I was playing around today and eventually settled on photographing some of the sequences in creating abstractions form an original photograph. I often get asked how you do this when I teach workshops , and on the whole for me it is a lenghty process that might involve years- drawing shapes , refining them , looking for line, contour, shape and ultimately colour. It is something I have been able to do from reasonably early on as I have always felt confident in colour use- so for me often the overriding factor is how the colours balance each other and the rest sort of falls into place from there.
However I do use my own photographs in recreating images- photography seems to give what the eye sees but does it really? And then you are dealing with a very two dimensional medium such as textile- but it is saved by the possibility of creating texture which apart from embroidery none of the other mediums can do in quite the same way. So I have done some sequential photos to show where I was going and what happened.I have collaged the images so I could load all the images in one post
The top image is the original photo, already cropped which I took whilst beach combing in the Bay if Islands., New Zealand I particularly liked the spiral shape, because everywhere it is depicted as an unfurling fern frond, and yet here it was in a shell shape on the beach. After cropping the photo I printed it and then created a viewing rectangle from paper so I could place it on what seemd a pleasing arrangement and one which gave visual play as well as colour contrast.
I then drew line drawings of the viewing window- the blue ink one first, which I don't much like, but I did like some fo the shapes, the black one second- that was much more interesting because I stopped looking at the original picture except for cursory guidance- Instead was looking for positive/negative balance and line.I could see possibilities so refined it further into a postcard shape adding texture to the ink drawing in order to create positive/ negative balance ( but I was already thinking about the stitching at this stage so the texture also had in mind the kind of stitching i might do). Then drawn again and coloured in- not terribly successful , but I did like the emrgence of blue into the playing area.
Adding texture to the coloured drawing much as I might stitch- have completely let go of the original photograph- I am now playing in the area of poetic licence- what adds interest and what doesn't?
I decide to do it in two colour ways- one with a background not too dissimilar from the colour sin the original photo, the other what I found a pleasing colour combination- I vliesofixed the cut out shapes and then stitched using the texture drawing as a rough guide- but as I was determined to try the Aurifil Rayon 12 weight threads, my palette was a little different to what I might normally l use ( I used what was sent to me). I left the turquoise coloured background till last- and that is when my machine had a teenage tantrum- so I called it a day. But what an effect stitching has and how little or much does it look like the original photo? I keep on seeing Pinocchio in the turquoise background one, even more so once it was stitched.