This little kingfisher started out as a very vague silk painting. I used acrylic inks to create a mottled background and the rough outline of the bird. I wanted the bird to merge with the background to some degree, so I didn’t make the outline too crisp. I had an idea in my head of how I wanted it to look but as I worked on it, the fixed idea shifted and became instead a festivity of little stars, criss crossings and flecks all done with hand stitching. The body of the kingfisher is created with some scraps of orange and blue silk, painted over in places with acrylic ink and some acrylic glazing. And then consolidated with free motion machine embroidery. The eye is finished off with a little sequin, the only one I have used in this work, unusual for me! I had planned to do lots of sequinning on it, but in the end I quite liked just letting the stitching speak without embellishment, however I started running over the edge as I find it hard to work on a small scale. Once I start doing feather stitch and seeding stitches, I find them quite addictive and I don’t want to stop.
There is something about the orange and blue combination of kingfishers that I particularly like. It’s so intense, so delicious, so jewel-like, so exotic when much of the English countryside has quieter colours. I am working on a larger kingfisher piece which I will discuss in another post. I don’t think I am done with the imagery of kingfishers yet, attempting to create that electric blue with subtlety is something I want to explore further as well creating some semblance of glistening water. I think I need to go back to sketching to understand how to give the impression of light on water before I can create it with thread.