Saturday, May 1, 2010

Harakeke

Harakeke  (commonly known as flax) is a species of lily unique to New Zealand and grows throughout the country. My inspiration came from photos taken by my sister Chantel on one of her many excursions to Tongariro National Park in the centre of the North Island in New Zealand - home to three volcanoes, including the distinctive cone of Mt Ngaruahoe, and skifields.
 

For a fleeting moment, I considered merging the two images to make kind of  a kiwi companion piece to Terry's Mt Hood in Winter but I wasn't sure how I would deal with the designated palette which, after all, is central to the challenge.

Instead, I decided to focus on the flax flowers which incorporated most of the palette.  I stripped out the blue background in Photoshop and manipulated the image to create two sprays  and then tried a variety of commercial products and printing methods to create a viable photo transfer.   I lost count of the duds I made along the way.  Eventually, I decided to try the Citrasolv method and refreshed my hazy understanding of the technique by reading the tutorial on Lisa's blog - Something About Nothing.  Magic - it worked!  I printed out the colour photos on my laser printer onto white fabric and then painted on a sulphur-coloured chartreuse background before quilting:
Relieved that at least I had something to put forward on reveal day, I still felt an urge to create a second piece.  This time, I used another tool in Photoshop to create a black image which I printed on to some hand-dyed fabric.  I then auditioned the photo transfer piece against some fiery shibori and you see the results above.

I also made a shibori magma piece but have not had a chance to complete the hand-stitching (I don't what I've been doing lately!) and it is not especially photogenic.

13 comments:

Terri Stegmiller said...

A wonderful quilt Brenda. I really like the horizontal section to the left. I look forward to seeing your unfinished shibori piece.

Terry said...

Wonderful images of the flax and your fabrics, as always are gorgeous! I think your mountain idea could have been executed using the palette, in a somewhat unrealistic way and could have been quite spectacular! I am imagining the mountain and sky done in the neutral tones, with the red and green plant form in front.

Gerrie said...

I love that right side shibori piece - yum yum. I also love the coloration in the green piece.

Anonymous said...

Love what you obtained with the Citra Solv! I didn't know it could do that, I'll have to buy double as much now, some for the cleaning and some for this.
Great Work!

-Amanda

Diane said...

Brenda, this piece surprises and delights me. I would not have identified this as yours, perhaps because I've not seen you work with an image so specifically in these challenges. But I like this very much! I love the shibori border and I love the contrast between the floral laciness and the strong stripes. I also really like how you've incorporated a piece of your cultural history into this. (The green piece is also very striking!) This makes me want to experiment with the citrasolve method and I will be going off to check the blog reference!

Kristin L said...

I would not have guessed these were yours either, but that's the point of this, isn't it -- to stretch ourselves?! I like that you used so much green on teh second one since it's exactly the opposite ratio of color than what I had in my mind and therefore a fun surprise. However, I think I like the redder piece best because not only does the shibori look fiery, but the stripes remind me of the striped pattern of traditional Maori piu piu skirt (http://www.blackpearldesigns.net/maori-piupiu.html) made from flax.

Karen said...

The shibori makes this piece, it is so beautiful. I used Citrasolve years ago and I know it can work really well, as you've shown here.

Brenda said...

Since I had already made a linear work in a similar palette for the Passion theme, and had even made a volcano piece for the Passion theme, I was keen to take the challenge in a different direction. I will definitely experiment with Citrasolve photo transfers again sometnime as it was BY FAR the most effective and economical method that I tested.

Kristin - the piu piu is indeed another kiwi connection that I had not thought of.

Chantel said...

along that vein, the angular quilting of the green piece reminds me of tukutuku panels

http://www.tepapa.govt.nz/new-zealand-art-toitepapa/NZ/Originalstyle.html

Helen Conway said...

I am with the others - at first I dod not associate this with you but then I thought: Shibori! I should kave known! I note that you selected from the palette rather than trying to use them all - was that deliberate or what the quilt 'told you to do'?

Gerrie said...

For those interested in exploring Citra-solv - they have an artist's website here: http://www.citra-solv.com/

Diane said...

Thanks for that link, Gerrie -- looks like good info there. I can't wait to try this.

Deborah Boschert said...

I love how the veins of color in the background fabric emphasize the lines of the branches. That flax photo is lovely and I love your interpretation of it! Is there a tiny bit of green in that shibori?! It seems to be creeping in as a tiny perfect complement.