Search This Blog

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Seagull for SALA

The second panel I purchased for the Guild SALA Exhibition, Aviarius, was a seagull. I really liked the background fabric on which it is printed.

I had several ideas for this panel, but when I visited Victor Harbor with friends in late December and we sat for a while on the top of the Bluff I knew that was where I wanted to place the seagull.

I set about reproducing the back of the seat, using thread left over from the Ahwahnee table topper I made four years ago. There was quite a lot left so I thought I was safe, but inevitably I ran out and was fortunately able to match it exactly while staying near Hampton Court recently.

The seagull went in using stem stitch, in stranded cotton - white and a range of greys and a touch of black.

I then tried to outline the main parts of the scene. it wasn't easy to get the perspective and distance. I needed to enlarge some parts of the scene - to give greater definition to elements like the islands.

I thought the dark green conifer would be easy to embroider. I did vary the dark green thread, and both the shape and the stitch were easy enough, but it was still a little bit solid.

I expected the grass behind the chair to be easy - tiny seed stitches upright, rather than at different angles - but getting the colour right was a challenge. it took me several attempts to get a green that resembled the yellowy-green heading to brown of Australian grass in Summer.

While the background fabric was what suggested the landscape, I still needed to find a way of ensuring we saw water. I did this by straight blue lines.

Finally I needle-felted some clouds and outlined the seagull in black - the definition had been a bit lost against the island behind.

I blocked the finished piece overnight
.All the embroidery had been done in hand, without a hoop, and the heavily embroidered central section was a little tighter than the rest.  Blocking brought it back into line.

I had been giving thought to what I would do with this piece. The shape suggested a zip bag.

I bought a zip, found some blue cotton backing fabric and some oilcloth in my stash. Voila - a bag for keeping suntan cream, mosquito repellant and possibly a hat for the beach.

I printed the photograph on to a post-card sized fabric square as a label..

Once dry, I stitched this to the back - adding a line of feather stitch to cover the fold line I had failed to iron away.

The SALA Exhibition is not until August, so I will need to put this away until then. I've learned quite a lot from this and my other SALA pieces, most of it relating to story, While this seagull piece is a landscape, it is a landscape with association - a narrative. I enjoy playing with different ways of telling stories - and of formatting images to create narrative. These exhibition pieces have allowed me to explore this at some length.

It will be interesting to see where it takes me from here.


margaret said...

such a contented seagull you have created a wonderful scene here and now it is both pretty and practical

Monica said...

How interesting to have been working on this strong reminder of home while you were away! When I see a photo like that with the sunshine and blue skies, I wonder why you would ever leave. :D Oh well, I know change is good sometimes.

Anyway, this turned out really well, and it is so interesting what you are saying about story. It will be interesting to know your feedback from the exhibit!