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Monday, 14 January 2013

Off to the Framer!

I just completed this final commission from last year.  It's based on 'Aglow at Grasswood' which was sold last month.  A woman asked to me make another version of this for her to purchase.  I never did post much about the first one as I failed to take a good photo of it before it was off to the framer.  Before I began this commission, I took a good look through the source photographs I took from that day.  It was the evening after a major Tornado warning was eventually lifted.  I knew that black sky would crack open and pour sunshine over the fields, so I zipped down to my favorite spot on Grasswood Road to wait for that moment.

directly to the south...

to the left

to the right

As I looked closer at some of the photos, I noticed just how wet those fields were!  I love the water in this one, and so I decided to incorporate a bit of that spring flooding into the new piece.

THIS was the one I wanted!  I liked the orangy-reds and browns in it too, though I liked the original sky & cattails from the first one.  Off I went...

painting a new sky

I put it all together onto a good stabilizer and away I went...  After a couple of afternoons of free machine stitching the field, trees, and the outline of the heavy storm clouds, I was ready to begin hand stitching.  I filled in some deeper tones and highlights into the grasses.  I love stitching grass.  LOVE.  I darkened the edges around the flooded parts of the field.  I stitched out some French Knots to serve as the bumpy dried cattail puffs that were left on the stalks from the year before.


Aglow II, 2013 Commission for M.

Seriously - I knocked my socks off myself!  I LOVE this!  Standing back to look at this, I get all teared up.  It takes my breath away.  I still can't believe I did this.   I must sound completely ridiculous.  (It's not wrong to be excited by your own work, right?)  I am jumping up and down over this.  I often go through the unfinished, 'ugly phase' in disbelief that I can pull it off.  Then I pick up a hand stitching needle and the magic begins.  I am so proud of this piece!  I hope that 'M' loves it too.  #1 - this is only possible with a gazillion shades of all the right greens.  I cannot stress that enough.  #2 - never be afraid of hand stitching.  Quilts... abstract fibre art... threadpainting... hand embroidery always manages to take the 'beauty' factor up a notch. 

Tomorrow, I'm off to the framer so she can work her magic. ; )


Cat Palmer said...

What a beautiful piece. . . Stunning. Thank you for showing your work and the hints along the way.

Both you and Dahn have inspired me to try my hand at thread painting and co-incidentally I am just off to buy some of the gazillion shades of green thread. Thanks so much for your blog.

Dahn said...

Of my gosh--this is just beautiful! I am in awe of your talent.. and this sky is incredible. Incredible!!!!
Very well done Monika. :-)

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Beautifully done Monika, there is a real depth of colours and textures in this one, dramatic and captivating.

HollyM said...

I think it is the most wonderful thing that it thrills you! I stopped doing watercolor because I was rarely happy with the results. Fiber art thrills me though and that's how it should be
It is a beautiful piece!

liniecat said...

Its so striking and thats a lucky new owner!!

B J Elder said...

Just amazing and the color in this one is fabulous. I need to increase my thread 'stash' as you are so right about needing a large variety of hues! The new owner will absolutely LOVE this one, I am sure.

Molly said...

it is so beautiful, so full of 'prairie time' that i am sad that i am not the 'M' for whom it was made!

Nicki said...

It really is a stunning piece Monika. Congratulations. And enjoy that feeling of elation! It is wonderful when it happens.

Kit Lang said...

I said it last night and I'll say it again - this is a stunning work of art. You're right to have knocked your own socks off - we all feel the same way!

(And yes, I've felt that way once or twice about my own work.) :)

PrairiePeasant said...

It's been said above, but so true--simply stunning! Well done!

Patti said...

I think it's really important to get excited about your work - at least from time to time, lol! Otherwise, why do it? This is beautiful Monika. It's really shows the power of nature on the prairies. Lucky "M"!

Juanita said...

I go through the same feelings when I work on a new piece and I love it when it turns out. You sure do have the right to love your own work. Those grasses, all that lovely thread work....beautiful!

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