Birds and the bees
Birds and the bees
The bees are doing fine. I sit and stitch at odd moments, or occasionally work at them for an hour. Likewise the moths... it's almost mindless, meditative; a silent rhythm of thread the needle, stitch, stitch, snip, thread the needle. Each wing is two layers of wedding dress net, one at right angles to the other and stitched along the lines. At first I drew the lines with a very soft pencil, which was difficult to see clearly and made the thread dark grey. Then I traced the lines on to newspaper, pinned the net to it and machine stitched (remembering to put the 'paper needle' into the machine).
My fancy light box...
Back stitch by hand to make lines more visible; also because I love hand sewing.
When finished, the edges are trimmed ... then I shred the wings into further dilapidation.
And the birds?
But it could be that there has been a breakthrough. I've been seriously struggling with finding a way of expressing "the absence of swallows". Although I'd stopped working on it, the idea remained somewhere at the very back of the brain's dark cupboard under the stairs. The other day I found myself thinking "What if I worded it differently?"... the words 'memory of swallows' came to mind and shifted the feeling of being stuck. So I very quickly made a couple of bowl shapes to experiment with. The idea of using maps - as symbolic of their migrations - keeps coming back to me and I've recently been given a big bagful of old maps. Synchronicity?
Outside... turquoise ink wash
...and inside, ink with acrylic paint.
Although these are quite crude, it feels like there is potential. I'm liking the mistiness of the swallows on the second bowl and I'll need to work on getting the right balance of colour density difference between the layers - some of the birds were barely visible. And I do like the map motif.
Those little card birds led on to trying out another idea that has been hovering for some time....
.... making wire silhouettes.
So draw, draw again ...and again.
Not everything has to work.