Apr 20, 2011

Field Corn II

The fall season has to be my favorite time of the year. The colours, not of the leaves, but of the cut and drying fields attract my eye continually making my driving forays into the country a bit hazardous. How often have I muttered to myself  'thank god there isn't a cop nearby !' ?
From the bare brown of the dirt to the stubby corn stalks,  from the soft hues of old grassy knolls and ditches to the subtle golds and silvers of a field of corn that has not been cut yet. The beiges, browns and mauves give the countryside a warm fuzzy feeling ... that's what I like most about the fall.
Several years ago I ventured into the realm of large threadpaintings with the background being painted first ... much the same as the painted piece that you see on my header. I wet a large piece of fabric and laid it on a piece of plastic to paint. I knew I was going to do corn stalks so I thought I would experiment and try to create a field of barely there, representational stalks. Before I applied any paint I slightly scumpled up and pleated the wet cotton. Then I applied paint, darks in the ditches and lights on the crests of the manipulated fabric ... the result was fabulous !
From my own photograph I drew a life-size close-up of a field of corn. Many pieces in many shades of beige were laid out on my painted background and each piece was sewn, blending the right threads to produce the many colours that are present in a ripening corn stalk and the leaves.
I was in love !
It had turned out as I had seen it in my minds eye.
As it turned out, a juried show about farming was looking for entries. I sent in my photos of the piece (I had a poor camera then) and the piece was juried from the photos ... not an acceptable way, in my opinion ... but I was happy to have a place to show it. At the opening of the show the curator came over to me and said that I probably would have won an award if my photos had been better. For the duration of the show the curator ran a 'People's Choice Award' ... and I won it ! This piece, entitled Field Corn, is now in the collection of Mr. & Mrs. M. Dunlop .
It is approximately 24" x 48".

Now to get back to the present, with a one-man show coming up and new work to be done I decided that another corn painting would be exactly right for a show that would be hung inside an old silo. I am referring to my post of  Monday, March 21, 2011.
Again I painted my background in almost the same manner as the photo above. It has taken quite a bit of time to finish and I think I am almost there. Field Corn II coming right up.

Saturday Apr.22, 2011
I checked again today and yes I am satisfied that I have finished the stitching on Field Corn II. Yesterday was a hard day ... pulling out basting threads, making sure there were no thread ends hanging off the front, detailing all that needed some more strength, examining the whole work carefully, and lastly, signing my name.

It is done but not on a stretcher frame yet .... any puckering will be gone.

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