A couple of years ago we were lucky enough to be invited to a wedding in Ravello, Italy. It was a wonderful weekend, with little time for sight-seeing, but I do remember when walking through the town, all the little shops selling the famous limoncello and the masses of Italian pottery, everything adorned with lemons – beautiful combinations of ultramarine blue and sharp yellow. When we returned I made the bride and groom a picture, using a travel map of the area and a faded photograph of part of the hotel where the wedding was held. The photograph was printed onto tissue paper and then glued over some lemon motifs (cut out of wallpaper) straight onto the map. I then coloured the background with brusho to blend with the photo and used inktense pencils on the lemons to make them stand out. Below is a photograph, minus the hand stitching that followed on as the next stage.
Since then I have always wanted to return to the lemon theme, hoping to recreate a layered feeling, with the images of tiles and mosaics part of the scene. I still had the simple lemon stencil I used in the map piece above, so played around with that and some other commercial stencils to create some ideas in my sketchbook.
I then painted a background on bondaweb, ironed it onto stretchy velvet and layered it up with patches of synthetic fabrics. Onto this I stencilled the tiles and background shapes, placing the lemons fairly randomly on top. Once I had the lemons initially stamped I then painted them more thickly with yellow paint to give them a bit of texture. After this I soldered outlines of some of the background details, the leaves and the lemons, finally machining details into some of the areas. It is a large piece so not sure if I will do my usual thing and chop it up or leave it more or less the size it is, but I am considering just a little bit of hand stitch and maybe just a few tiny sequins.