Frosty Morning – part 5 (sparkles)

Part 5 in the Frosty Morning series is about adding sparkle to the winter scene. This piece was inspired by what I saw outside our front door this past January. That morning, the frozen landscape shimmered like a Las Vegas show costume, with the tips of every branch glittering with crystalline ice drops. I was so dazzled that I decided right then to try to recreate the scene, even though it would mean venturing into more glitzy territory than I was accustomed to.

This year, I’m working on a group of seasonal landscapes that capture the wonder and magic of the natural world, both real and imagined. Frosty Morning is the first completed scene in the series. Note cards are available in my Etsy Shop. I’m working on the Spring scene now and you can follow its progress on Facebook and Instagram.

In the same way that it’s challenging to capture the true to life iridescence of any winter landscape in photographic form, I’m finding that this piece is so much more sparkly and engaging than I’m able to convey here. That said, there will be opportunities to see Frosty Morning and the other yet to be completed scenes in the series in person. I’m hoping to have all 4 seasons finished by next year, so that they can be included in my retrospective exhibition, What a Relief: The Art of Salley Mavor, May 3 – Sept. 11, 2022 at the Brick Store Museum in Kennebunk, ME.

I rummaged through my stash looking for anything transparent and shiny and found strings of different sized vintage glass beads. Most of these were given to me years ago by an old family friend who was cleaning out boxes of misc. stuff she inherited.

Looking to recreate the ice crystal droplets I saw that January morning, I sewed glass beads to different points along the wrapped wire branches (see part 3).

I must have sewn hundreds of beads onto all of the the branches. It seemed like I couldn’t add too many!

If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know that I don’t really subscribe to the less is more theory. More is more would be more accurate.

I made some of the branches completely white with frost, with both clear ice drops and red berries.

I wanted the sky to shimmer, too, so I used blue tulle that came spattered-painted with shiny spots. It was fun searching through the girly tutu isle of the fabric store, an area I’ve never had a reason to explore before.

A single layer of the mesh looked too dull, so I made 3 layers, transitioning from light on the top, to dark at the horizon. Behind the tulle fabric is the wrong side of a piece of blue upholstery fabric with a subtle floral pattern.

For the snowy spots on the tree limbs. I used the dreaded metallic thread. Even though it’s the most frustrating material I’ve ever worked with, it provided the sparkle I wanted.

Stay tuned for the 6th and final part in the Frosty Morning series, which will be all about making the wee folk characters who live in the winter landscape.

Part 1 shows how I made the tree trunks.
Part 2 gives a close look at how I formed and wrapped the wire tree branches. Part 3 is about constructing the rounded shelters.
Part 4 is about making the stone wall and the ice covered bush in front of it.

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