Posted by: bschutzgruber | February 28, 2020

Abstract Landscapes – pt 2

The Abstract Landscape class at the Ann Arbor Art Center is an 8-week class so February has brought new assignments and wonderful experimentation.

Week 5 – Texture
The painters in the class used salt and paper to give their paintings some 3-D accents, which was really interesting to see. Because I would be adding heavier materials to add texture, I decided to use a piece of wool pre-felt as my foundation vs. the silk chiffon I had used for weeks 1-2-3-4. I continued using dyed wool roving for my background and added pieces of silk fabric, fleece locks, and wool nepps (tiny balls of tangled fibers) on top. I was especially interested to see how the nepps would look when placed under pieces of fabric.

12″ x 12″

The actual felting process took longer and needed more effort because I was working on a pre-felt base compared to the silk chiffon base and the silk fabric strips.

7″ x 7″

When it was felted down textured image reminded me of the US Southwest. I liked the lumpy texture the nepps gave to the silk fabric I placed over them. I used needle felting to add the outline of a building to go with the plants/garden in the foreground.


Week 6 – Texture continued
I went back to using a base of silk chiffon since felting is much quicker and easier vs. using a wool pre-felt. Grey locks, white silk chiffon fabric strips, colored silk and multi-dyed locks were layered on top of the wool roving background.

12″ x 12″

Because the locks were from 2 different breeds of sheep, the grey locks were much fuzzier after felting than the locks I used at the bottom, which had a silkier appearance. Again I played with needle felting to add some lines on the dark blue area

final 7″ x 7″

Week 7 – Final Project
This would be a larger piece that incorporates elements from the previous weeks with a tree in the foreground. I also wanted to create a pocket by folding a section of the silk base fabric to the back and using a resist to keep the opening clear so I can slide in a hanging rod. I finished the basic dry layout by the end of class.

18″ x 18″ – dry layout

Week 8 – Final Project continued
Having a week to think about my design and bounce ideas off several others I made some changes and started felting.
The technique for creating a pocket for a hanging rod worked OK.

back pocket for hanging rod

I’m pleased with how the tree came out and will continue to play with the layering I used to give the texture of the bark.

Final 12″ x 12″

This was a GREAT class!!! I learned a lot and my confidence has certainly gotten a boost. So much so I immediately started work on a much larger piece at home – 44″ x 60″ start size.

Final layout – dry

Wet felting in progress

I’ll continue adding bits to it and hopefully it will be ready to submit for the Ann Arbor Fiberarts Guild annual show in the lobby of the Power Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Michigan come April.


  1. […] created in 2020 but did not have the chance to be shown in-person – Hiking the Coastal Path [February 2020 blog] and Fire on the Horizon [November 2020 […]

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