Thursday, February 3, 2011

Till the Cows Come Home

This is a photograph I took in Quebec during our vacation last fall.  I decided that I wanted to recreate this image in fabric. 

I felt I was off to a good start with my first two fabrics - a couple of batiks I had in my stash.  I had a 12"x18" piece of "stiff felt" called Easy Felt, that I'd found at Michael's, and used that for my foundation.  One of the first parts of the picture that I tried to reproduce in fabric was the barn.  I wasn't happy with it and decided that the scene needed a red barn. 

I found a red barn on the Internet and used Photoshop to insert it into the picture.  As you can see, I have issues with "perpsective."  After a considerable amount of work, and some kibbitzing from my husband, I'd progressed to this image:

I was happier with this, but realized that this barn would be just as difficult to reproduce in fabric.  The photo had also gotten cropped more, and part of the middle had been removed.  I was liking it less and less, and finally decided, Who needs a barn anyway? 
This is a common stage in my artwork when I - as  usual - wonder why I ever try to do anything, nothing ever works out, waste of time, etc., etc.  Once I got past some griping in my journal, I decided to just see what would develop if I started free-cutting pieces of fabric to add to my background.

So far so good, but I hit another stopping point because I wasn't sure if I liked it enough to permanently attach the fabrics to the background.  I got out my camera, took this photo, and put it in Photoshop to play with it.  I figured that if I left out the barn, then maybe I should add something else to the picture.  I remembered some cows I'd photographed last year and pulled up two of those photos:

The cows live at a farm about a mile from our home.

Using Photoshop, I isolated the cows and added them to my picture.

Voila!!  And this is where I am now.  It doesn't look much like the original photo, especially since the blue now looks like sky instead of water.  Please note - nothing is glued down yet, and the cows are still in their cyber barn, so the next time I post about this project, it could be a totally different picture.  Anyway, I thought you might enjoy following my process.


Vicki Lane said...

Great fabric choices!

Robin said...

It is so fun to hear that others go through the same 'back and forth' thoughts when designing:)
Good luck with it and glad to see you are coming back to fiber a bit:)

Lee said...

I LOVE batiks! WOW! ambitious project and fun to see how you put it together :D

Anonymous said...

Jean this is a great blog! I found your blog thru lee's blog...I am so happy that I did. I love autumn and you did a great job on the photos with adding the barn. I also love your fiber artwork...Jan