Monday, July 29, 2013

Art Week - Self-Challenge

Hello everyone.
I have been having some rough times with a family member, of the feline persuasion, who is really ill. It is a roller coaster of emotions. As an effort to make myself think of something else for at least a couple  of hours everyday, I have issued myself a challenge: A finished piece of art everyday.

I have a LOT of un-finished needle felting projects, so today I finished two. Both are tree themed. 

The first one is part of my Sunset series. I wanted to capture that kind of sunset where the pink-orange-yellows seem to alternate with the blue-purple-turquoises. When I was done with this, I felt that there was something missing. So I mixed some natural dark brown fleece with black and created a tree silhouette. This piece still needs finishing, but I am very happy with how it turned out. What do you think? 

The second project was something I started to do one day as a free-form exercise. The object was to start making something something with no end vision in mind, and see what starts to form. 

I must have been thinking "tree people" that day because that it what came out. This project was stalled for a very long time because I had no idea how to do leaves.

I tried to leave it bare, but that did not look right either. For the leaves I ended up experimenting with two different techniques, resulting in a rater primitive looking tree. I think it works, and who is to say what tree people look like? Maybe they were alive with the dinosaurs when the trees looked like this. ;)

For the lighter green flat leaves I made them like this: I took some wool of several different colors and mixed them by hand, pulling the mass of wool apart from the center to really mix the colors. (I could do this as the end result was going to be wet felted anyway. It is not how I would generally recommend mixing colors.) Then I took a bit of the wool and a couple of drops of water, and rubbed it in between my palms. Kind of like how you would make a snake out of clay as a kid. I left an end fuzzy so that it could be easily attached to the branches. After about 20 seconds of this wet felting I took opposite sides of the tube and pulled in several places to give it a more of an undulating shape. 

For the dark green leaves I wrapped a thin piece of green wool around a toothpick over and over to form a tube around the toothpick. Even after all the wool is wrapped on go around a couple more times with your fingers to really smooth down the wool. Then I added some water to further smooth down the outside wool before pulling it off the toothpick.

Finally, because the bottom looked unfinished, I added a base using different shades of green to help anchor the tree onto the thick piece of felt.

I am really surprised that I made this tree person, and that I had to finish it, as it s not my style. However, that is the real beauty of free form creating. You get to make things that you never would have thought of before.

Have you made free form things before? How did they turn out?


  1. I am so sorry to hear you're kitty is not well. :( I so empathize!

    As for freeform designs..I have made many , countless freeform hats and such, and am craving to do more. Love your creative spark Kay !

  2. Thank you Jen!

    Yes you should do more free form! It opens up the mind in a wonderful way, even if it seems to be a fail, you have to creatively problem solve how to fix it. I guess that I find it meditative.

  3. so sorry to hear about your kitty. I hope he or she is doing better. both your art projects are wonderful. The tree-guy is perfect!