Monday, November 23, 2020

Ceci n'est pas une poisson or Sweet Lips

This the final project from my couching class with Natalie Dupuis. We were to take the knowledge that we had gained in class and create a piece of needlework with as many of the couching techniques as we wanted.

As you already know, I love the art of James Christensen. One of the best things about his art is that it has a sense of humor and makes you smile. He usually included a floating fish in his paintings. They symbolized magic and wisdom, kind of an unexpected insight into the meaning of the whole design. Reminding us to look at more that just the surface but what it was trying to tell you.

The best kind of art appeals to us on many different levels. It creates beauty but also has room for us to find our own meaning in the creation.  An understanding of the technique that you are using is necessary to the final design. I have always told my students that they need to know how the do the stitches correctly so that when they do them differently there is a reason for it.  It is rather like the support from which to take flight and soar. Not all of  the areas have traditional couching techniques. I just sort of made some of them up as I went along. Of course not every work that we do has such deep meaning, sometimes it is just to play with shape, color and texture. Part of this design is the title. Ceci n'est pas une poisson  means This is not a fish. At least not any that swims in nature but one from a flight of fancy so a bit of fun with words for those who understand the meaning.

Here is the final drawing for the fish. By this time I had decided on colors and some of the stitches.

The design is transferred to the silk. Some of the details are drawn on with pen. I started some of the couching on her belly.

I used copic pens to color in some of the areas. The vermicelli needed a darker aqua as a background and for the other areas it helps when there were tiny gaps in the rows of stitching there was color behind it.

The top band of Ceci uses a 371 thread that changes color when the viewing angle changes much like a real fish. The eye is a thin piece of Paua shell that was glued to a white cotton and stitched in place.

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