‘Peacock on a Hilltop’ is a small silk painting embroidered by machine using free machine embroidery and by hand too. I’ve used some rayon and stranded cotton threads for the hand stitching (feather stitch and fly stitch. I’ve added lots and lots of sequins to build up the layers of textures especially on the peacock’s neck and tail.
On the tail feathers, I cut up some sequins and stitched them down with a decorative machine stitch, trying to create the long thin lines of narrow feather strands. For the peacock “eye” centres, I am always searching for ways to create the most vibrant turquoise possible. With thread and ink it’s difficult and usually I come up short to my desire but I keep on trying.
For the moon, I created the shape with free machine embroidery and then stitched square translucent sequins all over it so it has a bit of a shimmer.
The wing has some green flower shaped sequins and the tail also has some little tiny flowers layered with other round sequins. Kind of like tiny eyes!
I stitched some little pine trees on the hilltop to give a different sense of perspective so that the peacock looks like a kind of fantasy bird, basking in the moonlight. I do love fantasy style creatures. I am always torn between doing something realistically (anatomically correct) and doing a stylized version of it. It’s something I want to keep working on and trying different ways of expressing the same motif or subject.
This piece uses Liquitex acrylic inks hand painted onto silk dupion which is a lovely fabric to work with.