Wednesday, 29 February 2012
It can be inspirational to observe the natural learning process, most easily recognized in kids of all ages when they have happened on to something that really motivates them. In this mindset, they will practice tirelessly as if some longer term influence has taken hold, driving a particular need to practice the steps over and over, building on the knowledge that brings it to a new level of understanding. You notice this in kids learning to walk, talk or skate; a teenage girl trying to master a jump or twirl. There is an undeniable mind body joyfulness endlessly spurring on that one more lap to feel the legs or one more round, to understand the flow, building up both the physical and mental memory. I was most keenly aware of this phenomenon in a dear friend last summer, when during the last few months of her sadly shortened life, she was most determined to reestablish her ability to walk. And she did! Her efforts were very rewarding, to her especially and for this and throughout her life she was and is an inspiration to all who knew her. More recently, I was fortunate to spend an intense and wonderful 2 weeks with my 1.5 and 3 year old grandchildren. It was a real treat to watch their non-stop trial and error learning, savouring each step, and exploring at play, each possibilitiy with carefree abandon . That "bring it on" mindset and curiosity for understanding continues to teach me to value those" baby steps "of learning, for a lifetime.
|Man's Best Friend|
What does show are pencil/graphite marks where I stitched through tracing paper to get the outlines - drat!!!!
One day I want to create the 'summer' version of foot prints on the beach.
‘Steps – a process.’
My original idea was to have different thermofax screens made depicting different types of staircases. I was then going to write words that came to mind on the subject, over the staircase and the whole piece. Circumstances prevented me from doing this.
Instead I started with a piece of muslin over which I printed in green and purple using stencils and found objects. I used green because it symbolizes generosity, renewal, inexperience and purple because it symbolizes spirituality, mystery, transformation and enlightenment. These two colors are appropriate for the theme of this piece.The techniques used were stitch and painting. I started this piece before our last text’art workshop. Armed with new knowledge about color taught to us by Heather, I combined the green and the purple of the steps to give the wall color. The words on this piece were photocopied onto tissue paper and applied to the piece with a matte medium
Torn between two issues of high profile in the country at the moment, the ANC celebrating 100 years and our Rhino's being mutilated for their horns, I opted for the one that to me is more important. If we do not seriously start taking steps to save our Rhino' s , seeing this in the open will be a thing of the past.
Painted, thermofaxed, fused, stitched and then more paint ..... I have battled to take an accurate picture of the work. In reality the 'grades' of green are more blended and softer. For some reason the blues in the middle fabric are dominant in the photo.
I have managed to get my picture up amazingly as we have been without internet for the past week due to the fact that we had a massive electrical storm last week and our server was struck by lightning. I trust this get to you all.
I had fun with this one as I did not want to do an Urban Scene and wanted to do something different. I had some inspiration and had fun with this using painted Tyvek for the boulder/stones and thread painting for the vegetation.
My Stairway to Surgery (depicted with the Canadian Medical Assosiation logo) has been a little rocky and bumpy. I chose to quilt my sometimes flaming mood into the background. I hope to have laproscopic surgery and avoid an incision but I thought the use of the indigo fabric with small stitching lines and the stitiched binding was very fitting.
Montreal's Plateau is a now-trendy urban neighbourhood that has been home to a succession of immigrant groups. You would think that Montreal, city of ice and snow, would not embrace outdoor staircases, but in fact they are a signature feature of Montreal architecture. I have been told that when houses were taxed on the basis of their "footprint", building the staircase for a duplex outdoors represented a tax savings as well as a savings on construction costs.
This piece is meant as a companion to the Quebec City piece, made in response to the Street Life challenge. It, too, was based on a photo and was made using a line drawing traced onto water-soluble stabilizer.
Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Middle: Head by Wendy Browne, Torso by Noreen Lavallee, Legs by Colleen Paul
Bottom: Head by Helena Scheffer, Torso by Susanne Strater, Legs by Sarah Robinson
Middle piece: Head by Heather Dubreuil, Torso by Pamela Chasen, Legs by Michele Meredith
Bottom piece: Head by Michele Meredith, Torso by Heather Dubreuil, Legs by Pamela Chasen
Monday, 27 February 2012
Friday, 24 February 2012
Wednesday, 22 February 2012
As promised, here is the second art quilt I made for Liz Barton's on-line course, "Inspired to Design". First, the photo that inspired me, taken from a window at the Musée des Beaux Arts in Montreal, overlooking an alley.
Then, the line drawing based on the photo.
Then, the "value study". I tried to place the area with the highest value contrast at the focal point, the chairs.
Finally, the finished piece, measuring 12" x 24".
This one has fused shapes in hand-dyes and commercial cotton, essentially in a complementary blue-and-orange scheme. The shapes are outline-stitched-and-quilted with matching thread, and a heavier thread is used to "draw in" the chairs, windows and railings. I lengthened the piece, top and bottom, by about 2". There's not much quilting on it, but then again it's going to be mounted on a canvas so that will flatten it out.
I'm reasonably pleased with it, and hope to do more in this series. I would have started a third one (the class doesn't close until Saturday) but alas, I will be busy preparing tax documents for the family for the next few days.
Monday, 20 February 2012
Thursday, 16 February 2012
I have been taking a wonderful on-line course with Liz Barton, through quiltuniversity.com, called "Inspired to Design". I have just finished an art quilt based on work done for the course, and wanted to share the process with you. Above is a photo taken in Brooklyn last year, and below is the image translated into a line drawing.
We were encouraged to make value studies, filling in the shapes with dark, medium and light values, and to organize our fabrics by value. In the fourth and last week, Liz explained how she realizes her design in fabric. I used some of her techniques, but not others, and produced this version below, measuring 16" x 21", using hand-dyes.
I'm pleased with the result, and have already started on another project. The "virtual classroom" is open for another ten days or so, and I hope to get feedback from the teacher as I go along. One of the features of the course is that you can monitor the progress of all the other students, seeing what images they post, and eavesdropping on their exchanges with the instructor. Liz responded to every comment, usually within just a few hours. Her insights were spot-on, very valuable and instructive. Students came from all over the U.S., Canada and Europe.
I can't say enough good things about the course, and hope to take her class "Working in a Series", planned for May. It has been a lot of work, but I have learned a lot and have what I hope is the beginning of a series here.
Sunday, 12 February 2012
Here is a website that was recommended by Elizabeth Barton in the quiltuniversity.com class I am taking.
It features a very interesting mini-lecture on the construction of a particular Vermeer painting. I haven't explored the rest of the website, but it promises to be an amazing resource that I plan to return to.
Wednesday, 8 February 2012
Thursday, 2 February 2012
Some of the ideas in the book prompted me to try something new with my hand-dyed fabrics. Usually I have been quite happy to do a simple gradation of colour, whether a bright or a neutral. This time, I took some of my surplus brightly-dyed fat quarters and tried to tone them down by dyeing them with a complementary. I used the indigo that I had on hand to work magic on my oranges:
my last drop of eggplant on the yellows:
and the last bit of turkey red on some greens and turquoises:
I was trying to get some interesting shades to use for the on-line course I'm taking through quiltuniversity.com. The course is called "Inspired to Design", with Liz Barton, and it is very absorbing. Classes 1 and 2 were about using photographs, (and music, poems, shapes) to come up with line drawings, and then isolating single elements or manipulating the drawing to come up with something new. Class 3 was about adding value to the design and choosing a palette of hand-dyed fabrics to work with. In the final class, Liz will explain her technique of getting from drawing to a finished fabric piece. Most of my images are urban-themed, so I was looking for a more nuanced palette.
One of the points made in the book is that if you mix a little bit of a single colour into your chosen palette of primaries and secondaries, you will create a more unified palette of colour. Usually this single mixing colour is a neutral, but not always. So in the case of my dyeing experiments, it was the indigo for one batch, the eggplant for the second, and the turkey red for the third. Some of the results were quite unexpected, but on the whole I am happy with the effort.