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Monochrome Challenge - Crimson Study; Chinese Lantern by Julie Haddrick

Updated: Dec 12, 2023

“Crimson Study; Chinese Lantern”

Julie Haddrick 2023

Initially I struggled to connect my botanical theme with the colour palette had been selected for me to use in the monochrome series quilt. Crimson fabric I had to source – there was little in my stash. Locating enough tones and tints of this purplish red was a challenge and the palette was flat, hence I introduced spotted fabrics and fabric with patterns that provided subtle contrasts.

The subject matter in my garden at this time was rose hips and the end of Mr Lincoln rose flowers, pomegranate pods, autumn leaves and the pink flowers of my native orchids. None inspired.

So I used some of the thousands of pods and cones, seeds etc. in my collection. Chinese lanterns came from the garden of a winery restaurant nearby.

Not only the pod shape, leaf and stems, but I loved the negative shapes afforded. I silk screen printed a floral pattern, but decided against it.

So using the lantern as a motif I sketched to create a dynamic composition, used piecing technique to construct the pod forms and moved shapes until they interacted. The final stage will show a white paper like skeleton of the pod encasing a large round seed.

Work in progress:

In my collection of the discarded; seed pods, sticks, seed heads, feathers, shells, leaves, stones, I pondered the nature of these two inch size puffball like papery seed pods that had begun as orange fruit like pod that progresses to skeletal white shell around a large internal red berry. Originating from a Chinese lantern Physalis  Alkekengi plant, I decided to use their form as a motif in my monochrome piece. The exquisite form and beautiful negative spaces inspired this latest colour study. With a meagre stash of crimson fabrics, I was forced out of my comfort zone and purchased a variety of crimson fabrics in various tints and shades.  

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