Wednesday, 15 February 2017


On Monday morning my facebook feed included a youtube clip of Annie & Lennox & David Bowie singing Queen's 'Under Pressure' song.  Let's just say...PERFECT soundtrack for my day!!  I needed to finish an art piece, make sure it was dry (because I was using paint), stretch it over a canvas & attach appropriate hardware, because it was due to be delivered to the Royal South Australian Society Of Arts the next morning for an upcoming exhibition.

This whole piece had been a somewhat last-minute full-on go-for-it artwork, as I had only started it the week before, which is when I realised that the delivery date was THIS week! Honestly, the weeks whizz past so quickly I often get confused as to which day it is!!

The exhibition is entitled 'Winds OF Change'. I LOVED that as an exhibition title & I wanted to include something new in it.

Contemporary reverse applique is very labour intensive & generally takes me a lot of pre-planning time as well.  So WHAT was I going to produce in less than a week, suiting the theme & of appropriate quality for a Fellow of the RSASA to submit for exhibition????

I decided to revisit an old friend.  If you follow me on facebook, you will know that a few months ago, I completed the above piece as a part of my weekly art project.  It was inspired by my love of leaf shadows on tree bark & one of our trees was going through a particularly colourful bark transformation at the time, so I HAD to record it!  I have been ruminating for quite some time, whether to try a larger variation of the piece, which, as it happens, I had particularly enjoyed doing.

Without too much over thinking, I decided to... just go for it!

I hurriedly printed off some of the process photos from my earlier project, as a guide source, and photos of my tree as another colour guide.

With an extremely quick felt pen sketch & an equally quick sort-of plan, I began.

This particular style of work is very instinctive.  After choosing my colour palette of fabrics, I spent a LOT of time making decisions about blocking spaces with colour 'sandwiches'.  This means I wasn't just sewing on one layer of fabric on at a time & cutting back (as it may appear to be when you see the photos), but each sandwich contained 2 -4 layers & each layer was well thought out insitu!

Enough talking, let me show you the way it progressed...

As if the deciding, sewing and cutting back weren't enough to cope with, I was also doing this in my workroom during a heatwave & without air-conditioning!  It was definitely messing with my mind at times!!

 Once I'd reached this point, I needed to work out where to put the leaves!

The white paper just wasn't working for me, so as an aid to visualizing how it would all look...I coloured the leaves in, before playing with placement options again!

During the process I had added & subtracted various leaves & changed a few positions. 

FINALLY...I made a decision & transferred my leaf design onto freezer paper for the stencil.

During this process I had to come to terms with the fact that this could be one big (50cm square) disaster!

But it wasn't!

It is not perfect & I certainly wouldn't do a few things the same way again, BUT...I love it!

 This is 'Leaf Shadows On Tree Bark' and it has made me one happy little artist! Because I usually do so much pre-planning & thinking, trusting my instincts & trusting myself are not areas that I am very confident in!  After this, I just want to try doing more of this style of work. Woooohooo!