Saturday, 15 April 2017

Black, White and red and Stitch

I've been playing around with the idea of stitching on top of the hedge images I've posted on several occasions over the last two months. For this experiment, I settled on using parts of the image in the simple accordion fold book shown here. I'm hoping eventually to achieve a pair of pieces to be hung one above the other and using the complete versions of both the positive and inverted images in that book, though time will tell.

Two experimental versions have followed in my evening stitching time. Both are shown below, very much as work in progress. On each, I've kept the stitches simple, using only a basic satin stitch for the trunks of the trees and small single-wound French knots to suggest leaves. In each case, I've been working on the placing and density of the stitching as I don't want to lose the original images by covering them in stitch.


The first and, I think, so far the most successful, shows a black image on a white ground with red stitching in No. 12 pearl cotton to pick out some of the individual trees. I've played with the position of intense stitching and which areas to leave completely unstitched. I don't yet feel I have this right but this trial has been most useful.

The inverted image, white on a black ground, has seemed much more difficult so I've worked several stitching alternatives on the same piece.


Red stitching appears to jump forward too much and white stitching disappears, leaving only a vague feeling of texture when viewed from a distance, even when I used No. 8 pearl cotton. Another alternative I tried was to use a variegated black / grey / white thread but again this gives much less impact than in the first piece above.

I don't yet feel the two pieces would work well together. I'm still considering alternatives as I work further on them both.


16 comments:

  1. The top image is wonderfully dramatic. You have kept the impact of the black hedge, and added to it with the red.
    I wonder if with the bottom image if the reverse process would work - the stitching (not so 3D with French knots) done first, and then a kind of printing - perhaps gum Arabic transfer of the hedge image on top?
    These experiments are quite something. I wouldn't worry too much about presentation - often an initial idea of presentation develops and changes in the process just as much as the work itself does in the making. Keep having fun.

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    1. Very many thanks for your comment, Olga.
      Your suggestion of a reverse process for the second image is very interesting - something to think about for the future, perhaps. I wonder whether my printer would print on a lightly stitched surface ... dare I try it ...??!!
      Meanwhile, I will stitch the full version of the first image and think about the second. Thinking time is often most productive.

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  2. quand je regarde cette magnifique broderie...j'ai mes mains inactives en vacances qui me démangent :)) bises

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    1. Thank you, Sharron. A very Happy Easter to you!

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  4. I love the first piece. xx

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    1. It's my favourite too - so far. I know where I'm going with it whereas the second needs further thought, which is a strange thing because when I started both these pieces, I thought the second would come more easily.

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  5. Margaret, have you seen the current exhibition of Scottish artists at the New Brewery Arts gallery in Cirencester? An interesting show, including two who use print and stitch: Deborah Campbell http://www.deborahcampbell.com/
    and Gail Kelly http://www.alganarts.com/

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    1. How kind of you to think of me, Olga. The answer is, not yet. I was aware that the Spring Fling exhibition was coming to BA and that it would feature Scottish artists but have so far been too busy to go into Cirencester and do it justice. Now that you've reminded me, I will try and round up my gallery going friend and go this week. The work of both Gail Kelly and Deborah Campbell looks most interesting. Thank you for the links.

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  6. I'm quite impressed with the first piece (the use of red over the black is so striking), and share your concern with covering up the original printed image too much with the stitching. This is always on my mind when I have stamped something, for instance, thinking to myself what was the point of getting out the paints and stamps if the resulting image or details of the image get covered up with thread.

    It's rather odd then that the negative image poses such problems. You are right in that the red thread does not interact in the same way as it does on the positive image and I'm not sure what the answer is. Perhaps mere outline of the white areas with a few small knots in the leaf area would work better. Yes, more experimenting is in order!

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    1. Thank you for your comment, Sheila ... I've just found it in my awaiting moderation box! I've now worked more on the tricky negative image sample and found an answer of a sort, though it's still not as effective as the positive image. I think it's something to do with the way the red reacts with the black rather than the white.

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  7. I find these pieces absolutely stunning! I love the contrast!

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    1. Very many thanks, Kim. Good to hear from you. I'm now working on the larger and more complete image and this preparation has been most helpful!

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