This piece of work is something that I started quite some time ago. I made an A3 black and white photocopy from a colour photograph that I took on holiday about 8 years ago. It was a photo of a prickly pear cactus, a rather large specimen, and I just loved the shapes of the fleshy leaves with the pear shaped fruits growing from around the edges. I may be wrong in calling the different parts 'leaves' and 'fruits', but that is what they looked like to me.
I laminated the photocopy to some voile, and rubbed off the excess paper after fixing, and soaking in water. This left just the image on the voile, which when backed with some cotton fabric, (I chose part of an old cotton curtain with a green print) gives a lovely soft, light handle to the piece for further embellishment. I started by adding colour with some silk and watered down acrylic paint. The very fine film of paper left on the voile takes up just enough colour for interest, and then I have used a combination of hand and machine embroidery in the different areas, together with further, slightly thicker acrylic paint applied in dots and spots. I've allowed myself to really go to town with the decoration, which gives this cactus a completely unreal appearance, and there may still be some further additional work added!
I have been asked to run a two day workshop this coming August, and this technique may well be one that I will offer to the participants. It's another interesting way of using some of the many photographs that we all seem to take these days, and then don't know what to do with!
If nothing else, it's lots of fun, and something colourful to work on during these cold, wet, grey winter days.