Things seem to take a lot longer than I think they will. The background at the bottom of this train piece would be quick and easy – I thought. And it’s taken me many days. I’ve even brought it downstairs last week and worked on it in the afternoons for 4 days. But I finally got it done! I used two different overdyes – one beige and light brown and the second light brown and gray – to represent the gravel that is found along side the tracks and between the railroad ties.
The first photo is part of the background and the cow catcher at the front of the engine. I love the first part with the long ribbons laid carefully to form the catcher with black in the background for the spaces between the pieces of steel. The right side is more difficult since the pieces of steel fade away to the right and appear closer together. Then the artist Anne Cram had the steel in the center form a V in the middle – divided into top and bottom parts. I did the best I could but I’m not really pleased with the right side. I didn’t stitch them as painted – sets of stitches that gradually worked to make a slanted line. Using the ribbon worked much better – but challenging to get the black covered so when I laid a silver or red ribbon all the spaces would be covered in black. On the right, the light shows through the steel since it isn’t against the rest of the engine. It looks unbalanced to me.
But it is completed and overall, I really do like it! It was just a painting of a locomotive, but I’ve added backgrounds and smoke, filled in the railroad ties, and outlined the numbers so they are more visible. I think he’s ready for the museum now, as soon as he chugs down the track just a little farther.