Actually I am playing with paint on fabric to resemble mud, rocks, moss, ferns and flowers for a new art quilt I am working on. I have had the idea for this piece in the back of my head for a long time…. You know the kind…. an idea that keeps peeking out to say it wants to be done, but every time you try to put idea to fabric, things don’t work right, and the idea gets crammed back into the recesses of the mind until it decides to pop out again…. Finally this idea has actually gotten on the design wall, and is progressing.
“Mountain Laurel and Ferns” was one of the few pieces I created in 2009. The new piece in the works is inspired by the same area along the road I live on that inspired this one. I am fascinated by how tenacious the plants and trees that grow there are. It is a pretty hostile environment, with lots of rocks, a steep slope, shade and lots of dust coating things during the hot summer. The Mountain Laurel plants seem to be just hanging on by a thread, but they are actually deeply rooted old, abused specimens.
In the photo above, the stems that show are pretty skinny, making it look like these plants were not very old. Upon digging around the bases a bit, I discovered that the stems were growing out from low, wide stumps. These are much older plants than it looks from a quick glance. The road they are growing along used to be one lane through the woods, up the side of the mountain. A number of years ago, it was widened so two vehicles can now pass safely. Most of the trees and vegetation close to the road was cut down on the high side of the road, while gravel was built up on the low side. These Mountain Laurel plants were victims of the massive cutting, but they grew back from the bases. They also continue to take more abuse when the road crews come along with their brush trimmers each summer. That would explain why the plants are so low, appearing to crawl along the ground.
The new piece on the wall will feature more of the rocks and dirt than the greens of “Mountain Laurel and Ferns”. I had to break out the paints to modify a couple pieces of fabric to add to what I had in my stash. I am also using some photos printed onto cotton, and there may also be a craggy, mossy tree trunk.
The fabric above is the one I wanted to modify. This is not a fabric I like much, too much rusty orange. I decided to turn it into something to resemble the rocks and dirt around the Mountain Laurel plants.
Above are the two pieces of the fabric that I ended up with. I toned down the contrast of the ferns and the rusty orange. I will be posting the process used to get to this point on my Classroom Blog.
These new fabrics will be used here and there in my newest creation. I am not sure how much will be used, but it now has more of a muddy, mossy look than it had.
If all goes well, there will be new posts soon showing progress of my new work. I will be away over the weekend, so I hope the ideas that have been flowing don’t stop.