a bit faster

Things are humming along on this home portrait. I think that I am pretty done with the hand stitching. I will put it aside and let my eyes rest (and take a road trip to Quilt National) and when I came back, I'll know for sure whether to add more stitching or start trimming and finishing. 

Here are a few close ups on some of the hand stitching. I feel reluctant giving a full view now... but soon! soon!
shadow
walkway
steps
a bit of everything

slow

Now that I have reached the hand-stitching stage of the home portrait I have slowed down quite a bit. This the meditative, contemplative stage of the design.
choosing
After trimming away the excess tulle and dryer sheets, I pulled out my hand-stitching thread options and auditioned them. This is just the beginning of the thread choice process, I frequently change my mind as I get going and the artwork demands something different.
roof line
window
bushes
 By the end of the week this piece should look quite different!

designing...

Things are moving swiftly on my commission challenge. When I fully wrap my head around an idea, I tend to make decisions quickly and move along to the doing part. Here is a pictorial presentation of what's been happening:
planning
First I printed out an actual size photo, no fancy ink or paper, just an image to guide me. I made a tracing of it to lay over my work when I need to check alignment of parts. Underneath is a piece of heavy Pellon interfacing that will be my base.
auditioning
I auditioned my ephemera with the wool mittens that were already felted into submission as I knew that I wanted them to be the lawn.
refining
I decided to cut up the cream and sage tissue paper and rearrange it. Dryer sheets will make a good texture for the stucco, and cotton ribbon makes the steps.
adding shadows
As I was covering the tissue paper with tulle to give it better stability, I decided that the roof line needed shadows. Black tulle does the trick. The shiny plastic bags make good window reflections.
checking alignment
My tracing paper guide has come in handy several times to check that all the components are properly aligned.
auditioning thread
Then it was time to audition thread for the machine sketching. I like using variegated thread and this time I wanted light for the top part and dark for the bottom.
paper guide
My paper guide gets thoroughly used, now it will guide my machine sketching lines. I don't follow it slavishly, it's just there to make sure that proportions are correct and I don't forget all the details that I want to use.
almost ready for hand stitching
Now the tedious job of removing the paper guide is almost done. I will refine and maybe remove some material now and decide on the hand stitching details. 

a challenge

I have decided to challenge myself in a new way. 

First the back story: in my previous lives as a fashion designer and then a costume designer and an assistant costume designer, I usually worked on bringing someone else's vision to life, be it a customer, a director or a costume designer. If it was a character in film, I tried to get into that characters head to figure out how they would dress, of course taking notes from the director and the actor into consideration. When I started creating my own artwork, I focused on what I wanted to say, on my emotion and vision. The thought of doing a commission and bringing someone else's vision to how my art should look was scary. 

There are a lot of artists out there who do commission work. They thrive on this work and it does not impede their own vision. So perhaps the reason I am thinking about dipping my toe into commission work is because I now feel secure enough in my own art.

I thought of what I think is a good way of giving this a try. I have some friends with wonderful homes and they have agreed to let me attempt to make a portrait of their homes. Of course I needed to add a twist - the portrait will utilize ephemera from my friends homes, bits and pieces of things destined for the trash or the recycle bin.

So here's my first challenge.
wool mittens past their prime, tissue papers, ribbon, dryer sheets, clear plastic bag and twigs
picture of the home
Now I must figure out how to translate all this into a portrait of home. The final artwork will be 12"x12" and will involve lots of collage, machine stitching and hand stitching. That much I know.
mittens deconstructed
 I decided to start by deconstructing the mittens... I think I will felt them and see where that takes me... Stay tuned!