Tuesday, 27 June 2017


Okay, I must admit that cyclamens do not grow in my garden!
I've tried growing them, but they haven't managed to last very long.  
Because I LOVE cyclamens (especially red ones), each year I treat myself to at least one pot of them.  Therefore, whilst they may not technically be in my garden, they are, in a broader sense, an annual 'garden' experience for me!

I was hungry for a lovely deep red one when I came across this beauty & decided to bring it home.

From the several photos I took of it (with my rapidly ailing camera!), I chose this image to work from.
Off to the workroom I went...Hi Ho Hi ho it's off to work I go...!

Because I have got into a pattern of whipping out the copic pens the minute I sit down to start exploring, this time I decided to shake things up a bit &  to explore with paint from the outset.  My first little sketch (top left) really pleased me, & the seed of seeing how I could translate this into a stitched piece began to grow.

My final little painted sketch, was the one I decided to work from.  I liked the soft brown with the pinks & reds & just hoped that I could find the right colours in my fabric stash!

This was the closest I could get.

There were a couple of ways that I could have tackled this design.  I could have had the white fabric as a lower layer, & use the deepest reddy purple as my top layer before cutting my way down.  OR I could do what I chose to do...have the white as the top layer.  The technical issue with using white fabrics on top of rich colours, is that the under colours show through & muddy the white.  The way to fix this is to line the white fabric, or give it a layer of paint afterwards.  I didn't do either, because time was short & this is an exercise!  Nevertheless....it was important to stop, think & acknowledge that if this were a real art-piece-making session, I would need to take the time to do that!

I drew on my cutting lines & you will notice that I drew on far more than just around the stitched lines! This is because I was about to do this....

...cut away to the background & keep the positive shape in tact for all the layers.  This is because I was about to do something else outside of my usual practice!

I carefully cut back all the 'petal' layers to the base pink, at the same time!  What I now wanted to do, was build those layers back up to cut back, one at a time.  I wanted to reverse applique before appliquing to reverse applique again!  Phew....confusing!!!

I had 4 additional colour layers for the petals.  This is how they built up...and cut back!!

This is my final result & although I am a bit frustrated that I didn't get a more accurate length into my flowers, I am very happy with the colour choices & method I used to achieve that painterly look.  It is also a shame that there wasn't a softer brown in my stash, but as I keep reminding myself....this is an exercise!

Speaking of which, I am respecting even more now, the value of producing at least one small sample when about to launch into a body of new work.  It is something I have tended to do as a matter of course for my bigger pieces, but this process is so fabulous for identifying potential glitches that I am more enthusiastic now about investing the time into that preliminary exploration.  I hope it is inspiring you as well!

1 comment:

  1. I also love cyclamen. Hard flowers to interpret. Love seeing your process Joy. Love your work.