Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Ancestral Home

It was so delightful to have Alex Janvier as our artist for this challenge. I was born and raised in Fort Benton, Montana, located 60 miles south of  Alberta, Canada. Learning about Native American Indian culture was part of my upbringing so I was thrilled to learn more about him as a living indigenous artist raised in my part of North America. His art is truly unique with his strong sense of color, movement and lines. I especially marveled at his expert inclusion of animal symbols that are identified with tribes of the Pacific Northwest. He so skillfully places these in his work, that one must study his art to see what and where he includes them.
 For my personal challenge, I began by using silk fusion pieces that I made in a workshop with Tamara Leberer at Quilt Adventures. I wanted to recreate the fluidity of color and shape of his work.  "Premier Joy" (shown below) was my inspiration piece. I purposely layered silk fused shapes to intersect in a similar manner but very simply. To highlight these shapes and intersections, I edged them with silk sari cords that were couched on with invisible thread. To further enhance the colors, I positioned my silk fusion rendition onto fabric that was dyed to look like pulled string art. To finish, I included images of an eagle, a fish and a feather done in the style of Indigenous symbols.


   Better late than never. I found this a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. I thought I liked Hundertwasser's paintings until this challenge: I discovered that I only had an impression of them and I'd never really had a good look at them. I like his use of colour, but I dislike the way in which he used so many closely placed lines. However I really like his architectural designs and so I chose to interprete the Hundertwasser-haus in Vienna.


January Bloom

  I am always trilled to be introduced to artists I've never heard about. This was no exception and like others I struggled on how to interpreter this talented artist. I didn't look too much at the photo, just did my own thing. Rosemary came close to what I had in mind!

  I choose tread painting, my first try (and last?), I had such fun making it, but it was a chock that I could't make it flat with stretching and pressing. A useful lesson I think. So I had to double quilt the white background in order to "thame" it, to make it flat.

  Not quite what I had in mind, not quite pleased with it, but I learned a lot and getting out of your comfort zone is always mind bogging.

Alex Janvier: Abstraction Composition 1

January Bloom

January Bloom in need of "taming"

Marbled Janvier

 Soon after selecting Janvier I decided to revisit the shaving foam marbling technique our Text'Art group played with a number of years ago. I would have liked to had another go at this as it's so much fun. However, I will ensure NOT to use scented shaving foam from the dollar store. I used a facing to complete the round shape and am pleased with the outcome.

I have always been under the impression one should never compose a design that falls off the page, or in this case the fabric!  I have been proved wrong in this instance.  I must confess that I found this artist very difficult at first and found it hard to be inspired as to how to put my inspiration across.  However, as I studied his work I kept going back to pieces that did meander off the sides of his designs.  I drew it up before I left to visit my daughter in the UK but didn't have time to do any adjustments on my return due to various unforseen health issues.  In the end it was fun to put my drawing onto fabric and absolutely love the colours he uses so beautifully.  Below are the pieces that inspired me and my final piece.  I am happy with my finished piece.  I did use paint and appliqued fabric and outlined everything in 12wt cotton thread and, although his backgrounds are very flat (as is his colour), I decided to quilt the background minimally.  I was not sure if it should have been faced or bound but instinctively went for the binding in a slightly mottled, darker colour than the background as I desperately needed to enclose the design.

My final piece:

Intertribal Quilt Song ...

... with apologies to Alex Janvier.
Just as with the title of this post I've adopted a very light-hearted approach to this challenge, I hope you'll forgive me. Goodness I love the fluidity of the lines he creates and his colours are stunning but could I replicate any of this in fabric?  When I found myself wanting to paint rather than stitch I knew I had to look sideways for inspiration. Enter this work:

Inter-tribal Drum Song - Alex Janvier

It was the 'inter-tribal' bit that did it for me. I'm a contemporary quilter through and through so why have I recently been dabbling with needle turn applique or visiting a wonderful exhibition on Welsh wholecloth quilts?  These styles all have the same roots but it doesn't stop us, here in the UK at least, from associating with others interested in the same aspect of the broader genre - quilting tribes so to speak. It was this thinking that gave birth to Inter-tribal quilt song. Each oval is cut from a sample or, in one instance, a JQ to represent some of the different quilting tribes. I thought that I'd be able to couch some of Janvier's wonderfully fluid curves but was defeated, though looking again at the photo of the original I'm wondering whether something could be achieved using reverse machine applique ...
Inter-tribal Quilt Song

Tribute to ...

