Things are progressing. The pelican has been completed in record time, even though I started getting fussy.
All those feathers were just too much of a temptation for me. I have been playing with the stitches, trying to get a nice interlocking feather shape. Fly stitch seems to work the best, as long as I keep the first half of the stitch nice and loose, so it forms a curve rather than a "v". I have also tried feather stitch, both single and double, but it leaves gaps that have to be returned to, and doesn't look quite as even.
Then I realize that I am working with my nose five inches from the cloth, and the piece will be seen from across a room, so really, what I need to do is simplify. Simplifying is another aspect of the translation process. Enough information needs to be kept so that the image "reads" true, and at the same time superfluous detail needs to be omitted.
It's a challenge that requires lengthy periods of what I call "gazing upon the piece". This is one of the most crucial steps of creating any work of art, yet to the casual observer it looks like nothing is being done. Just sitting, allowing the image to fill the eyes and letting the mind be free to roam, actually determines the next step. Is the piece done? If not, what does it need? Ideas for the next three pieces float into view. Memories shimmer, connections appear.
Time to sit and gaze.
P.S. Sadly, I decided to reinstate the "captcha" thingie on the comments. I was getting tons of spam - easy enough to delete, but most of it made me aware of a world I really don't want to know about. Sorry, Damselfly!