It is exciting when a new work is completed. Vigil is finished and I’m thrilled with the results. It’s been photographed and added to the Genre gallery on my website. However, in this week’s blog, I want to share some of the details.
Vigil: Stitching the Dog
One challenge I faced in stitching the dog was to get the direction of the hair just right. Stella, the dog in this composition, is similar to my own dog, Bosco. So, anytime I was uncertain about the direction I should be stitching, I would sneak up on Bosco as he napped and use him as my reference. Of course, he would wake up and expect to be held and petted in return for his services.
Vigil: Creating Depth
Another challenge was to give a sense of foreground and background. For this, I rely, as I often do, on value changes. It is very subtle, but the black fabric used at the lower edge is slightly lighter than the dark fabric used for the upper part of the composition. This subtle contrast was enhanced with the thread choices in the stitching phase. As a viewer, you may never consciously notice the changes, but the image will register in your mind as having depth. Also, creating a broader field of gray below the white band brings that area forward.
Vigil: Stitching the Background
A final challenge was to add variation and subtle detail to the very large dark background area. I wanted to give the impression of a floor with a wall in the distance, but didn’t want to get too specific on where one transitioned to the other, and also wanted to maintain the feeling of a dark abyss. For this, I employed a circular stitch design for the carpet, and an elongated vertical stitch pattern to represent the wall and then varied where I transitioned from one pattern to the other. I also used two threads in this area: a solid black in the area around the dog, and a variegated thread of very dark values as I stitched further away from the figure.
In the end, I think this resulted in a very sweet piece that will be hard to part with. However, plans are already being made to exhibit this piece. When things finalize, I’ll let you know. For now, visit the Genre Gallery of my website to see some of my other works. You may notice another new work, Cruisin’. I’ll be sharing the story of this piece in the weeks to come.