So Matilda is gone until next Halloween, and Squanto is here.
Except for binding, Squanto is finished. I will work on binding the mat tonight. It will be around 12" by 13" when all is said and done. I had planned a larger piece with more of his shirt and ornaments exposed. But once I hooked it, the focus of the picture changed to his ornamentation, rather than his face. So I ripped out about 5" of hooking at the bottom, pulled out the dream-catcher circle in his hair, and worked to edit out all the details so that only his face, with all its gratitude, was left.
Hooking this piece again reminded me that less is better. Period.
Rip out what I don't like. Because just adding more hooking to what I already don't like isn't going to make me like it any better.
It is tough to hook a "monochromic" picture. Now this really wasn't monochromic because I didn't use a single swatch of wool in one hue. I used five different, yet closely related swatches to give the impression of a monochromic picture, while allowing me some freedom to cluster certain colors against others.
I also want to say that the background was really fun to do. I just used up my scraps from the rest of the piece, trying to cluster color and values to get a soft out-of-focus landscape background effect.
Well it is after Halloween, and Matilda is still hanging above my fireplace in that wonderful shadowbox I bought a month ago. So this can't continue. Matilda has to come down. Her month is over. The problem is that I do not have a mat hooked to fill the space between now and Christmas when St. Nicholas will be pinned up.
What to do? Guess I have to stop hooking the big Palette Constellation rug for a few days and get a Thanksgiving mat done. I browsed the web and located an antique photo circa 1900 that I fell in love with. Very soulful. And thankful.
So I have started to work on it. I have a photo to the left of the colors of wools I am using: Wilde Wood 117; Faune Brown 114; Hubbard Fig 119; Sea Shells 142; Red Oak 144; Toadstool 121. All are 8-value packs.
I have no idea who the man is in the picture, but I am calling him Squanto in memory of one of the Wampangao who was known to help the Pilgrims. Governor William Bradford wrote that Squanto was "a special instrument sent of God." He appeared in Plymouth in the Spring of 1621 and helped the few Pilgrims who survived the winter of 1620 after landing. Bradford wrote about him, “Squanto was a native of these parts…one of the few survivors of the plague… He was carried away with others by one Hunt, a captain of a ship, who intended to sell them for slaves in Spain; but he got away for England, and was received by a merchant in London, employed in Newfoundland… and lastly brought into these parts by a Captain Dermer. Squanto stayed with them and was their interpreter…He showed them how to plant corn, where to take fish and other commodities, and guided them to unknown places… Nor was there a man among them who had ever seen a beaver skin till they were instructed by Squanto.”