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Monet Challenge

Monet Challenge

I came across a couple of these pieces recently when I was packing up for a craft fair. It’s one of my favourite Challenges (My favourite was Ann’s Stewert Stephenson one) and these are some of my favourite pieces, so I thought I’d do a Throwback Post for anyone who missed it:

I didn’t get a chance to do any felting for a while until this week because we had a ridiculous heatwave here. I did manage to make a few batts for the Monet challenge though. After choosing some of my favourite paintings, or ones which I thought I might be able to use as inspiration, I made a simple montage:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI then messed about with it in Photoshop:

Using this for inspiration I made a couple of green batts; a purpley one; a purple and yellow blended one which looks kind of mustardy/mossy, and a mixed blue one. Looking at Monet’s style he mostly had a straight/dashy style, but some paintings or certain areas of paintings had a softer swirly style. For the first piece I made using the batts I laid out areas of different colours then added softer wispier swirls of wool and fibres:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI made this piece using the batts too. Neither of these first pieces copy Monet, they are just inspired by the colours.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI wasn’t very confident I could do an actual ‘copy’ of a Monet painting, but I thought I’d have a go of at least doing an impression of a Monet piece 🙂  I chose Morning On The Seine In The Rain.

Morning-On-The-Seine-In-The-Rain-largeI was actually quite surprised when this started to dry and it actually looked like something! I don’t know if it’s because I’ve stared at the original so much that I can see the similarity and that it’s meant to be it, but I’m pleased with how it turned out.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen I was fluffing up the fibres for the swirly piece, I thought I might have a go at needlefelting a piece too. Since I had all the colours out, and had really started to like it, I thought I’d do another based on Morning On The Seine In The Rain. I used a piece of thick commercial Merino prefelt as a base, and blended some texturey wools like Icelandic, carded lambswool and Devon longwool with Merino to get the colours and texture I wanted. I like the way this turned out too 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you ever want or need some inspiration to get your creativity flowing, click on ‘Challenges‘ in the Categories drop down menu on the right hand side. We have new ones every quarter, but you might find something you prefer, like this Monet challenge, in our archives 🙂

Monet Challenge

Monet Challenge

I’ve always been a fan of Monet.  I don’t think there are too many of his works I don’t like, but I particularly like his irises, bridges, weeping willows and water lilies.  But I decided for this challenge I would step out of my comfort zone and try something different. So, I chose his “The Seine Near Vetheuil – Stormy Weather” for my challenge.


Since I have a new drum carder, I decided to make a batt for the base from the domestic 56s I have. I used merino, pieces of unknown wool batts I had purchased to paint the picture and some mulberry silk and throwsters waste for accents. It was harder than I thought to simulate the brush strokes and capture the color subtleties and layers in this piece.  I could have stopped here and put it under glass, but I kept going.

before felting

When it dried I noticed the coarser domestic 56 wool had migrated thru and made the piece very hairy.  It definitely needed a good shave. I wondered if I had wet felted the base first if I would have had as much migration.  Next time I’ll try that.

before shaving

After shaving it, particularly in the darker areas, I felt it still needed something.

after shaving

So, I put it on the floor and looked at it for awhile to decide where I could needle felt some of the areas to give it more definition.  I added some wool to some of the tree lines and needled around others.

Seine final

Since its my impression of this work, I’m satisfied with the outcome.  There are a few places I would have done things differently when laying out, but they weren’t obvious during that stage as they were after the felting.

Have you found your Monet challenge yet?


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