Wednesday, April 15, 2009
A limitless sky
After my last post, in which I introduced my new Sanibel Island, Florida, lighthouse ornament design, I received a question from Pierrette Pattyn. She asked what my ideal lighthouse would be, if I could control all the elements of the design. Her question really got me thinking, and prompted me to go back into my file of lighthouse photos to review what I had done.
What struck me most was the way in which I had approached stitching skies. Probably my favorite is the one I did for the Portland Head, Maine, lighthouse as an insert for a Sudberry House pencil box (top left). I stitched this sky in basketweave over a solid blue canvas using four shades of blue DMC cotton floss. Starting at the top with the darkest shade of blue, I "built in" clouds, varying the cloud layers by alternating light and dark shades of blue from the same family.
I was able to use this technique again in stitching the New London Ledge lighthouse in my home state of Connecticut (top right). Because this canvas was designed for a Sudberry House bookend, I had more room to play around with the sky. For the Bass Harbor Head, Maine, bookend insert (bottom left), I used four different shades of blue DMC floss but layered the shades randomly in basketweave, with the darkest shade at the top graduating to the lightest shade at the horizon.
And, just to keep myself humble, I've posted a photo of a "lighthouse ornament gone wrong"--Heceta Head lighthouse in Oregon (bottom right). The lighthouse itself is accurately represented, but my choice of stitch--jacquard--in a solid shade of DMC floss is a prime example of messing up a canvas by using a decorative stitch that isn't the slightest bit realistic! My only excuse for over-engineering this canvas is that I did it in 2002, and I've learned a heck of a lot since then!
Now I'll go back to needle-blending the Sanibel Island lighthouse sky, so you can have something to look at in my next post!