March TIF done

Mar TIF done
Originally uploaded by Dancing Crow.

The TIF theme for this month was "details."  After a perfectly useful crit from my new group (hi guys) I decided to push it forward, rather than pull things off. It is only a rough draft (they are all rough drafts, I keep telling myself) and I wanted to see if I could get closer to my original thought.

The thought was to work the 2 inch squares as a series of details in different techniques, and then see how they fell together into the dogwood blossom at a distance. All my stuff works best at arm’s length – that seems to be where I think about it most, and the size I work with. This was an attempt to get past arm’s length to across-the-room. The consensus of the critique was that there was enough material here for five or six pieces, and to pull some of the squares off and work to unify the whole. I couldn’t take anything off, because it was glued on too tight. And because I still kind of like it that way. So I thought about ways to pull the parts together to make a single thing. My best idea was lots and lots of thread.

On Monday, I started working into the background with thread. Then I did it some more. Then I did it some more after that. I broke two needles and ran through 5 or 6 bobbins of thread underneath. There is probably 300 yards of thread all over the background there. The theory was to pull the background together in a more unified way, so the squares weren’t quite so blocky, and make the blossom pop out. I tried to work into the non-blossom edges of the little squares too, to integrate them more into the background, and make the edges of the squares matter less than the edge of the blossom. It was surprisingly counterintuitive to make the stitching lines cross each other. My first thought was more stitching in the same direction, but it needed something else instead, so I tried to go across all the first set of stitches with the second set.

I do think the stitching improved the unity of the background. I don’t think it did it enough. I do like the little squares of close-up in the picture, but I can see how they are distracting pasted on like that. One suggestion was to make a border of them, but I think that would have been even busier, and harder to understand where the details were coming from – what they were details of.

The TIF challenge for April is "change".

I’m good with change.

14 thoughts on “March TIF done

  1. I like what the stitching does to tie the different parts together. Maybe it’s due to viewing the piece as a photo displayed on a CRT, but to my eye, the stitching helps tie the busyness of the petal with the now increased detail of the background, making the petal pop less rather than more. (I realize it might read very differently in person.) And was the background on the left portion as varied in tone as it appears now or is the photo augmenting that perception? At any rate, I think the differences in the background tone helps draw the eye out from the raised squares, again tying the petal and background together more. Nice.


  2. I’m amazed at the amount of dedication you put into this. (I tend to throw my TIF pieces together at the last minute.) It’s beautiful, and I agree with Cindy’s comments about the background and the petal. It’s kind of a new take on a sampler, in a way, and a lovely piece. I enjoyed your blog, and plan to come back.


  3. The picture obliged and enlarged when I clicked on it ( unlike blogger) and the details are what I find most interesting.Each 2inch square is so different but they come together so well.great use of colour too.


  4. I like the idea that whole is made from small, individual artworks. And why is it that the machine never plays up at the start of a piece, it’s always when you’ve committed as much to something as you had????


  5. Hi Lee! Are you the Lee that did the journal quilts at Valley Fabrics? Love what you did with the 2 inch squares. time consuming and definitely detail oriented. I passed on March’s challenge as I was on vacation in Puerto Rico. Will pick up with April’s “change” theme.
    hope all is well with you and your girls. I recognized your daughters from one of the pics on flikr.


  6. I really like what you ended up with and loved reading about how you got there. I especially like the light bluish-grey halo which sets off the pink dogwood blossom beautifully. Your piece reminds me of woods in Springtime.


  7. Hi, I think this is a wonderful piece. having the small pieces on it in different styles is a wonderful way to work and has given the piece an accurate image with a slightly abstract feel to add to the mystery. I really do like this.


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