Tamarack Trio Landscape

Tamarack Trio Landscape

In my last post, I showed you this nuno felted background and asked for suggestions. Everyone’s ideas were so interesting and different than what I see in this randomly dyed piece. I loved hearing your suggestions but to me, this was definitely an autumn forest scene. I wanted to try and make it more abstract and less “real”.  So I started off just adding some lines in free motion embroidery that were to symbolize tree trunks. I forgot to take any in process photos. Once I get started on the machine, I get engrossed in the process. Then I got to the stage of “really ugly”. Do you find when you’re working that you go through that stage of “this is awful and I should just toss it”? But I kept going and ended up going more realistic than planned but that was the only way forward that I could see that would work.

I added tamarack trees, a fallen trunk and some foreground leaves in the upper right corner. The small trunks in the back left were too white so I took a gray colored pencil to them so they wouldn’t stand out too much. I then hung the piece up on the wall so I could look at it from a distance and to see what else it needed.  I decided to add more foreground leaves so they came down into the distant aspens in the lower right.

Here it is with more leaves added. That pushed the aspens back further into the distance and made the piece feel a bit more cohesive.


Here’s a couple of close ups of the free motion stitching. I don’t usually use the zigzag stitch when doing free motion but I liked the more abstract effect on the tamarack trees. If you don’t have tamaracks (also called larch) trees in your area, they look like pines/evergreens but their needles turn a bright yellow orange in the fall and then they shed all their needles. So they are a deciduous conifer. They are a gorgeous addition to the landscape in the fall.

I continued my new “habit” of finishing the piece at the time I made it. Here it is stitched down to a tan matting fabric and laced over matte board, another piece ready to frame. It does have some abstract qualities to it and I like the end result. Sometimes, you just have to keep pushing through and ignore that inner critic.

16 thoughts on “Tamarack Trio Landscape

  1. Looks good Ruth.
    We have larches over here (UK) and I like the way they seem to throw down lots of mini branches with little fir cones on them – just right for spraying for Christmas decorations.

    1. Thanks Ann, I like the branches with the little cones too. Always so sculptural. I have sketched quite a few of the different branches but have never used them for Christmas decor. Good idea.

  2. Lyn took the words off my keyboard – it’s absolutely gorgeous, Ruth. I love the colours and think you did a great job working the composition to add depth to the scene. It’s nice that you’ve gone for a slightly more abstract style without losing the overall impression of an Autumn / Fall forest scene. And well done too on completing it to framing all at the same time!

  3. Thanks Lindsay, Fall colors are one of my favorite palettes. I’m trying to be a bit more abstract but it’s difficult for me to do. And yes, I’m happy to complete each piece as I go instead of waiting to the end and then doing them all at once. Much better than procrastinating.

  4. Absolutely love this. I’ve been doing a lot of freestyle stitching on cotton and then painting. You’ve inspired me to give a wet felted piece a go. It makes an incredibly rich background. Thanks for sharing your process and the piece.

  5. Great Tamaracks. Just abstract enough. They remind me of Group of 7 trees. We have quite a few of them her and some have cones that look like tiny wooden roses. They are the prettiest trees after freezing rain. they look like they are made of tiny glass shards.

  6. I love everything about this lovely piece. It has given me even another appreciation of FME and I cannot wait to have a functioning machine to begin playing (and of course taking the next edition of your course)!

  7. Blown away by the beauty of this piece Ruth. Is this the background that I originally said looked like a photo taken by Hubble. If so, you have brought celestial magic back to earth. 🙂

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