Friday, July 20, 2018

Home On The Range

"Out On The Range", mixed media textile collage

Colorplay. An idle mental exercise of what might go with a terrifically deep rust upholstery fabric I'd been hanging onto to it for longer than I can remember. I knew its sturdiness would come in handy as a background "canvas" for... something Westernish. Hence the horse. Then the perfect contrast came to me - cool blues, turquoise maybe. And the scrap bag yielded this nugget of a print.

"Out On The Range", mixed media textile collage, detail-a

I'd been wanting to play around with stitching a particular shape on top of a formless fabric scrap instead of fussing with a tight, refined applique. That looseness of having the colors extend beyond the lines - think what you're not supposed to do in a coloring book - appealed to me.

Got a nice conversation going when I introduced some lavender and added more blue in the form of sparkly organza.  Needing more space to fool around, I decided to expand with a big chunk of pale peach wool felt. (Remember how this was the only "flesh" tone in crayon boxes of yore?)

"Out On The Range", mixed media textile collage, detail-b

Then it was time to go tactile, and that meant beads, button, and embroidery. Another sun! The circle motif speaks to me - complete, stable yet full of dynamic potential (e.g. sun rays). So many ways to suggest that energy, and it gives me an excuse to dawdle longer with needle and thread.

Another technique I'm playing with is mixing fancier with plain embroidery stitches. I am fascinated with how an over and under here and a twist there can render an elaborate line for the eye to follow and guess at. Thread play in general stakes out a bigger space than it actually occupies.

"Out On The Range", mixed media textile collage, detail-c

"Out On The Range" comes mounted on a 5" x 7" canvas-y feeling dry-brushed cotton, and is available in my Etsy shop:

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