It appears that some how February became the month to put my mind to finishing unfinished pieces. So far a painting and a bracelet have been finished, plus a second painting completed, and a large amount of hours spent stitching the grain elevator piece. Here’s another one….the ladyslipper painting.
Last time I touched this painting was in July of 2013.
This seems to happen a bit. Start a painting with great enthusiasm. Real life happens. Push painting aside. Painting sits and sits.
Last night I decided to dust off the dust (literally….you really don`t need a description of that! LOL!) and put a few hours into the painting.
This is another image based on the sanctuary behind Kerry Wood Nature Centre in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. An area I am toying with using as a theme. I talk about that a little in a post I just put up on my other blog.
This painting is acrylic on canvas, but the canvas is quite small measuring in at 10 inches by 10 inches. Still more work to do, but it is getting there.
I also did finish the painting I shared a few days ago and the story and details can be found by clicking here.
Back to the easel or stitching or dyeing or knitting to see what else can be finished!
This is not a rant. Before you discard this post as being a specific municipal matter, take a look at what happened. It could happen so easily right next to your home.
A few of you probably wondered just what was going on in my post of February 20, 2014. You would not believe what the last week has entailed. The story is worth reading. It is something that could happen in any municipality. Think of it as a cautionary tale.
The best thing to come from it is we had the opportunity to meet and band together with some really great neighbors. Some that we knew for years and some that we met only a few days ago. There is strength in community.
The last few days have been focused on painting and stitching. Whether I am happy about it or not (because it is an immense amount of hand stitching) the answer to this piece was to start stitching in the foliage in the ditch in front of the grain elevators.
This is the piece a few weeks ago. As much as I like minimal with most things, this was simply “not done”.
So I decided to start stitching in what would be the ditch in the piece. The brown is actually cotton embroidery thread naturally hand dyed in cutch and dipped in iron for the dark color. The greens are wool hand dyed in marigold again with an iron dip.
This is really time consuming work. Thankfully my husband has found a TV series for us to stream (House of Cards) so that we have something to watch during the hours and hours of stitching.
In the above detail the light brown is cutch on cotton and the yellow is marigold on cotton.
Here is the piece as of today. The foreground is filling in nicely. I think it has finally turned the corner.
On Sunday I shared a post showing a new painting on the easel. Yesterday I decided to escape from “real world events” and spent several hours painting away at the easel with the music turned loud and a steady flow of cups of tea.
On Sunday the 16 inch by 20 inch painting looked like this.
It was pretty quick to rough in as I have been snowshoeing past this spot all winter.
By the end of yesterday it was looking like this:
Just a little more detailing in the trees and I think we are good.
I also wanted to share a shot including the easel. This is a wall mounted easel that I ordered in from Blick in the States a few years ago and I love it. The easel means I can always have work up without fear of a husband or one of the five kids knocking it over. If you have either space constraints or a really busy home (or both in our case!) it is an awesome piece of equipment to make painting easy. So far the largest canvas I have painted on it is a 3 foot by 5 foot, but I think it will take a little larger.
I also love how the center column is magnetic as it is great for reference images and a safe place to hold your lottery tickets.
It’s been one of those weeks. One of those weeks when you say “Let’s buy a lotto ticket, win, and escape this mess!”.
On the topic of lotto tickets, last night my husband and I were discussing how large a section of land is. Followed by looking on MLS. We figured that might be just about large enough to escape the hassles of real life……if we put the house right in the middle of the section of land. My children weighed in their opinion…….“Can we have a moat?!”. Seems like they are “done” too.
The beginning of a new painting is currently sitting on the easel. I rarely paint landscapes of Alberta. To be honest I only have a handful of British Columbia seascapes that I have painted just to bring the ocean home with me.
The last last 5 years or so I have mostly painted big canvases of small flowers ( and the odd tree trunk ). For some reason I had the “Doesn’t everyone paint landscapes?” attitude in my head and because of it had steered pretty clear of the subject matter. I actually sketch landscapes all the time in my sketch book when we are on the road, and I also used to paint a lot of watercolor landscapes (before I had a lot of kids!), but the interest never transferred to the canvas.
For the last couple of years I have found myself stopping and taking photographs at the very same spot at a local nature sanctuary ( Kerry Wood Nature Centre). It is just a spot I like. On a recent snowshoe outing I again took a few pictures. The huge amount of snow we have had created a simplified version of the scene, and because of the simplicity I thought that maybe I should paint it.
So here is the canvas about three hours in. It is 16 inches by 20 inches and acrylic on canvas. Guess what, I kind of like it. Maybe painting landscapes is okay. The painting still has hours to go, and I’m looking forward to getting into the details on the tree trunks, but I am pretty glad I gave painting landscapes on canvas a chance.
Artwork by Debra Hunter paintings, fibre art, photography, eco dyed bracelets & coffee sweaters www.thehuntergroup.ca Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
A few days ago I posted a picture of a beaded heart on eco-printed and naturally dyed fabric on my other blog. It was the start of an idea. I have a fair bit of naturally dyed and eco-printed silk hanging around the house and wanted to come up with a way to use it. They are all little pieces that had been popped into the dye pot as experiments; a lot of the pieces are smaller than 6 inches by 10 inches which really limits what you can do with them. The idea of making lavender sachets came to me.
I have been researching deer resistant plants for our place on the coast recently, as the deer eat EVERYTHING. We are slowly reworking areas of the garden that resemble a secret garden and are trying to put in fairly robust plants. It seemed to make sense (or should that be scents! LOL!) to try making a project where I could potentially use the plant’s flowers if we decide to try growing lavender.
Of course I can never just make something simple. The fabric is dyed in cranberry and madder and eco-printed with onion skin. The sachet is then embellished with hand stitching and beading by hand. Of course I couldn’t resist a few beads on the ties either. The sachet is refillable rather than disposable, and is filled with a mix of flax seed and lavender. I am test driving it as we speak. A pretty and nice smelling addition to a closet, wardrobe or drawer.
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