Monday, 24 April 2017

WATTLE

It is Anzac day here in Australia & in New Zealand. It's a day when we remember with respect the first time we joined forces to go to war, as members of the British Commonwealth, and as a result, this experience became a significant catalyst for the newly formed Australian colony, in establishing a sense of identity.

I sit here typing, wearing my red poppy earrings.  Many people are wearing red poppies today,  it's a symbol of remembrance.  Symbols are important, and as it happens...it's a symbol that I have used as my muse for this week's Art Project; the flower symbol of Australia, the Golden Wattle.

Splotches of yellow are gradually appearing on our wattle tree, bringing us sunshine on the greyer days!

Of course, getting up close & a lot more personal to the subject...as an artist must...reveals so much more information than previously understood about wattle flowers.

Sketching is a wonderful means of making notes.  Whilst my lines may not be perfect, with every glance up & then  scratch of the pen I am learning about this plant.  The proportions, the colours, the development from bud, to blob, to blossom!  From a distance the wattle looks really golden, but up close, the most golden part is the speck of pollen at the ends of all those stamen.

Having a few sketched 'notes', I  then start playing with design prospects.  Using a black copic pen, I  drew in outlines, before then playing with colour, using my water brushes & my pack of koh-i-noors!

I liked the idea of incorporating the long slender leaves, the patterning on the bud & a single blossom.

Once set on a design, I laid out my photos & drawings with potential fabrics to work out what the best options were for colour matching.  My stash didnt have perfect matches, but utilizing the mantra, "this is just an exercise", I chose the closest fabrics I had!!

My first task was to establish a background, and this was where I referenced those long, thin, strappy leaves, with stripes of pale silvery green, into which I then added a stem line down the middle.

With a little bit of careful placement, I inserted fabric for a blossom stem, before layering up & sewing in the border pattern.

Before cutting back the border layers, I added some fabrics for the blossom itself.  It is starting to make sense now!

Cutting back the layers brought me to this point & I'm pleased with how it looks.  The border references the patterning on the buds & the blossom has two layers, to reference the denser mid section of the blossom. 

I could have left it there & been reasonably happy.  However, I took it a little further.

Using the sewing machine, I added a lot of lines to the blossom, giving it a bit of a dandelion look!  It also gave it lot's of radiating energy!The final embellishment was the addition of beads to represent that golden pollen at the ends of the stamen.  Sadly, my bead supplies didn't include a sufficiently golden hue, so this just had to do!

Mission accomplished for this week anyway!










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