time you are savouring is obvious and awesome in your latest work. FABULOUS!!!
WISH i had this kind of time and focus available!!!!
The Acorn Caps are definitely a fave!