Painterly Patches – week 6

The Work in Progress

We are now halfway through the Painterly Patches course at the UCAN Centre in Farnworth and my enjoyment and enthusiasm keeps building. I think the reason I am so enjoying it is because I am not struggling to find ideas or inspiration. Usually on a course most of my time is spent feeling frustrated or annoyed because I can’t think of what to do, or, upset at not being able to put my thoughts and ideas into practice. Those feelings simply have no place on this course as my ideas have flowed easily. I was concerned, at the beginning, as my work on paper wasn’t quite as free as I thought it should be, but I have realised that what is appearing is coming from my emotions.

We have all progressed to the stage of stitching our pieces to embellish them. Having decided to create four panels, I realise that I have a sizeable amount of stitching to do to complete my project. I have, therefore, been doing some of the stitching at home.

My first stitched panel


 I began by stitching the panel above. The first embellishment I decided upon was to do a running stitch along the entire length of the line in a golden yellow. When I had completed that running stitch I realised that I probably would not add any further stitches. I like the mix of colours with the continuous line – the simple stitches with all the various colours.

Ground detail on second pictorial panel

After completing the first panel I could not decide how to embellish either of the two text panels. I didn’t want to “overthink” it, so moved, instead, to the second pictorial panel.

I began by highlighting the ground in the picture. I had used quite a few colours when drawing that area, some of which may seem unusual but just felt right when I chose them. To continue that idea, I decided to use two strands of embroidery floss, one each of two colours. You can see in the picture above that I have used some fairly unexpected colours: pink, turquoise, blue plus more usual choices of brown and grey. My inspiration for using these colours came from a memory of our landing at Brown Bluff in Antarctica, where I saw pink in amongst the browns, yellows and creams of the rocks. I think that one moment has had more effect on my perception and use of colour than any other.

Stitch detail on the edge of the chasm


I continued to use two colours together when stitching the edge of the chasm. Although I had used black to draw the crack, I felt that using solely black thread would create too stark an impression.

The bolt of lightning


The shades I have used on the bolt of lightning range from mid blue through grey to black. I have stitched quite heavily on the lightning bolt as it needed to have impact.

My embroidery threads

My next step is to select colours for the remainder of that panel. Any ideas?

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