A few months ago, the United Methodist Church of Hartford commissioned me to create a set of three banners, each one illustrating a phrase of the congregation's mission statement.
I completed the first banner, Rooted in God's Love, around Labor Day 2010. Today I started work on the second banner, which will illustrate the phrase Growing in God's Grace.
I chose an image of a tree for the second banner. This one looks so alive it's just twisting itself up into the air, and because of the photographer's use of infrared film, the branches and leaves seem bathed in radiance.
I traced part of the image and came up with this:
I brought that to a copy shop and asked them to blow it up to approximately 22 inches by 60 inches. The result was this pattern, which I glued to poster board to give it some body. I made two copies, one to cut up and use as an actual pattern, the other to refer to.
The next thing is to color the fabric which will form the background of these intertwining branches. It'll be blue, of course, for the sky. I'll use Pebeo Setacolor paints and the technique taught in Mickey Lawler's Skydyes. Check it out:
But before I put the color onto my white pima cotton cloth, I'm going to place this pattern under the cloth and use a chalk marker to show me where the branches will be when it's time to add them:
Speaking of paint, I auditioned five colors: very light cool blue, evening blue I, evening blue II, brighter slate blue, and slate blue. Here are the samples I mixed:
I chose very cool light blue and evening blue II, which are on the left and in the center of this photo. The blues have to be complementary with the blue colors of the paintings in the chancel of the church. For example, in this one, Mary's blue robe looks like it has a touch of green in it, almost like robin's egg blue.
I chose the 2 colors that I thought would best complement that painting, which is front and center in the chancel of the church. Then, using a sponge, I applied them to the fabric. And I can still see the yellow chalk marks that will tell me where the branches will go when I reach that step.