Melanie MacNeil, a blogger I follow, had this to say the other day:
“…it’s hard to know where to start. I have lists of things done and lists of things doing and lists of things to do! I have a mess in my studio, the product of having several projects going at the same time. What should I do first? What should I write about first?….
It’s like that with the textile art pieces — where to start…in this case with an analysis of the photo and deciding what to include and what to leave out, how close a representation / how abstracted…then sketching the image outlines and proportions on the muslin, choosing fabrics (buying more when you don’t have exactly the right print for the job like I did yesterday), cutting pieces to fill the spaces, adding fusible web to the back and pressing them to the muslin using the underlying sketch as a guide…start stitching at the horizon to make sure those first lines of thread painting are horizontal, next moving more freely to give the stitching some flow.
That’s as far as I got today. I didn’t add a fusible interfacing to the back of the muslin – that was intentional, but I can see already the little stitching I’ve done is tightening the fabric so the first thing when I resume will be to add a medium weight woven interfacing to the back of the muslin to provide some stability to the panel.
The women is not fused to the panel – adding her is the final step, but I wanted to see how my proportions were beginning to shape up and I think I’m in the ballpark. She’s a bit darker than I’d like but I will lighten her with the thread I use when I add detail to her. Also where she’s standing behind the windows of the deck is shaded and that will help with her colour tones.
So I’ve started….I have a running list in my head of how to proceed – I’ll carry on thread painting the water, then the sky (wouldn’t you know I gave away my spool of white/aqua variegated rayon embroidery thread — I’ll have to use some of both colours). Still haven’t worked out how I will construct the window frames — they were painted white but appear a rather dark grey/almost black with whitish highlights where the light hits the edges, they’re graduated top to bottom so I will need to use a lighter grey and create the ombre with crayon or markers or both. I’m going to have to play a bit with making the railing appear rounded at the top – single rows of thread in increasingly darker colour, perhaps?
The piece is underway. It will start to move along now.