Archive for the ‘2021’ Category

New paintings at Crafthouse

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021

Newly framed and available at Crafthouse on Granville Island.

Patchwork Gardens

Friday, November 12th, 2021

Lately I’ve made a slight detour from my usual artwork into experimenting with patchwork gardens. What can I say, I watched one too many episodes of Gardeners’ World and it took me over. I’m going back to making my usual landscapes but the gardens will continue as a side project that’s easy to jump into when you only have a few minutes.

With fingers for scale. The paving slabs are the same scale in all pictures
A circle of blue silk that can represent a pond, bird bath, fountain – whatever you want
‘L’ – the first in an alphabet-themed series. Always pick the easiest to start! 2 inches by 2 inches

Lots of trials and errors! By the way, I don’t stitch the individual paving slabs together. I cut strips and nip the fabric together with dark thread at intervals:

Underside of the fabric showing narrow section nipped in with a row of backstitch
Pulling on the strip lets the dark thread show on the right side of the fabric, creating the effect of slabs
Experimenting with a curved path

I attempted larger garden plans but found it too difficult to join the pieces together neatly. So I’ve settled on creating small vignettes on a theme of letters of the alphabet.

It doesn’t show in the photos too well, but I don’t iron the patchwork flat, I let the lawns and flower and vegetable ‘beds’ follow their natural tendency to plump up on either side of the pathways. I like that 3D element.

For the record, I’m hopeless at actual gardening. Love looking at them though.


Monday, April 12th, 2021

3.75 x 6 inches. Hand stitching on hand-painted silk.

The background was created by stretching silk in a hoop and pouring paint straight onto it. I prepared two colours, a purple-blue and a bright light green. I saturated the whole surface with the purple-blue, then immediately held the hoop vertical and poured on the light green, letting it dribble from top to bottom. It does this in a random way which creates a northern lights effect with no effort from me.

Here I’ve placed scrap paper to help me decide which part of the background makes a more exciting composition.

#2 was the winner for me. The white ring you see around the edge is from the silk that goes unpainted while it’s bound inside the hoop. It has a lovely sheen as well. So I decided to incorporate that as an icy pond or area of snow – whatever you want it to be. I’ve re-hooped the silk to let that be part of the picture.

Below, I’ve underpainted in black the areas where I wanted trees. I use white thread to mark roughly where I think the boundaries of the picture will be. It also acts as a guide to help me keep the trees generally vertical while I sew.

The rest was a matter of hand-stitching in the same shade of black thread, thinned out to one strand for the distant trees and thickened, even doubled up, for the nearest.

Green Skies at Night

Monday, March 1st, 2021

Another in my northern lights series. 4 inches x 4.75 inches, hand stitching on hand-painted silk.


Monday, January 18th, 2021

2.75 x 4 inches. Hand stitching on hand-painted silk. This scene of the northern lights is out of my imagination.

I started out by pouring some shades of blue and green onto the silk while it was stretched in the hoop. When you do this, the part of the silk that is bound inside the hoop doesn’t take up the colour properly. Usually it comes out a much paler version than the rest. In this case it came out a pale purplish colour that to me looks like an icy lake. So the picture practically painted itself. Above, you can see where I’ve re-hooped the silk so that the icy lake is in the foreground and I’ve started to hand-stitch some trees around it.

I used black thread to stitch a rough skeleton of the trees first. Then I went over the main branches with a grey-blue thread that looks like snow in shadow. Finally I used white thread for a topcoat of snow. I used full-thickness thread for the nearest trees and half-thickness for the more distant ones.

More northern lights pictures are coming.