Monday, February 1, 2016


I have been busy creating pieces for an upcoming exhibit I'm doing with 2 friends at the NC Arboretum. Kate, Mary and I have done an exhibit there before; they give us the entire second floor to fill with our work. It's great fun and a wonderful opportunity to show and sell our work. The arboretum being nature orientated prefer that we exhibit things nature related - easy for the 3 of us as we all have done many pieces around that theme. I've been making some smaller pieces in a 9 x 12 size and using a pre-stretched canvas as a mounting board.
 My inspiration for the piece was a photograph featuring beautiful skies and sheer leaves in front. I always use my own photographs when printing on fabric...making it more personal and also to avoid any copyright issues. I took the above photograph on one of my travels. I needed to make it into a portrait orientation. I also knew that printing this photo would give me an 8 1/2 x 11 size which would be way too small.
 I needed to cut the photo in half after putting it in photoshop and making it a vertical orientation by unchecking the "constrain proportions" box allowing me to adjust the sides to any size. With some photos, doing this can distort the image but with nature, it usually works just fine.
 I was able to print each half of the photo into 8 1/2 by 11 prints, making it large enough to mount onto an 9 x 12 canvas and wrap around to the back.
The 2 halves were joined together by fusing a small strip of fusible web (around 1 ") along the top edge of the bottom photo, laying it over the top photo and fuse into place. It would be very obvious if you did a straight cut and then fused. It's better to cut along an uneven edge - in this case, the tree and building silhouette. Up close, you cannot see where the 2 pieces were joined which was my goal.
Next came the leaves to use as overlays. I had several options and made samples to see what created the most pleasing effect. I was working with organza which is very sheer with lots of body. The first sample was a silkscreen with a dark gray/black paint. It was way too heavy.
I loved the leaf and screened it on paper and then removed a lot of the dark areas using white out. From that new print, I was able to make another silkscreen which has a lighter look. After screening this onto organza, they were cut out. I liked the new look but thought they still might be too heavy.
 Throughout the process, I used a padded surface. Since organza is so sheer, much of the paint seeps through to the padding to create some really great images and fabric.

 My next option was to print these leaves onto organza using an inkjet printer. Inkjet images are much softer than a silkscreen which uses paint.
 I think I like this look better. The images were cut out and the edges burned with a wood burning tool giving a nice look to the edge which is obvious in the finished piece.
A branch was machine embroidered onto the surface. The leaves were attached using a monofilament thread stitching down the vein lines. I look at this piece and the first thing that comes to mind is a quiet, peaceful place hence the name  ...."Solitude".


  1. I wish everyone could see this in person as I have….it’s stunning…..though, of course if you are in the Asheville area….stop by the NC Arboretum - late April - July 5th.

  2. I love all your experiments with the leaves!! The printer on organza is really successful!

  3. Love seeing your experiments and thought process as you worked through this piece.....fabulous results!!!!!

  4. Love the leaves printed onto the fabric. So soft looking.

  5. making the leaves so shear was wonderful, they overlay very nicely. Thanks for showing your trial and error. Love the finished view.

  6. I really love the leaves! Thanks for taking us through your process and explaining what worked and what didn't. Really inspiring.