Wednesday, 24 May 2017


It was Monday evening and my husband had just come home from work.

ME: Hey darling, come down to the workroom and see what I did for my weekly art practice today.
HIM: Ooo what did you do...did you do the possum?

He looks at it.

HIM: Ohh. Mmmm.  That's different.

He turns toward me.

HIM: I thought you would have done something about the possum.
ME:  Well actually...I did!

He was referring to the little furry visitor he had unearthed in the garden over the weekend. Annoying rodent that it is also VERY cute.

But how did I get from this cute little native critter to that dark & foreboding blob design at the top of this blog post?

I began with a sketch....yes, I'm predictable!
The proportions were wrong & I had limited time, so I...
... used my computer to copy the photo into grey tones & then draw outlines over the top, which I then printed off & traced.

Not content with outlines, I started mapping the different colour zones, much as one would were I wanting to recreate this possum using fabric collage technique.

But I'm attracted to line & I was enjoying these line combinations for themselves, as opposed to what they represent.  There were WAY too many for a 15cm contemporary reverse applique piece in limited time though!

Out came the view finder, ie; a few scraps of paper to both block & frame small sections to highlight a potential composition!
The enlarged composition was interesting, but still too complex.

A few more enlargements & I settled on this.

A palette of colours were chosen and the sewing began.

Cutting back the first layer revealed a delicious shape & my inner minimalist would have been happy to leave it there!  However, I'd made a plan & I was going to stick to it!!

Cutting back the patterned fabric highlighted something that... in my haste... I hadn't taken into consideration.

The pattern print  doesn't go all the way through the fabric!  The underside is dramatically lighter than the top.  This means that when raw edges of cut material are left raw... as they are in this technique... quite often the paler underside shows.  Now this can actually  be used purposefully to create an effect, but it can also look awful.  It certainly wasn't a good look in this scenario, but...HEY...this is an exercise & we live & learn!!

The finished piece could have had some stitch added, but my time was short & I was happy with this curvy abstraction as it is.  It would have been interesting to enlarge & abstract even more.  It was a FUN process & it also distracted me from the dark, wet & cold misery outside!