Now it is time for Christy's adorable little friend, Christopher. Christy designed this triptych herself using Arts and Craft era woodblock art as her style influence. The inspiration for the subject matter is her Summertime ritual. As soon as the greenhouses are open in Vermont, specifically Golden Russet Farm, Christy and her husband Dave, QC here at The Oxford Company, go and pick up a geranium plant for beside their front door and a tomato plant to go in their garden. Christy even admitted that sometimes it is the only plant that they put in the garden. Their backyard is also crawling with bunnies. She said that they always have a couple, but this year especially, the bunnies have come out of the woodwork and are all over their backyard.
Christy used only fine needle sizes in her piece, the #14 and #13 to be exact. The #14 fine Oxford Punch Needle was used for the background, the #13 fine Oxford Punch Needle was used for the details and the bunny, Christopher. The frame is interesting. Christy punched the frame differently than the rest of us, but I am getting ahead of myself. I will explain what is interesting about the border a bit later.
Let us begin where Christy did, the tomato panel. Because Christy was following a very specific art style - the Arts and Craft style, which blended the art traditions of ancient Europe and Japan with the ideals and techniques of American and British artists, she tried hard to maintain the simplistic, natural, and handmade quality that so many of the artists during this period strived for. The "back to hand made" philosophy was abundant because the Arts and Craft style came about as a response to the industrial revolution.
The first bright green she chose for the leaves had to be swapped out because it looked too yellow with the darker green outline and as Dave told her "yellow tomato leaves are a bad sign..."
Once the tomato plant was completed, Christy moved across to the far right panel, the geraniums. Once again she punched in a shade darker than her fill in color. While this worked well for her leaf, the shade wasn't quite dark enough to add the contrast that so many woodblocks have, so again Christy had to switch colors and actually punched the outline in a shade that was two clicks darker.
The bunny, Christopher, who is also the main focal point of the triptych, proved to be the more difficult piece. Christy switched out colors numerous times, which if you have punched with Christy, then you know that this isn't uncommon, however much needed it is.
Christy started Christopher off with whiskers. As she added color and filled him in, she took issue with his whiskers, which just wouldn't look how she wanted them to.
Removing them, Christy also decided that his belly needed something to make him stand out more, like a patch in a contrasting color. She added grey to his stomach and nose. Once she had that finished, she began layering in her background which you will notice is punched in such a way that it gives Christopher a spotlight. There is a very gentle arching of the blue behind him, shifting to a lighter shade as it gets closer to him
Once the background was added Christy noticed that the original grey she chose for his belly, as well as the darker grey she was using for his body, had too much underlying blue. Pulling Christopher out completely, Christy re-punched him using a lighter brown and a washed white. This also allowed him to stand out more. What really gave him dimension was a happy accident according to Christy. Running into a similar problem as Cotey, Christy picked up the wrong size needle and punched the dark outline with the #14 fine punch needle instead of the #13 fine that he was supposed to be. She left this in, because like I said, it gives him a great sense of dimension almost like he was simply sculpted.
Now, on to Christy's border. Like I said, she did this differently from the rest of us. First of all, she used the #13 fine needle for most of the border. She did do one line around all three panels with the #14 fine punch needle, as well as the two lines between the panels exclusively with the #14. You will also notice that the bottom portion of the border is slightly bigger than the rest of the border. Christy did an extra row of stitches partly to accommodate the bunny's paws and also to make it look more like a window frame where the bottom is always slightly larger than the rest of the window frame.
Isn't Christy's Bunny a fun triptych? I love the design and color choices that she made, it really stands apart from the rest.
How are your triptychs coming along? We love to see any shots in progress or finished!
Next week I will wrap up the project and give any updates I have on Sid's Camping Summer Triptych. If you would like to send in pictures to be added to a final collage, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. These can be however far you have made it on the Summer Triptych, even if you have only color planned! We can't wait to see!
If you are posting on social media and would like your triptych to be added to the wrap up, make sure you use #OxCoPALs!