Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The Curmudgeon

My dad died last July. After 61 years of marriage, Mom was alone for the first time in her life. I've been inspired by her courage and determination as she has handled the things that have come up, learning to fly solo. 

Using a linen/cotton blend fabric, I drew the lines with my sewing machine. Putting the feed dogs down let me "draw" with the needle.

Whether it was maintaining their property, shooting rattlesnakes, or handling difficult decisions, she's taken it all on. I'm proud of what she has accomplished this year. 

Awhile back, I discovered that Dr. P. H. Martin's liquid watercolors wouldn't wash out of fabric. I used them to paint the background of this, giving it a washy feel.

Over the last weeks, as the anniversary of his death approached, I wanted to create something for Mom. I finally settled on a pillow she could keep on her bed. 

Detail of the torso and face. I appliqued his clothes on, machine embroidered his hair and hand stitched the face. I used a skin toned eye shadow for the face and hand bits, applied with a small makeup brush, then rubbed it in with a Qtip to set it. I then brushed off any excess.

Daddy loved to ride his bike well into his late 70s. His little dog, Peggy, was his adventure partner. Mom took a photo of them together one day that captures their very essence, which is a family favorite. It inspired this piece. 

Because the fabric is mostly linen, I was pretty sure I could needle felt wool roving into it. It worked beautifully. The dog is fuzzy and soft and feels right when I pet her.

The name, The Curmudgeon, was suggested by my daughter. That's what Dad called himself. As soon as she hit on it, I knew it was exactly right. In fact, I laugh everytime I say it. He was a character. 

The Curmudgeon, ready to sew into a pillow cover.

Although I've never done an art piece quite like this one, it was enjoyable. Fibers are a medium I have always loved, and this one gave me time to think about my parents and realize that while Dad may be gone from our sight, he certainly continues to go on in our lives. 

Thanks for stopping by! Alice