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Archive for the ‘artwork’ Category

I came across this video a while back on the Quilt Art mailing list and, for some reason, neglected to share it on the blog.

Elizabeth Gilbert approaches the idea of genius from a refreshingly new slant. While I’m not sure that I agree with the idea that Genius is a disembodied gremlin living in my fabric cupboard, I will freely admit that I appreciate the need to release genius from the artist’s self and allow for work without brilliance. My theory is more that the consistent work and striving towards betterment allows for the incredible coincidence of genius to happy. Basically, quantity with deliberate attention allows for quality.

My favourite part is probably right at the very end…… “I would please like the record to reflect today that I showed up for my part of the job.”   Brilliant.

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After my fabric painting adventure, I’m back at the design wall again.

Right now I’m working on several pieces, as is my wont. Typically, I have half a dozen on the go at a time, in various stages. I find it helpful to work this way as I can move from a piece that has stalled for whatever reason to working on a piece that is moving forward. If I worked with only once piece at a time, I’d spend hours sitting and thinking and staring at the wall. Which would occasionally be nice, but doesn’t result in much completed work. 😉

So while I mentally prepare for tomorrow’s workshop (which is all ready to go), I’ve been working on the pieces below.

Typically, I start out with an idea, pick the background or defining fabrics and then work forward. I generally have sketched out my idea, for the most part, in advance, so that when I have the background fabrics picked, I can start pinning up paper versions of points of land, buildings and the like. This is the start of a series. Not all of the skies and oceans will be the same, as I intend to vary the time of year and day of the view. I’m also going to do some serious fooling around with the borders and will post photos as they progress. Right now I’m in the fabric auditioning stage and am getting the rock fabrics and trees figured out. I’m also working on the foreground. More photos to come as I have them!

whaleback2

These two are inspired by the photos in this post (which will open in a new window, so that you can see the photos and this page, too).

whaleback1

And this piece, which is me playing around with the possibilities of shears as a raw-edged material (background fabric hand-dyed by me, fence posts felted with all sorts of bits and pieces in them):

snow piece

house

Anyway, must tear myself away from the design wall and focus on the workshop…..

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One of the things I’ve often found to be a great remedy for artistic blockage is fabric painting and dyeing. Painting more so than dyeing, truth to tell. Having completely depleted my hand-painted fabric supply over the past few months, I decided to have a go at some skies and oceans.

Normally I paint outside, with the mess factor weighing in heavily as  a reason. February in Newfoundland is not exactly….. warm, however, so I set up the studio for some inside work and turned up the heat a wee tad to speed drying.

prep

I painted this lot on corrugated plastic sheets, which are light-weight, resilient, waterproof, flat and easily stored. These are 48″ square, which is a comfortable size for working with indoors in a small studio. When I’m not painting on them, I use them as design walls and pin pieces in progress to them.

As you can see, I had a successful day. This is only some of what was accomplished. I painted about eight metres of fabric, all told.

night skies
Night ocean and sky, drying.

sky
Summer sky, drying.

during
My studio, waiting for the paint to dry!

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Update: these pieces are sold, but I have others here that are similar. Please contact me using the contact form below if you are interested.

These are among the batch that is foiled and ready to go off to shops (on consignment). They also come in golden, wintry light blue and autumnal russet backgrounds. If you are interested in one of the above, or any other colour variation, please fill out the contact form below (careful not to confuse it with the comment form!).

blue birches

dk blue& grn birches

5.5″ x 9″
Hand-dyed cotton background with commercial fabric for the trees.
Details are hand-inked and the leaves are gold, silver and copper foils.
Price: $38 CDN

a quickr pickr post

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I am, in the spirit of spring, clearing out some stock from my studio. You can see the first lot posted here.

All of the stock is of good quality. There is nothing wrong with it other than I simply need the space (both physical and creative) more than the stock at present.

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It’s funny how sometimes you take the same photographs of the same places and, without even realising it, track the seasons of time through those pictures.

One of the views that always strikes me as particularly dramatic is that of Whaleback Rock here in Torbay. I walk over the crest of the hill on our street and the ocean is before me. Another five minutes by foot and I am engulfed in the visually stunning combination of blue ocean, craggy cliffs and sweeping hillsides.

The photos don’t really do it justice, of course, which is one of the reasons I’m translating my visual chronology into art pieces. Still working on layouts, but the series is in progress.

The hardest part of this process is deciding whether to simply do a four-season series, whether to vary the structure and composition of the pieces from each other or whether to simply use this vista as a jumping point and do spontaneously whatever comes to mind.

The artist in me says, “be free! create!”. The businessperson in me is tempering that with, “yes, but make a saleable series and for heavens’ sake stretch it out a good bit and make some money.” I have decided that will listen to both. The first thing that came to mind was the four seasons aspect, so I’ll start with that. Complete the seasons and work in a smaller, less expensive series that mirrors the larger gallery pieces. The next step would be to play with the structure and composition, trying different media (i.e. watercolour or pen and ink drawings), perhaps working the horizontal view into four vertical tiles hung side-by-side…. You get the picture.

Here are a select few of the many photos that I’ve taken from roughly this same point of view, to give you an idea of the landscape of my world and the focus of this series :
April 26, 2006

Whaleback Rock

Feb 12, 2006

Church Cove, Torbay, Newfoundland

Oct 21, 2005

Whaleback rock close-up

Oct 21, 2005

A dog's-eye view

Oct 21,2005

Whaleback Rock

And for a bit of a twist:

Oct 3, 2005 (taken from the other side of the bight)

Gallows Cove
Starting the Gallows Cove portion of the East Coast Trail.

a quickr pickr post

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Some time ago I promised to try out the effect of pyrotechnics on textiles. My intention was to grab a few samples of my work and set them ablaze. Since then, I’ve wussed out repeatedly on burning up things I’ve made. I couldn’t even come up with a “hit list” of designated ignition targets. It has become apparent to me, however, that I really ought to just bite the bullet and do this as the information/satisfaction/notoriety would be worth it in the end.

The purpose of setting my quilts/textile art ablaze is to do the following:

  • check to see how close my work is to passing Health Canada’s standards
  • come to some sort of understands of exactly how flammable my house is, given the number of quilts, wall hangings and piles of fabric therein
  • have a blast torching the heck out of things
  • make the neighbours seriously question their choice of neighbourhood
  • scare the dogs
  • thrill the kid
  • get rid of some old duds of projects that I won’t allow to be sold, yet cannot throw out. At least this way they could serve a purpose.

So I’m accumulating a nice collection of stuff. As soon as I get a clear day with minimal wind, I’ll have a go at it. Thus far it is my intention to burn the following (plus some basic pieces of cotton fabric and cotton batting, some with stabiliser, some without, some with fusible, some without, etc.):

burn-bergs.jpg burn-sunrise.jpg

Here’s your chance. If there’s anything burn-wise and quilt/artquilt-related about which you are curious, let me know and, if possible, I’ll char something for you personally. I’ll post the results, too. I can’t say that I’ll mail you the item afterwards, you understand. I’m not sure what Canada Post would say. But I will happily do such things as test the relative ignition properties of cotton versus wool batting or how quickly flame spreads on cotton versus poly-cotton thread, if you like.

It’ll probably be a week or so before I get to this. I’m thinking that this is another one of those things (like dealing with 220 electrical outlets or changing light bulbs on a ladder balanced halfway up the stairs) that I probably should do when another adult is around to put out flames and provide emergency hospital transport. So it’ll be the weekend, at least.

Taking requests……

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