American Goldfinch

This is a recent commission I completed for a lady in the USA. It’s an American Goldfinch with some thistles – not quite cardoons but that kind of shape. The background is handpainted silk habutai, painted with liquid acrylic inks. I use Liquitex because they are really good quality and bond to the fabric without any fixative. The body of the goldfinch is made from vintage fabric and embellished with hand stitching and sequins. The thistles took a lot of hand-stitching to complete mainly with fly stitch. The thistle leaves are hand painted silk dupion stitched over by machine.

For reference photos I used some images I’d taken on a visit to Canada where there were thistle growing on some waste land near Fish Creek Park in Calgary. There were lots of lovely birds there including American Goldfinches. I remember taking the photos of the thistles and then running for cover as a big thunderstorm hit!  I like to use images that I’ve taken as reference if possible and of course my own drawings as they make the work much more meaningful and real somehow.

This commission is part of a trio. Check out Yellow Flicker and Bluejay.


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Nicky Perryman

Hey, I'm a textile artist based in the UK. I like playing around with fabric paint, stitching both hand and machine embroidery and I have far too many sequins. I'm inspired by nature, its mysteries, subtleties, delights and complexities. The outer natural world has its counterpart in the inner spiritual world and I am also inspired by folklore, poetry, fairytales, stories of long ago when the spirits of nature seemed less shy than they do today, as well as my own shamanic journeys into the dreamland.

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