Feb 24, 2012

The Background ... of a new work

Why does the sight of a lone, crooked pine, barely attached to a rocky outcrop, attract us so ?
And it just isn't me I'm talking about ... that one tree will snap everyone's focus to attention, every time !
I personally have done quite a few fibre art pieces of these 'icons' myself. My very first sketch of a lone pine was from a photo that I took almost 40 yrs ago of one such 'icon', perched on the granite point between the 2 beaches of the Granite Saddle campground, Killbear Provincial Park, Parry Sound, Ontario. That sketch became the subject of at least a half dozen different pieces of work as I was learning 'embroidery' techniques. I would have to say that these tree's are my very favorite thing to sketch, draw, paint and photograph.

This year, my study class of the Group of Seven has resulted in another lonely, solitary pine atop a rocky point in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Tom Thompson's 'Jack Pine'- 1916/17 ... painted nearly 100 years ago !  Tom Thompson (1877-1917) loved this area very much and had led members of the Group to paint Canada's wilderness many times. An avid outdoors-man, his brush was silenced forever after he drowned in Canoe Lake, Algonquin Park, leading many to question his death .

The instructor of this study class is Richard Nevitt, retired from OCAD after 39 yrs. He has lead us on this study through the development of our own journal and encouraged us to sketch smaller areas of the Group's paintings, 'seeing' what we missed before at first glance, and utilizing all our other senses as we develop our sketches. "Everyone has their own visual language."
Although the class was devised for oil, acrylic & watercolour painters, my fellow fibre artist, Elizabeth, and I are developing our own strategies to make fibre art pieces from this study.

Sketches from 'Winter In The Northern Woods' , Lawren Harris -c. 1915
Richard Nevitt encourages anyone to draw on any paper ... an LCBO bag takes ink very well ...a  negative sketch of  'Wild Flowers', Tom Thompson, 1915, which lends itself to Sybil Rampen's singed paper/fabric technique.
Developing tonal values of another by Tom Thompson
Some attempts at simplifying, even more, Tom Thompson's 'Jack Pine' in a more Lawren Harris way ... this painting is the one I am developing to do as my final painting for this class.

From Tom Thompson's 'Jack Pine' ... all the 'language, feelings, mood and possible stitchery methods/techniques' are added to the margin's as I sketch.

The background has been painted, the painted tree parts have been applied and the threads have been chosen ... the only thing left, to figure out, is an appropriate title for my study of Tom Thompson's 'Jack Pine'


  1. I saw your work on Flickr so have just visited your blog. I'm fascinated by this process you are following and how it will develop. I'd really like to see the results. I've been threadpainting for many years and have lately returned to it, hoping to work toward an exhibition of my own.I do find it difficult to make the time to work on my pieces though!

    1. Welcome to my blog, Claire !
      I have just visited Tasmania on your flickr site ... wonderful to see a country so far away through your eyes !
      Pls.let me know me if you ever make that trip to Toronto !
      Looking forward to seeing some of your work when you get an exhibition up !

    2. Fabulous!!
      you are FABULOUS!
      : )

      Please come be featured at The Needle & Thread Network (dot blogspot dot com)!! Sign up under 'feature fridays'. ALso, link your blog anytime to WIP Wednesdays - just for Canucks!

      ~Monika in Saskatoon
      (yippee I found you!!)

    3. Wow ... Thank you Monika. I will sure take a look !