Mar 21, 2012

The Sentinel - Study of the Group of Seven

Almost a month later I finally finish my Group of Seven Study ! 
Honestly, it was so very hard not to copy it outright.
So, I took the jack pine as my focus, too ... because it is so beautiful, and beautifully captured by Tom Thomson almost a hundred years ago !
Besides, I can't resist lone trees atop the Canadian Shield. 
But I did add a top to the tree ...  missing in Tom Thomson's original painting. 
I tried to utilize the original colouring as best I could but removed the background  ... now the pine stands against the water and sky at that brief moment where the two blend and the division is almost indiscernible. I have chosen to simplify the foreground in the style of  Lawren Harris (founder of the Group) ... which I have been unwittingly been doing myself for dozens of years.
In this study of Tom Thomson's, Jack Pine, 1916, I realized on closer examination that he had painted the sky and water in horizontal brush strokes and the tree in vertical brush strokes. I was already intrigued ! How could I show that idea in my threadpainting ?  I tried to figure a way while spending endless hours stitching the water/sky in stitched lines that we're about an eigth of an inch apart. When I was ready to do the pine I tried vertical lengths of satin stitch on the branches of the tree ... I loved the look immediately !!!  I just wish I had thought of doing that for the sky and water but it took 2 spools of thread (top and bobbin threads) just to do the tree branches. The size of this piece, approx. 17"x26", would have meant another 2 months of stitching and a lot more money ! Because the fabric shrinks when heavily stitched, I ended my piece by going back into the background several times to try and remove any buckling that occurred.
So, finished, I am satisfied and will attempt to try new lessons on new pieces.

... some 'buckling' occuring
... finished 'tho not stretched yet ... approx. 17" x 26"

... close-up of the vertical satin stitching

Speaking of cost, I just bought  thread for my next painting ... 7 spools and $30 later ... with a guarantee that I will be going back for more before I  am finished that one ! Those few spools only represent to threads you see on the top ... underneath are equal amounts of thread for the bobbin !
No wonder I'm a starving artist ... or rather hubby is the starving, but understanding, husband of an obsessed fibre artist.


  1. Your art is amazing ! I am envious of anyones ability to sew (much less PAINT with thread!!) as i can barely turn on o sewing machine!! Thank you for your comment on my blog .... I love the quotes you have here too! Hope to 'see' you again and your wonderful art too! Kp

  2. Hi Kae Pea,
    I am so sorry that I did not see your comment before now .... I am embarrassed.
    Thank you for your lovely comments on my work ... greatly appreciated. I hope you visit often. Sharron

  3. Thanks for your visit to my blog. I love this piece! WOW! it is gorgeous. I have relatives from Guelph and my dad and his folks were from St Catherines.

    Cheers Patti

  4. Wow, it's beautiful! How do you stretch your pieces?
    I read through some of the earlier posts as well, sounds like an interesting class. I'm always drawn to lone, scraggly pine trees. I'm not sure why.

  5. Many thanks for your lovely comments !
    Pattio ... I am born & bred here ... maybe I know your family.
    HollyM .... when my canvas is as evenly shrunk with stitching as I can possibly get it, I wet the canvas well and stretch over a painters stretcher frame and staple it, seriously ... it shrinks and tightens as it dries. this requires help sometimes as my arthritic hands aren't very strong anymore .... my friends or my daughter like to help out.
    Nice to see that we have scraggly pines in common.

  6. What a beautiful rendition of a Canadian icon.

  7. Thanks Judy ... sorry that it took so long to see your comment !