Despite this piece having the working title of 'Green Piece', I started it when I was on the 'Gorgeous Grey' course. It is inspired by a photograph I took of a barge, one misty morning on the Rhine. I have used various strengths of grey and also a black mixed with yellow to create the green colour.
I've lost count of how many layers of the grey dye I painted on, to get the effect I was looking for. The problem was, I was never happy with the boat. I considered cutting out a panel of fabric to remove the boat but I would have also lost some of the colour gradation that I worked so hard to achieve. Another idea I considered was painting over the boat with screen inks. I did some trials with acrylic paint, which proved it was possible to achieve but risky.
So on Saturday, I asked the group at C2C to give me some feedback. They didn't seem to have the same issue that I did with the shape of the boat but did suggest that it was too bright , too well defined if it was indeed in fog... and they were right. I was guilty of not looking properly! I used the colours I thought the boat was not the colours I could see.
|The original colours of my boat|
The suggested solution was to work on the back of the fabric, where the boat did indeed look misty. The problem was that I didn't have the same background definition I had on the front and although I added some more grey to the back it was clear it was going to take some time and effort to get it where I wanted it to be. I wasn't sure I could face all those dyeing sessions in the garage to bring the back up to the front's standard - what if I never achieved the same effect on the back? Besides, I had hoped to include it with my Lago Maggiore in an exhibition in April and time is running out.
Another plan was required so I got out these.....
...my box of Markal Stiks and used the beigey one over the boat to knock back the colours and make it appear more like it was in the mist. As you can see by the length of my stiks, I don't use them very much but I'm usually pleased when I do.
So now I need to layer up the fabric, and get stitching. I plan to do simple machine quilting and then to add hand stitch to the boat. I'll let you know how I get on but I'm feeling a lot more positive about where it's going and that I will have it finished in time for the exhibition at the start of April.