And here is a close up:
Friday, 11 January 2013
"Tree of Life"
This little piece isn't actually a part of the archives; I finished it today!
I’m pleased to have completed my fifth tree piece this year. Creating a series wasn’t something I started out to do, but I’m sure enjoying the process and look forward to a few more. From the first piece “Walk a Mile in His Shoes”, I loved working on the dimensionality and I guess I was easily inspired to try another, and another. Trees are a perfect fit because my studio looks out over the forest, with a couple of giant trunks just inches away from my window.
For my “Tree of Life” I wanted to show how an old Douglas fir tree supports a wide variety of other species. There is the bird that just flew away, the spider beginning its web, the dripping moisture from the ever present misty rain. I’ve tried to recreate the fractured bark growing with many types of lichen and moss. When the light hits the branch outside my window, it’s not brown at all, but various shades of gold, green, grey, blue, red, and purple.
I’m also trying to create more movement in my work, so I made the swirling mist and the drips of water.
I started with a piece of hand dyed background. My, I fussed over that. And now, I don’t really think it matters! The misty trees are cut from a piece of sheer using a hot stencil cutter. They are stitched onto the background. The tree branch is made from upholstery fabric overlaid with yarn, fabrics, threads, sheers and heavy stitching using cotton thread. I subjected it to the heat gun until it shrivelled and the sheers melted. It has batting underneath and is zigzagged using invisible thread to the backing. The quilting was done using polyester embroidery thread.
The branch is then painted with oilstick and dried for a couple of days. There are french knots to show the fruiting bodies of one crusty type of lichen. The patch of moss on the left is thread embroidered onto soluble stabilizer, as is the branch-like lichen, and the fir needles. (Oh dear, I need to get the lichen book out…you know there are 15,000 – 20,000 species worldwide. They are often classified by type: and I remember it this way; dusty, crusty, leafy, branchy, and hairy.)
The leafy lichen is made using housewrap, the top is dyed green, the back is coloured with a sharpie marker and then heat shrunk. The hairy lichen is a piece of dyed cheesecloth. The spider is made from two beads and some black floss. The web is some fine grey polyester embroidery thread.
I hope you enjoy – I sure had some fun making it!
And here is a close up: