Friday, 2 June 2017

Totem Tree a la Janvier

Sorry folks, little people and life  - what can I say?

I found this challenge difficult to come up with something that wasn't a close copy of his work.  I thought about marbling (well done Colleen), I also wondered about dribbling paint/thickened dye!  But I kept coming back to the wonderful Haida style of depicting animals, long admired.

Instead of a totem pole I have a totem tree with the inspiration coming from this Janvier painting.  It seems to have struck a cord with others as well.

Janvier: Fort McMurray Series
In my Totem Tree the animals are digitized and embroidered by machine.  The were chosen to represent the sky, the earth and water.  The rest is fused applique and free machining.  I will add more twiddly bits when I have a moment.  You have no idea how much unpicking I had to do - nothing like being in a hurry and it being nearly midnight to put a spoke in the wheel!  I decided to put it aside and apologise for being late.  I'm not that happy with the end result - perhaps a bit more work on it will help...

Totem Tree


  1. This was definitely worth waiting for. I love the way you have depicted earth, sky and water and your whole piece is beautifully executed. The greens pull the whole design together. I really love the way you think out of the box - which I find particularly difficult. A great piece.

  2. Great use of your embroidery machine. Love the deep curls and strong colours of your totem.

  3. I so love his Ft. McMurray series where they suffered great devastation from a fire in recent years...I really considered this piece as well...your interpretation of a totem "tree" is truly inspired!!

  4. Very clever Hilary, I love your use of circles and curves for a piece that is inspired by Janvier and yet original

  5. It's lovely Hilary. I'm not sure it needs more. You also have the influence of a Jacobean tree in there!

  6. I like the way that you have been inspired by Janvier and made it your own. I agree with Dianne that maybe it doesn't need more.

  7. Wonderful quilt inspired by this painting of Janviers which I hadn't actually picked up on the internet . The inserted digitised animals add enormous interest to the totem and the curves of the design cleverly make one look again and again at all the details . Not sure how you could 'add' to this. It seems complete as it is .

  8. Much has been said already for me. I would like to see more. For those that don't know Hilary has been participating in the '1 stitch for a year' challenge with a group of us & her piece started off with a very Jacobean look as well.

    1. And filling the circles with hand embroidered stitching was another of the options I considered (but not for long!). H

  9. I've been a bit slow to comment here, and everyone else has already said it all. I love the Haida Indian art, and have used it before myself. It was sheer inspiration to use it here!