Today is it, the last day of my Saskatchewan Arts Board grant period. Yesterday I handed in my final report and a CD full of 16 images of new work, all hand stitched with yarn. Some of my work was more representational, some were impressionistic, some were abstract. I started out with a few really great pieces, then made some really not-so-great pieces that I won't show you, and then finally ended with work I am extremely proud of. I guess that's normal. You can't force it, right? You've seen most of my work (anything hand stitched with yarn since January) but I have this one I'd like to show you. Some times I really like it. Sometimes I don't. It's inspired by a row of rocks at Sutherland Beach, an off-leash park with trails right in the city by the river. I often go there with Buddy.
Now, this photo was taken after the art was started, to show you the spot where Buddy and I hike. The art was started in my studio with just a very vivid memory of some early morning walks. In my mind, there must have been a load of lovely flowers. I laughed when I went back and realized there isn't much more than green and white here. Oh well! In the morning with my 'best friend', maybe I just feel a lot more colour.
Let's just go with that.
Here is how I started this particular one, placing felt and chopped yarns onto a felt sheet background. Image this - I needle felted with a machine from Margot and nothing broke! Woohoo - I guess that's a small miracle indeed. I have struggled with felting and decided many times to give up. hmmm... there's something about this Pfaff that works really well for me.
Above is me building up the background. I'm not quite at the 'ugly phase' where I want to toss the whole thing. No. That comes after a couple long afternoons of handwork. haha. At least I recognize it when it happens and I know to push past it.
The top of the piece is the background. The rocks are pieces of hand dyed felt I got years ago from Meinke Toy. They are fabulous for rocks don't you think? I felted them in, along with all the bits of yarns. Then I began to stitch.
I stitched and stitched. And I stitched some more. This was a huge process. I started it a few days before the Saskatoon Ex demo night. That's when I began the pink flowers.
I personally love the pink. There's some glistening purples in there too that look wet. The choppy grey along the bottom was to be the path. The rocks sit on a bit of a ledge, so I made the ground that would be more vertical have a deeper shade to it. I've never the face of a slope like that so I'm not sure you can understand it without the original photo.
I stitched and stitched and did more and more stitching. Some parts are still worked less than others, but I feel it's done. Here it is - from my morning walk with Buddy the Border Collie.
|8x15 inches, hand stitched|
I wish you could see it as big as it really is! It's 8x15 inches. I could chop it in half and have a couple 8x6's. yes/no? One reason I like this embroidery is because it has my feelings in it. It has the colours that express my joy and wonder and happiness from when I'm out with him. This is good. I feel like I was really able to express emotion in my work. I did it!
So tell me: if you know the park and paths well, this is the spot where we sometimes turn off the main road loop, climb the little ledge, and cross over through a bit of an open field on a well work foot path. See the golds at the top right? that's the field you step up into. If you know where am thinking about, do you feel the way my picture feels when you are there? I'm curious. I would love to hear from you! : )
Again, thank you to the Saskatchewan Arts Board for supporting me to get to this point. It's a good one! Thank you also to Margot Lindsay for the use of the felting machine and the beautiful yarns of green, pink, and cream. : )