Virginia Wildflower Tapestry – Golden Lady Slipper Orchid

This was the last panel of five or the Virginia Wildflower Tapestry. It also as probably the one the scared me most. I had no idea how I was going to get the 3-d effect I wanted and still maintain a sense of whimsy and joy that I had found in the other panels.


Like the others, the Lady Slipper Orchid began life w a encl sketch on a plain muslin Background. I sometimes forget and take for granted the gift I have for sketching. Ever since I was a child, I have drawn and painted. I am aware that I have a gift for distilling an image down to its barest form. Sometimes it can come across cartoonish, but my objective is to make one see the bones of an object, more than to create a realism based painting or fabric art piece.
Here, after applying the background fabric to imply leaves and shadows, I quilted it lightly to provide more variety and texture. Then began by adding 3-d Leaves for the orchid Plant.
Working from the plant roots upward I added stems, then created a fabric ballon for the Lady Slipper Blossom. I used stitching and fabric paint to add more color and texture to the petals of the blossom. 
I had originally intended to use only one Lady Slipper but the panel needed balance, so I created two more blossoms in various degrees of unfolding. The finished panel will also have macrame and woven roots connecting it to the rest of the Tapestry panel.

I am very happy with this work. I had to redo the background of the tapestry because the original background was too dark and too formal. I wanted more joy in the colors and in the spontaneity of it.





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