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Monday, November 9, 2015

10th @ Hoyt Courtyard

A friend recently invited me to tour the courtyard located at the 10th @ Hoyt Apartment building in Portland's Pearl District.  Although you can see part of the courtyard from the street, it is typically gated from all but residents of the building. 

Once inside the courtyard, it is hard to believe you are only steps away from busy NW 10th Street.  Greenery, water features, and seating make it feel more like a secluded park than an apartment courtyard in the middle of the city. 

The courtyard officially opened in 2003.  It was designed by Steve Koch, not only to soothe our senses, but to meet a Portland mandate that buildings of a certain size manage and treat storm water on site.  Amazingly, the casual visitor to this oasis would not recognize that the water is actually runoff recirculating through artful structures in the courtyard.

There are several websites with photos of the entire courtyard.  I took this photo on a cloudy day in early October.  It shows one of several water features in the courtyard.

Thread Sketch

With larger sketches, I must rely on my limited artistic ability to transfer the basic lines by hand.  On smaller sketches, a printer can be used to transfer the original photo.  I have tried several techniques with the printer.  The photo can be printed directly to the cotton canvas, or onto the Pellon 926 extra firm stabilizer on the back.  With these techniques the ink remains with the project through completion and can be messy to handle, much like a newspaper.  

For this project, I printed on a tear-away stabilizer that could be removed after transferring the basic lines.  Because I wanted to apply the tear-away to the back side of the canvas, I used Photoshop to reverse the picture.  The tear-away could be applied to the front, but would require greater care to remove all the stabilizer.
In this photo, I have already stitched the basic shapes and in process of removing the tear-away stabilizer.  You can see how well the printer works with the tear-away stabilizer.

Bobbin thread outlining the shapes.

Completed project, 8"x10"
It was a challenge depicting the greenery as individual trees and shrubs.  Shades of green, brown, gold and yellow threads were used to free-motion stitch a variety of small leaf shapes to define individual shrubs.

Coming Soon 

Although Christmas projects continue, I have completed several greeting cards that I will post in about two weeks.  Please visit again.