Joan Brailsford – Series #3 – Complementary – Rough land
The complementary colours I chose are blue and orange, and although my subject is ‘trees’ I wanted to use orange in the background rather than for the leaf colours, as I didn’t want to be too literal when depicting the tree. I also wanted to depict the roughness of a moorland landscape where isolated trees grow.
The orange landscape uses fabrics of different weights and textures which are raw-edge pieced, and manipulated by tucking, gathering, couching and both machine and hand stitching. The sky uses a whole piece of hand-dyed cotton and is kept much less busy as a contrast to the land. The tree trunk and branches are made from randomly gathered and pleated dark blue light-weight cotton, cut and manipulated to shape and hand-stitched in place. The leaves are made by cutting rough diamond shapes from an assortment of blue fabric scraps. These are then gathered in the middle to form pairs of leaf shapes and each pair is hand-stitched in place only at the centre gather. The edges are left raw and they are loose except at the centre, so they form soft ‘piles’ of foliage.
I used machine stitching to quilt swirls in the sky (to simulate clouds), and to add a few contour lines in the ground. The remainder of the quilting uses hand-stitching, adding further lines and texture to the ground, and when adding the leaves to the tree.
The finished piece is rather tactile, which is not really conveyed in a photograph, but trust me, it’s nice to touch!
Keywords: complementary colours, raw-edged piecing, manipulated by tucking, randomly gathered and pleated, machine and hand stitching, blue fabric scraps
Close up view:
Other pieces in the series: