Fossils, Landscape and Sunlight

Now that I have completed the fossil piece, I have to decide how to finish and frame it. This is always my least favorite part of the process. I usually just want to do whatever is easiest. Now if I ever made a piece to size specifications, I could use the same backing and frame every time. But I never manage to do that. So I’m always having to look at custom ways to frame or finish. I got a lot of good suggestions from comments on my last post including:

  1. Use a larger matte board so the central piece is smaller than usual in the frame inviting close inspection.
  2. Mount on burlap with frayed edges.
  3. Use a piece of grey slate with jagged edges.

I actually like all of these suggestions but one of the first things I like to consider is the value of the matte or whatever will be surrounding the felt. I have some large pieces of grey scale paper that I use to help make my decision. Unfortunately, the light here has been nonexistent for taking photos. It has been rainy and cold. I finally resorted to taking photos with some can lights to provide the lighting.

Here’s the fossil piece on the grey scale paper from black to white (left to right). In these photos, the medium and light grey look very similar but they are different in person. Which do you prefer? I wish that the lighting was better for the photos, sorry.

I also found this piece of woven grey fabric that has a combination of values from light to dark grey. I already have enough of this fabric so since I am on the kick of “use stuff up”, I may have to go with this one. I didn’t have a piece of slate and haven’t gotten around to seeing if one piece of slate is available at the home/garden store and the burlap I have is a bright, yellow-green. That certainly won’t work.

Up next, I am working on another landscape. This is with some leftover cut pieces and scraps of felt that have various surface design techniques. Right now I am just in the process of laying out the background with a long way to go. I have decided that most of the lines seem too horizontal and evenly spaced and I need to add a bit more diagonal variety. Of course when I add stitching and foreground elements it will change. But back to the drawing board on the arrangement until I’m happy with it.

And since I told you about the poor sunlight available, I thought I would show you these photos off my front porch. I looked out the front door a couple of mornings ago and there was this beam of sunshine on the tree in front. It was amazing and only lasted for a couple of minutes. But I got some good photos. The tree is a larch or tamarack tree that looks like an evergreen but it’s needles turn golden orange in the fall, drop off and then regrow in the spring. They add some glorious color to the landscape. If you look closely in the background of the photo on the left, you will see a turkey family. And I got a closer view of one against the fall colors. He was making all kinds of noise as he seems to have misplaced his family for a moment. Feel free to click on the photos to get a closer view.

This entry was posted in Finishing/Framing, Inspiration, Mixed Media and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Fossils, Landscape and Sunlight

  1. Antje says:

    I like the background layout of your new landscape piece.
    Our eyes must be very different because before reading your comments I was drawn immediately to the differing verticals and the angles in the ‘field’ and against the sky, which counter the horizontal layers nicely. So I don’t share your view that the horizontal layers are too even, particularly as you will be adding other strong elements….maybe something that runs over the top connecting all the layers together.

    Fossils – I think you should ask yourself do you want your piece to ‘pop’ or subtlely emerge from the background.
    If you want it to ‘pop’ choose a plain matt (not shiny) background. This could even have a little texture such as an inexpensive canvas (so many of our shops sell these, I’m sure it’s the same with you). It’s difficult to see from the photos, but either end of the scale black or white would work well. Equally you could go ‘off-piste’ and colour the canvas picking up one from the details. I still think your piece needs to invite close inspection of all your detailed work.

    If you want Fossils to emerge from the background your woven grey fabric appears to fit the bill perfectly as it has both texture and the marl effect which echo the texture created by your ‘seed’ stitches. If you go this route could you enhance the subtle emergence by adding some of these same stitches around Fossils on the background fabric, gradually increasing the density to match your piece….so ‘layering’ it in?

    Just my thoughts Ruth!

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Antje! I value your opinion 🙂 I have changed the landscape piece up a bit but not a huge amount. I agree about the vertical elements but I did want a bit more diagonal instead of horizontal. But yes, it is a matter of eye and opinion.

      Your idea about adding some of the seed stitches to the grey woven fabric is great. I will definitely consider that idea.

  2. Lillian Johnson says:

    I prefer the dark slate bc the felting really stands out. My second choice is the on the burlap bc of the te textures.

  3. Carlene Paquette says:

    I’m pretty sure that is a Mrs Turkey, not a Mr. The guys have bigger rumps for those showy tail feathers. Love the tree. Thanks for sharing the photos.

    For the fossils piece… I like the Dark Grey or Black backgrounds the best.

    • ruthlane says:

      LOL Carlene! I figured someone would call me on that. I wasn’t sure which it was so I just went with Mr. Also, thanks for your input.

  4. Leonor says:

    Great pieces, Ruth. And that sunshine, oh my!

  5. Lindsay says:

    Hi Ruth. I was just composing a reply in my head and found that Antje had pretty much said what I wanted to say (plus some other things I hadn’t thought of). In short, I like the woven fabric as I find the stronger colours fight the piece and think both the colour and texture support the work rather than competing with it. Hadn’t thought about beading onto it but that’s a great idea. And I really like the landscape as it is. I like the simplicity of it – it’s more representative than realistic while still being clearly identifiable. Personally I wouldn’t do much more to it – maybe bank that one as something different and use up some other things by making a second piece!

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Lindsay! I appreciate the input. I do think that I will use the fabric for a background. Now to decide if I want to add stitches to that. I do like the landscape as it is, more decisions to make! 🙂

  6. annielynrosie says:

    The fossil piece looks great on the fabric Ruth! Go with it.
    Your photos taken from the front porch are lovely to look at – we don’t have turkeys in our garden.
    It looks as if you have a satisfying project with the new landscape – please keep us posted with photos as you go.

  7. Flextiles says:

    Interestingly, I looked at your new landscape piece and then scrolled down and saw the photos of the tree in sunlight and immediately connected the two! I think it’s the orange lines on the shibori fabric and the orange leaf-covered branches. So I think the branches are telling you to go diagonal. 😉

    I’m also an outlier here but I think the texture of the burlap detracts from the texture in your fossil. You have so much texture from your stitching that I think a smoother background would work better to show it off. Personally I like the colour of the second from the left. However, this is all based on the photos, so they may be different in real life.

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Kim! Interesting that you got that connection. But when I look back, there is definitely the same look.

      I actually agree that the dark grey is the best background for the fossil piece. I will have to see if I have something in my stash that is more in that range. And you may be right about the texture. I will compare the differences and then choose.

  8. zedster66 says:

    Wow, the fossil piece looks so different on the various backgrounds. I like the two darkest. Have a look at the dollar store for slate, they sell them as serving plates at our Poundlands 🙂 I noticed the verticles on the landscape first too. The sun on the tree is gorgeous! We have a gap between the houses where the sun comes through at certain times of year/day, and light up some trees which are a limey green, if there’s a purpley stormy sky behind it looks so intense 🙂

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Zed, I hadn’t thought of the dollar store for slate. Might have to check that out. I would love to see some photos of the limey green against the purple sky. That sounds cool.

  9. I like the fabric. it looks like sand to me. I will try to make your work harder by suggesting stitching down some tubes in the same colours as the fossil pieces to join them.
    We have tamaracks too. They have great cones that look like wooden roses. We had wild turkeys reintroduced here about 10 years ago and they are everywhere now. It fun to see them with their babies in the spring. and summer.

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Ann! Not sure I will stitch down any tubes as I am not sure I have the same colors left to make more tubes.

      I love the tamarack trees, always changing with the seasons. Glad to hear that you have some wild turkeys. They are fun to watch and we had quite a few families this past spring and summer scurrying around.

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