Let the sun shine in

While writing my two previous posts, it occurred to me that I never told you about my sunflower. Back in March, Eye Candy Gallery hosted a fundraising exhibit for Moore Regional Hospital Hospice. The exhibit, entitled “Double Takes,” presented a challenge to the artist who participated. Each of us was to take inspiration from a photograph provided by the Sandhills Photography Club. There were many photos to choose from and I chose one featuring the underside of a sunflower.

The fuzzy nature of the sepals was what caught my attention, because they reminded me of felted wool. The trick was how to interpret it.

I started by choosing some commercially hand-dyed wool from Weeks Dye Works. I needle felted some white roving on to it to create the fuzzy texture I wanted. Then I added some thread sketching to add more of a 3-dimensional feel.

Next the petals. It took me some searching to find the perfect yellow batik fabric, but I found it. My next concern was how to make the 3-dimensional feel of the flowers. Thread sketching every single petal seemed an overwhelming amount of work, then I had a thought. Fabric stiffener! This fluid is some sort of glue-like substance available at craft stores. I did some minimal stitching to outline the leaves and then painted them with the fabric stiffener. Once they were wet with the stiffener, I laid them on a board, gave them a little crunch in just the right spaces and let them dry for the evening. The next morning I had perfect 3-dimensional yellow petals. It all came together. From a vision to actuality, this piece turned out just as I visioned. It reminds me of the sun rising on the horizon. Let the sun shine in…

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