Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Glimpse of Spring- Beverly

Glimpse of Spring, 9 X 12
Fabric applied to pre-stretched canvas with gel medium, Shiva paintstiks, thread and button embellishment

First, can I just say I'm glad this month is over???

I knew it was going to be a challenge to get this month done with my work and travel schedule.  I actually did most of this in a two day workshop with Laura Cater-Woods.  I cut and applied fabric to the canvas while she talked about nurturing your creative side, and finding ways to do it in the midst of all the "have-to's" of life.  I also learned some of her techniques, and she is a font of information about the numerous gel mediums out there.  I'd highly recommend her as a teacher.

I wanted to depict the butterfly like I just caught a glimpse of him out of the corner of my eye.  A little look, and poof, he's gone.  Those spiky flowers fascinated me too- so I had to have some of them in this.  The buttons seemed a nice touch.

I learned a lot about using the gel mediums- it's not as easy as one might think.  And I miss the texture that stitching lends to fiber art.  Without it, this looks one dimensional to me.  I'll probably try this again, but it will never replace needle and thread.


  1. I think it is a great result. I am curious to know if you had any color shifts in the fabric from using the gel medium on them-did they darken at all?

    I do know what you mean about the tactile quality and the dimensionality that stitching provides. Hard to beat it. I will say though that your different values along with the overlapping of shapes provide a nice depth to the piece. Graceful is a word that springs to mind too.

  2. Is the finished piece too stiff for additional detail stitching? I am asking because I would like to come up with an idea for adhering my fabric scraps to a background. Right now I am using Elmer's Glue along the edges. The embroidery machine is very powerful and doesn't have a problem stitching through heavy layers so I may try the gel medium too.

    One thought might be to stitch the details before you adhered to the background; as in the butterfly wing could have been stitched and then added.

    It's a pleasant effect and worth exploring more. Very woodsy!

  3. Glad to hear you enjoyed the class and if this is your first attempt, you did very well with a new technique. I especially think your choice of greens really showed light and shadow well.

  4. Oh, this is another wonderful interpretation of the butterfly! I love the way he is there and not there at the same time.

  5. I think it's pretty intriquing as a medium, and I think the design and colors (those luscious greens!!) of the piece overall worked beautifully. I know we can't see/feel the texture, but still, design-wise, I'd say you hit a winner.

  6. Your "glimpse" is an intriguing point of view. The choice of fabrics in this collage work wonderfully well. Are the fabrics wrapped around the edge of the frame? The detail of the buttons and partial dragonfly are a smile. It's all delightful!

  7. I like the off-center view of the butterfly and the beautiful greens in the background.

    Libby's point about adding detail before applying with the gel medium is interesting. You can use a wash away stabilizer when stitching on a single layer of fabric; then when you wash it the stitching and texture remains. That might give an interesting effect.

  8. I like the idea of creating the wing, stitching it, and then adhering it to the canvas- I will have to try that. LCW uses gel medium on a lot of her pieces after stitching- although they were floated on canvas, not adhered with the gel medium like I did. Yes, I wrapped the fabric around the side of the canvas, all the way around to the back- so I can hang it without a frame.

    I didn't notice much color shift in the commercial fabrics. What I did learn is that I need to use hotter water to wash out my hand-dyes, I did get some bleeding from them.

    Thanks for all the kind words. This entire year is turning out to be a learning experience!

  9. I really like the glimpse placement of the butterfly! Wonderful color choices! I too wondered about the gel mediums. Have not tried my hand at that. This is a wonderful and lush interpretation!

  10. OH I wanted to say how much I liked the addition of the buttons for the flowers!! Really looks good!

  11. Great colors and I really like the offset placement of the butterfly's wing. I've been curious about the gel medium collage technique - your piece might just encourage me to give it a try. Nicely done!


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