I spent a couple of days putting hand embroidery onto the crayon paper from last week. (See below for earlier posts about it if you are just tuning in.) The peice is kinda big (18 or so inches or maybe about 40cm square-ish) I had an idea about staying with just three different stitches: the herringbone, like in the pale blue checkerboard in the middle; a blanket stitch, as in the big circle on the right and the dark blue Xs below it; and the chain as in the smaller blue circle in the lower left. But I couldn't quite stick to that and used a running stitch (hmm .. not entirely satisfied there)
After I decided that I had put enough embroidery on the piece I got to thinking about the question How much is too much? Or: how does one know when one is done? I had an artist in the studio this summer asking the same question. She was having so much fun that I thought her answer was probably "whenever you want to stop", or "whenever you have to give the piece back to its owner" (there was a schedule for this costume).
But for this piece I thought that I would take it through several layers and media and see if I reached a state of Too Much.
Not yet apparently: I had some painted brown bag that worked beautifully with the colors of embroidery floss so began cutting and gluing them in place:
Do you want to know how I got the triangles and ovals to exactly match the stitched spaces?(this seemed vaguely brilliant and terribly fussy to me: I laid a piece of white tissue paper on top and traced and labeled each triangle, each little space. When I had cut them out I could put them on the section of painted paper that I wanted(either the dark blue parts or the white dotted parts) and set them in their proper places awaiting some gel medium for gluing. I glued and weighted all of the parts overnight to make sure that the corners stuck. It worked.
Still ready for more visual intrigue, I got out some acrylic paint and had at some surrounding areas:
And here too: (very top and very bottom)
*crayon and other color sticks on brown paper
*acrylic paint wash
*iron on fusible
*writing a poem-ish statement about Who Forgets and Who Remembers
*drawing in marker the general over-pattern inspired by Indian sari patchwork
*machine stitching to felt
We await the next step ...