Melitastitches4fun's Blog


An Adventure into a Poppy Field – Winner of the ANG State Art Award Ribbon
September 2, 2012, 10:11 am
Filed under: ANG Seminar 2012, Melita's Adaptations, Monet's Poppy Field

“An Adventure into a Poppy Field” was entered in 2012’s ANG 40th Seminar in the Adaptation category and it won the State Art Award Ribbon. There were about 2 dozen pieces from Pennsylvania. I was shocked and thrilled! I didn’t even know that “State Art Award” was ribbon category. I am glad I am not a judge – too many beautiful pieces to choose from.

Mary Smull, a fiber artist and educator from Philadelphia, was the guest judge asked to select the winner of the award. Read all about her at http://www.marysmull.com/artist_statement/ Mary gave the keynote speaker address at the Welcome Banquet. She founded SPUN, the Society of the Prevention of Unfinished Needlework. Read all about SPUN at http://www.marysmull.com/portfolio/the-society-for-the-prevention-of-unfinished-needlepoint/

For this piece, the critique noted that “my journey was well documented”. So true, it is easier because I blog and keep notes. The documents and photos that I sent for the  artist’s statement were taken from a previous blog (https://melitastitches4fun.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/an-adventure-into-a-poppy-field/).

I still twist the thread (a comment I got last year too) in some sections particularly in the sky on top dark area. So, I will keep working on that. And, the perspective a bit off. I had told friends that one comment I expected was that I had gotten carried away on the poppy field. It got away from me like wild flowers. Better “integration” of stitching to create the hillside was also recommended. I also got nice comments such as “truly lovely”. I would like to thank all the judges for taking time to write the critiques. As was last year’s, they are thoughtful, instructive, and encouraging! I highly recommend getting them done so that you can learn and grow.

And, I just love the double mat especially the grayish blue inner mat that was suggested by Ted (Theodore) Hartz, Custom Picture Framing, in West Chester (google will get his name and address – or call Fireside Stitchery who referred me to him).

I am very happy with the piece but will the 5th try be my last attempt? Even my husband is ready for a change in design! For now, perhaps I can photograph, enlarge, and project certain areas using the critique as a teaching tool to my local chapter. I bought a book at Ruth Kern’s bookstore (only 1 of 3 – I thought I did good to limit myself to 3) regarding photography. And, several other projects have been put aside with all this seminar activity. So, for now, I look forward the next adventure . . .

My artist’s statement was as follows (excluding photos from previous attempts which can be found on my blog as noted above):

I can’t remember where or when I fell in love with Monet’s Poppy Field in a Hollow near Giverny (1885) but, I want to capture it in needlepoint. It seems so peaceful and relaxing.

My first attempt was all about testing stitches. I really like the Whipped or Laced Running Stitch (Elegant Stitches by Judith Baker Montano) for the light blue on the right. I didn’t care for it as much for the 2 greens to the left of that area. I also liked the stitch Serendipity used in the top blue-green portion for the distant tree line and Rococo for the dark green bushes in the middle (both are from Stitches To Go by Suzanne Howren & Beth Robertson). It’s size is 4&1/2″ x 4&1/2″ and too square.

The quest continued for stitches in my second attempt. I had it in my mind that a large stitch pattern base would work for the poppies and then thought random french and colonial knots would make the flowers on the field appear random but it became too dense. I did like the Knotted Stitch on the upper left and a similar stitch with less slope for the area to the left of the center dark green bushes called Diagonal Roumanian. Then, I created a variation of Kennan for the area left of the center dark green bushes. These stitches came from Stitches To Go by Suzanne Howren & Beth Robertson. I expanded the size to 4″ x 4&1/2″.

I felt pretty good about stitches and decided in the third attempt that I better test some colors and threads. To combat the density of the poppy field, I switched to a thinner thread. It was better but it wasn’t right – it seemed flat and lifeless. So, I put it away for a long time deciding further experience was needed before I could improve the piece.

Always on the lookout for new threads, I tried a variety of threads for my fourth attempt. I also tried some different stitches. I liked this version much better, especially the poppy field because I used various shades. While I saw improvement, I wasn’t sure where to go next and decided to put it away – again.

Then, I saw the class ‘Landscapes’ was teaching design and stitching techniques just for landscapes at the 2010 ANG Seminar taught by Lois Kershner. So, I attended my first seminar to help me figure out how to do my poppy field. I left Ohio armed with knowledge from her class as taught by Pat Rusch. Working now on a full scale size (8″ x 9&1/2″), I studied the techniques in the book and reconsidered threads and stitches – again!

I hope the patches of the long grass will be as inviting as Monet’s and you and I enter into the field, sit, and relax for a while until another adventure comes along.

I met 2 of the ladies from the chapter that stitched the ribbons & now can’t remember their names or chapter. I found their names/chapter  in the seminar brochure. So, thanks to the ladies in the Cape Cod Chapter and Keystone Chapter.  I discovered that our state flower is the Mountain Laurel! It is a lovely ribbon.


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