Eliza Wright -> Mixed Media -> The Cuillin from Elgol

The Cuillin from Elgol

mixed media design

This began as a random silk painting. Sometimes I paint several pieces of fabric at once, in different colours and in a rather haphazard way. Then, I keep looking at each one from time to time until something clicks, and I know what to do with it! Having selected this one for a wide angle landscape of my favourite view, I spent quite a while figuring out how best to add the mountain range.

In the end I drew a silhouette of the mountains on paper and cut it out. This was placed on the silk and used as a template. I drew the outline around it in gutta, making really sure that the line was solid, before filling in with a greyish blue silk paint. When this was dry and ironed to fix it, I washed out the gutta. If you look closely you can still see where the gutta was, but the marks are so faint as not to be a problem.

It turns out that the addition of silk paint to the fabric 'sizes' it, that is you can then paint on the silk with watercolour paints and the paint does not bleed into the fabric. Having discovered this by accident, I decided to paint the details of the mountains in with watercolour.

Then came the embroidery. What I wanted was to somehow capture the diversity of patterns on the water caused by the contours of the sea bed and the currents, while leaving the mountains more or less plain. I used various yarns and small pieces of organza, and threads from ordinary stranded cotton to lurex. Sometimes the threads are stitched and sometimes couched. I didn't follow a picture or anything, I just followed my nose and my imagination, but the end result looks quite good, especially from a distance.

The last thing I did was add a few wispy clouds using wisps of mulberry silk tops, which I stuck to the sky using slivers of carefully placed fusible fabric.

The size of the embroidery is about 18.75cm (7.5") by 31.25 cm (12.5").

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