First Quarter Challenge – Winter Birch

First Quarter Challenge – Winter Birch

I’m always up for getting two things done with one piece. So I decided to create a winter themed tree picture that I could prepare to take to the gallery which has sold three of my pieces. (Yay!)

Blue and white nuno felt to be used as landscape background.

I found a piece of nuno felt in my pile of felted stuff that seemed perfect for a wintry background. Since I had just finished framing The First Leaf, I immediately thought of birch trees again since the years challenge is to create the same trees in different seasons. So birch trees it is.

Blue and white nuno felt background with cut silk paper birch trees.

I cut the birch trees from my remaining silk paper and got the placement how I wanted it. I need to make more silk paper for my spring and summer birch trees. But this seemed a little ho hum. The plan is to add branches with free motion machining but I still thought it needed more. The left background felt like perhaps there were some pine/evergreens in the distance. Perhaps I could enhance that?

Blue and white nuno felted background with tulle background trees (layers of tulle) and cut silk paper birch trees in foreground.

So I added some layers of tulle in vague tree shapes on that side. But it wasn’t enough contrast and the tree shapes were getting lost. What to do?

Blue and white nuno felted background with tulle pine tree shapes on the left and birch trees cut from silk paper on the right.

Here’s the start of the next idea. Burn the tulle into tree shapes with a wood burning tool. This is just one of the colors of tulle I am planning on using. I will still be layering the tulle but hopefully, this will give a bit more emphasis to the shapes of the trees in the background without overwhelming the foreground trees. Once I have the evergreens worked out, then it’s on to some stitching.

Have you created something that works for our 1st quarter or year’s challenge? If so, we’d love to see it. You can upload your photos here.


12 thoughts on “First Quarter Challenge – Winter Birch

  1. I love this new nuno felt background, it seems very promising and you can almost already see the pine trees in the background. I am very interested in seeing how you will better the tulle with that burning technique. A very inspiring work.

    1. Thanks Caterina! The last photo shows some of the tulle that has been burned. Before the shapes were mainly triangular with no branches etc. We will see how the layering of these type of shapes goes.

  2. Birch trees always look so… pensive, if that makes sense. It’s like they have a secret they’re not telling. I think you’re in the right direction to capture that spirit, Ruth!
    I’m very curious to see the burning of the tulle, please do share photos of that when time comes 😀

    1. Thanks Leonor, I do love the tranquility and pensiveness of a birch grove. I understand totally what you mean. The last photo shows the first layer of burnt tulle. More layers to come.

  3. Three pictures sold – 🙂

    The nuno piece does look chilly and perfect for your background. Silver Birch looks beautiful in the winter with its delicate bare branches and ghostly trunk so looking forward to seeing what you do with embroidery.

    1. Thanks, I was very happy with three sold, happy dance occurred!

      I thought the nuno background was perfect for winter. Hopefully, the embroidery will come out like I am thinking 🙂

  4. Great background Ruth. The burned trees work. They are there, far in the background. I haven’t thought of my tree project yet. I have an idea but I could just do every greens. then I only have to change the backgrounds. LOL

    1. Thanks Ann, in the background was what I wanted. Evergreens do make it a bit easier but there are subtle changes in them with the change of season.

  5. There’s something ethereal about birch trees throughout all seasons – Your placing of the multi stems on that nuno background, with the burned tulle, recreates that quality with a great sense of depth….perhaps even some mystique!

    Looking forward to seeing how this piece progresses.

    1. Thanks Antje, I love finding stands of birch trees when I’m hiking. I do hope to portray a sense of depth and mystique is always good 😉

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