I started this artwork a while ago and came across it the other day. I felt it was lacking something so I added the little yellow finch – I guess you could call it a yellowhammer. I cut out a bird shape from hand-painted silk and bonded it on and stitched a bit of texture on with a quilting pre-programmed machine stitch. Then I added a lot of hand stitching using some dip-dyed threads – one of my favourites has a combination of brown, purple and yellow and I love the colour transitions that it makes. When it came to the belly and chest of the bird I had to choose the position of where I cut the thread carefully to get the right colour.
I’d started the piece with lots of pale colours like lemon yellow and pale coral so I tried to keep the colours gentle with pastel peach and sage greens however I ended up adding a bit more intense yellow and purple in the mix and some rust on the yellowhammer’s plumage. But then I softened them a little by overstitching with some paler colours. Blending, blending, blending is the name of the game.
Some elements are machine stitched, the beak and legs and some couching of threads in the background. I also did a bit of thread blending on the bird with some rust coloured thread just to make it stand out a bit more.
I added some little floral sequins to fill one of the chain stitch circles and in vertical lines to create the look of flower spikes. The yellow felt flowers are meant to be mullein flowers which I have a love for. I’d like to do more work with these magnificent plants in – they are just stunningly beautiful and majestic.
I haven’t used tweed for a while and had forgotten how lovely it is to stitch into but it also frays like crazy so I had to used an emergency zigzag to stop losing the edges!
Normally I stretch my work over deep box canvases but I feel this piece would be better framed up conventionally so I will post a picture of it when it’s framed and ready.