Thursday, November 14, 2013

Organza Flop

Experimenting is good for us, right?

Sometimes it teaches us a few things that we should have known before we started but were too block-headed to foresee.

Sometimes it feels like a big waste of time but it usually isn't.

My experiment begins when I set out to tell the story of our visit to Callanish on the Isle of Lewis to see the standing stones.


I couldn't get the Gary Clarke class out of my head where we played with the concept of layering...underneath, on the surface, and above the surface.

So I printed out two photos onto organza...one was very dark and mysterious looking...and the other more pastoral and approachable...



I picked the pastoral one for my experiment because I wanted to embroider the flowers on the front of the organza while trying to add some depth to the stones through shadowwork...





It was a fail.



It looks pretty terrible.

The hawk squawking outside my window agrees...



That being said, I learned a few things.  Shadowwork is done in pastel colors for a reason.  When you stitch with dark colors, it just looks like a bunch of stripes behind your work.  I might try some lighter grays to see how that looks.  My guess is that it will be 100 times better because you won't see the stitch, just the shading.

My fail also makes me want to attach other stuff to the back...hmmm....

I guess it's going to be another day or two before I can tell you about the Stones.

Did I mention that they were THE highlight of our highlights?

Happy experimenting everyone!

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Susan, It is refreshing to hear that an expert tried something that did not work. Us mere mortals at needlework can breathe a sigh of relief at last weeks disaster and start over again. Thank you for your honesty. Managed to get over the see the Burrell Collection - fabulous. Margaret - Scotland

Gerry Krueger said...

Ever since you showed the layering on organza I have wanted to try it. I've tried layering a color image over white "memory" image but the organza thing seems like a much better way to go.... I want to do it with an old cottage or barn. Keep at it and keep posting about it.

Great shot of your redtail... Yesterday I had a redtail, a sharp shinned and a harrier. With the fields all plowed they are having a feast on gophers and mice. Hawk heaven!

Catherine said...

I am certain through your trials and errors you will create something that will once again make me go, wow! Looking forward to hearing more about the stones!! Oh, and the hawk agreeing, that made me chuckle!

liniecat said...

See what you mean, dispointing but useful as a lesson even so and yes, greys may make all the difference.
I would probably have used greys with highlights of white, lichen colours even but laid the threads in striaght lines?
Maybe long stitches, laid skew whiff ( ie here n there lol) , along the contours of each stone would be laborious, but could look good?
Love the idea though and the stones almost dissolving in mist behind nearer embroidered flowers could look really striking in any case! Atmospheric and mysterious as indeed such stones are?

Mary Ann said...

Ah well...if we didn't goof up sometimes we'd never learn anything new. I think gray would be a good choice...a few shades of gray with a bit of browny green thrown in maybe. I've never seen them myself but in a few pictures I've looked at they sometimes remind of petrified wood because of the weathering they've withstood.

Rachel said...

Maybe if you tried with filament silk, it would spread and reduce the criss-cross? And perhaps work the picture at a smaller scale. Remember all my playing with stitch scale on the Goldwork Masterclass? Sometimes scale makes a bigger difference than you expect...

deanna7trees said...

love the idea of layering images with organza. i wonder how it would work with some painting on the organza layers. i might have to try that.

Judy S. said...

It'll be interesting to see where you go with this! Highlight of the highlights, eh? You really did have a grand trip!

Anna said...

Hi Susan,
I want to tell you how much I enjoy seeing your process, whether your path to a wonderful finish is straight or meandering, it is always interesting and inspiring! Thanks for sharing!!!
Have you ever read John F. Carlson's book, Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting? It was originally published in 1929, but has been reprinted by Dover (I purchased it years ago as a college art student, but assume it is still in print). He talks about how colors get lighter in value, cooler in color (white and yellow are exceptions), and less intense as the recede into the distance. Lots of helpful stuff like that, which apply to art quilting, beading, and embroidery,...as well as painting. I have gleaned a lot of info from it.

Createology said...

Susan you are so smart to venture into the unknown and try things. There are no failures as we learn from each and every thing we do. I think a very light grey might be a good try. Love what you are going to achieve. I do not know these Stones and will be looking forward to your tale of the Stones. Creative Blissful Stitching Dear...

dilly dalley Melissa said...

Its funny how someone's fail is someone else's treasure. Or maybe I just have some perverse swimming-against-the-tide sensibility. I rather like your criss-cross dark thread standing stones. I wonder why? You and all your commenters seem to agree that it didn't work but for me it looks good. Perhaps its because I don't mind that it seems a bit abstract. I'm not looking for a realistic depiction of the stones so much as a representation of them through the mists. Maybe like an idea across time that we don't fully understand. Ah well. I'll reserve further judgement until I see your next version. We loved all the Neil Oliver shows;the History of Celtic Britain, the History of Scotland. Have you seen those? How amazing they were. Cheers, Melissa

Avon said...

I think.it was Edison who said something about things that didn't work we're not failures but one way that we knew didn't t work. It does help us expand our knowledge and get another idea to try! As long as we don't quit trying.

margaret said...

they say practise makes perfect,and that is how we learn from our errors, apart from the hardness (not sure if the hardness is the word I mean)of the dark colour the rest of the piece is lovely and I am sure when you substitute the dark for a lighter colour it will come together perfectly.

mostlymotley said...

I like a quote from Winston Churchill "Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm".

Anyway, we all have to experiment, play, toss ideas about - silly to think they'd all work, but essential to develop nonetheless. :)

Bekca said...

Hello there! I asked my followers to nominate stitching blogs they love to read, and your blog came up more than once! I'm so glad to have been pointed in this direction, you have a truly lovely blog.
I experiment with my stitching on occasions, and I always find you win some and you lose some :)
Best wishes.

Suztats said...

Hi Susan. I'm thinking that light greys and light purples might work better for creating the feeling of distance. And I agree with the lady who suggested a smaller scale of stitches might work better and I picture a very thin thread.....
I do like the idea of the organza, and look forward to seeing what happens next!

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