Joan Brailsford – Music
Old music of the deep woods
Inspiration: I thought about the old stories of fairies and sprites who live in the deep dark woods, and I wondered if they might make the curious sounds of the woods.
I have always liked fairy stories and I wanted to finish my ‘trees’ series by imagining a woodland spirit, and I depicted him playing a violin to further imagine the music he makes giving a quiet woodland its special sounds. I used a space-dyed fabric to make the woodland background and used fern leaves to print with green acrylic paint. I then added a layer of transfer-printed organza to the bottom 2/3 of the background to give the hazy light filtering down to the woodland floor, followed by applique tree trunks. I used a commercial leaf block to print again on top of this to add more depth. I traced a picture of an old elf clothed in leaves, and pieced the image together on Tissuetex before applying it to the background.
The quilting was done by hand and consisted of shadow stitching around the figure, the tree trunks and the gold leaves. I used some silk fibres at the bottom of the piece to give the impression of mossy earth. I then added some finer branches, fern details, woodland plants and grass, then tiny gold French knots in the open areas to suggest ‘fairy dust’ falling magically down. After adding the binding I continued some of the fine branches and grassy plants to the edges of the piece.
Close up views: