Saturday, 31 August 2019

Something Fishy

I found Fernando Andriacci's work a little bit to colourful for me, but I was happy to find his painting "Hidden Guys" which colours spoke to me. It's a funny painting, I keep finding more "guys" every time I look. 

This is my piece "Somthing Fishy" based on the right side of the painting.

I'm happy to have finished in time as I had several technical problems with my newly unpacked sewing machine (after a six month in hibernation), not to mention starting a "bit" late....... Next time - give my self more time. I'm ready for your challenge Allison. 

When the Crocodile eats the Moon

I was excited when I first saw the work of Fernando Andriacci but then I started to think about my piece and it suddenly seemed more challenging than I expected.  To the extent that I started using distraction tactics not to have to think about it.  I had to give myself permission to be as ridiculous as possible and to let my imagination run riot to get the ideas flowing.  What fun!

The title refers to the title of a book I have just read by Peter Godwin about life in Zimbabwe in the recent past (harrowing).  It is what the indigenous people say when there is a solar eclipse - a crocodile has eaten the sun!  I love that.

So my piece is an elephant which is my sewing machine with the LCD screen (and me!), knobs, thread, rotary cutter AND the crocodile eating the sun!

It is a wholecloth, painted and machine quilted.  I used a black laundry marker to draw the outline, then quilted the sandwich in those lines.  I have used Inktense pencils and blocks, ordinary artist's acrylic paints, Fabrico markers, Koh-I-Nohr paints and ink pad (to stamp) - and NO water.  It was all done with Aloe Vera gel and I didn't have a single bleed of colour anywhere.  I thoroughly recommend this idea.

This is the work of Andriacci that inspired my piece.  Thanks, Rosemary.  


Dreaming of multicoloured mice

   I've already introduced our resident mouser JP. Although he is not our cat, he spends a lot of time in our garden, the attraction being the mice who live under our terrace . Other cats have always shown a passing interest in mouseville, but none have been as dedicated as JP. He spends hours lying in wait, and sometimes he is successful. When he is not mouse hunting, he sleeps on the terrace, or in the flower patch.

 . I liked Andriacci's paintings with the brightly coloured animals, si I decided to use JP as a model for my quilt and took several photos of him (from a distance). When I was designing my quilt, I tried to make the cat and the mice angular as in some of Andriacci's work, but they didn't look right, so I decided to keep them a little more rounded and realistic .  I quilted them first and then painted them with inktense blocks and pencils. I was pleased with the result once I finished the quilting, but was disappointed when I had finished colouring the quilt. I like the way JP has come out, but I'm not satisfied with my colour choices, finding the overall result not quite right. I think it's the background: it might have been better left in white.

Haida Gwaii

This summer we had  a fascinating trip aboard a very small ship (12 passengers) that took us around the national park of Gwaii Hanaas in Haida Gwaii.  We hiked through rain forests and visited abandoned villages where we were given talks by local Haidas about life there.  We saw bald eagles, ravens, one bear and lots of other birds and some deer.  We paddled in kayaks around tidal pools, and learned a lot about the west coast environment from the marine biologist on board. 

West coast art, particularly Haida art is very distinctive.  I wanted to be influenced by it, but not copy it - in these days of cultural appropriation sensitivity I tried to avoid copying.  So this is an example of this style of art.  It is a small piece that I bought from a young local artist and you can see the complexity of the design.  It is in part a whale  and a raven.  Not sure about the RHS. 

The piece by Fernando Andriacci that I used as my influence:

And my piece:


In keeping with my African roots I picked up on his under water scenes and in particular the turtles and have connected it to a scenario that happens almost every year off our southern shores.  Baby Loggerhead Turtles , a threatened species, for some reason find themselves caught in the cold seas which slow them down and eventually they find themselves  washed up on the beaches around the Cape.  In May this year over 200 we're washed up onto the beaches along with many who did not make it. They are rescued by volunteers and transported to the Two Oceans Aquarium where they are looked after until fit enough to be released.  They are then transported to Ushaka Marine World in Durban where they are released into the warm currents off our shores.  Many of those that did not make it had injested plastic, a very real and worrying problem in our oceans as we are all aware.

My piece is a homage to these little fighters who are faced with a growing pollution of plastic in our seas. Turtles are appliqued, the pale blue swirls and dots are actually a plastic bag that I have stitched on and then cut away with a soldering iron.  I have quilted the background with bubbles as the area was quite restrictive and this fitted in best.

Do Amigos - 2 Superheroes

This artist has been so much fun, as many of us predicted. Thank you Rosemary for bringing Fernando Andriacci to us.

I made this quilt almost as soon as Rosemary set the challenge - such was my enthusiasm! It was a case of just getting out some inks and fabric paints and spending an afternoon just letting my paintbrush wander - and this was the result.

The two funny characters I painted are very obviously inspired by Andriacci's own characters, although much simpler. I love the way he nests little 'personages' inside each of his characters - the more you look the more you find. It made me wonder whether Andriacci perhaps took some of his own inspiration from Paul Klee - I am thinking of his piece, 'The Cat and the Bird'.

Paul Klee: 'The Cat and the Bird'  (Public domain)

I decided to try and make my two characters as vibrant as I could - and as they took shape I imagined them as two friends who dress up as superheroes - with little jet-packs on their backs, ready to zoom off and save some poor soul who needs cheering up. It sounds silly but as I painted them I created imaginary personalities for the pair, who I named Pancho and Paloma and completely lost myself in the moment. It was bliss!

