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The Sustainable Souls Project Extreme Weather and Art
The Sustainable Souls Project Extreme Weather and Art- Drought by Christy Strickler

In this month’s challenge for the Sustainable Souls Project, we chose to take on the concept of extreme weather. Bringing weather into art form seemed a bit challenging for me at first. Weather, rather extreme or mild, is something that is experienced by multiple senses. As I explored inspiration photos online, I knew that I wanted texture to play an important role in my piece. I played with the idea of creating multiple projects, so much so, that in the end, I was able to have time to create just one. I chose to focus on drought.

Stitching the cracks in the mud-The Sustainable Souls Project Extreme Weather and Art

I decided once again to play with watercolors. The image of a vast field of cracked dry earth played in my mind over and over again. However, I didn’t want this field to be completely barren. I chose to add a small cluster of flowers as a symbol of hope. I painted the flowers first knowing that I would add the cracked earth around them.

I recently got a new to me sewing machine ( bought used from a friend), and decided this was the perfect opportunity to practice some free hand stitching with it. Starting from the flowers, I stitched random, sometimes curving, lines. At times, the lines intersected, creating the beginning of the cracks in the dry mud.

Using watercolor to create the mud-The Sustainable Souls Project Extreme Weather and Art
I chose to use white thread for the stitching. I knew that the water color would seep into the thread, helping me to create the illusion of deep cracks in the mud.
Let the watercolor seep into the thread-The Sustainable Souls Project Extreme Weather and Art
I chose three shades of brown: a dark rich tint, a reddish brown and a yellowish brown. I started by applying watercolor to the stitched thread, then pulled it outwards into the watercolor paper with my brush.
Christy Strickler for the Sustainable Souls Project- Extreme weather- Drought

The result is a blending of color, not necessarily harsh but also not altogether pleasing to the eye. The stitching adds the desired texture, making me feel as though I can reach out to touch dry, cracked earth.

Representing extreme weather within art isn’t necessarily easy, but it is a topic I find that I want to revisit. This project was a relatively simple one that has sparked ideas for a dozen different other, more complex pieces. I am looking forward to fitting these ideas into my list of creative projects.

The Sustainable Souls Project: Extreme Weather
Be sure to check out how extreme weather has influenced the other artists who are part of the Sustainable Souls Project. Visit the Sustainable Souls blog for a roundup post featuring all of their work as well as links to check out each piece in more detail.
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