Ella's Evening...

It's funny how long this little piece took me to make. I'm not sure if it was because I was "rusty" from not having worked on any art for so long, or whether it was because this piece was, in fact, tricksy to make - but it was a lot of work for such a tiny thing!

As you can see...
I added some hand-stitched and machine stitched grasses. 

The background ones were done by machine in purple thread, the ones with the bushy heads by hand in black perle cotton, and the dark green straight grasses were done by hand as well, in cotton quilting thread. 

I kept to the dark palette as the whole piece was meant to be in evening shadow, but all black gave it too flat an effect.

This tree was particularly problematic. 

As I told you last week, I wanted to do an entire piece out of painted lutradur, and though I normally have zero issues with painted lutraudr - this bit was so heavily painted with layers of purple and black and eggplant and burgundy before I cut it out, that once dry, its properties were very much like painted paper towel - and as as you may recall - painted paper towel doesn't stand up well to a lot of stitching, which this tree was. 

First I wanted it to recede into the background somewhat, so I was literally trying to "squish it down" with stitching, and then, as pieces of the branches started breaking off, I had to do jump stitches over them to hold the tiny, fragile ends down. 

This meant that the paint actually started flaking off from the needle, leaving little white dots behind.  *grumpy sigh* So then, after it was all done, I had to painstakingly go over it with the teeniest of fine brushes and hand paint in all of the white dots. AUGH.

The repair job on that little tear however was easey peasey.  The first thing I tried (matte gel medium) did the trick.

That little dot on Ella's back is a mistake that I just noticed (apparently I must have had a bit of paint on my hand and smudged it on); and it would be easy enough to repair that with a bit of purple or ochre paint - but as I type this, I see it looks a bit bird-like, so I'm going to form it up properly into a bird, and then this piece will really, really be me. ;) Umm yeah. I did it on purpose! :D

I wrapped it on a gallery canvas this time instead of my usual one inch canvas, and though I quite like the effect, I won't do this often, because it will (I imagine) add quite a bit to the shipping costs for sales, and will also add quite a bit to the sale cost itself, as they cost literally 5 times as much as the usual canvases I use.

However, I do like the look of it, so I may do more like this if it seems appropriate - possibly on smaller pieces to give them more gravitas. What are your thoughts on the pros/cons of the gallery canvas vs. regular?

But, it's finally done, so poor Ella can go to sleep! 

See you on Wednesday. :)

Kit Lang


  1. The very first thing I saw the little bird on Ella back and I thought to myself how clever you were to add this appropriate detail!. I won't tell! I just love this and the colors are amazing! Ella is pleased (I can tell).

  2. very cute. i love hearing about your process---the ups and downs. you do lovely work.

  3. Ella is a most wonderful piece of art. I love her, Kit.

  4. Beautiful, there is a wonderful glow to the piece. The bird is a great touch. I do like gallery canvases but they are so much more expensive and I suspect you are right about shipping costs - and who wants to add any more to them these days!

  5. Love the wee bird as it is. just the right scale and visibility for the scene.
    What makes you choose painting lutrador over painting fabric in a similar way - ie the layers of colour which caused the stitching difficulties.
    Sandy in the UK

  6. love the grasses especially!!


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