Who knows why one falls in love with certain fabrics? As with any kind of love, the reasons are complex and too many to list . . . let’s just say I fell big time for the gaudy splashy colors on this cotton that suggested to me a summer vista in a Paris park vaguely resembling the Tuileries and that has an Arc du Carousel type of monument thrown in for good measure. I immediately began visualizing ways to turn the random, unconnected motifs on this fabric into a coherent scene with paths leading to and around several focal points with the arch in the distance and a foreground vase on a windowsill with a bouquet containing flowers in the same candy colors.
On the same day in the same store I encountered the fabric described above, I came on a cotton print from a different designer that was splashed all over with stylized flowers in many of the same colors used in the park landscape. My collection of art books is one of my most prized possessions – I spend many happy hours reading about different eras in art and looking at color plates – and the colors and the motifs printed on the park fabric immediately struck me as quite close to a semi-abstract ‘Fauve’ style (the so-called Fauves were a group of painters, including most famously Henri Matisse, in the generation following post-Impressionism – because of their semi-abstract style that made bold use of bold, radically new color combinations they were known as Fauves or Wild Beasts).
So I decided I’d make a bold and crazy wild beast of a fabric textile scene. It’s certainly an exercise in ‘over the top-ness’ . . . possibly I should have made more of a clear edging to the flowers in the vase as I did in my Delft Blue picture, but at the time I created this landscape I liked the effect of gaudy flowers smack in front of the brilliant scene behind. I did set small blue daisies at intervals around the edge of the bouquet to help separate the blooms in the vase from the background flowers, and all the flowers of the bouquet are beaded to the max – the large central pink bloom is centered with an especially stunning dark, iridescent Swarovski crystal and every single petal on the flowers of the vase display beads, plus Swarovski crystals in their centers, which gives the blooms texture and moves them forward and emphasizes their position in front of the background scene. The colorful park landscape is created entirely by cut work, with not a bead to be seen anywhere save in the fountain where pale cream beads are sewn on to give an effect of water spraying.
Ivory cotton stamped with a mottled gold dot motif was chosen for the vase which is decorated with narrow gold and cream grosgrain ribbons. Cream grosgrain is used for the window surround and several blooms have fallen from the bouquet onto the sill where the vase is set.