Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Journal Quilts 2015

I have signed up for the CQ Journal Quilts (JQ's) again this year but with a very different purpose in mind this time. My sister has been doing a great deal of digging into our paternal family tree recently, finding that for a hundred or so years the family were based in the Cambridgeshire Fenland village of Wicken. In the summer we went to explore the village and actually found the old family home with remnants of the family Blacksmith business. A very grounding event and one which has kick started my interest in the fenland landscape.

The fens are a flat landscape where active management of the many dykes, drains and ditches are necessary. The soil is dark and rich, you can see for miles, the sky is vast and trees and buildings stand tall against the sky.

I have been exploring ways of creating tiny 12" x 6" landscapes for the first four of my JQs. This is a new departure for me, never having tried to depict anything realistically before. I feel quite uncomfortable doing this, out of my comfort zone! It has been a challenge, one I'm not yet happy with, and while I have now created the first four pieces, I'm hoping to have time later in the year to go back and try further whole landscape pieces to perfect them.
This first group are winter pieces, where it is skeletal trees which seem to dominate the landscape.

January's piece is just an attempt to depict the vast sky and empty landscape, snow dyed old family linen makes up the sky with cotton field, machine quilted and hand embroidered. I have used felt as my middle layer in all these pieces to keep the pieces flat and with minimum loft.

February is frosty and cold with the colour leached out of the landscape, and a poor attempt at the water of a dyke. I liked using scrim teased out to give the scudding cloud.

March sees the mist settle on the land forming a blanket through which the trees emerge. Machine embroidered trees on commercial cotton are then partially covered on hand painted scrim which is then stitched through to give the impression of the emerging trees. I'd like to do this again when I have the time, I'm sure I could make a better job of it if I tried more versions!

April depicts the sunset on gorgeous spring days but with the trees still bare and the ploughed fields still brown. I like the feel of this piece if you do not look too closely!

I am now working towards the next group of four which will concentrate on details in the landscape with the final four being attempts at abstractions of the landscape.

1 comment:

  1. I love your skeletal trees, especially against that snow-dyed January sky. Really effective!