Thursday, April 3, 2014

“Pink Dogwood,” in progress

I have been working on a new piece of a pink dogwood blossom based on one of my “Beauty on my Morning Walk” photos that I try to take every day and post on Facebook. Here’s how the piece looks tonight, after I darkened the background at the bottom, and added suggestions of more branches and blooms in the sky. 

Earlier today, it looked like this:

I actually stitched a tiny bit on this piece (in the pink on the blossom) in a segment I just shot for “Quilting Arts TV” last week. But I wasn’t happy with it, and thought I needed to darken up the background, and add a few darker values to the structure at the center of the bloom. I showed it to my friend and fellow fiber artist Lyric Kinard, and she confirmed my suspicions.

I also was concerned that I had simplified the background too much. I often try to clean up the background somewhat, and leave out things that seem distracting (in this case, the house, stepping stones, and driveway). But I think I did too much cleaning. It looked unnatural, so I went back in and added suggestions of the branches and the blossoms in the background.

I am liking the way that the darker background makes the flower pop forward more. The blooms in the background are perhaps too purple (part of the problem is that I painted them on top of the blue sky, so they went more purple than pink).

And here is the photo on which the piece is based:

I am going to let it gestate, and think about whether it looks right now, or not. It is hard at this stage to determine how much the thread sketching will change the piece for the better. I do a lot of threadwork, and sometimes it substantially changes the look or mood of the piece. 


  1. I prefer the one with the additional blossoms and darker background even before seeing the original photo. It looks more balance,

    Best of luck with your thread sketching. My provincial flower is the dogwood and love the pink ones,

  2. Thank you for showing us process shots, they are really interesting and helpful compared to just a finished piece (which is also nice to look at!). I think you've given the flower and background more contrast and therefore more pop.

  3. I like the ethereal look of the suggested blossoms and branches in the sky. The best part of the piece is the center of the flower with the dramatic value contrast. The added value contrast in the green area adds a lot more drama to the piece. I look forward to seeing it completed!


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