Joan Brailsford – Reflections – City windows
I found this month’s challenge quite difficult because I couldn’t quite distill my ideas into a design that worked for me. However with a bit of persistence I eventually got to the final result you see here, which is my impression of the reflections seen in the glass and shiny surfaces of large city buildings.
I started by finding, manipulating and printing pictures of building reflections, on transfer fabric. These were cut into window shapes and added to the commercial fabric that I used for the background. I didn’t want the windows to fill the piece, because a city scape contains gaps and open spaces between and among the buildings. I therefore left one ‘window’ open, and positioned the ‘building’ so that there is open space to one side. To emphasise the geometric nature of city architecture, I decided to use straight line machine quilting, and I tried to pick up and extend some of the lines within the pictures. I used a gold thread for the quilting to depict the glints and shafts of light that come between buildings and that reflect off the shiny surfaces.
I added a few hand stitched wiggly lines in the open areas, to echo the contortion of the straight lines that form in the reflections. I also used metallic acrylic paint to highlight a few of the shapes produced by the intersecting lines. I did not want to add too many of these extra elements as I wanted the overall look to be clean and crisp, and to stay true to an urban sleek feel. To this end I used a plain binding, but once it was done, I decided it was too drab, so I extended the quilting lines into the binding, and this was much more in keeping with the effect I wanted.
Since most of my work involves a great deal of hand stitching, this is quite a departure for me, but I did enjoy the change of pace.
Close up views: