Caro Higgs – Decay

Winter on the coast

This was not a subject which I found very easy, for me, decay more often than not relates to animal life but I chose to depict decay by relating it to dying plant life. Some plants are almost more beautiful in a state of semi decay than they are when growing, in the sense that their architecture comes into evidence. I have continued with the same coastline as in my Blooming piece, a fishing hut is there, blue this time which is in stark contrast with its surroundings, and the tide is out. There is a green field in the background and then the rest of the vegetation is dull as are the colours of the muddy rocks and stones at low tide. This is fairly typical of the coastline that I often walk, somehow there is an elegance in the structure of the plant life before it gives in the wind and rain. Nature is wonderful in its mysterious way.

The background was painted on cotton sateen and then machine embroidered, then houses were coloured with aquarelle crayons because I wanted them to be true to their colour but not too dominant, they were then raw edge appliquéd and lightly top-stitchedLikewise for the fishing hut and its stilts. The plant stems and stilts are cut out of a commercial batik to give a non-uniform colour and then they are blanket stitched by machine. The dead flower heads are hand stitched in two different weights of thread.


Decay : winter on the coast

Close up detail.

detail Decay: winter on the coast

  1. Love your observation notes on plants’ life. And your capture of their (de)construction is fantastic.

  2. The coast is a source of inspiration and your ability to observe combined with the ability to transpose details and feelings into your work have created a fascinating quilt. I love it.

  3. It is a beautiful second piece for your series. I really like how you have captured every detail and how the houses in the distance give a good sense of perspective.

  4. Your work gives a true feeling of winter. I love lots of texture created by quilting and hand stitching.

  5. studiociboulette

    Incredible feeling of winter in your piece. The choice of colors and details are perfect.

  6. I love it. Plants in wintertime are so characteristic and you managed to create them very well. The background is great, subtle and well balanced. Lovely quilt.

  7. I love the twiggy plant shapes and the contrast between the spikiness of these and the gentle background scene.

  8. I definitely feel the death of wintry nature and the decay. You have achieved your goal! I like the 3D effect as well. Very good piece!

  9. Caro this is such a beautiful piece. The plants in the front gives to so much depth. I love the little houses in the background, they are almost hidden, but are still such a strong part of the
    composition. The quilting is beautiful and so effective. Bravo!

  10. joanbrailsford

    I really love this piece and the way that the background is so detailed yet is not the main story. The way that the structure of decaying plants is revealed, is a favourite subject of mine, and you have worked them beautifully. Lovely stitching throughout and attention to detail. Well done

  11. What a great piece! The background is so lovely and I really like the way you did the plants. Well done!

  12. The light blue sky and the blue of the hut contrasts and complements well with the brown, dried, broken, dead flowers. The background, the stilts, the muddy rocks and perspective is well done. I love your quilting and attention to detail.

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