Superheroes:Inspired by the art of Fernando Andriacci

I loved making this so much I might even make a few more! Thanks Rosemary!

I forgot to add the piece I used for my inspiration ..............

Original artwork by Fernando Andriacci

I did enjoy your choice Rosemary as it was colourful and full of fun and I really enjoyed working on my piece. The first thought that came into my mind was to do something  playful and colourful and stuck with this idea.  A Juggling tortoise?  Great fun and in my first drawing I incorporated some of his images into the three balls but they didn't really work for me so I used some African designs,  which are similar to the Mexican designs but not quite so I worked around the two.  Really enjoyed doing this piece and used colours I love to work with.

Fiesta - Inspired by Fernando Andriacci

I was not too inspired by this artist's images, but I did really love his colours, so that is what I used as my inspiration for one of my "Colour Explosions." I have a show coming up next week, so this was a great opportunity to expand my colour palette and make a new piece to kill 2 birds with one stone. This piece is made of dozens of small pieces collaged onto a background and heavily machine quilted with added hand  stitching as well. It is mounted on a painted canvas. 

This is my inspiration piece:


I loved the choice of this artist - it was such fun to play with his ideas.  I wish I had had a bit longer to work on the design, but I immediately thought of New Zealand when I saw lots of spirals in his work, which fitted in fine with the theme I was working on before I took some time out.  Of course, New Zealand is famous for it's birds - any mammals on the islands have been introduced at a relatively recent date. I selected two of our favourite birds from my photos of our trip there, a Pukeko and a Red Stilt, and added Mick and I into the picture.  I kept the birds reasonably realistic, though with a few extra spirals.  Perhaps if I get time later I will add more detail to the background.

No stitching on it yet - that will have to wait until I have a studio again.  The picture is slightly brighter than shown here, I ran out of daylight for taking the photo.

Thursday, 29 August 2019

One more teaser ........

I have not used all the colours!

Another teaser

Not my usual style but, have I had fun!?  Only two days to go...   Hilary

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Back in the fold

It was lovely to catch up with lots of people at the FOQ, especially the members of this group.  I too was beginning to worry that I had left starting this challenge too late - I kept hoping for my new studio area to be ready to use, but alas it's still got no flooring or skirting boards.  So now I have a couple of days to devote to my piece, but still no sewing machines set up.  And I nearly made a fundamental error - it's so long since I have taken part I mis-remembered the size of the challenge.  It was only as I was taping together my 24 inch by 24 inch pattern that I sensed something was wrong and went back to check on the website!  Ah - 16 inch by 16 inch seems much more feasible in the time I have left.

So, my piece is likely to be made using fusible applique, but the chances of getting it quilted before the final date are extremely small.  OK, back to a very hot, stuffy upstairs room to put together the new, smaller, pattern now.


Monday, 26 August 2019

Rosemary and I have just spent a wonderful week at our National Quilt Festival which was held here in Gauteng and was hosted by both the Golden Rand Quilters Guild (Johannesburg) and Jacaranda Quilters Guild (Pretoria).  I entered a piece in the challenge which was on the Festival theme "Connecting Threads", the only criteria being that it had to be 40cms square (16 inches) and have the colour orange incorporated in the piece and to include the theme into our piece.  My piece was called "Threads of Life" and hence the DNA Helix denoting the threads that connect all life forms.  I was very honoured to receive a Highly Commended in this category which I attach below and which I thought you may be interested to see.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

My model for the Andriacci quilt

   This is JP (short for Jean-Pierre) who has kindly agreed to model for my Andriacci quilt. He isn't our cat: in fact I don't think that he is anyone's cat (what cat is come to think of it), as he is very wary of humans, and it has taken two years and a lot of patience for me to get within a metre (and no closer, thank you very much) of him. JP  will also introducing  his 'friends' on the 31st. For once I have finished my quilt early, except for the facing which I will finish tomorrow, as my Mum arrives from England tomorrow and then we are away until reveal day. I hope everyone's quilts are coming along ok. I am looking forward to seeing them.

Friday, 9 August 2019

Counting down to reveal day!

I was thrilled to be able to briefly catch up with Mai-Britt, Linda B and Linda F at the Birmingham Festival last weekend.  I only had one day there and had booked to hear Michael James talking about 45 years of studio work which I thoroughly enjoyed.  I have had 3 workshops with him over the years and he is high up on my list of top quilters.  A really nice man and a fabulously talented quilt artist - well, that's my opinion!

I saw very few quilts and seem to have reached the stage where quilting friends are more important than quilts - can that be possible?  I certainly don't have any more room under my bed for
more large quilts.  Our small 12 pieces are perfect for my life-style now.

What gave me great comfort was that none of us (Linda B excluded as she is on sabbatical) had started our Fernando Andriacci pieces - phew, that was a relief.  I thought I was going to be the odd one out again.  Well done if you have already finished yours.  But, once home, I sat down and started sketching and the ideas kept flowing.  I have settled on #3.  It is in final sketch stage ready to proceed to the next stage - if only life would stop adding things to my to-do list!  This was such fun as I gave myself permission to be as ridiculous as possible!  Did you do the same?

Allison, I hope you have your artist ready to announce straight after reveal day.  This will then be the end of Series 3 which I think has been very successful - I'm sure you all agree.  This also means I need to sit down soon and work out the results of your preferences both theme and size-wise for Series 4.

Enjoy what's left of the summer, happy days,