Thursday, May 28, 2015

Epiphylum Cactus Orchid

This is not exactly needlework, but I may try to stitch one some time. This is the first red cactus orchid that I have; my old ones are white. This is not fragrant, unlike the white ones. I want to see how long the bloom lasts.

These are the white ones that are fragrant. They are not the "traditional" night bloomers that last only the night, and mine lasted a couple of days.

In the olden days in China, poets and intelligentsia held all night vigils watching the blooms open, and then die in the morning, as they lamented the empheralness of beauty. Something along the lines of: time-orders-old-age-to-destroy-beauty

I am feeling philosophical today - must be because I have to write my essay on Color Contrast!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Complementary Contrast - Tulips Done

I'm calling it done even though the complementary contrast effect is not as obvious as I would like, especially when viewed in bright light.

 In more subdued lighting and if I squint my eyes it's a little more obvious. This will have to do.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Complementary Contrast

Having put this aside for a while, it took some effort to get back into. This may or may not be the final version. I grossly underestimated the amount of ribbons I need; luckily for the yellow ribbon the color is straight out of the bottle. On the other hand, I'll have to mix my own color for the green ribbons for the leaves. The yellow tulips are against 3 different backgrounds - purple, light grey and light purple. Theoretically the sharpest contrast is against the purple vase, which hopefully will show up.

PS I  used a bead under the tulip to give it its shape.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Painting Silk Ribbons

This is a really easy way to paint silk ribbons, as it requires no "painterly" tools. I use YLI white silk ribbons and Pebeo SetaSilk silk paint.

1. Put a plastic wrap on top of a piece of white paper, and cut out the approximate length of white silk ribbons.

2. Pour out a small puddle of paint onto the plastic.

3. Dip the end of the ribbon into the paint. The ribbon will start wicking up the paint. Drag the ribbon through the paint.

4. When you are close to the end, use chopsticks to finish dragging the ribbon through the paint. If you are not competent with chopsticks (and I think that everybody should be proficient with this very elegant and useful utensil) you can use tweezers instead.

 5. Allow the ribbons to dry, iron to set the paint per the Setasilk instructions. Voila! Bright yellow silk ribbons.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

MC Step 3 - Color Contrast

I've decided on the piece to demonstrate Color Contrast for the Master Craftsman Step 3. I'm half way through with the essay but just can't resist starting on the stitching - which is better than all the way through with the stitching before starting on the essay! Instead of simultaneous contrast which requires the judges to stare at the piece until the after image color shows, I am doing complementary contrast, and probably value contrast. I bought some tulips and arranged them to come up with the drawing.

I started with my test piece on cotton, as usual. I added salt to the painted tablecloth area to see if the speckling added anything to the piece (it didn't but it was fun anyway). I tried at least 6 different ways to stitch the tulips (with and without padding) before I hit on the idea of using silk ribbon. As I resist buying any more supplies (ie. yellow silk ribbons) unless I can't make use of existing stash, I painted white ribbons with silk paint.
The top, bottom tulips are painted silk ribbons, the ones in between are various failures, stitched and restitched with cotton floss. The white tulip at the bottom was the first successful test flower, that I wanted to try out before painting the ribbons. The white leaf also looks best. I'm ready to move forward with a silk piece - or at least version one of the silk.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Moon over Water Really done (Honest!)

After consulting with my art teacher with a discussion of composition and left-right balance, this is the real final version. The sliver of cloud over the moon added a lot to the picture. The light far in the horizon is more evocative of another fishing boat, instead of a "mistake"! I think this can be sent in for EGA Challenge for this year.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Moon over Water Done Again (Really!)

Based on the comments of my friend, I thought about how to layer the sky. I painted silk gauze and burned the edges to represent clouds. The dark clouds look better than the lighter color ones on the left.

Mockup with a black mat - I think it makes the fishing light more striking.

Dark cloud details.