Archive for the ‘2018’ Category

Touch of Light

Monday, November 5th, 2018

5.75 x 6.25 inches, hand embroidery on hand-painted silk.  A view from the ferry between the mainland and Vancouver Island.  This one took a while…there was an apartment move since the last blog post, if that’s any excuse!

The photo below shows an earlier stage of the artwork.  I’ve used some thread, which I later remove, to mark the edges of the picture and also to give me a straight horizon line.  This picture goes almost to the edge of my hoop, so it was important for me to see clearly where exactly on-stage and offstage begin.  Especially because I like to try out my colours in the wings.

I leave the thread in place while I paint the sky, because it physically stops my brush from blundering into the horizon line and messing up the white “touch of light” area.

I underpainted the whole water area, then stitched on top of it in lighter-coloured thread (Sulky machine embroidery thread, which I usually split into half-thickness or less depending on how distant the waves).  The photo below shows where I probably stopped underpainting.  Then I unpicked my edge thread and ironed the whole picture to seal the paint before starting to stitch.  However, I did paint the sky some more after the sewing was completed.  It often happens that the stitching ends up looking more intense than I expected and the background needs to be built up a bit more to match.  Then I re-ironed just the sky area.

More water is on its way, in no great hurry of course!

Light on the Water

Saturday, March 17th, 2018


5 x 7 inches, a view of the North Shore from Burrard Inlet.  The sky and mountains are hand-painted.  I also did some underpainting of the water, trees and sandbars.  Then I glued on thread lint and did some stitching for the line of trees on the left, and all the water and sandbars are hand-stitched.

The mini-lighthouse is a Frankenstein’s monster mix of thread, hand-painted ribbon and Tyvek.  When I first glued on the little strip of Tyvek representing the whitest part of the lighthouse, it looked too bright and “stuck on” (even though it is).  So I poked it with a needle all over, which made it look slightly distressed, dimmed the brightness and made it look much more like it belongs.  I may or may not have discovered this by accident during a moment of frustration.

I also found it best to sew the stilts of the lighthouse with lots of horizontal stitches.  A few long diagonal stitches might seem like the best way, but I found it looked too detached from the background.  In fact the stilts have barnacles attached, so I think the irregularity of horizontal stitches helps suggest that variation in colour and thickness and makes it look more real.


Wednesday, February 7th, 2018


I’m excited to be part of this show! You can see 50 Shades of Grey (below) as well as many other colours at the always beautiful Silk Purse Arts Centre.
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