Peacocks in Magnolia Tree

Peacocks in Magnolia Tree
24" X 60" Alkyd and Gold Leaf on Board

Monday, March 14, 2011

Working on Bird Rugs and Smaller Needlepoint Panels

Over the weekend I painted on the large rug some more, and as is my habit while waiting for layers to dry I painted on some smaller canvases.  Now these canvases of birds are only 13" x 13.5" and are on 18 count canvas rather than the 13 count for the larger rugs.  I did them because when I paint large canvases or murals for my personal work I will often paint a smaller section of the large overall canvas.  This gives me the opportunity to "practice" and learn what I'm going to be dealing with on the larger surface.  It's also less intimidating, and allows me to finish something more rapidly and with ease.  It's more comfortable than facing an extremely large canvas cold turkey so to speak. I thought perhaps that is true of Needlepointers also, so I decided to design up some small canvases using the exact same birds as the large canvas, and the exact same size of birds so the needlepoint work will be exactly the same.  The idea of tearing out stitches on a big canvas would be discouraging, and irritate me, but a smaller one that I could finish more quickly and had less of an investment in would not be as trying.  Plus when you work on the rug, and it's a 13 count canvas it will be easier and faster.  
I envision pattern stitches in the area I painted Gold, and a different pattern for the cream background.  I also see beads, but I love sparkley threads and bling.  Tell me what you think, and if you like the direction I'm going.  Designers need feedback too, and I need more information about the threads available that will give me the shiny look I want for the birds, but I don't want it to feel rough or sharp to the hand or cheek.  That's in case they get made into pillows.  My intrepid assistant Ale` sees them as purses, and I also want to draw them up as vests.  I am no longer skinny and cute, but in my youth I embroidered and stitched vests with Koi, Peacocks, Sequins, beads, pearls, and loved wearing them.  In my old age...I might as well enjoy the beautiful costume designing of my youth.  I would rather wear velvet, satin, Maribou feathers, Sequins and beads, and Needlepoint hand made and special then store bought and dull.  I am such a silly woman.  Here are the canvases is progress...Enjoy!
  Painting in Details, and working out spacing.  Working out dark against light, and creating depth and pattern.  This is the bottom of the rug panel, and I will be working on the rug and trying to finish it today.  If not finished I believe I will come close.
This is the top part of the panel, and I've been working on the Parrots feather details, beaks, and faces and eyes.  I like to have good expressions and eyes that are alert and curious.  The Peacock is of course more self absorbed, and has an expression of disdain and disinterest in the other birds. There is always an untold story in my paintings.
This panel is 13 x 13 inches and the three birds are exactly the same size as the rug birds.  This would be a "Do I really want to invest the time and money in a super large canvas?"  Will I enjoy stitching this and actually finish it?  I paint small portions of my really big canvases for the exact same reason, and to work out the details and problems on something smaller and less intimidating.  I see this canvas and the other ones like it as tote bag or purse inserts, or pillows that will be edged by a wide black band, gold piping, and elegant brocade backing could be all cream white, beige, and straw colors or greens for a light, bright, tropical, beach look.  I tend to picture complete rooms when I design these canvases.  I actually don't know what other designers do, or think while they design.  I would really like to speak to stitch guide writers, and see or hear how they envision these canvases.  That is an open invitation for dialog!!??!  :)
This Peacock is done, or almost done, and is again the same size as the Rug Peacock, but done on a 13 X 13.5 inch canvas done on 18 count mono.  
These Toucans are started, and the one in the foreground is the same size as the Rug Toucan.  The other Toucans are just added for composition and design purposes.  I will try to get these finished today, and they are also 13" X 13" white mono canvas 18Count so you can get details on the smaller flowers, butterflies, and birds.  The Large Rug is 13 Count white Mono, for ease of stitching and finishing.
This is the last of this series (so far), and is not finished but on the way.  I hope you like the direction all this work is going.  I have a great many more designs to paint, work on, stitch, and produce. 
I finally went to my doctor, and got perscription medicine for the Sciatic Nerve problem and it makes me sleepy, but I still get plenty of work done.  Thank God, and my doctor the pain is starting to ease up.   It's still there, but I'm able to walk, bend, and move with out bone screaming pain.  My mom said getting old wasn't for sissies.  She, of course, was right.
Please if you have any stitch or thread ideas for these panels don't hesitate to write and suggest.  I love floss, Kreinic, Rainbow, DMC, but I am not an expert, and do not know all the thread manufacturers.  I am sure there are women out there with more knowledge then me, and I would appreciate any input you could give me.  Write when I get work!  Let me know what you think, and have a healthy, happy, and productive day.

1 comment:

ca.holland said...

You do the most wonderful painted canvases. I'm a long way from being an expert, but I love your subject matter. Great blog!