Joan Brailsford – Series #2 – Abstract: The light through the trees
My starting point for this piece was finding the space-dyed commercial fabric which reminded me so much of a misty-vague view of tree trunks in a dense forest. It looked to me like a half-light creeping through the trees so that only their shapes are discernible. I wanted to include the shapes of branches seen when you look up towards the sky, and the shape of leaves which of course determine the tree itself.
I used the dyed fabric as the whole-piece background, and used my own hand-dyed orange square on which I chain-stitched the design of the branch shapes. I added an echo line of machine quilting to emphasise the patterns of the branches, but left plain areas to form calm islands in an otherwise overgrown abstract forest (in the same way that looking towards the sky lifts the viewer out of the forest landscape).
I added squares of commercial black and white fabric that suggested to me the veins on leaves, and created leaf shapes around these with more chain-stitching. I used the same leaf shapes and a dark but sparkly thread below the trees, to give the impression of fallen leaves or undergrowth. The orange circular pieces can be thought of either as cross-sections through cut wood, or as the sun casting it’s light through the trees. I used more hand-dyed fabrics for these with running stitches and chain stitches.
The forest background uses machine quilting to further suggest the spaces between the tree-trunks and to emphasise the difference between the light and dark areas. I used wiggly vertical lines for the quilting to suggest tree bark. Finally I added some branch shapes in chain-stitch at the top of the piece, similar to those in the square, to suggest the tops of the trees.
Close up views:
overgrown abstract forest, design of branch shapes, machine quilting, chain-stitching, forest landscape, half-light creeping through the trees, leaf shapes
Series previous pieces: