In trying to figure out how to display her and all of her layers of paper and fiber, I finally decided she needed to be mounted on a stretched canvas. That lead me to using a few of Claudine Hellmuth's techniques in "Collage Discovery Workshop". Sometimes it is very wierd to me that I will actually have on hand the items necessary to work on a piece, even in the correct colors! For instance, here I wanted to use a pinky-salmon acrylic paint as a light wash on the canvas, and lo and behold, there it was in my stash! (I never use acrylic paints, but I had purchased several for a class that I ended up never taking a couple of years ago! Whoever woulda thunk it?) It's those magical moments that make me think that my decision in color must be the right one! Thanks to my Swedish cousin Eva, I am fortunate to have copies of many of my grandparents' immigration papers, so I transferred them onto the watercolor paper, the silk and the cotton. My grandmother Augusta (Gusty) taught me my first embroidery stitches, so I attached most of the fibers together using hand-dyed perle cotton, either in cross stitch or French knots.
Here's a closeup of the collaged photos, left to right: my Grandparents and my Mother and Uncle Eldon; my Grandparents on their wedding day; my Mother.
As I think I've told you before, I was very attached to both of my Grandmothers, but I truly admired Gusty, for her spunk and her talent: she left her Swedish homeland and family, on her own, at age 16; worked for many years here cleaning homes for those more prosperous than she and my Grandpa; she could sew anything, embroider and crochet with the best of them, garden like a Master Gardener, and cook like a celebrated chef. And she always made me feel like I was the best! Thanks Gusty!!!