Auditioning Skies For Tiny Landscapes

The piece I have in mind involved one of two options, one being hand sewing over strips of coloured fabric, as I’ve done a bit of lately; or placing lots of little landscapes against some kind of ‘sea’ background. That really needed me to make a bunch from which to choose, so in the past few days I made these 35. As I worked on them, it was easy to forget how tiny these little landscapes really need to be, with some ending up too big to go into the layout on the 40cm x 60cm format. Clearly some I want to use I’ll have to trim down to the size of the smallest ones here:

I mean these earthy coloured abstracts to convey the variety of landscape colours in our huge continent nation, not to be actual pictures of anywhere. They’re really memories of ‘home’ and all that word conjures up, meaning I can’t listen to certain songs without tearing up a bit, as in “Our home is girt by sea.”

In the group photo above, the difference between the sprayed blues I’ve used conveys different moods that can be felt in a landscape during changing weather. Each was carefully auditioned before I cut into a sky colour. Here’s an example – the blue spray was onto a couple of pieces of light grey shibori fabric, and using one of these I felt would give the feeling of an approaching storm across a flat landscape that I have so often seen and experienced, so I went with the upper left option.

Auditioning sky fabric options: final choice upper left. Mood – stormy.

I find I can do a maximum of 3-4 hours only on this each day, after which I need a change of activity, or other things call for my attention, anyway, so the plan of action from here on is:

  • Select the 24 little pieces I most love, bearing in mind that not all Australia is iconic red sandy desert, so include plenty of greeny ones.
  • At least some of those will need to be trimmed or even re-cut and sewn to make much smaller. They’re so fiddly that for one or two it might just be simpler to find more of those little scappy bits and sew another.
  • By ‘trimmed’ I don’t mean cut to a square or rectangular shape; I mean to preserve the irregular edges to a degree.
  • Arranging them in their 24 spots on the background.
  • Decide if any stitching or applique needs to be done to the ocean part of the background before attaching the landscapes.
  • Making some samples to help decide whether to applique them by machine or hand, and what thread(s) to use for that.

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