Thursday, April 3, 2014


The EGA is currently offering a Challenge, Thinking like a Painter with Fabric, Threads, and Yarns, with Judith Baker Montano.  I really like her work and the Challenge would be a chance to use some of her techniques and ideas to make my own design.  

So, I'm really thinking about doing this. I'd do the Challenge with a Twist--for a bit extra fee, I can have her review things before I get too far, followed by a critique at the end.

I need an image with a distinct background, midground and foreground.  I've been looking through my photos and I can't decide. I've weeded it down to three and I'm not sure which would be the most interesting and has the strongest design.

All of my choices include either people or houses--some sign of people. Most of Judith's designs do not have people (although some have houses).  And I don't take many landscapes--most of my photos are of family and friends or are close ups of details I see.  

Please let me know what you think about these photos--can you see any of them as embroideries?  Does one stand out to you? Do you think they're all "feh"? 
 1. Lake Michigan
 2. Avebury
3. Longstones


Susan Elliott said...

I really like Lake Michigan. I like the shoreline and grasses, the water and the reflection of the sun, and the person standing at the waters edge. Second fave is the one with the road. This sounds like an outstanding exercise and program. I would love to do it myself. I wonder if our guild could get her as well?? Good luck. I know you will learn a lot from this exercise.

terryb said...

This is an interesting exercise in itself. I found the Avebury photo the most interesting, though I would probably edit the people (and most likely some of the sheep) out. Even changing the angle of the view a bit might help to simplify and focus the scene more.

I think we'll have to edit a lot to get to the focal point, and interpret what is left. In other words, what you end up with may scarcely resemble the photo, but perhaps it will mirror your memory.

Judith has a couple of excellent books. You are probably already familiar with them. The earlier book (2009) is Fibreart Montage: Combining quilting, embroidery and photography with embellishments. It is a spiral bound version that contains a lot of photos for inspiration, and the schematics of her initial drawings/paintings. There are finished pieces to show the results, too.

The other is Free-Form Embroidery: transforming traditional stitches into fiber art, published in 2012. It is quite different as she illustrates various motifs from nature, using common and simple stitches to interpret them. Her earlier stitch guides are quite good as well.

I really am excited by the idea of the Challenge with a Twist program. I haven't located my photo yet; it's one I took many years ago. When I find it, it will probably be much different than I remember it. My photo is--well, I want to say simpler and more intimate, but I'm not sure that's really what I mean. It is a smaller slice of the landscape: a large tree with some fungus/mushroom type growths on the forest floor. There's a small wetland area nearby with marsh marigolds in bloom. It was taken from the edge of the road. I may be merging two different pictures, but that might be a good challenge too.

Your three photos seem to be on a grander scale, with broad landscapes, more similar to what Judith does. I can picture you having all the stash you need to develop your piece already at hand whichever one you choose. I wonder which it will be.

I didn't mean to write an essay, but it should be fun to see what we each develop.

Jenny Woolf said...

I think Avebury offers lovely possibilities though I might place the sheep slightly differently. Lake Michigan is gorgeous but is there quite enough variety to make a great embroidery? Well, I don't know if these are helpful comments but that's what I think!

Anonymous said...

I think any of the photos would make a lovely landscape. Artistic license can turn anything into the best it can be!

Jane said...

I like 1 and 2, but 1 the most. I like the balance between foreground, focus and backgound.

Jane said...

I like 1 and 2, but 1 the most. I like the balance between foreground, focus and backgound.

Jane said...

I like 1 and 2, but 1 the most. I like the balance between foreground, focus and backgound.

Southpaw Stitcher said...

As much as I love Lake Michigan, I like photos 2 and 3 the best. Have fun with your choice!