Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Twilight on the Trail
Here is another of my favorite abstract designs, TUCSON TWILIGHT. With the mellow purple and gold colors it truly glows with warm earthtone colors. When I designed it, I was thinking of the deep purple shadows of the desert, stretching out across a hot golden landscape. (But sometimes when people call to order it and call it "Tuscan Twilight", I don't correct them. It certainly COULD be a Tuscan twilight, too...don't you think?)
I enjoy thinking up fun (and easy) stitch combinations that also echo the theme of the design. I like the diagonal zig zag rows that create little spaces to add small flower motifs. This pattern reminds me of woven blanket patterns you find in the southwest. And check out the upper diagonal row of simple straight stitches - done with the variegated thread (Wildflowers 016 - "Bark") it has a very sophisticated look. Add some beads, and a very easy stitch looks very elegant.
I'm always amazed at how different patterns look when you change the texture or thickness of the thread. In these Impressionist Collection designs, I use the narrow borderlines to create two different stitching areas: the outer areas use 1 ply of the #5 Watercolours, and the central, inner area uses 1-2 ply of the finer Wildflowers thread. When the pattern "crosses the border" (as I say in the instructions) you continue the same pattern, but in the thicker thread...creating a darker, richer version of the pattern. I just LOVE the contrast between the two different areas. And as you can see in the photo of the whole design at the top, it creates depth, dimension, light changes, and drama. Looks very complex, doesn't it?
And here's one thing that's different about this pattern: I created two-colored borders. I had never tried that before and wanted to create a shadowed effect on the lower left corner. Instead of using just one color, I joined two border colors together by splicing/overlapping the colors. It's a simple enough technique, but not one that you see used very often. It's worth trying on canvases where you want the border to shadow the main design, and give it extra weight and dimension.