OK, so I think I will post these two pictures, showing the piece out of the frame, as I worked the woodgrain in the hand. I still have a lot to do on the woodgrain because it needs to be pushed back even further, but with each stitch it hangs together better. I like working that pattern, but it does take a long, long time!
I'm pleased at the progress I've made so far, I got down the main pattern ideas and will work from there. There is one section of the woodgrain that will be pulled out, but I'm pulling out quite often as I go along with this project anyway, as its only 10cms x 13cms e.g. the young man's face is only 2cms!
Obviously working that small has given me eye strain problems again. So I need to rest up a bit and sort some other things out too...
But I will say, since my hiatus, I've discovered I can no longer work in artificial light, I have to have daylight to sew now. Especially as I still don't use a magnifier.
Its so easy to become completely absorbed in a piece like this, because you are creating a story, or an important extract from a larger story.
Must dash, already thinking about my next project, as this one has had all its major decisions worked out, including how to puff out this young lady's hair.
I got the date wrong earlier btw, the fashion and hairstyles would suggest 1850s-60s because crucially her ears are covered by puffed out hair. For the puffing, I know how I shall proceed and for her bun halfway down the back of her head, I'll make a hair 'rat' with felt. Her hair will be silk and glossy, compared to his.
I don't generally have a problem with fixing hair, as I used to have very long hair myself at one time, a staggering 36 inches of the stuff. I think if you have thin long hair you can really enjoy it, but mine was thick and very hot, honestly it was like wearing a blanket across my shoulders the whole time. I lot of people miss their long hair, pleased to say, I don't miss mine and wish I had the haircut I have now, years ago.
The finer details of her dress will extend beyond the margins of the mount, which is a bit annoying, as I wanted quite a lot of detail in that area.
...'We must proceed on the basis that we will get some things right and some things wrong, but just so long as you get slightly more right than wrong in the long run, you should continue anyway.'.. that's some of the Bauhaus indoctrination I used to get in art school. Those people drove us nuts, as they are famous for doing.
But I will say, if I've learned anything about creative output, its that you cannot judge your own work at the end of a long day objectively anymore, you have to sleep on it and look at it afresh the next day, because being so close to the coal face, you really aren't able to fully judge merits until your eyes have rested fully.
Here's an art school story that will make you say ahh.
Periodically I used to march over to my drawer that I had all my artwork stored in and I would pull it all out and make 2 piles, one was called 'abysmal' the other was called 'ok'. Then I would gleefully tear over to the bin and throw all the abysmal stuff out, feeling hugely relieve after this cathartic act of vengeance on myself... of all people?
One day I came back into the room unexpectedly and found one of my class mates actually salvaging pieces of my artwork to incorporate into his portfolio! He looked at me with sad eyes and said "you might not like these drawings, but they're better than I can do, do you mind if I keep them?"....