Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Four in Art: Light- Shimmer

With the New Year we have a new theme for our Four in Art group.
The theme for the year is Light, which provides a host of exciting possibilities. The sub theme that Catherine has selected for this first quarter is Shimmer.

I have been lucky to have been out in my kayak a bit over the last quarter. In November last year, just after the theme was announced, I had a great trip with my Dad and (then) 17 year old son on Lake Monowai over in Fiordland in the deep south of NZ. Only about three hours drive from home, but a world away too.

We had some pretty strong winds when we set out, and there wasn't much shimmer on the surface of the water- more white horses and we were mostly concentrating on not going backwards! And there are no photos of that as we were far too busy keeping going forwards to record the effect of wind on water!  But on setting out from the hut the next day it was calm again and over the next couple of days we had plenty of opportunity to enjoy the patterns on the surface of the water and I was thinking that it really fitted my personal definition of shimmer. But had to look it up when I got home to be sure. The definition I found is:

a subdued, tremulous light or gleam. 4. a quivering or vibrating motion or image as produced by reflecting faint light or heat waves. 

This effect is really pronounced on water. It was the effect on calm water that I really hoped to capture.

 The colours and patterns vary depending on light and reflections

Those loopy patterns of dark and light shown here on the right hand side of the image are particularly captivating in the shimmer department I feel.

But how to do it? In the back of my mind I think, was the work of Pauline Burbridge who has experimented with shimmering on water, much more articulately than me, but hey you've got to start somewhere!

So I projected a photo on to the wall and because I can't really draw to save myself, I traced  that to cut shapes out of freezer paper that I then ironed onto shot cottons in four shades and fused and layered them onto a background.

Always nerve wracking to begin to add stitching when I'm fairly happy with the progress so far! And the raw edges are a challenge...

The piece measures 42 x 26cm or 16.5 x 10.25 inches and I faced it to finish.

Nowhere near as pretty as the real thing, but I'm happy to have had a go at capturing it.

Next quarter the sub theme, which I've selected this time, is Light in the Darkness which should give everyone plenty of scope. That's due to be finished on the 1st May.

In the meantime check out how everyone else has interpreted the theme at their individual blogs and/or the Four in Art blog

Betty at a Flickr site 
Catherine  at Knotted Cotton
Elizabeth at
Janine at Rainbowhare
Nancy at  Patchwork Breeze
Rachel at The Life of Riley
Simone at Quiltalicious
Susan at PatchworknPlay


  1. I so share that horror of starting to stitch and the fear of wrecking what you've already done. I think it's very beautiful - I love the colours and the watery shapes and the texture your stitching has given it.

  2. Oh, Camilla, I just love what you've done here!!! The technique is perfect and I really like that you faced it. Wasn't it timely to have a special trip give you the inspiration for this?!
    Great work.

  3. Your photos are stunning and you've captured that shimmering water beautifully. Your quilt will be a wonderful remembrance of your holiday :)

  4. So neat to see photos of what inspired your quilt! Water has such an amazing ability to reflect the light and make an ordinary experience so memorable it's almost like magic. You have come a wonderful job depicting the beautify shimmer of the sunlight on the water.

  5. So lovely! I also appreciate when a quilt comes directly from a moment or experience. I think you captures the movement and shimmer of the water very well. And great facing!

  6. This is a beauty of an art quilt, showing the moment and the shimmer of the waters around you, immersed as you were in such beautiful and powerful scenery. I loved how you got from idea to execution (as I can't draw, either), giving such a lovely little moody and malleable visual display of the waters around you. Congratulations on a wonderful quilt!

  7. Very nicely done. I think the majority of people would think of water when given the word shimmer. It was wonderful that you were able to use one of your photos to help develop your art quilt and projecting onto a wall is very helpful. Kayaking there looks awesome.


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