Friday, January 22, 2010

Fyber Cafe Challenge, part I

Fyber Cafe is a textile arts group I belong to in Roseburg, Oregon. We have about 15-20 members, of all sorts, dyers, weavers, spinners, quilters, wearable arts, costumers, mixed media, etc... The Fyber Cafe 2010 Challenge is "Roots", so I have been sketching in my notebook/journal/sketch book whatever you call it. We need to have a project done for the Umpqua Valley Quilt Show in April. My main focus has been photographs on fabric of old family pictures, with the roots of a tree surrounding them. I have been having so much fun with Photoshop Elements, that I want to do something photographic. I have a lot of tree photographs, but nothing with "roots", there are other "root" definitions in the dictionary, but I keep coming back to family. As I sketched I wanted to add the top of the tree with current photographs, but that sketch got to be a very big project. So I scaled back to just the bottom of the tree, with lots of ferns, mushrooms, leaves, and wildflowers. The tree had to be very textured, with moss, and bark, lots of stitching, maybe some beads for texture too. I penciled in a full size drawing on a roll of newsprint that I have, when I liked the results I go back over it with a black "flair" felt tip marker, to make more finalized lines, and really see what I have done. Next was the BIG box of Crayola crayons!! I have to have the big box!! It was one of my favorite memories from Christmases past, getting a new big box. I laid in some basic color blocks, brown trunk, green leaves, roots and places for the photographs. Pinning the sketch up on my design wall to stare at for a while is always recommended. I was seeing a pattern in the roots that I wanted to emphasize, mostly in the negative space. Adding the crayon to make the contrast from dark roots to light background brought out the negative space, the roots were weaving together to form diamond shapes, where I am now going to place the photographs. So now the major design ideas are in place, I am looking at my drawing, thinking that if I want to do this level of detail I better get my butt in gear and get started. Next installment, painting the backing fabric and textureing the tree trunk with photos of the starting process.

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