I definitely struggled with this one in that I had visions but had no idea how to get there. Am I happy with my piece .... not completely.  I may play around with it some more at a later stage after some more thought.

Looking at his work I saw marbling, the swirls inside marbles, road maps. All shapes I love however I did not want it to look like I had created another piece in his repertoire so my thoughts changed to putting together little bits of his culture & background to using some of his techniques.

I started with the technique and played around with paint on a off white whole cloth ....

I then inserted a sketch of Janvier, quilted feathers around the circle and stitched into his face. Fabric was wrapped and stitched around cord and used to frame Janvier and create my dream catcher.  I then added the beads & shells to complete my dream catcher.

Here came my problem .... ideally I should have 'threads' criss-crossing the middle of the dream catcher but on placing them across it destroyed the face of Janvier.  Ho Hum !

These are the 2 pieces of Janviers that I took my inspiration from.


Blue Moon

I had a lot of fun with this one, never having done a circular piece before. The circle is 16" and I placed it in a 20" frame, which I think sets it off nicely.

This was my inspiration, Oil Patch Heart Beat, 2013, which really spoke to me.

Kiwi Dreaming

I tried a slightly different approach with this artist.  Instead of picking a particular picture as an inspiration I looked at several of his pieces, then went away and thought about what impression they had made on me.  I then tried to design my piece without going back to look at his work again!
I'm sorry it is not a very good photograph, but I was extremely pressed for time.  I want to add more detail and complexity to the image at some point, though I'm not quite sure how to do that yet.  My intention had been to have the kiwi image barely discernable in the middle of a jumble of lines and colours, but the fabrics I choose for the various areas have made him stand out rather too well.  Perhaps that is the way forward, to add some stronger colours in other areas of the piece.  What do you all think?

Alberta Rose

As much as I liked the work of Alex Janvier, it was hard to decide what to do.  I chose one of his different pieces - he had a couple on display referencing the Alberta wild rose (the official flower of the province).  And I liked the lines on another. 

This is a snow dyed piece of fabric that I felt begged for whole cloth quilting.  I've quilted it with roses with yellow stamens.  The Alberta rose is a single petal rose and is quite open.  And then I didn't want to put coloured lines on it so just did quilted ones. 

We have had a lot of discussion in Canada lately about cultural appropriation.  It will be interesting to see where it all goes. 

Below are my two influences.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Alex Janvier
This artist proved to be a real challenge for me .Even choosing one painting for inspiration was difficult . After much deliberation I decided to concentrate mainly on his style and use of line work. I found it fascinating the way he creates positive and negative spaces with random lines . It took several attempts before I came up with a design which pleased me . Then I had to decide what were going to be the positive spaces (coloured appliqué pieces) and the negative spaces (white). Usually I do a lot of free motion stitching but in this piece decided that only the background be quilted so that the positive spaces stand out more. In the end I really enjoyed the process ,had fun doing it, and like the piece .
Here is the Janvier painting which was the most influential for inspiration .

Here is my piece. I have called it "I see fish"
I look forward to seeing everyones inspired pieces . Rosemary

the next artist is......

Gustav Klimt. Gustav Klimt was an Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt is noted for his paintings, murals, sketches, and other objets d'art. Wikipedia
My choice was an easy one and I am sure Klimt will be an easy artist for everyone as his work is so quilt like. But i have been waiting for this opportunity as there is another Klimt inspired work I have been longing to make. Looking forward to what you all come up with!

Next Artist

To be determined by......Helena.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Next challenge

Colleen,  please could you pull the next name out of the hat?  There's not a lot of time left before reveal day - Wednesday!  The name of the next artist can then be announced on June 1st.


PS  I haven't put a stitch in my piece yet - only pin pricks to mark some centres - it's still virgin fabric.  H

Tuesday, 16 May 2017


Looks like it is my turn to be late posting this month.  I'm off to France in a weeks time for the rest of May, but had allowed plenty of time, I thought, to do my piece this week.  Alas, I did not plan on my mother falling at table tennis and breaking her leg.  I am currently down in Andover with her, and the chances of me finishing a piece before next week are looking very slim.  I have brought a pad of paper and some ideas down with me, so at least I might have a finished design soon, rather than the very vague ideas I've had so far.

Monday, 1 May 2017

More Janvier artwork

I am adding some more photos (the ones I liked the best, that do not duplicate Dianne's photos) for your potential inspiration, not including my own personal fave. My piece is almost finished! I have to put a rush on it because my daughter is expecting her second son any minute now in Toronto so my time in May will be limited....