This is the flower that I have chosen to work on next, which I think will be more of a challenge than the previous two. Mainly because of the speckled colour of the petals, and the velvety nature of the leaves.
I decided that I wouldn't add beads to the Blood Lily stamens, as the only ones that I had, and I wasn't going to buy any more beads!, were a bit out of proportion. That is, too big. I added some shading and so on with felt tip pens and some stitching to give a bit of a lift to the flat areas of petals.
A backing and satin stitch to join it all together and it's finished. I added a small name plate on the back, as I did with the Lotus, giving the name of the garden that I photographed the flower in and the date that I visited the garden.
With a little time available this afternoon I returned to the Blood Lily panel and outlined all the petals in 3 different shades of red/orange in satin stitch. Looking at the image, I realise that the front petal should have been behind the 2 on either side, but it's too late now!
Stitching the central area in free motion embroidery backwards and forwards to give the impression of stamens.
With white thread in the bobbin and a darker thread on top, the jerking of the fabric backwards and forwards draws up the white thread to give white speckles through the area.
Now with bright yellow and a really loose bobbin thread I can give more distinct yellow speckles for the tips of the stamens. I might need to add some fabric marker to give direction to the look of the stamens. I also intend adding some yellow beads to the foreground stamens...............I think.
A friend recently returned from a teaching trip to Turkey and amongst the gifts that she was given and the end of her courses were 3 sheets of marbled paper. This is the one that I particularly like, the image being somewhat organic. I can see a cross section of a plant or algae perhaps.
I'm not so keen on this one, as I find the red too dominant, however I'm sure that a bit of inversion in Photoshop, which would change the red to a turquoise blue, would be an improvement.
This is of course is a more traditional design in marbling, the sort of pattern that one would see as end papers in old books. Made with a very fine toothed comb dragged though the floating inks, it's a beautifully detailed piece of work.
Today I started work on the Blood Lily Picture, with the main pieces and colours cut out and adhered to the background fabric. I've divided the image into 3 values of red, dark, medium and light, with the centre area light red, as I will need to do a lot of dense stitching and beading to this area, but I do need to have a background in place. I now wish that I had started the base of the lily further to the right, but it's too late now! The stalk of the lily is basically green, but I have added some red paint to the top of it.
The addition of some beads, a backing fabric and a stitched border, completes the Lotus.
Moving on to the next garden, I started work on the background for it. The pebbled commercial fabric on the left is too red/orange for contrast with the red Blood Lily, so I painted over it with a dilute wash of Paynes Grey acrylic paint. As the piece will not be washed, it doesn't really matter that the paint is probably not water fast. Still a bit too orange I think, but I'll go ahead with the lily and see how it looks, as I can always add a bit more grey if it needs it.
My first sewing step on this small panel was to satin stitch around the lotus petals and the mid green elements. The dark green was already behind everything, so didn't need any more work on it.
Next came the stamens, all various shades of yellow and orange with the lighter pollen tips on each one. The original photo showed a huge tangle of stamens, but to avoid creating a dense mat for the sewing machine to stitch through, I needed to reduce the number of stamens quite a bit. After all, this is not trying to faithfully reproduce the original photo, although it's quite close to it!
Enough stamens I think, now to choose some beads to sew in place for the seeds on top of the central column. This apparently becomes quite hot at times, as it actually generates heat. The smell is pretty awful unfortunately, rather like a menthol rub.
The art group that I belong to have set a new challenge for this year, focussing on the gardens that we have visited from month to month. We are all keen gardeners, all but 1 of the 7 that is, but even a non-gardener can appreciate the gardens of others. I am already behind in my pieces, as we started in February, but I did visit the Lotus garden that month and took masses of photos. I decided to start with 2 of my favourite images, the lotus and the blood lily, so pulled out suitable fabrics from my stash for just those 2.
The challenge pieces are to be 21 cm x 15 cm (A5) so big enough to work on but not so big that the challenge is daunting! Here I've changed the photos to black and white so as to make the shapes easier to define.
I've written on each piece the colour to aim for from the photo and more prominently delineated the individual petals
The beginning of the piece with a raw silk top to the central seed head and heavy white satin for the petals all mounted on a dark green slightly patterned fabric.
Next I coloured the petals with very dilute acrylic paint. I'm not sure if the sheen of the satin will be visible through the paint, but the very pale petals at the top of the image will have a little sheen I think.
I had fun selecting the thread colours that fit the colour scheme. I use plain cotton or polyester cotton blend thread for machine embroidery normally, as the vegetation and flowers that I usually depict don't really shine, but for this I intend using synthetic thread to bring out the shine of the lotus petals.