With all the background stitching to the piece, the small areas with the butterflies bubbled, but not in attractive way, they sank unevenly into the background. I decided to pad each motif with a tiny piece of light quilting batting, cover the back with lightweight cotton fabric and then stitch around each 'bubble' through all layers by hand to make them sit up.
That turned out to be the answer, they now bubble out nicely from the background.
This is a mock up with the matt board from the old frame that I intend to use for this piece.
To liven up the image a little I decided to add a few touches of orange water colour paint, orange being the complimentary of blue. I think that it now looks a lot better, though I'm still not completely done with it!
I'm not quite sure what prompted me to start this piece, except that I already had a frame with a blue border to the matt board and so I thought that I might sew something especially to make use of a spare frame. Well, it wasn't exactly spare, I removed an old art piece from the frame that never worked very well. Here I've scanned an old piece of screen printing that again never worked, and started Photoshopping the image. All the little butterflies are added individually to the background screen print which was originally green and red!
Here I've printed the image onto fabric and with 2 different variegated threads I've sewn random small circles all over the area that wasn't covered by the butterfly 'bubbles'. Not sure what comes next, as I need a focal point, but I don't want to introduce another colour. Thinking........
I have indeed added an insect to the grasses image; the beetle is a digitally reduced print of a stamp that I hand carved some time last year. I felt that the whole picture needed more of a point of focus, particularly when I wanted to use an old frame that had a much smaller open area than the piece of textile work itself.
Here you can see the new size of the finished work, much narrower than it was originally which I am quite happy with.
Here's another solar print that I've been working on for some time. You might remember that a while ago I had the idea of appliqueing some blue silk pieces to this background, but nothing looked quite right, so I have reverted to machine embroidering the small plants below the grasses. I'm thinking of adding an insect, but I'm not totally convinced about the idea!
Still some cleaning up to do here, and I think that I will invest in some new printing ink. What I have is very old and doesn't roll out evenly at all. Some of the carving lines will stay, after all it is a lino-cut and they prove it!
A red crest yes, but what about the eye? Here are some variations that I'm considering, just click on the image to enlarge it.
I found an image of a cockatoo that looked as if it would translate well into a lino-cut. Here is the initial drawing and I'm just beginning to cut the area around his crest.
A bit more outlining, and I've just realised how many feathers there are to work around.
The preliminary carving is almost finished, although there is lot more work to be done removing the background and in between the leaves. I also want to go back into the feathers are make some faint marks on them, just to make them look more like feathers and less like scales!
I've done a quick crayon rubbing on rice paper here just to get some idea of how it might look.
These ancient stone markers are in a small but interesting museum in the town of Visby, on the Swedish Island of Gotland. The interesting thing about the photo of a boat above, is the striking similarity between it and the images of boats seen on monuments in ancient Egypt.
The carvings have worn away with time, but the more important ones have had a bit of paint applied so that the images can be seen. I love all the people in this boat with it's single large sail
The colour of this print isn't quite right, although the original is a blue green shade. Nearly finished! I'm not sure whether to leave the mottled background fabric showing or whether to frame right up against the central panel.
I almost never work on more than one piece at a time, but as these 2 are so similar in subject matter I have been stitching on both. As you can see I have removed the blue silk patches from this one, maybe for ever or maybe they'll return later, who knows.