Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Greenwood Project, Take 2

When my text'art group saw the foreground I had created for my Greenwood project, they expressed concern about the direction it was taking. This resulted in a major re-think for me. I decided to proceed with the building itself, the upper half of the composition.

Greenwood gets the Cityscapes treatment
My technique includes tracing the working drawing onto HeatAway stabilizer, a transparent film, which then serves as a placement guide for the shapes I cut from cloth and fusible web.

The first shape goes onto the sky fabric.
In the photo above, you can see the first shape placed on the sky fabric, with the line drawing acting as a placement guide. When all the shapes are in position, the filmy stabilizer is set aside and a hot iron bonds the shapes to the sky background. Then the stabilizer is repositioned over the collage to serve as a stitching guide.

Building with foreground
Once the building was assembled, I was able to assess whether the foreground worked with the subject. As you can see, the foreground is overpowering the house. In retrospect, I should have completed the assembly of the house before beginning the foreground.

One suggestion (of many) made by my friends was to veil the foreground with coloured tulle to soften its impact. The tulle "knocked back" the foreground, but not enough. So...

A double layer of soft yellow tulle, pinned onto the right side
... back to the dye pots. I used olive, olive mixed with grey, and olive mixed with orange, to get lighter, more muted hues for the "garden" area.

Remember that cotton looks darker when it's wet.
I used the greyed-down colours to strip-piece layers. But the effect was still too strong.

Second foreground with more muted colours.
I decided to reduce the curving effect of the layers and eliminate the blue. Finally, on this third attempt, I felt the foreground was subordinate to the subject of the Greenwood house.

brown and blue eliminated, curves minimized
I was able to suggest the flagstone path, but otherwise tried to keep the transitions from one layer to the next very smooth.

Though at this point I was running low on printed fabric of a suitable colour, I had some cream-coloured cotton with text printed on it. I threw some of that into the dye vat to harmonize with the other layers. As well,  I stamped sepia paint onto green-dyed cotton to suggest script for another layer. My intention is that these fabrics will reference the layers of history in Greenwood's past.

I felt better after talking to some of the other artists participating in this project. Some of them have also been struggling, and admitted to two or three drafts before settling on a final approach.

Next instalment: adding a tree or two, stitching a line drawing on the house, quilting the foreground, and more. Watch this space!

1 comment:

Dianne Robinson said...

It's good to see your progression and how you re-evaluated as you went along.