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Topic: A Sunflower in Gormenghast  (Read 927 times)
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Ludi
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« on: January 15, 2014 09:20:15 AM »

Here's a big piece I've been working on since December, finally finished! I did this as a Research Project in the nerd-along. Embroidery and applique of Fuchsia and the sunflower that plays a small but pivotal role in the book Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake.   I was particularly interested in trying different textural and shading techniques using multiple fabric layers and stumpwork with turkey stitch.

...she had found among the wild grass and the nettles near the moat, a tall, heavy-necked sunflower with an enormous Ethiopian eye of seeds and petals as big as her hand and as yellow as even she could wish for.  But its long, rough neck had been broken and its head hung in a deadweight of fire among the tares.  She had feverishly bitten through those fibres that she could not tear apart where the neck was fractured and had run all the way with her wounded treasure through the castle and up the flights of stairs and into her room, and then up again, around and around as she climbed the spiral staircase, and had found the dark-blue glass vase and filled it with water and then, quite exhausted, had lowered the dry, hairy neck into the depths of the vase and, sitting upon the couch, had stared at it and said to herself aloud:
Sunflower whos broken, I found you, so drink some water up and then you wont die - not so quickly anyway.  If you do, Ill bury you.  Pentecost will give me a spade.  If you dont die, you can stay.  Im going now, she had finished by saying and had gone to her room below, and had found her nurse, but had made no mention of her sunflower.

Besides giving credit to Peakes descriptions and illustrations of his character Fuchsia, I need to mention the beautiful portrait photo Feel by Marta Syrko, which gave me Fuchsias pose and expression:  http://martasyrko.deviantart.com/art/feel-367596700


12x 16 inches, mounted on a canvas frame.

« Last Edit: January 15, 2014 10:30:47 AM by Ludi » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2014 09:37:56 AM »

Gorgeous Ludi!  I haven't gotten to that part of the book yet (now that I'm home I can set up a light and have my reading glasses on.  I only got a few chapters into Titus Groene, before my eyes said "STOP"), but the piece is intriguing with out a back story too.  The story reminded me of when I found a dead mouse when I was a preschooler and snuck cheese out to it everyday...just in case it was only sleeping... Grin
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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2014 10:15:56 AM »

Thanks suereal!  (when did you finally decide the mouse wasn't going to wake up?)

Here's a closer shot:



I don't mind saying this was a difficult challenge, full of flaws, and I'm not entirely happy with it.  But I started it (the hardest part - I agonized over it for months) and - remarkably - actually finished it!  Roll Eyes  It was a learning experience.
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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2014 10:21:16 AM »

It's hard to imagine those are all little stitches!  Looks almost like an applique..but my brain thinks in fabric not thread Grin

Well...after a few dasys, the wee creature was not there and I spent a few years being happy I had helped it to recover...but eventually I figured out what really happened to it....
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2014 10:24:17 AM »

It was originally going to be largely applique, but I kept putting more embroidery on it until there were big sections of solid stitching.    Tongue  All of the various different colored areas have fabric under them.  Fuchsia's skin has tan felt underneath, her dress has red cotton, the window arch is a stone-looking cotton print, and the background black and grey is the same background fabric I used for my other two Gormy portraits (Steerpike and the Doctor).  The sunflower has two yellow cotton prints. The whole shebang is stitched onto black linen.
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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2014 10:26:15 AM »

AH!  Now it makes more sense Grin
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« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2014 10:30:24 AM »

Wow! What an incredible art piece!
I kept trying to see where the fabric was and where the embroidery was. I even wondered if there were some painted areas. Until I finally realized it was mostly embroidery stitches I was seeing.
Just have to go look at it again...
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« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2014 11:03:42 AM »

That is just amazing! Your work is so inspiring. It is beautiful.
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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2014 01:12:46 PM »

Thank you!   Kiss
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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2014 03:52:04 PM »

This is just stunning!
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