Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Callenge 17- Sue in the Flowers

I think this one was the hardest challenge for me by far. I do a lot with sunprinting and fused floral applique, but could not figure out how to go about putting it all together. I have never done anything depicting anyone's face, and the thought of doing mine..... scary.
I tried to think of a way of not showing my face, but this ended up coming out. My husband did recognize it as me. He is just beginning to take interest in what I do (and many times he has to move whatever is in process off the ironing board to iron a shirt- he really needs his own ironing board)

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have lived and breathed flowers and plants just about my whole life. A degree in floriculture and working at or owning greenhouse/flower shop businesses took up the first 27 years after high school (1 of our sons was in our greenhouse the day he came home from the hospital). My favorite book in high school was a book on forcing flowers to bloom any time of year.

We live on nearly 16 acres of land, and for the first years we lived here, I added a new garden each year, until there are more than I can easily keep up with. I told my husband many times that I would love to live in the middle of a botanical garden, surrounded with flowers. He also has an interest in gardening, too, so we're a good match.

I finally decided to just go for it, and started with a base of my painted fabrics, added some sunprints, then any flower I could lay my hands on. Delphiniums are one of my favorite flowers, so there are a pair of them. The Echinacea flowers are photos from my gardens printed on fabric, and other flowers are cut from floral fabrics. There are some silk flowers added, and even some flower shaped buttons. I added some butterflies cut from fabrics, and a couple metallic bead ones.

At this point, my favorite color is cobalt blue (and of course pink is right up there, too), so I am wrapped in a gorgeous blue silk fabric in this. My glasses are made from picture frame wire- was going to paint them gold to be more like mine now, but left them silver. Facial features were really hard to do (I don't have many photos of myself, to look at). I was going to add couched yarns to my hair, but just left it with colored pencil on the fabric, leaving this me a bit blonder than I really am. The necklace finished things off. Looking at the photo of the piece I see myself fading in comparison to the flowers around me, I guess that is how I am- hiding behind my flowers or quilts.

Here is a detail shot, showing some silk flowers, buttons, a butterfly bead, beaded flower centers, and organza with printed flowers appliqued, accented with yellow pencil centers, with clear crystals over them. I used gold metallic thread in a decorative stitch over the silk. Free motion quilting is done in clear thread.


Katieinnebraska said...

Sue, this is just so cool! I love what you've done with all the flowers. You look right at home in the middle of a beautiful garden.

Carole said...

Sue. this is beautiful!! I am so glad you jumped into the flowers.
Faces are very hard to do and I keep working on them, finding them everywhere, but it is not an easy thing to do. A gold star!! to be sure that you did this.

Cay Denise said...

Hi Sue,

You look embraced by your flowers! The face you've drawn and the hair are very delicate, and they do retreat into the sky background (the glasses too...which I like because they lend alot of character to the face). As a result, it gives the garden the stage.

In the piece, there is a part of you that appears as very grounded (represented by the cobalt blue dress/necklace) and a part that shies away from the limelight. This seems very congruent with how you've described yourself in the writing about what is important to you.

So, congratulations on a succesful piece that truly represents you!